# What’s harder

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#1
What’s harder and why do you find it harder?

Pure or statistics and mechanics

And what takes more time and work?
0
1 year ago
#2
I think you're talking about the A-Level spec.
For the first time in years (ever), all of the exam boards are offering very similar specs.

For AS which is essentially 1st year for A2, there's nothing particularly tricky in either pure, or applied.

After learning to handle algebra effectively (incl. trig., logs & exp), and dipping toes into calculus in pure, combined with the vector requirement - all at pure, the processes required in mech are very similar.
Stats could be viewed as just a different set of processes using similar maths, but more of a focus on interpretation.

In y13, most people contend that integration becomes a whole lot more difficult, and perhaps vectors, too.
Making up 2/3 of the syllabus, then, pure is often seen as more difficult. Until recently, this was called CORE (more of a term from the USA), and maybe it is seen as generally more accessible because most teachers are capable & practised at delivering that content.
It's fact that many teachers have traditionally only taught stats, or only taught mech on the applied side.
Now there is a requirement for students to learn both mech AND stats, I think there will be a natural propensity for one of those applied parts to be delivered badly, at least for a while. However, this might not manifest itself obviously until the actual exams/results.
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#3
(Original post by begbie68)
I think you're talking about the A-Level spec.
For the first time in years (ever), all of the exam boards are offering very similar specs.

For AS which is essentially 1st year for A2, there's nothing particularly tricky in either pure, or applied.

After learning to handle algebra effectively (incl. trig., logs & exp), and dipping toes into calculus in pure, combined with the vector requirement - all at pure, the processes required in mech are very similar.
Stats could be viewed as just a different set of processes using similar maths, but more of a focus on interpretation.

In y13, most people contend that integration becomes a whole lot more difficult, and perhaps vectors, too.
Making up 2/3 of the syllabus, then, pure is often seen as more difficult. Until recently, this was called CORE (more of a term from the USA), and maybe it is seen as generally more accessible because most teachers are capable & practised at delivering that content.
It's fact that many teachers have traditionally only taught stats, or only taught mech on the applied side.
Now there is a requirement for students to learn both mech AND stats, I think there will be a natural propensity for one of those applied parts to be delivered badly, at least for a while. However, this might not manifest itself obviously until the actual exams/results.
What’s the jump like from maths to further maths? Is it drastic? I’m not naturally ‘talented’ at maths but if I work, I’ll get there and I enjoy it. & also what do you reckon the ‘easiest’ board is
0
1 year ago
#4
Traditionally, I've found stats less satisfying, and perhaps therefore a little harder than either pure or mech.
I would put this down to semantic idiosyncrasies in the papers, where often just interpreting a single word in a different way than intended creates more difficulty in answering the question
But another reason is I practise stats much less that the other two. I find it repetitive & monotonous, and there is more importance on the minutiae of detail, rather than a skill in manipulating arithmetic &/or algebra.
0
1 year ago
#5
(Original post by stress11)
What’s the jump like from maths to further maths? Is it drastic? I’m not naturally ‘talented’ at maths but if I work, I’ll get there and I enjoy it. & also what do you reckon the ‘easiest’ board is
the relative jump to further is slightly less than the relative jump from GCSE to A-Level.
I've successfully tutored a number of students at A-Level, who had done ZERO further maths until Jan of their Y13, but had practised & mastered virtually all of the A-Level. Most Have gained A / A*, and a couple of B-grades. All but one student gained A* at A-Level.

There is not an 'easiest' board. They are all similar. Students following Edexcel in the past have said they found OCR or AQA past papers more difficult. Those students who follow AQA syllabus have said that Edexcel/OCR are harder, and so on.

MEI is the odd one out. I find it far more idiosyncratic than the others. An easy-to-make example is in stats where they ask students to calculate a standard deviation for a set of data, but they really want the student to find the root mean squared deviation. There are many examples in past papers where direction in the question has only implied a particular requirement for marks. I believe that exams should (by definition) be precise and specific in the demands and nature of the questions posed, with clear/explicit expectations of the response required. Many MEI questions and marks schemes seem to undergo an extra couple of levels of 'obfuscation' than the other boards!

The biggest differences in the boards is in their support of the school & of the candidate in terms of transparency of spec, exams/marking, text books, online & admin advice and info/practice questions & papers.
In terms of ease of use of website, I prefer Edexcel, who also have an amazing wealth of past papers freely and readily available through a dedicated 'emporium'.
Last edited by begbie68; 1 year ago
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