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GCSE Unit 2 Examination Paper AQA vs Edexcel

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by gunnybp, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Our students sat the AQA Unit 2 papers last Tuesday. The higher in particular was very difficult, infact it is as if the target audience for the paper was the A* students with lots of thinking questions,tricky and far removed from past papers. Some of my maths staff gave the paper to our returning y12 students who barely secured 50% of the paper; our y10 sat the paper!!. I've just been handed a copy of the Edexcel Unit 2 paper (slightly different content - some shape + space included), which has a big overlap of content with AQA unit 2. The edexcel paper is a standard run of the mill paper, nothing tricky at all. 'My blood is now boiling', I am very disappointed in this severe lack of consistency of standards. I am going to write to Ofqual about this one, are they actually monitoring standards across examining boards??
  2. I can understand your POV with respect to undermining kids' confidence etc. But I would hold fire until you see the grade boundaries for each paper. If you need 30 out of 56 for an A* on the AQA, but 48 out of 50 for an A* on the Edexcel, then perhaps the difference in difficulty is not as bad as you might think.
    Of course, the cynic in me might suggest that AQA are keen on starting hard, then making the papers easier, so that they get more resit money. But that would be treating exams as a cash cow rather than as an important part of the educcational programme of the country...

    cyolba, too wearied for another 3 weeks of work :)
  3. Really? Edexcel setting an easy paper? People will be shocked.
    Seriously, you are quite right to do so.
  4. Thanks for your message. Interesting. I've no doubt the thresholds will be adjusted, but the more important point is the failure of Ofqual in their standardisation procedures - a point I will make vehemently.
    I've collated similar content based questions of the two boards and the variance is not controversial. Never before in my teaching career (20yrs+) have I seen such a step change in 'difficulty' - well, except one year 2003 I think when the AS level Maths Pure 2 paper was so difficult that the modal mark for the paper was = 0.
    As for the 'cynical' posture - resits!! What about the rediculous timescales for resit entry deadlines and the escallation of fees for missing them!!

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