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A Level Maths exam board

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by liver56, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. I would like opinions on the respective merits of Edexcel, AQA and OCR as A Level maths exam boards. We are opening a sixth form in September, and I have previously taught OCR to a small gifted cohort, but am concious that newer teachers to the dept who have no experience of A Level teaching previously found the recommended OCR text ( Cambridge Press) difficult to negotiate.

    Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated


     
  2. I would like opinions on the respective merits of Edexcel, AQA and OCR as A Level maths exam boards. We are opening a sixth form in September, and I have previously taught OCR to a small gifted cohort, but am concious that newer teachers to the dept who have no experience of A Level teaching previously found the recommended OCR text ( Cambridge Press) difficult to negotiate.

    Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated


     
  3. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Edexcel is very straightforward. The modules are sequential in a sensible order. Further Maths is easy to do with FP1 in Year 12, and FP2 and FP3 in Year 13. The support is second to none, with the Edexcel Emporium providing every past paper ever written and lots of extra materials besides. ResultsPlus means you can analyse every paper a student takes after the event to aid future progress. I
     
  4. The Cambridge OCR books (IMO) are not ideal. They have some good stuff but go way OTT in some aspects and make some very easy things hard for medium and lower ability kids.
    I agree with Adam, Edexcel is very straight forward and the support is good.
    I would like to think MEI is the 'best for good kids' to sit but it depends where your inital focus is. Based on your account Edexcel would be 'ideal'
     
  5. I taught Edexcel for a umber of years and, whilst it was generally straightforward and the support was excellent, there were occasions when the papers varied in difficulty rather more than they should.
    I am now teaching AQA and feel that there is a similar level of support and also a similar problem with papers being of an equal quality.
    I've never taught ICR or WJEC, but I did do MEI O-level...!
    In the ned, I don't think that there is a massive difference between the exam boards, although a number of colleagues have decided that OCR is the least good.
    cyolba, trying not to upset kevchenko :)
     
  6. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    We do MEI. It's what I inherited, and, rather than change and reinvest in a whole load of new books, I thought we'd stay where we are - better the devil you know...
    Actually, I rather like MEI. People say it is more difficult, but I like the textbooks, and much appreciate the extensive online support materials for both staff and students. MEI have subsequently extended these materials to cover other exam boards, but I don't know how successful such materials are for different exam boards.
    If I was setting up from scratch? I'd have a serious look at edexcel, simply because so many do it, and I keep hearing that it is much easier. But then, I look at the MEI papers, and the extensive spoon-feeding they receive through scaffolded questioning, and often think - where's the challenge....?! If edexcel is easier than this...?
    There are differences in content - for example, MEI doesn't introduce calculus until C2, whereas I understand edexcel starts them off in C1. You might want to look at the specific topics of each module for each board as a means of deciding.
    Worth bearing in mind, though, that MEI has coursework for C3 (worth about 20%) and the C4 paper includes a 'comprehension' section. These may put off some...
    At the end of the day, I really don't think it matters much which board you do. Take your pick and go for it...

     
  7. I switched from WJEC to OCR/MEI and felt that I was blamed when results initially dipped. I suspect that this was mainly due to variations in cohorts of students mainly + some delay in teachers getting used to the new spec.
    I am finding that our results are now better than ever and that our students have a deeper understanding. The number carrying on with Maths at Uni has also increased.
     
  8. Yes, purely anecodtally, I have found pupils doing MEI seem to be more interested and have a broader understanding by the end of A2.
    That though is a sweeping statement.
     

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