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Why Should you take a BTEC?

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    (Original post by clareramos)
    BTECs are pure coursework for a reason. There should be no 'exams' as such but they should have tests just so the teacher is aware they know the knowledge. Putting exams in BTECs would be a mistake and make them like Applied A Levels.

    More people with BTECs actually stay in comparison to people who do A Levels odd fact someone told me recently.

    could be argued A Levels don't prepare you for univeristy anymore as it is going down the number that have coursework in.

    also some uni's say as long as you pass a BTEC your in and don't care about a levels.
    I`m not entirely sure if that is true, but i`m not going to dismiss it. However i will state, my group size has gone from 22 or so to 12. The other parallel group are about the same.

    The reality is that Universities will still prefer A-levels over BTEC`s.

    I know for me. If i list the top 20 academic universities for my subject. 7 don`t accept the BTEC course at all and 7 require that you take an additional a-level as well as an extended diploma.

    The information is not at all hard to find. Im pro BTEC, i`m taking a course myself! But i`m not one to bury my head in the sand either.
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    That puts me in mind of one significant disadvantage with BTECs that affected me: exams. Because BTECs are coursework only, you don't get the exam experience. If you end up taking exams once you are at university, you are at a disadvantage, since it is a completely different technique.

    In my case, until May this year I hadn't taken an exam since 1989, although I'd done any number of essays. I know other mature students who had done coursework-based qualifications had similar difficulties in revising and writing in the specific style required for exams.
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    (Original post by Jez RR)
    That puts me in mind of one significant disadvantage with BTECs that affected me: exams. Because BTECs are coursework only, you don't get the exam experience. If you end up taking exams once you are at university, you are at a disadvantage, since it is a completely different technique.

    In my case, until May this year I hadn't taken an exam since 1989, although I'd done any number of essays. I know other mature students who had done coursework-based qualifications had similar difficulties in revising and writing in the specific style required for exams.
    Would you agree Jez that the best way to improve the BTEC is not the content, but how it is delivered? IE coursework vs exams. I think a few exams should be thrown into the mix.
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    I am doing 2 Btec's and 1 A level.

    First of all, I am not THICK. I gained mainly B grades at GCSE and am predicted a B grade at A level along with a distinction star and a distinction in my 2 Btec's respectively. I chose the Btec's because I prefer coursework to exams. I find exams very stressful and I find coursework more relaxing and I felt that I would actually learn things rather than reading a book to pass the exam and not actually to understand/appreciate the content. Also, you can spend as much time as you want on coursework until it is perfect.
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    (Original post by clareramos)
    to the OP you are VERY insulting.

    There are quite a few BTECs that you can't do for A Level or GCSE and it allows people the option to do something they want to do. Actually people who are VERY clever are doing BTECs and you would be suprised how much work BTECs actually take.

    Hate to point out to you ALL universities accept BTECs and they see them as the same level, which they are, as A Levels. So this myth about universities not liking BTECs is total crap.
    Alright hotshot, go and get into Cambridge for me with that BTEC.
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    (Original post by JongKey)
    Alright hotshot, go and get into Cambridge for me with that BTEC.
    don't need to. doing PhD.

    Oxbridge do accept them, but not very often.
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    about to apply to york with a BTEC so i'll see how that goes!
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    (Original post by Sam Walters)
    Would you agree Jez that the best way to improve the BTEC is not the content, but how it is delivered? IE coursework vs exams. I think a few exams should be thrown into the mix.

    There are some people who just don't get on with the exam format. So having the option of an equivalent level qualification based on coursework is a major attraction. But given that those who wanted to go on to uni would almost inevitably face an exam at some point, having some training in sitting them is not a bad idea.
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    I applied to do a BTEC in forensic science since I was very interested in this area and my school wouldn't let me do science at A-levels (I started the school in year 10 when the classes for triple award was very full, so although I was very good at biology and chemistry and even in the fast track course in my previous school, I still had to do applied science and they wouldn't let me do A-level with this). So for me, it was more like a way around this. I didn't in the end, I stuck with my school's norm and carried on.
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    1. SOME top universities don't accept them, but some DO...like oxford, ONLY if you do A-level in maths along with it, and you get DDD.

    and yes sadly it is true, that btec makes you unprepared for university, hence they have no exams...I'm an ex-btec student, so since i am at a mature age, i think it would be wise, that at least 3 exams are added, where they have answers and boxes near the answers where students can pick the right answers...i know some people hate exams, but i take it MOST of you WANT to go to university....not being HARSH but YOU NEED TO STUDY a lot at university, infact university qualification are more demanding then gcses and a-levels, so if you hate exams and can't do exams, then university isn't for you. BUT if you really really WANT to go to university, YOU NEED to get you heads stuck in and start revising now, not every day, but make time for independent studies, on your spare time. cause you will need it a lot, especially for those who want to aply for university...

    and NOT being harsh to nursing students, when your btec teachers tell you, you don't need maths or biology for nursing, hear this from someone who went to university to study nursing, and worked in hospital for work placement, YOU DO NEED THOSE SUBJECT A LOT AND A LOT, they are the MOST vital ones, especially MATH. because you are dealing with drugs, needles, measuring blood pressure, ect ect ect...and i don't think anyone would want to be treated someone who doesn't know their maths, especially when it involves drugs and needles.
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    I thought uni was all assignments like Btec? Or Is it exams?
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    (Original post by clareramos)
    Hate to point out to you ALL universities accept BTECs and they see them as the same level, which they are, as A Levels. So this myth about universities not liking BTECs is total crap.
    lol
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    (Original post by JongKey)
    Alright hotshot, go and get into Cambridge for me with that BTEC.
    Ill let you know how I get on. :yy:
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    Defining the collective opinions of 'some universities' in single sentences? With little to no evidence? Only just signed up to the forums (and my first post is a wall of text, great) but I don't half get the impression people are fond of creating their own 'facts' to evidence their arguments.

    Each university is clearly going to have differing opinions, these sweeping statements are being applied to entire establishments, let alone separate departments, different courses or individuals. Not to mention the fact there are so many different BTECs which difer in the methods of assesment and teaching.

    And in regards to the following quote and similar statements

    (Original post by Sam Walters)
    the BTEC does not appropriately prepare the student for the degree.
    Sure exams are going to be a learning curve and perhaps even an initial shock, but anything beyond mildly influencing equal opportunity for interviews etc seems too far. On the flip side, A-Level students are unlikely to have covered the practical side of things in as much depth, and in case of nursing, midwifery etc were courses are 50% 'theory', 50 'practise' the BTEC shows its true colours. As BTEC criteria in a lot of areas is met through presentations, written assignments, personal and professional development etc.

    Knowing I wanted to do Midwifery when I left high school, I was funneled into a sixth form along with everyone else... where the most applicable subjects were biology (great! even if only a small portion was reproduction/inheritance etc) psych, sociology and well... english language as a filler... ok sure. Untill 6 months in I realised that nothing I had learnt would be applicable in my career. And I was working purely to 'prove' I was capable of higher levels of academic study. I'm all in favour of promoting transferable knowledge, but really...

    Rather my 420 UCAS points from 300 hours in maternity care settings, personal and professional development, sociology, psychology, first aid, working in the health sector, anatomy and physiology, efficient communication, people skills, equality and diversity and so on

    I get the impression some people are mad they suffered through A-Levels while those good for nothing BTEC kids across the road are breezing through without a care in the world getting equivalent results.
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    (Original post by Pep_)
    I get the impression some people are mad they suffered through A-Levels while those good for nothing BTEC kids across the road are breezing through without a care in the world getting equivalent results.
    Possibly some people but not all. The problem with BTECs is that they are incredibly misunderstand. I've seen threads from teachers saying they think the students are just wasting their time doing it(Basically that they are teaching a pointless course)
    There is this deep underlining feeling about BTECs everywhere, they just aren't taken as seriously as A levels.
    It's a fact, it isn't just A level students. It's universities, colleges, teachers, students even job interviewers. I'm not stating if it's fair or not I'm just stating a fact the BTEC is seriously undermined by the amount of people who don't take it seriously.

    That being said if you do the correct research and you know the university you are applying for accepts BTECs then it's fine.
    I just think it's such a shame that BTECs get undervalued.
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    I agree, its really quite shameful how quickly highschool teachers/tutors will point you in the direction of A-Levels suggesting they are the pinnacle of level 3 education. I hadn't even heard mention of them before I started some research into what I could do alternatively. And it cost me a year out.

    I know in my case as I discussed above, the BTEC's benefits were considerably more apparent, as every unit was applicable to a much higher extent, my first five choices all accepted it as a sufficient alternative, and im more suited to presentations/coursework. And the value of that is massive, why wasnt this waved in front of my face when I was 15? (Should have done more independent research, but when you have a neighbouring sixth form where your friends are going - difficult to look elsewhere at that age)

    But I also know that for other individuals the BTEC not be suited to them as much, might restrict or rule out applying to university and would be a poor choice.

    Something that is being almost completely ignored (particularly for a thread regarding 'why you should take a btec') is that not everyone is going to university!

    I think a lot of peole are assuming that everyones aspires to go to uni. Some people simply wont have the capacity to study at degree level, but are capable of getting reasonable grades at level 3. Some others don't want to university, and some simply don't need to. In these scenarios, how useful are A-Levels? 'What unis are you applying to?' isnt a question asked as much on btecs, because a lot of people are already on a course that will get them their dream job (even if its frowned upon to not aspire to a degree student, or to be 'content' with a 'lower' skilled job).

    But often, employers require, or choose to ask for vocational courses in what were previously 'entry level' jobs. You might be surprised how many jobs can afford to actually ask for NVQ's or are an actual requirement. And often BTECs suffice as an alternative, making them very versatile qualifications. I can't recall seeing nursery workers, or health care assistant ads ever asking for A-Levels, but it seems rare for these same ads not asking for a BTEC/NVQ etc.
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    (Original post by Pep_)
    Defining the collective opinions of 'some universities' in single sentences? With little to no evidence? Only just signed up to the forums (and my first post is a wall of text, great) but I don't half get the impression people are fond of creating their own 'facts' to evidence their arguments.

    Each university is clearly going to have differing opinions, these sweeping statements are being applied to entire establishments, let alone separate departments, different courses or individuals. Not to mention the fact there are so many different BTECs which difer in the methods of assesment and teaching.

    And in regards to the following quote and similar statements



    Sure exams are going to be a learning curve and perhaps even an initial shock, but anything beyond mildly influencing equal opportunity for interviews etc seems too far. On the flip side, A-Level students are unlikely to have covered the practical side of things in as much depth, and in case of nursing, midwifery etc were courses are 50% 'theory', 50 'practise' the BTEC shows its true colours. As BTEC criteria in a lot of areas is met through presentations, written assignments, personal and professional development etc.

    Knowing I wanted to do Midwifery when I left high school, I was funneled into a sixth form along with everyone else... where the most applicable subjects were biology (great! even if only a small portion was reproduction/inheritance etc) psych, sociology and well... english language as a filler... ok sure. Untill 6 months in I realised that nothing I had learnt would be applicable in my career. And I was working purely to 'prove' I was capable of higher levels of academic study. I'm all in favour of promoting transferable knowledge, but really...

    Rather my 420 UCAS points from 300 hours in maternity care settings, personal and professional development, sociology, psychology, first aid, working in the health sector, anatomy and physiology, efficient communication, people skills, equality and diversity and so on

    I get the impression some people are mad they suffered through A-Levels while those good for nothing BTEC kids across the road are breezing through without a care in the world getting equivalent results.
    erm...not being funny but i did a btec, and went on to nursing...and to be honest...I didn't see how btec related to university nursing/midewifery course....btec is a COMPLETE waste for nursing/midwifery students....hear it from someone who worked at hospitals as placement experience. me as a previous btec student felt like an idiot at university, cause the work their is different from btec course....

    if anything then btec would be good for those who want to work in nursery schools, or do mentoring...BUT...it should NEVER NEVER be allowed in hospitals.
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    (Original post by notthegreatest)
    erm...not being funny but i did a btec, and went on to nursing...and to be honest...I didn't see how btec related to university nursing/midewifery course....btec is a COMPLETE waste for nursing/midwifery students....hear it from someone who worked at hospitals as placement experience. me as a previous btec student felt like an idiot at university, cause the work their is different from btec course....

    if anything then btec would be good for those who want to work in nursery schools, or do mentoring...BUT...it should NEVER NEVER be allowed in hospitals.
    So you've done a-levels as well to compare? Chances are you would probably be in the same position with A-levels.
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    you do know there are many levels of btec?.
    Good luck trying to pass a chemical engineering level 5 btec after level 2.
    So please state what level you are talking about.
    also from a college point of view its easyer for a student to pass and I mean to get a PP or PPP you are forced to do the work in class in my college and so you cant fail unless you dont turn up to lesson in which case you are removed from the course. however a PP or PPP is worthless and and waste of 2 years but you can hide that on your CV and just say achieved level 3 btec in... thats why colleges like them it shows as more students passing.




    conclusion

    Pass in btec is wortless but better than a fail in A level
    distinction star* (I think this is new) required alot of research and thought easy for some hard for others

    ive done both A level and btec(level3) in the same subjects and for me the high marks will take the same amount of work to get
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    I have 13 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 3 Passes at BTEC level 5 - HND.

    What's interesting is that there was quite a lot of the first semester of my master's degree I had already covered on the HND.

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