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Coursework Marking for Access

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    (Original post by wizardtop)
    all that stated above doesnt make a lot of sense TomU to me.I know at the moment where exactly i stand to acheive a Pass on my Pre-Access course but when i come to do the next level 3 diploma that is graded pass,merit and distinction.How can i expect to achieve Merits and the like if the criteria is like above.How will i know i have achieved a Merit or Distinction:eek:I take my hat off to you and the rest who are achieveing these grades.I dont know how you do it.
    I did my Access Course last year so was part of the 'guinea pig' trials for the grading system. I have to say from what I've read that I must have been reasonably lucky...there were the obvious hiccups initially but my college set out the grading system pretty clearly:

    Pass: Candidate has met the requirements of the assignment
    Translates to mean basically - the student has answered the question including all the basic information required of them at Level 3.

    Merit: Candidate has worked beyond the requirements of the assignment
    Translates to mean - the student has answered the question at Level 3 but included a little bit more information - so they have either provided a more thorough explanation of a theory or evaluated a theory with more supporting/conflicting evidence for example.

    Distinction: Candidate has consistently (i.e. in all assessment criteria) provided an excellent response to the assignment
    Translates to mean - student answered the question with thorough explanations, extra research and a well-prepared/balanced evaluation.

    The best tutor I had on the course explained it even simpler to his classes...
    Pass: Satisfactory work - the assignment contains everything that is required - nohing more, nothing less
    Merit: Good work - achieved by going to the moon to prepare research/plan assignment response
    Distinction: Outstanding work - produced by student going to outer space, lol!
    Personally I've always seen it as equivalent to C, B, A grades :cool:

    Hope that helps a little wizardtop
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    (Original post by CharlieT247)
    I did my Access Course last year so was part of the 'guinea pig' trials for the grading system. I have to say from what I've read that I must have been reasonably lucky...there were the obvious hiccups initially but my college set out the grading system pretty clearly:

    Pass: Candidate has met the requirements of the assignment
    Translates to mean basically - the student has answered the question including all the basic information required of them at Level 3.

    Merit: Candidate has worked beyond the requirements of the assignment
    Translates to mean - the student has answered the question at Level 3 but included a little bit more information - so they have either provided a more thorough explanation of a theory or evaluated a theory with more supporting/conflicting evidence for example.

    Distinction: Candidate has consistently (i.e. in all assessment criteria) provided an excellent response to the assignment
    Translates to mean - student answered the question with thorough explanations, extra research and a well-prepared/balanced evaluation.

    The best tutor I had on the course explained it even simpler to his classes...
    Pass: Satisfactory work - the assignment contains everything that is required - nohing more, nothing less
    Merit: Good work - achieved by going to the moon to prepare research/plan assignment response
    Distinction: Outstanding work - produced by student going to outer space, lol!
    Personally I've always seen it as equivalent to C, B, A grades :cool:

    Hope that helps a little wizardtop
    Thanks so much CharlieT247 it makes it somewhat clear for me now.I will just have to step up my game a little more if i get on the next Course after i have successfully completed my Pre-Access this yearI know for the degree i am looking into it looks like they want Merits or above.
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    (Original post by wizardtop)
    Thanks so much CharlieT247 it makes it somewhat clear for me now.I will just have to step up my game a little more if i get on the next Course after i have successfully completed my Pre-Access this yearI know for the degree i am looking into it looks like they want Merits or above.
    No probs :cool: Good luck with your Pre-Access and I'm sure that you'll do great at Access too...the Merits and Distinctions take a little more effort and determination (mainly because it involves putting extra time in...well, my psychology research did anywhoo!) but it sounds like you're well prepped for that! Some distinctions were easy marks to get as they were given for referencing/grammar/spelling etc. As long as you double check all the criteria on the cover sheets to ensure you've covered everything in each assignment, the rest should come just fine
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    (Original post by TomU)
    This is my main problem with the Access course - this is an example of the "criteria" that we're having to achive in order to get the various grades:

    Pass - The learner will demonstrate a good understanding and application of the assignment topic

    Merit - The learner will demonstrate a very good understanding and application of the assignment topic

    Distinction - The learner will demonstrate an excellent understanding and application of the assignment topic

    Now how ambiguous can you get? And who is it that gets to decide whether something is "good", "very good" or "excellent"?
    This is roughly what i get given, along with the main assessment criteria.

    Will be getting an assignment back on Thursday. Last assignment we did for this teacher, 22 people failed to get level 3, and 2 of us got distinction. Certain people were allowed to then resubmit it and got merits. As this assignment is harder than that it will be interesting to see who passes but more importantly if they give out merits for people who have to re-submit. If this happens i will be speaking to the course co-ordinator (unless i am one of those people)
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    Happy to find I'm not alone in my frustrations at my Access course but sorry to hear so many of the same issues being repeated elsewhere.

    As a student who tries really hard and makes the sacrifices needed to meet deadlines, I readily admit I strongly resent the students who whinge, whine and charm their way into extensions and resubmissions. It's not only unfair to those of us who tow the line but also to those students concerned as it's not preparing them for University at all. The only person I resent more is the tutor, who not only gives in to said students ,but continually fails to mark work, and, furthermore, looses pieces!

    I have submitted 23 credits worth of work and have only had 9 credits marked and returned with feedback. The longest outstanding assignment , that the tutor admits she has yet to look at, was submitted back in October 2010. It's appalling, it's things like this that fuels the negative 'soft touch' attitude towards Access.

    Appologies for the rant, perhaps I should consider venting in a letter addressed to the Principal just hating rocking the boat!
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    (Original post by katee85)
    Happy to find I'm not alone in my frustrations at my Access course but sorry to hear so many of the same issues being repeated elsewhere.

    As a student who tries really hard and makes the sacrifices needed to meet deadlines, I readily admit I strongly resent the students who whinge, whine and charm their way into extensions and resubmissions. It's not only unfair to those of us who tow the line but also to those students concerned as it's not preparing them for University at all. The only person I resent more is the tutor, who not only gives in to said students ,but continually fails to mark work, and, furthermore, looses pieces!

    I have submitted 23 credits worth of work and have only had 9 credits marked and returned with feedback. The longest outstanding assignment , that the tutor admits she has yet to look at, was submitted back in October 2010. It's appalling, it's things like this that fuels the negative 'soft touch' attitude towards Access.

    Appologies for the rant, perhaps I should consider venting in a letter addressed to the Principal just hating rocking the boat!
    Wait till the course is over and you have you place at Uni confirmed before making any complaints..... doing it now could backfire big time.

    I agree with everything you say really. I have added frustration as I am a bit OCD about deadlines and stuff. I was told by previous Access students to keep on top of the work and that is what I have done........ infact everything I have handed in so far as been early..... e.g I handed in two assignments on monday which were not due until the start of Feburary.

    Extensions are a con really, all the work has to be done by the end of the couse (end of June ish?), so having an extension just pushes the workload back to later in the year.

    I don't really resent anyone having referals / resubmissions as that is the advantage of a unit and continuous assessment based course. However, I do worry about how well us Access students are being prepared to cope at some of the more academic Unis which place greater emphasis on exam based assessment.

    One of the things I want to try and find out at the applicant open-days is if the Unis have had any experience of mature students from Access courses before, and if so how they generally get on (especially with things like exams / formal tests, of which Access contains virtually none) and if there is any reading or study I need to do over the summer to make sure I am not at a huge disadvantage compared to the kids with A-levels.
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    (Original post by BigV)
    One of the things I want to try and find out at the applicant open-days is if the Unis have had any experience of mature students from Access courses before, and if so how they generally get on (especially with things like exams / formal tests, of which Access contains virtually none) and if there is any reading or study I need to do over the summer to make sure I am not at a huge disadvantage compared to the kids with A-levels.
    A friend of mine is doing his PhD, and was at a conference or something with a psychology professer from a red brick uni, who said, and I quote "access students are either really bright, or as thick as two short planks".

    It may be frustrating when others are scraping through the course with tons of help, when you are working so hard to stay on top of it, but you'll be so much better off for it when you get to uni.

    I've heard that the first year of uni is generally a rehash of A level material, so it gets everybody (such as access, foreign and other non-A level students) up to the same level.
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    (Original post by katee85)
    . It's appalling, it's things like this that fuels the negative 'soft touch' attitude towards Access.
    This i completely agree with.

    I find it very frustrating that A-Levels are still so much more respected than any other route into uni, but this is clearly for a reason.

    When i decided to return to study id planned on doing A-Levels again but found no college in my area offering them to mature students. And as far as im aware they are much more expensive than Access.
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    (Original post by ½+½)
    A friend of mine is doing his PhD, and was at a conference or something with a psychology professer from a red brick uni, who said, and I quote "access students are either really bright, or as thick as two short planks".
    :eek: I hope I fit in to the first group then..... I don't think there is anyone on my course who I would consider 'thick'...... unless that is because I'm the thicko... I certainly stuggle with bits of level 2 maths, which is a worry considering my Uni course choices....


    I find it very frustrating that A-Levels are still so much more respected than any other route into uni, but this is clearly for a reason.

    When i decided to return to study id planned on doing A-Levels again but found no college in my area offering them to mature students. And as far as im aware they are much more expensive than Access.

    Yep, but A-levels seem to be losing credibility year by year as well. With popular courses it seems that even eight A* at GCSE and A* at A-level isn't enough to filter out weaker candidates.......... hence all these additional aptitude tests, such as LNAT, BMAT etc etc.

    IIRC, if you have to pay then A-levels cost around £500 per subject and generally take 2 years.......... can be done in one but I think finding a fast track course is tough.
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    (Original post by BigV)
    I have been less than impressed with some of the marking on my course as well.

    The biggest issue for me is getting feedback on any work...... The guidelines state 14 day turn around for tutors to give feedback on work, however, I have submitted some work at the start of December and still not got a grade. Other people have also had to wait 6+ weeks for grading.

    The number of deadline extensions given is also worrying me quite a lot. Myself and a few others get work done early (often before deadline), other people who aren't getting things done moan at the tutors and get a week extension and help on things they are 'stuck' with. (unfair advantage IMO).

    The other problem is of course that the tutors cannot move on and teach new stuff if people are still working on assignments................ I can now see work seriously backing up towards the end of the course - of course that adds to the stress because nobody will have any idea of they are going to achieve the required number of distinctions / meet their offers until the last moment!

    I can only hope that the references given by tutors reflect the fact that some people nail a merit or distintion first time around where as others need 1...2...3 submissions and a lot of help.

    I probably sound really arrogant or nasty.... but I'm not, I like everyone on my course, we are a small group and get on well....... I just think it is unfair that the marking/deadlines are not consistent.

    Sounds like ICT A-level.
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    (Original post by BigV)
    :eek: I hope I fit in to the first group then..... I don't think there is anyone on my course who I would consider 'thick'...... unless that is because I'm the thicko... I certainly stuggle with bits of level 2 maths, which is a worry considering my Uni course choices....
    Are you doing maths GCSE or the level 2 thing alone?
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    (Original post by ½+½)
    Are you doing maths GCSE or the level 2 thing alone?
    it is level 2 stuff... to be fair I have passed everything so far, it is only the graph drawing stuff I don't like really. We move onto level 3 soon which covers co-ordinate geometry, algebra, graphs and computer maths.
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    (Original post by Oh my Ms. Coffey)
    Sounds like ICT A-level.
    In the post you quoted I hadn't mentioned anything about ICT or the topics being covered....

    However, some of it IS ICT A-level type content and I don't think that is a bad thing. The course covers a range of topics which is good for seeing the bigger picture...... plus some people want to gain entry to Computer Science, others into ITMB type courses.

    When all is said and done I have an offer for Loughborough to study CompSci SW.... You are having to do the foundation year first........you should keep that in mind when you go around trolling this forum. :-)
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    I found I had a lot to whinge about last year. I consistently handed in work on time or early, gaining distinctions etc, and then you have people handing in work late.. and resubmitting time and time again with more and more help. Gawd it was annoying and unfair!

    This year, I only have the one class as you prob know, History, and the tutor is preeeettty strict! I like her

    Each subject lasts 7 weeks, no more, no less. Work is to be handed in on the deadline, no extensions (only certain circumstances obv) and work is to be marked and handed back within 2 weeks.
    Completely different from the English Comms tutor last year.. she had NO CLUE and Im thinking about complaining about her once Ive left
    Around a third of our lessons were cancelled, often at last minute. Modules overran, leaving us little time at the end to get everyones presentations done. And deadlines were none existant! What is this teaching us?! How is this preparing us for university?! Ugh!
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    So if someone does all the questions right, and gets what would be equivalent to, say, 80% but misses a criterion or two in the front, that means the person has essentially failed? I find that wholly bizarre! Also, say you took a number of modules in which you didn't achieve the credits. Do these modules go into your transcript/diploma and read as 'not achieved' or something like that? Lastly, why on earth is it so complicated?
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    (Original post by Brave)
    So if someone does all the questions right, and gets what would be equivalent to, say, 80% but misses a criterion or two in the front, that means the person has essentially failed? I find that wholly bizarre! Also, say you took a number of modules in which you didn't achieve the credits. Do these modules go into your transcript/diploma and read as 'not achieved' or something like that? Lastly, why on earth is it so complicated?
    Are you talking about Access courses? Because that doesn't sound too similar to what is required and expected on an Access course. It's really not too complicated. Every piece of coursework is awarded one of three levels of credit, i.e. Pass, Merit or Distinction. There's no percentages or anything. We don't have a transcript, at the end of the year you get a certificate which confirms what credits you got i.e. 45 Distinctions at Level 3, 15 Level 2 credits, and that is what the universities use as evidence to prove that you've achieved the required academic standard for your course. If you ever failed any of your assignments (which i'm not sure is possible?? :confused: ) then on your certificate it would state 40 Distinctions at Level 3, just omitting the other 5. Has that made any sense? lol


    Now, I know this thread is almost a year old, but it's very interesting! This week i've been surprised at the reaction towards late work and being able to resubmit. I think two tutors would allow this, where as one definitely won't, and she's my favourite! lol I work really, very hard and any marks that I get will be wholly deserved. I'd hate to think that someone else is achieving similar grades, but only by resubmitting work or getting an extra week. Ultimately though, I guess they're still just as disadvantaged (and maybe even more so) by being allowed to get higher grades than they deserve. Getting in to a uni and on a course that you're not equipped to deal with isn't going to do them any favours in the long run!
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    I got a transcript of all my unit grades with my Access certificate.
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    (Original post by ½+½)
    I got a transcript of all my unit grades with my Access certificate.
    Really? Our tutor's have said we won't get one. Just the certificate. :confused: Maybe it's college specific?
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    (Original post by Elle408)
    Really? Our tutor's have said we won't get one. Just the certificate. :confused: Maybe it's college specific?
    I wouldn't have thought so. It's an AQA certificate. I think all Access courses are under the AQA board.... might be wrong though.

    EDIT:

    It was like this, but for Access instead of GCSE, and it had all the different units I did in biology, chemistry and core, with the grades. Then there was a second certificate saying I'd passed the Access course.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rowanbank/5251494982/
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    (Original post by Elle408)
    Are you talking about Access courses? Because that doesn't sound too similar to what is required and expected on an Access course. It's really not too complicated. Every piece of coursework is awarded one of three levels of credit, i.e. Pass, Merit or Distinction. There's no percentages or anything. We don't have a transcript, at the end of the year you get a certificate which confirms what credits you got i.e. 45 Distinctions at Level 3, 15 Level 2 credits, and that is what the universities use as evidence to prove that you've achieved the required academic standard for your course. If you ever failed any of your assignments (which i'm not sure is possible?? :confused: ) then on your certificate it would state 40 Distinctions at Level 3, just omitting the other 5. Has that made any sense? lol
    Okay, thanks for the explanation. I'll try to reword what I meant to ask later on.

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