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Why Advanced Highers are harder than A-levels

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  • View Poll Results: What's harder?
    A-level (I expect this to win once the A-levelers vote in their swarms)
    34
    17.26%
    Advanced Higher
    163
    82.74%

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    (Original post by Meteorshower)
    Yes, but the vast majority of Scottish applicants stay in Scotland
    Hence why no-one hears of Scottish unis :rollseyes:

    lol, nahh im kidding :p:
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    (Original post by ace_uchiha)
    Hence why no-one hears of Scottish unis :rollseyes:

    lol, nahh im kidding :p:
    Heh, only you guys losing out, you can come here for half price :p:
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    (Original post by Meteorshower)
    Heh, only you guys losing out, you can come here for half price :p:
    I don't even live in the UK :p:...so I'm pretty sure it would cost me the same :rollseyes:
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    Scottish universities start off from where highers finish off. Those that have the foresight to perform well in fifth year and apply to a Scottish university will already have an unconditional offer well before exam time for advanced highers, so as you could expect there is absolutely no pressure whatsoever on the vast majority of Scottish students to do well at advanced higher - especially so considering the lack of support so many have in doing so.

    I did advanced higher computing. At the time I wanted to study computer science so it was the logical decision. But there was only two of us doing so, so we got no support. We were just told to read over some booklet for a while and do the exercises. To add to that, we were put in a class being used to teach another subject, so whilst we were reading the booklet, we had the distraction of a whole other class being in there, with the teacher reading off of the blackboard a totally different subject. Once I decided that I no longer wanted to study computer science I dropped out of it. That is apparently quite a typical experience of advanced highers in many Scottish schools.
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    (Original post by ace_uchiha)
    I don't even live in the UK :p:...so I'm pretty sure it would cost me the same :rollseyes:
    Well if you live in the EU it's free :p: but fair does if you don't
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    Everyone is right about the lack of support.

    There is also (espescially for the arts) a fundamental lack of any materials. Try and buy an AH History coursebook... Then try and by an A-Level History coursebook.

    My current situation is thus:

    AH Maths - 5 periods a week. 10 people
    AH French - 5 periods split with a Higher class. The higher class has 12 people. French has 2. Guess where the teachers time goes?
    AH History - 2 periods. 4 people
    AH Italian - 0 periods. 2 people

    I really should get about 20 periods of classtime...

    Teachers cannot run Advanced Highers at our school because there isnt enough of them to put in the hours. Anyway, everyone just finishes their highers, goes to a scottish Uni and takes it easy. You end up with everyody dropping out and there is no point investing the time (if your a teacher) in an empty class! The unconditional offers system + the free uni here + a lack of any drive by anyone at all to do anything at all means that AH arent invested in, and rightly so.

    The result is Mizog here, wanting to go southwards (Cambridge SVP), has to study all his subjects more or less individually with only limited support. Its no individuals fault... It just makes life difficult.

    I believe the situation in England is different. Everyone knows they need A-Levels to get a Uni place... so the same amount of effort goes into them as goes into scottish Highers. Thus the disparity in difficulty is perhaps not entirely a course thing... its a result of the situation.

    I could have probably written that more succinctly...
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    (Original post by Curious George)
    Everyone is right about the lack of support.

    There is also (espescially for the arts) a fundamental lack of any materials. Try and buy an AH History coursebook... Then try and by an A-Level History coursebook.

    My current situation is thus:

    AH Maths - 5 periods a week. 10 people
    AH French - 5 periods split with a Higher class. The higher class has 12 people. French has 2. Guess where the teachers time goes?
    AH History - 2 periods. 4 people
    AH Italian - 0 periods. 2 people

    I really should get about 20 periods of classtime...

    Teachers cannot run Advanced Highers at our school because there isnt enough of them to put in the hours. Anyway, everyone just finishes their highers, goes to a scottish Uni and takes it easy. You end up with everyody dropping out and there is no point investing the time (if your a teacher) in an empty class! The unconditional offers system + the free uni here + a lack of any drive by anyone at all to do anything at all means that AH arent invested in, and rightly so.

    The result is Mizog here, wanting to go southwards (Cambridge SVP), has to study all his subjects more or less individually with only limited support. Its no individuals fault... It just makes life difficult.

    I believe the situation in England is different. Everyone knows they need A-Levels to get a Uni place... so the same amount of effort goes into them as goes into scottish Highers. Thus the disparity in difficulty is perhaps not entirely a course thing... its a result of the situation.

    I could have probably written that more succinctly...
    Reading that makes me think how lucky I was at my old school. For the advanced highers I sat (Maths, Physics & Chemistry) we had six periods a week for each subject. There were at least fifteen (maybe even more - I can't remember) taking maths, six or so taking physics and the same for chemistry.

    We were quite well supported - we had a textbook for every unit in maths (Maths in Action) and fun puzzles every week for homework (I'm not ashamed to admit I miss my maths). For physics we had SQA notes and some notes our teacher wrote up himself. There were loads of tutorial questions for practice. For chemistry we just had the teacher's written notes (which were excellent it has to be said). I wouldn't have liked to have sat AH Chem the following year as the person who would be taking it was learning the course with us!

    Oh and we had the scholar books for every subject (that I did anyway) and they were quite good.

    Even with all this support, quite a few people failed (although everyone in the physics class passed). I reckon they could have passed if they'd bothered to do any of the work set.
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    (Original post by ace_uchiha)
    I styll decided to look at some of the SQA past papers.
    Out of interest, what ones?

    The CIE board (the one I will be doing for A-levels) is non-modular and is much harder than the general A-levels, and so is significantly harder than the AH qualifications!!!
    That doesn't make your A-levels harder. Advanced Highers are non-modular as well.
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    (Original post by ENNGUF)
    Out of interest, what ones?
    Physics and Maths - Advanced Higher and Highers. [Highers is piss easy!]


    (Original post by ENNGUF)
    That doesn't make your A-levels harder. Advanced Highers are non-modular as well.
    I never said that's what makes it harder. I'm saying that since the CIE board is harder than the other A-level exam boards. Then they will be even harder than the SQA (Advanced Highers), since the other A-level exam boards are harder than the AH.
    Btw, I'm judging thier difficulty based on their content and how the questions are asked.
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    (Original post by ace_uchiha)
    I'm saying that since the CIE board is harder than the other A-level exam boards. Then they will be even harder than the SQA (Advanced Highers), since the other A-level exam boards are easier by comparison.
    Quite the leap of logic there.
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    (Original post by Slumpy)
    Quite the leap of logic there.
    Sorry I corrected my post :p:
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    (Original post by ace_uchiha)
    Sorry I corrected my post :p:
    Now you've taken as a premise that all A levels are harder than AHs, which is at the very least, questionable(and also the point of the thread).
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    (Original post by Slumpy)
    Now you've taken as a premise that all A levels are harder than AHs, which is at the very least, questionable(and also the point of the thread).
    I'm only basing it on the past papers that I saw for AH's, compared to A-levels (AQA, OCR & Edexcel boards...)
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    (Original post by Tha_Black_Shinobi)
    And your happy about this because. You just took exams which you think are harder and you live in Scotland and you feel this is something you should be proud of
    Agreed.
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    Thread is two and a half years old. :nothing:

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Updated: February 28, 2012
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