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Testing GCE A level exams?

  1. Nov 19, 2008 #1
    I am an American international school student , next year I'm going to take AP exams 2009 (Physics, Math, and English), and I also want to try out the GCE A level, 2009. I am confused by the AS and A2 exams, if I want to get the A level qualification, do I need to take both exams?

    Also, there are two examination bodies provided by CIE and Edexcel, are the format of the exam the same? And which exam body is easily accepted when the result is used to apply for a university?

    Please forgive if I'm asking stupid question, I really have no knowladge about the GCE exam, feel free to educate me if you wish.

    Thank you very much.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2008 #2
    Yes, you have to take both AS and A2. A2 requires that you already have an AS qualification in the same subject. CIE and Edexcel are approximately equivalent. Both are well recognised.

    I've heard that CIE papers are more difficult. I took the CIE myself and didn't find it too bad. Edexcel makes up for being easier by giving you more options including options of doing more than the usual.

    A warning though: A levels might be more difficult than AP exams in terms of the problems given. This is problem especially true for further maths.
  4. Nov 20, 2008 #3
    I'm a little confused as to what you mean by "Edexcel makes up for being easier by giving you more options including options of doing more than the usual."
  5. Nov 20, 2008 #4
    Well, I only took some science subjects with CIE so I'm not really sure how flexible it is. What happens is that you have modules that you can pick and resit if you're not happy with your mark instead of retaking the whole AS or A2 round. Especially with maths where they break it up into... 18(?) modules.

    Oh and I think you also get the option of taking Salter's chemistry.
  6. Nov 20, 2008 #5
    Ah, I understand now.

    Yeah, you get the option to resist modules, I have four in January - Bio, Chem, Phys, Maths.

    I'd prefer one big exam at the end of the year to be honest.
  7. Nov 20, 2008 #6
    Thank you for your reply.

    I'm still quite confused with the GCE A level.
    So do i have to register both AS and A2 level (pay two exam register fee) in order to get the A level certificate? Or do i just register for A level (pay 1 exam register fee) and then I can automatically sit for both AS and A2 exam because their papers are break down in to modules.

    I think i want to take maths , futher math, physic, statistics.
    Also anyone has good suggestion about the those subject exam preparation books or revision book ?

    Thank you very much.
  8. Nov 22, 2008 #7
    You have to take AS and A2 papers separately I think, even if you apply for just the A level cert. A2 requires AS.

    Statistics is part of maths. You get tonnes, don't worry. I took maths, further maths, physics, chemistry and thinking skills.

    For maths and further maths, the OCR/CIE textbooks are very good. You can also look at MEI for more problems but if you can handle the OCR ones, it's probably enough. I'm guessing most of my aussie first year uni friends will fall apart if faced with them.

    With physics and chem, I had notes from my teacher's lectures. But based on content, any first year uni text works - yes, it's as difficult as first year uni (at least conceptually anyway).
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