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Edexcel vs Aqa

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by evivyover, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. evivyover

    evivyover New commenter

    Hi all....slight dilemma over exam boards.
    I just changed school who currently do AQA. I personally dont have a preference but am from an Edexcel school. My new dept are convinced that the kids will do better on Edexcel due to them being "rubbish at multiple choice", we have a teacher who is a former senior examiner for edexcel. However, the schools grades have being increasing steadily over the years on AQA.

    Their end of year exam was AQA. I am giving them an Edexcel paper to in class before mocks so we can see where they are at.

    Worried about high boundaries especially for foundation.

    Any adivce on how to make a decision?

  2. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    AQA are a disgrace! For multi choice to be part of an examination system with such low grade boundaries makes the whole thing a lottery. I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole!
  3. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    I tutor students from a number of schools, most do Edexcel but a few do AQA. Apart from the multiple choice questions I don't think there is a lot of difference. I do find students tend to guess with the multiple choice and would probably be more likely to get the right answer if it wasn't multi choice. The multiple choice is only 10% but with only about 15% needed for a grade 4 on the higher paper that could be very significant.

    I assume you were being sarcastic when you said you were worried about the high grade boundaries.
  4. MLMaths

    MLMaths New commenter

    We moved from AQA to Edexcel.

    I'm not convinced that exam board makes so much difference as it used to.

    I'm not convinced by multiple choice as a sensible way of testing students understanding (many questions seem to present the common misconceptions and I'm worried about accidentally reinforcing those in class. Although they do provide a "settling" page in the exams where pupils can get an answer for everything on the page and feel good before moving on to the rest of the paper.

    Our main argument for Edexcel was the sheer weight of numbers in terms of schools choosing that exma board - including many local schools - making comparisons of our performance a little easier.

    We have some AQA textbooks still, but at GCSE the differences are minimal and they are fine for teaching the Edexcel syllabs.
  5. icosahedron

    icosahedron New commenter

    In terms of whether students are more likely to pass with one exam board or another is a complete lottery, there is no system in place to ensure equality of examinations. The last time checked about a year ago, there is some post examination results analysis, how this is done I have no idea (it was made public), even though I'm very familiar with Item Response Theory (IRT) which cannot be applied unless there are shared questions. If an exam board is found to be too easy or too hard they have to adjust the following year. Each exam board seems to eventually do what was done for the O levels, set the grade boundaries based on the distribution of the results, the removal of which was the rationale behind introducing the GCSE's (in theory all students could pass not a set percentage as now and before).

    The biggest thing in Edexcel's favour is the sheer quantity of resources available, have a look at their maths emporium compared to AQA's all about maths. In your case a former Edexcel examiner on the teaching staff is very valuable, a bit of a no brainer.

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