A-level Chemistry AQA Watch

usermeme1112
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I am a year 13 student and how hard is it to get a good grade in AQA chemistry, is AQA hardest exam board for A-level chemistry??
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Olivia_B99
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(Original post by usermeme1112)
I am a year 13 student and how hard is it to get a good grade in AQA chemistry, is AQA hardest exam board for A-level chemistry??

I am currently 1st year chem student at uni. I did the AQA chemisty exams in 2018, I dont think AQA is the hardest exam board, i heard people say OCR and others were tougher. Personally i found the content wasnt too bad its just 'learning it for the exam board' as in AQA can be picky with definitions, so you might understand the terminology but if you dont word it correctly you wont get the credit for it. Which is annoying as it can feel more memory based rather than knowledge / understanding based. Just start learning stuff like mechanisms and definitions now so you will have less to do in may and then you can focus on revision of topics and exam technique rather than memorisng stuff.

I hope it helps
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usermeme1112
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That's what I'm doing atm !! The maths isn't too bad at all until you get into the Exam though 😂 btw what grade did you achieve in the end. (Original post by Olivia_B99) I am currently 1st year chem student at uni. I did the AQA chemisty exams in 2018, I dont think AQA is the hardest exam board, i heard people say OCR and others were tougher. Personally i found the content wasnt too bad its just 'learning it for the exam board' as in AQA can be picky with definitions, so you might understand the terminology but if you dont word it correctly you wont get the credit for it. Which is annoying as it can feel more memory based rather than knowledge / understanding based. Just start learning stuff like mechanisms and definitions now so you will have less to do in may and then you can focus on revision of topics and exam technique rather than memorisng stuff.
I hope it helps
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Olivia_B99
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I ended up getting a C overall, I got what I wanted considering I am very bad at exams and it got me onto my dream course at uni. I think I roughly got 48% and the boundaries were nice and low.
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OxbridgeRejectTT
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(Original post by usermeme1112)
I am a year 13 student and how hard is it to get a good grade in AQA chemistry, is AQA hardest exam board for A-level chemistry??
My chemistry teacher said that AQA is the easiest board for chemistry.
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Pigster
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OCR A has the highest grade boundaries of all of the UK boards. You can interpret this as other exam boards must write harder papers, as their grade boundaries are lower. But, when you're aiming for an A* and you have to get 90% of the marks on a paper, it doesn't allow you to make many foolish mistakes. With low grade boundaries, you have more opportunities to make stupido errors.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by Pigster)
OCR A has the highest grade boundaries of all of the UK boards. You can interpret this as other exam boards must write harder papers, as their grade boundaries are lower. But, when you're aiming for an A* and you have to get 90% of the marks on a paper, it doesn't allow you to make many foolish mistakes. With low grade boundaries, you have more opportunities to make stupido errors.
The reason why the margin for error is decreased is because the papers are easier. Of course students will be making fewer errors if the papers are easier.
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Pigster
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
The reason why the margin for error is decreased is because the papers are easier. Of course students will be making fewer errors if the papers are easier.
I disagree for two reasons.

1. Silly mistakes happen. Only the very best students do not make (many) silly mistakes. Only the very best students should get and A*. If you write a 'hard' paper and only need say 80% to get and A*. Now, let's say that 60% of the paper is fairly bread-butter and 40% is tricky. A 'good' student might make quite a few stupid mistakes on the easy stuff and say only get 40% (out of a possible 60%) on the easy stuff - which represents a whole load of stupid mistake on stuff they should be getting right. Then, if they get a lot of the hard stuff correct, they can still get their A*. Compare that to a really good student who doesn't get the easy stuff wrong AND gets as much of the hard stuff right as my earlier hypothetical numpty. They both get an A*, even though one is better than t'other. Not fair says I.

2. High grade boundaries allow for large differences (in raw marks) between grades, which can only be a good thing.
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Tolgarda
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(Original post by Pigster)
I disagree for two reasons.

1. Silly mistakes happen. Only the very best students do not make (many) silly mistakes. Only the very best students should get and A*. If you write a 'hard' paper and only need say 80% to get and A*. Now, let's say that 60% of the paper is fairly bread-butter and 40% is tricky. A 'good' student might make quite a few stupid mistakes on the easy stuff and say only get 40% (out of a possible 60%) on the easy stuff - which represents a whole load of stupid mistake on stuff they should be getting right. Then, if they get a lot of the hard stuff correct, they can still get their A*. Compare that to a really good student who doesn't get the easy stuff wrong AND gets as much of the hard stuff right as my earlier hypothetical numpty. They both get an A*, even though one is better than t'other. Not fair says I.
If the grade boundaries are very high, the likelihood of the paper containing 40% hard questions probably isn't that high, maybe 20%, but probably not 40. The grade boundaries are decided after the papers have been sat. If students make very few careless errors, then the boundaries will be high. If the students are making few careless errors, and as you say, 'silly mistakes happen', then it would probably be fair to conclude that the paper wasn't too difficult in the first place.

(Original post by Pigster)
2. High grade boundaries allow for large differences (in raw marks) between grades, which can only be a good thing.
True.
Last edited by Tolgarda; 1 month ago
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Pigster
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
The grade boundaries are decided after the papers have been sat.
They are not 'decided', there is little decision in the process, typically 1-2%. Most of the process of the 'decision' is statistical, based on prior atainment of the cohort. Before the paper is sat, decisions about the difficulty of each item is predicted, with suprisingly little difference between prediction and outcome.
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Pigster
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(Original post by Tolgarda)
If the grade boundaries are very high, the likelihood of the paper containing 40% hard questions probably isn't that high, maybe 20%, but probably not 40.
Having re-read your reply, you clearly misunderstood me. I said that low grade boundaries are associated with lots of hard questions. Your replies suggests the opposite. If a paper only contains 20% hard questions, it surely wouldn't be called a hard paper. Think about it! And don't call me Shirley. My point is, for very good students, a hard paper is paradoxically easy for them and easy for merely good students to get an A*. BUT, for a comparitively easy paper, it can be easier for a very good student (who doesn't make so many trivial mistakes) to get the higher score.
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