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is edexcel alevel hard??

is the edexcel biology and chemistry A2 level easier than AS level?


alsooo cud someone let me knw if studying edexcel ial worth it?
I heard from alot of ppl that cambridge alevel is a better option as the marking scheme nd other things are more direct. cz no matter how hard i (also my smart peers) study for edexcel , we always end up getting D's and C's.
Original post by anonymousgarly
is the edexcel biology and chemistry A2 level easier than AS level?


alsooo cud someone let me knw if studying edexcel ial worth it?
I heard from alot of ppl that cambridge alevel is a better option as the marking scheme nd other things are more direct. cz no matter how hard i (also my smart peers) study for edexcel , we always end up getting D's and C's.

A2 is not easier than AS. For all subjects and all examiners the design of A levels is that A2 covers more challenging content than AS.

If you prepare properly for exams by doing lots of past papers and carefully review the mark schemes so you learn what examiners are looking for you then there is no reason why you can't do well taking Edexcel IAL. Last summer more than 50% of the candidates taking Edexcel Biology IAL secured an A or A* result.

https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/Support/Grade-statistics/International-A-level/grade-statistics-june-2022-provisional-edexcel-international-advanced-level.pdf
Original post by gdunne42
A2 is not easier than AS. For all subjects and all examiners the design of A levels is that A2 covers more challenging content than AS.

If you prepare properly for exams by doing lots of past papers and carefully review the mark schemes so you learn what examiners are looking for you then there is no reason why you can't do well taking Edexcel IAL. Last summer more than 50% of the candidates taking Edexcel Biology IAL secured an A or A* result.

https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/Support/Grade-statistics/International-A-level/grade-statistics-june-2022-provisional-edexcel-international-advanced-level.pdf

thank you for your response.

also, can students study A2 level edexcel bio nd chem within 5 months?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by anonymousgarly
thank you for your response.

also, can students study A2 level edexcel bio nd chem within 5 months?

What would success look like for you? What grade do you want/need? If you already started A2 study last term and have until the summer to complete it then that's plenty of time. I am aware that many international candidates try to compress their A level study into a shorter period than the specifications were designed for. Whether you could do this successfully will depend on how smart you are, how hard you work, how much time you invest outside school and what resources/teaching support you can rely on.
So I'm not sure if this is helpful, but I took Edexcel IAL in Chem, Bio and Maths last October. I'm a private candidate and I self-studied starting July 2021 using like the textbooks, and I just got the results today and I got 3A*s, so on the whole it's actually doable, and in terms of the marking scheme it's actually not too difficult to understand and it provides more flexibility towards answers imo
Original post by Wesley242
So I'm not sure if this is helpful, but I took Edexcel IAL in Chem, Bio and Maths last October. I'm a private candidate and I self-studied starting July 2021 using like the textbooks, and I just got the results today and I got 3A*s, so on the whole it's actually doable, and in terms of the marking scheme it's actually not too difficult to understand and it provides more flexibility towards answers imo


oh woww congrats! also thnk u for ur response!
did u write em as composite? jus asking since u took more than an year...also i was wondering if we could finish off A2 level within 5 months.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by anonymousgarly
oh woww congrats!
did u write em as composite? jus asking since u took more than an year...i was wondering if we could finish off A2 level within 5 months.

I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, but I sat all the units in the same session. I guess you could finish A2 bio and chem within 5 months, but I'd say you'd have to work extremely hard and devote all your time to it, like for me, A2 had a lot of practice and MS analysing involved. Biology might be easier, since the grade boundaries are lower, but I found the practical papers ie U3 and 6 particularly tricky. In summary, I guess getting a B in 5 months would be no issue, A requires more practice, but to get an A*, I guess it depends a bit on luck if you're hoping to do so in 5 months. A bit of context is that I self-studied while managing my school studies, which doesn't use the IAL curriculum, just as a reference.

Also, a warm reminder, do note the application deadline for Edexcel if you're looking to sit the May/June session this year, I know people who've missed deadlines for previous sessions and had to pay late fees.
Original post by anonymousgarly
is the edexcel biology and chemistry A2 level easier than AS level?


alsooo cud someone let me knw if studying edexcel ial worth it?
I heard from alot of ppl that cambridge alevel is a better option as the marking scheme nd other things are more direct. cz no matter how hard i (also my smart peers) study for edexcel , we always end up getting D's and C's.

Heya!
The A2 content isn't easier than AS content I believe. You need to re-look at your revision technique. You need to go through the material and understand the theory first by topic. Once you are done making notes/flashcards, make sure to do lots of practice questions on a specific topic to test your knowledge :h: Don't look at the mark scheme until you need to mark your work. When marking your work, note down WHY you have lost the marks (or make it into a flashcard!) so that you know what to do the next time you encounter a similar question. If it helps, Study mind offers free practice questions and revision notes for sciences.

I hope this helps!
Milena
UCL PFE
Study Mind
Original post by Wesley242
I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, but I sat all the units in the same session. I guess you could finish A2 bio and chem within 5 months, but I'd say you'd have to work extremely hard and devote all your time to it, like for me, A2 had a lot of practice and MS analysing involved. Biology might be easier, since the grade boundaries are lower, but I found the practical papers ie U3 and 6 particularly tricky. In summary, I guess getting a B in 5 months would be no issue, A requires more practice, but to get an A*, I guess it depends a bit on luck if you're hoping to do so in 5 months. A bit of context is that I self-studied while managing my school studies, which doesn't use the IAL curriculum, just as a reference.

Also, a warm reminder, do note the application deadline for Edexcel if you're looking to sit the May/June session this year, I know people who've missed deadlines for previous sessions and had to pay late fees.


Thank you for your response!! Are you a school student+priv candidate ?
Well I already sat for AS chem and bio. Now I got hardly 5 months to prepare for the A2 May/June session. I generally find edexcel ial chem much easier than bio. The time limit for edexcel bio is crazy, for the AS exams they expected us to write a lot so many couldn't even finish the paper. I did practice past papers by setting the time but for the actual exam it was hard for me manage my time as I had to read the long questions and then had to write down long answers. Thus most of us couldn't even re-check our answers. Time limit for chem is perfect, had 20 minutes left so I was able to re-check my answers again. I'm generally a straight A*/A student but doing edexcel ial has been slight a challenge for me. Had to switch from cambridge to edexcel after my igcse's as there is no option for doing ial cambridge science as a priv candiate.

Even I found unit 3 pretty tricky and didn't find much resources on it. How did you study for unit 6?
Original post by anonymousgarly
is the edexcel biology and chemistry A2 level easier than AS level?


alsooo cud someone let me knw if studying edexcel ial worth it?
I heard from alot of ppl that cambridge alevel is a better option as the marking scheme nd other things are more direct. cz no matter how hard i (also my smart peers) study for edexcel , we always end up getting D's and C's.


Cambridge International isn’t necessarily a better option than Edexcel. If you want to try changing exam boards, then fair, but it could just be that you aren’t using the right revision technique or self-teaching methods.

As for whether AS or A2 is harder, it honestly depends on the person. If you love your subjects, then you’ll find the motivation to keep at them and excel at either stage. I’d probably say AS is easier, as it is less intense, but A2 is much more interesting and enjoyable.
Original post by anonymousgarly
Thank you for your response!! Are you a school student+priv candidate ?
Well I already sat for AS chem and bio. Now I got hardly 5 months to prepare for the A2 May/June session. I generally find edexcel ial chem much easier than bio. The time limit for edexcel bio is crazy, for the AS exams they expected us to write a lot so many couldn't even finish the paper. I did practice past papers by setting the time but for the actual exam it was hard for me manage my time as I had to read the long questions and then had to write down long answers. Thus most of us couldn't even re-check our answers. Time limit for chem is perfect, had 20 minutes left so I was able to re-check my answers again. I'm generally a straight A*/A student but doing edexcel ial has been slight a challenge for me. Had to switch from cambridge to edexcel after my igcse's as there is no option for doing ial cambridge science as a priv candiate.

Even I found unit 3 pretty tricky and didn't find much resources on it. How did you study for unit 6?

Yup, my school uses the local Hong Kong curriculum, so I applied to IAL as a private candidate via a private exam centre.

When did u sit AS? I had enough time to finish Biology, though I understand what you mean by the time constraint, I didn't have time to check Unit 1 because I spent quite some time analysing one of the essay questions, Chem is definitely more relaxed in terms of time. But the grade boundaries for Biology are so much lower, I feel like it's harder to hit 120/120, or even just 108 for Chem.

U3 was like my worst paper out of the 6, so I feel ya, I bought the practical workbook, but I found the resources from PMT much more useful for like the initial learning, and then just used the workbook and the specification to cross-check with PMT, then dived straight into past papers, I found that the most effective way for both Unit 3 and 6. I think a lot of it is like about the concepts and some of the info from the actual marking schemes, so the papers were my best friend, hope this is useful!
Original post by Wesley242
Yup, my school uses the local Hong Kong curriculum, so I applied to IAL as a private candidate via a private exam centre.

When did u sit AS? I had enough time to finish Biology, though I understand what you mean by the time constraint, I didn't have time to check Unit 1 because I spent quite some time analysing one of the essay questions, Chem is definitely more relaxed in terms of time. But the grade boundaries for Biology are so much lower, I feel like it's harder to hit 120/120, or even just 108 for Chem.

U3 was like my worst paper out of the 6, so I feel ya, I bought the practical workbook, but I found the resources from PMT much more useful for like the initial learning, and then just used the workbook and the specification to cross-check with PMT, then dived straight into past papers, I found that the most effective way for both Unit 3 and 6. I think a lot of it is like about the concepts and some of the info from the actual marking schemes, so the papers were my best friend, hope this is useful!


Thank you for the help!!
I wrote 'em last week. I get marks above 70 out 80 most of the time for chem (in the mocks conducted by my tutor). Even though I'm a priv candidate, I go for chem tuitions. I hired one 2 months before my chem AS boards. I haven't found a good tutor for bio so I self studied bio. Chem U3 seems fine for me but bio U3, OH LORD.
How was U6 bio and chem for you ?
Did you memorize all the bio experiments ?
@anonymousgarly That seems like a decent score for Chem AS, esp when the boundaries for AS seem lower, I guess with your foundation A2 shouldn't be too troubling, esp since the topics are more interesting imo. Tutors are a good idea, I would've gotten one, but they charge a lot where I'm from, supply and demand issue I guess.

U6 for both subjects went well I think, I was like 1-2 marks away from 60/60 UMS, so I guess the past papers paid off. Like I feel like if you learnt the content of the rest of the units well, skimming the actual experiment, then just applying them into practice goes a long way. I marked my own papers, and I made notes based on post-marking analysis, some questions pop up every year, and sometimes marking criteria change, so I found that useful as well.

Personally, even before the exam I couldn't remember half of the experiments were actually included in the syllabus.I just requested access to scripts, so looking forward to see what happened to my descriptive questions lol.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Wesley242
@anonymousgarly That seems like a decent score for Chem AS, esp when the boundaries for AS seem lower, I guess with your foundation A2 shouldn't be too troubling, esp since the topics are more interesting imo. Tutors are a good idea, I would've gotten one, but they charge a lot where I'm from, supply and demand issue I guess.

U6 for both subjects went well I think, I was like 1-2 marks away from 60/60 UMS, so I guess the past papers paid off. Like I feel like if you learnt the content of the rest of the units well, skimming the actual experiment, then just applying them into practice goes a long way. I marked my own papers, and I made notes based on post-marking analysis, some questions pop up every year, and sometimes marking criteria change, so I found that useful as well.

Personally, even before the exam I couldn't remember half of the experiments were actually included in the syllabus.I just requested access to scripts, so looking forward to see what happened to my descriptive questions lol.


thanks for the advices!!
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 14
No, CIE A Levels is harder!
Original post by univ
No, CIE A Levels is harder!

Oh really. Thanks for letting me know.
Well hat makes you think it's harder than edexcel ial though?
Reply 16
Can I ask how many past papers can be worth it before attending exams?

Original post by gdunne42
A2 is not easier than AS. For all subjects and all examiners the design of A levels is that A2 covers more challenging content than AS.

If you prepare properly for exams by doing lots of past papers and carefully review the mark schemes so you learn what examiners are looking for you then there is no reason why you can't do well taking Edexcel IAL. Last summer more than 50% of the candidates taking Edexcel Biology IAL secured an A or A* result.

https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/Support/Grade-statistics/International-A-level/grade-statistics-june-2022-provisional-edexcel-international-advanced-level.pdf
Reply 17
Original post by Maoez
Can I ask how many past papers can be worth it before attending exams?


As many as you can possibly find time to do. Repetition will boost your memory of the content. It will also show you how examiners test you and so will boost your exam technique.
Do a paper, mark it using the mark scheme. This is easier for some subjects than others - maths and sciences are straightforward to see if you are right or wrong.
Record your mark
Reflect on where marks were lost. This is especially important in biology where the answer and detail required to gain good marks might not be obvious from the question.
Revise topics that you did not answer well using whatever resources you prefer
Review your progress. Are the marks you gain improving over time?
Do another paper........
(edited 11 months ago)
Original post by anonymousgarly
is the edexcel biology and chemistry A2 level easier than AS level?


alsooo cud someone let me knw if studying edexcel ial worth it?
I heard from alot of ppl that cambridge alevel is a better option as the marking scheme nd other things are more direct. cz no matter how hard i (also my smart peers) study for edexcel , we always end up getting D's and C's.


I thought they got rid of AS levels?
Reply 19
Original post by boulderingislife
I thought they got rid of AS levels?


International A levels still have AS and A2 exams that count towards the final grade. A levels in Wales and Northern Ireland have also retained the AS/A2 structure.

AS levels still exist for A levels in England, it's just that the results don't count towards the A level grade. They are still taken, often by people who will then drop the subject, sometimes by people (e.g. independent candidates) who need some proof of A level study and attainment. The number taking them is much lower than in the past.
(edited 11 months ago)

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