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Is OCR RE A level harder than AQA?

I'm currently studying A level RE (AQA) in the first year of the course (Year 12).
The course so far has been pretty easy; I've gotten A*s in every test.
Right now I'm considering moving to a sixth form (at the start of Year 13) that's closer to where I live and I've found one quite close that will probably have a place. The only caveat is that the school does OCR RE instead of AQA so I'd have to learn some new content. I'd be more than willing to catch up with some content from Year 1 that I've missed but I don't know how much harder/easier OCR will be compared to AQA. I looked up the spec and the content didn't look too bad, the only thing was the tests consist of three 40 mark questions in only 2 hours whereas the AQA tests only have 10 and 15 markers (and they give more time per mark). So i was wondering how much more or less difficult OCR is compared to AQA.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 1
OCR is easier. You actually get a choice of questions in the exam in OCR, whereas in AQA you have to answer whatever they give you.

Also the grade boundaries are super high for A* in AQA at around 91%, whereas in OCR they are around 87%.

The OCR topics are also more interesting.. though that's down to personal preference a bit.

Teachers agree with this - there are around 8700 students doing the OCR exam each year in year 13, whereas for AQA it's around 3000. OCR is the preferred choice.

You can find revision notes for both exam boards here: https://alevelphilosophyandreligion.com/
(edited 1 year ago)
Cool, thank you for the reply. I looked over the spec for OCR and it did seem more interesting.
hi, im doing OCR religious studies. im finding the philosophy bit pretty difficult. once you have started the content, would it be ok if you could help me on pm?
Reply 4
Original post by alevelstudent090
hi, im doing OCR religious studies. im finding the philosophy bit pretty difficult. once you have started the content, would it be ok if you could help me on pm?


ur lucky u don't do real philosophy a level we study something called epistemology and the metaphysics of the mind which are so much more difficult than moral philosophy I'd kill to do rs instead of philosophy aqa
Original post by hi12345679
ur lucky u don't do real philosophy a level we study something called epistemology and the metaphysics of the mind which are so much more difficult than moral philosophy I'd kill to do rs instead of philosophy aqa

omggg, yes my sister does philosophy and honestly feel for anyone who does real philosophy. i actually dislike the philosophy in RS, so i can imagine how bad it is for you!!
did your sixth form/college not offer RS?
Reply 6
yeah the only reason I picked it was because I got a 9 in gcse rs and I picked philosophy thinking it was rs and I got stiffed basically. My school used to do RS a level but there was no one who wanted to do it so they switched it to philosophy, and while its regarded maybe a bit better than rs, that doesn't compensate for how hard it is. The religion in RS basically makes up the metaphysics of the mind and epistemology in philosophy, and I'd kill to study Islam instead because I'm a muslim and I'd actually enjoy it. I actually hope no one else ever takes aqa philosophy
Reply 7
Original post by alevelstudent090
hi, im doing OCR religious studies. im finding the philosophy bit pretty difficult. once you have started the content, would it be ok if you could help me on pm?


Also if you're still doing a levels and are in y13 like me, for moral philosophy and meta ethics id honestly say just go over content repeatedly and do questions. Once you keep going over it, it becomes easy and obviously easier said than done but just keep doing questions and you'll be fine honestly.
Original post by hi12345679
yeah the only reason I picked it was because I got a 9 in gcse rs and I picked philosophy thinking it was rs and I got stiffed basically. My school used to do RS a level but there was no one who wanted to do it so they switched it to philosophy, and while its regarded maybe a bit better than rs, that doesn't compensate for how hard it is. The religion in RS basically makes up the metaphysics of the mind and epistemology in philosophy, and I'd kill to study Islam instead because I'm a muslim and I'd actually enjoy it. I actually hope no one else ever takes aqa philosophy

oh that’s very annoying!! but yes, philosophy is probably better as it’s more regarded but it’s a shame that it’s still difficult. are you going to university afterwards?

but you can do this!!

Original post by hi12345679
Also if you're still doing a levels and are in y13 like me, for moral philosophy and meta ethics id honestly say just go over content repeatedly and do questions. Once you keep going over it, it becomes easy and obviously easier said than done but just keep doing questions and you'll be fine honestly.

well, i’m self teaching myself and doing exams in 2025 cos i started late and my time management has failed lol! so technically going go almost finish my year 12 content and then start year 13 content in the spring to then start revising early.
the essay writing is sooo much… and how did you understand your subject cos it took me a while to understand the philosophy in RS mostly cos it was boring me out lol😭😭
but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be fine:smile:
Reply 9
Original post by alevelstudent090
oh that’s very annoying!! but yes, philosophy is probably better as it’s more regarded but it’s a shame that it’s still difficult. are you going to university afterwards?

but you can do this!!


well, i’m self teaching myself and doing exams in 2025 cos i started late and my time management has failed lol! so technically going go almost finish my year 12 content and then start year 13 content in the spring to then start revising early.
the essay writing is sooo much… and how did you understand your subject cos it took me a while to understand the philosophy in RS mostly cos it was boring me out lol😭😭
but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be fine:smile:


My course selection is really weird basically I wanted to do ppe everywhere but i do business econ philosophy so cos i don't have maths, I can't do ppe at my top choice unis, so at lse im applying for straight philosophy instead of ppe, and at UCL im applying for history, pol and econ instead of ppe, but my other 3 unis are ppe. LSE and ucl are my dream unis so i dont really care what course I do there as long as I get in. Also to understand philosophy, I guess im lucky in the sense that my moral philosophy teacher teaches in a way of just talking about the ideas with us in class and chatting about the ideas instead of properly following the specification. Examples are also really helpful, e.g the axeman example where you either protect your friend or give him away to let the axeman kill him because he stole something from the axeman helps you to understand it better. I do find moral philosophy interesting tho so if you wanna gain an interest, maybe watch some youtube vids on it or anything that makes it remotely fun to do. I got a philosophy exam today btw so wish me luck :smile:

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