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Easiest exam board for A-level physics

Going to be taking A-level physics as a private candidate.

I've found a local tutorial college that I will be using for the practical endorsement as they offered me a good price.

However, they only support OCR and Pearson Edexcel.

Presumably this means that, were I to sit the written exams elsewhere, I would be limited to those two boards.

With that in mind, out of the major boards, i.e. AQA, Edexcel and OCR, which is the easiest for physics?

Heard that for AQA, the practical written paper constitutes a much smaller percentage of the overall exam than Edexcel (~18% to 40%), and that for OCR, their mark schemes are much pickier about wording.
Original post by Plaguedbyfoibles
Going to be taking A-level physics as a private candidate.

I've found a local tutorial college that I will be using for the practical endorsement as they offered me a good price.

However, they only support OCR and Pearson Edexcel.

Presumably this means that, were I to sit the written exams elsewhere, I would be limited to those two boards.

With that in mind, out of the major boards, i.e. AQA, Edexcel and OCR, which is the easiest for physics?

Heard that for AQA, the practical written paper constitutes a much smaller percentage of the overall exam than Edexcel (~18% to 40%), and that for OCR, their mark schemes are much pickier about wording.


OCR A or OCR B?

I did OCR B and the grade boundaries were consistently lower each year than pretty much all the other exam boards, implying they are one of the harder courses. Conversely, OCR A and AQA seem to have higher grade boundaries each year, implying they tend to be easier.

My advice is don’t worry so much about which exam board is the easiest, focus more on getting yourself signed up to whichever course is most accessible to you (so presumably either OCR or Edexcel) and focus on smashing your exams and enjoying the course you end up on.
Original post by TypicalNerd
OCR A or OCR B?

I did OCR B and the grade boundaries were consistently lower each year than pretty much all the other exam boards, implying they are one of the harder courses. Conversely, OCR A and AQA seem to have higher grade boundaries each year, implying they tend to be easier.

My advice is don’t worry so much about which exam board is the easiest, focus more on getting yourself signed up to whichever course is most accessible to you (so presumably either OCR or Edexcel) and focus on smashing your exams and enjoying the course you end up on.

Found out that it is OCR A. The tutorial college that can accommodate me for both the practicals and exams for A level physics offers either OCR A or Edexcel. Which would you recommend?

I am leaning towards Edexcel now as I want to challenge myself, if OCR A is somewhat easier.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Plaguedbyfoibles
Found out that it is OCR A. The tutorial college that can accommodate me for both the practicals and exams for A level physics offers either OCR A or Edexcel. Which would you recommend?

I am leaning towards Edexcel now as I want to challenge myself, if OCR A is somewhat easier.

Have you looked at the specifications for differences? If one course has topics that interest you more than the other, go for the more interesting one
Original post by TypicalNerd
Have you looked at the specifications for differences? If one course has topics that interest you more than the other, go for the more interesting one

These are the practicals for the Edexcel specification:

1. Determine the acceleration of a freely-falling object.
2. Determine the electrical resistivity of a material.
3. Determine the e.m.f. and internal resistance of an electrical cell.
4. Use a falling-ball method to determine the viscosity of a liquid.
5. Determine the Young modulus of a material.
6. Determine the speed of sound in air using a
2-beam oscilloscope, signal generator, speaker and microphone.
7. Investigate the effects of length, tension and mass per unit length on the frequency of a vibrating string or wire.
8. Determine the wavelength of light from a laser or other light source using a diffraction grating.
9. Investigate the relationship between the force
exerted on an object and its change of momentum.
10. Use ICT to analyse collisions between small
spheres, e.g. ball bearings on a table top.
11. Use an oscilloscope or data logger to display and analyse the potential difference (p.d.) across a capacitor as it charges and discharges through a resistor.
12. Calibrate a thermistor in a potential divider circuit as a thermostat.
13. Determine the specific latent heat of a phase
change.
14. Investigate the relationship between pressure and volume of a gas at fixed temperature.
15. Investigate the absorption of gamma radiation by lead.
16. Determine the value of an unknown mass using the resonant frequencies of the oscillation of known masses.

And the practicals for the OCR A specification:

1. Acceleration of free fall
2. Determining Young's Modulus for a metal
3. Determining the resistivity/conductivity of a metal
4. Investigation of potential divider circuits
5. Determination of the wavelength of light and sound by two source superposition with a double slit and diffraction grating
6. Determination of Planck's constant using LEDs
7. Absorption of α or β or γ radiation
8. Determining an estimate of absolute zero using variation of gas temperature with pressure
9. Determining time constant using the gradient of ln V or ln I-time graph
10. Investigating the factors affecting the period of a simple harmonic oscillator
11. Determination of the specific heat capacity of a material
12. The principles behind the operation of the Global Positoning System / The use of radioactive materials as tracers in medical imaging (both fall under Research Skills)
Original post by Plaguedbyfoibles
Going to be taking A-level physics as a private candidate.

I've found a local tutorial college that I will be using for the practical endorsement as they offered me a good price.

However, they only support OCR and Pearson Edexcel.

Presumably this means that, were I to sit the written exams elsewhere, I would be limited to those two boards.

With that in mind, out of the major boards, i.e. AQA, Edexcel and OCR, which is the easiest for physics?

Heard that for AQA, the practical written paper constitutes a much smaller percentage of the overall exam than Edexcel (~18% to 40%), and that for OCR, their mark schemes are much pickier about wording.

Heya!
I would recommend looking at the grade boundaries and the specification of each board :h: You can find more about it online, but I think either one is ok for uni. Don't worry too much about it!

I hope this helps!
Milena
UCL PFE
Study Mind

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