We advise students to start Cambridge As & A level past papers as early as possible. This will give you an insight of the exam and you will be able to understand its pattern – questions tend to follow a set style or structure, and familiarising yourself with the said structure is very helpful. Moreover, you will not feel nervous during the As & A level exams as you will already be familiar with most of the things. However, before starting As & A level past papers you need to understand all of the syllabus content of As & A level. If you think you need an extra help, you can hire a highly qualified online tutor.
Below you can download yearly Cambridge As & A level Past Papers. Make sure to double check your exam code with past paper you download:
Below are some helpful tips mentioned regarding exams for students who are just starting their As & A level exams.
If you are not sure where to start preparing for Cambridge As & A level exams, first thing you should do, before attempting As & A level Past Papers, is to download (and print if you like) and refer to the syllabus of As & A level provided by Cambridge (CAIE) official website. This is crucially important and you cannot ignore it at any cost. Make syllabus your best buddy. It outlines what you are expected to know, no more no less! You will find each and everything you need to know for the As & A level exams in the syllabus. You just have to go through each point given in the syllabus (in syllabus content section) and practice that required by the syllabus. To do so, you can refer to books endorsed by Cambridge (CAIE) for As & A level. In books, you will find core concepts and problem solving techniques in the beginning of each chapter.
Once you have mastered the concepts and the techniques of problem solving, you will be able to work out solution for any other similar question. If you are having difficulty in preparation on your own, you can hire fully qualified online tutor or home tutor, who will help you along the way of you Cambridge As & A level journey. When you have understood all the core concepts required by the As & A level syllabus, now is the time to hit the As & A level Past Papers. As & A level past papers are the best way to revise your syllabus as past papers test from all parts of the syllabus.
Is there only one correct way of solving As & A level Past Papers or the actual exam paper? Well, there might be correct ways but no one correct way only. You must keep in mind that As & A level is a not memory test (although you have to memorise some formulas and definitions etc.), but it is more of a conceptual test. However, after solving past paper, you must double check your solutions and answers with the mark schemes given with that As & A level past paper.
Usually there is one mark for one correct step or statement, so the good news is that even if you get the final answer completely wrong, you will be able to secure marks for the solution. Further, when you are solving As & A level Past Papers, you must keep track of your time and try to finish your paper within the time duration limit given on the front page of that Cambridge As & A level past paper exam. Keep in mind that speed comes with practice so don’t try to finish As & A level past paper completely on your very first attempt ever (and if you were able do so with most of your answers correct, you are a genius and A*s are eagerly waiting for you!). CIOAL Tutors can also provide you highly qualified home tutor in Lahore, home tutor in Islamabad, home tutor in Karachi for past paper sessions.
You might be wondering how many Cambridge As & A level past papers are enough for a solid preparation. The short and sweet answer to the question is: the more you solve the better. However, this might not be practically possible to solve last 20 years of As & A level past papers specially if you are taking 5 or more As & A level subjects in one session. Therefore you need to manage your time very wisely and give time to each subject you are taking for the upcoming session.
We recommend our students to try to solve last five years of Cambridge As & A level past papers of all variants of all subjects. This will be more than enough to fully prepare and gain confidence for your As & A level exam. However, when it comes to revision, find a balance between revising and relaxing. Short breaks are vital to keep your mind fresh; however, if you use your mobile phone/ social media a lot, you should avoid using it during your short breaks. You should leave that for long breaks that you (should) take 2 times a day the most. Nonetheless, don’t cram it all in for 14 hours a day, because you’ll burn out very quick – but we can’t deny the fact that if you want to do well, you’re going to have to work a lot.
Is there any difference between the difficulty levels of different variants of As & A level exams? Well to answer this question, first we need to understand why on earth there are different variants in As & A level exam. Variants were created because of time variance in different countries. CAIE has devised a system in which it has divided countries in different ‘’Administrative zones’’. (You can check which zone your country lies in on the official CIE website.) Different variant of exam papers are given to students of different zones. For example, zone 4 covers countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh, and there, the students get variant 2 of the exam paper. Similarly in other zones, students would get exam paper of a different variant (1 or 2).
The purpose of different variants is that all students are assessed fairly and unbiasedly, and also because it is not possible to give exam paper to students all around the world at the same time. Without variations in exam papers, students in one part of the world, after exam, would share the questions with students of other parts, who are yet to start exam, and to avoid this, variants are there. Therefore questions in different variants of As & A level past papers are slightly distinct with the same difficulty level and these are NOT to make exams for one part of the world easier than others.
Lastly, it is not always about A or A*, but more importantly how well you can understand things to be applied in real life situations. Plus, if you don’t find one subject interesting that might be not for you, you should find and work out what is of your interest. Nevertheless, we have seen students who didn’t find some subjects of As & A level exams interesting but they scored A or A* in their finals with their hard work and determination, so yes this is surely within the realms of possibility.
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