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AVCE courses

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    Do you take one of those courses? If yes, which one?

    Are they quite popular in your school?
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    I do AVCE ICT and its too easy. I haven't learnt anything since taking the course. The school said they were going to do A-level IT (not sure if its any harder) but they never got round to doing it. I'd rather have took A-level Computing by my school doesn't do it probably because the teachers aren't smart enough to teach it. As for the course being popular, yes its probably the most popular subject in sixth form. My year 13 class only has 7 people but the year below has a class with at least 20 people.
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    I do AVCE ICT. Last year in year 12 we had 13 students doing the ASVCE and now we have about 8 doing the AVCE, it's a pretty big class compared to most other subjects at A2.
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    If it was that easy why is the pass rates in AVCE very poor? There are some quite advanced concepts on that course which A level computing only scrapes, such as 3rd normal form normalisation on databases, the systems anaysis module was very hard, it even attracted an article in the Mail due to how hard it was, although I think they dumbed it down a bit so that people can pass it.
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    I do AVCE Business. There are 7 people in the Yr 2 class, from 30 who started. Similar rates of drop out are present in the Yr 1 class.

    I think that the problem with this course is that certain units are easy compared to standard A-Levels, and others are extremely hard. On balance, I would have rather done 2 A-Levels than the Double Award AVCE, as it does get quite repetitive at times, however, generally, it is more of a challenege than A-Levels (I do 2 of those too).
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    yeah i do AVCE health and social care and that isnt easy, at the moment im doing 3 pieces of coursework at the same time and two units are nearly identical in some sections and keep getting them mixed up. And in my class there is only 10 of us and when the year 13 join us theres about 18, which isnt that big, but i prefer that.
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    (Original post by £777£)
    I do AVCE Business. There are 7 people in the Yr 2 class, from 30 who started. Similar rates of drop out are present in the Yr 1 class.

    I think that the problem with this course is that certain units are easy compared to standard A-Levels, and others are extremely hard. On balance, I would have rather done 2 A-Levels than the Double Award AVCE, as it does get quite repetitive at times, however, generally, it is more of a challenege than A-Levels (I do 2 of those too).
    The main difference is the way the marketing schemes work, with A level you can get a good grade without understanding all the concepts, to get a A in AVCE you have to understand almost everything.

    I personaly think they need to update the specs though certainly for ICT, unless they haven;t already done it since I left.

    I found the web design, and networking modules pathericaly easy, especialy when you consider the amount of physics there is in networking which I have been studying at university.

    Having said that I had to work extremely hard to get my AB, and I do think it is highly valued, it certainly was not easy. My degree may be harder in terms of subjects you and the depth, but the amount of home work there is only 25% more in my degree.
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    (Original post by AT82)
    If it was that easy why is the pass rates in AVCE very poor? There are some quite advanced concepts on that course which A level computing only scrapes, such as 3rd normal form normalisation on databases, the systems anaysis module was very hard, it even attracted an article in the Mail due to how hard it was, although I think they dumbed it down a bit so that people can pass it.
    I think that the pass rate is poorer than normal A-Levels because of the type of student whom studies. The AVCE is vocational, so there is more emphasis on being responsible for your own work. In my experience (IT may be different), A-Levels tend to be more spoon-fed wheras AVCE requires a broader understanding.

    From what I have seen, most institutions have lower entry requirements for the AVCE than A-Levels.
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    I do an AVCE ICT (single). I found it quite simple. I got an A as AS with 2 coursework modules grade A (one of them is full UMS marks). Not sure if I would get an A at the end, as I got a B already in one module, and 2 more pieces of coursework to do and hopefully be grade A's in the last 2 modules.
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    (Original post by £777£)
    I think that the pass rate is poorer than normal A-Levels because of the type of student whom studies. The AVCE is vocational, so there is more emphasis on being responsible for your own work. In my experience (IT may be different), A-Levels tend to be more spoon-fed wheras AVCE requires a broader understanding.

    From what I have seen, most institutions have lower entry requirements for the AVCE than A-Levels.
    Sometimes the teacher also guide you through the course though. For instance, we got guided through how to do certain stuff and we can get on with it. When there is an exam (pre-release), he teaches us how to do it and stuff like that.
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    (Original post by AT82)
    If it was that easy why is the pass rates in AVCE very poor? There are some quite advanced concepts on that course which A level computing only scrapes, such as 3rd normal form normalisation on databases, the systems anaysis module was very hard, it even attracted an article in the Mail due to how hard it was, although I think they dumbed it down a bit so that people can pass it.
    Most of the AVCE is coursework. Therefore, its easy because the actual percentage you get for the coursework is the same as the UMS. Its also easy because there's a lot of help available if you don't have an idea of what's going on.

    The unit you mentioned must be an optional one because its not one that I'm doing. If you're interested the units I did last year were: ICT Serving Organisations, Presenting Information, Spreadsheet Design. On the last one I mentioned I got 88% without much effort. Perhaps I'm just good at ICT but most of the people I know who don't know much about it still get B's.
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    (Original post by Chris87)
    Most of the AVCE is coursework. Therefore, its easy because the actual percentage you get for the coursework is the same as the UMS. Its also easy because there's a lot of help available if you don't have an idea of what's going on.

    The unit you mentioned must be an optional one because its not one that I'm doing. If you're interested the units I did last year were: ICT Serving Organisations, Presenting Information, Spreadsheet Design. On the last one I mentioned I got 88% without much effort. Perhaps I'm just good at ICT but most of the people I know who don't know much about it still get B's.
    When you recieve help the teacher won't actually "do it" for you, insteaad they guide you in the right direction.

    The course is easy and you can get a good grade overall by doing well in coursework and not doing well in the exam. In addition, when the teacher is marking the coursework, he/she can tell you which part of the mark scheme you missed and they will tell you how to fix it.

    I think having a pre-relase as an exam is pointless, it's just brining notes in and putting page numbers in the answer booklet. Alternatively, I think they should have an exam which is not a pre-relase.
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    (Original post by Chris87)
    Most of the AVCE is coursework. Therefore, its easy because the actual percentage you get for the coursework is the same as the UMS. Its also easy because there's a lot of help available if you don't have an idea of what's going on.

    The unit you mentioned must be an optional one because its not one that I'm doing. If you're interested the units I did last year were: ICT Serving Organisations, Presenting Information, Spreadsheet Design. On the last one I mentioned I got 88% without much effort. Perhaps I'm just good at ICT but most of the people I know who don't know much about it still get B's.
    Systems analysis was mandatory on the Edexcel specification when I sat that exam in Jan 2001. Also as Trev said the teachers are only suppoed to stear you in the right direction.

    AVCE's are not really supposed to meausre how adacemic you are (but the exams are quite hard and you need to be fairly academic to pass them) but the main point is to show employers/universities that you are capable of receiving a set of intructions, going of to research how to do it and then solving the problem.
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    (Original post by AT82)
    Systems analysis was mandatory on the Edexcel specification when I sat that exam in Jan 2001. Also as Trev said the teachers are only suppoed to stear you in the right direction.

    AVCE's are not really supposed to meausre how adacemic you are (but the exams are quite hard and you need to be fairly academic to pass them) but the main point is to show employers/universities that you are capable of receiving a set of intructions, going of to research how to do it and then solving the problem.
    Can you actually say that some parts of the AVCE course is similar to an NVQ level 3?

    I thought you followed the OCR spec, o well. :confused: It seems that a lot of students here follow the Edexcel spec more than the OCR spec in ICT.

    Although the teachers guide you in the right direction, some teachers could just do some parts for you if you don't have that done for that particular criteria on the mark scheme though.

    AVCEs measure how well you do the stuff in a practical way.
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    (Original post by trev)
    Can you actually say that some parts of the AVCE course is similar to an NVQ level 3?

    I thought you followed the OCR spec, o well. :confused: It seems that a lot of students here follow the Edexcel spec more than the OCR spec in ICT.

    Although the teachers guide you in the right direction, some teachers could just do some parts for you if you don't have that done for that particular criteria on the mark scheme though.

    AVCEs measure how well you do the stuff in a practical way.
    The main difference is the AVCE is more acemdic than the NVQ Level 3, which is why the AVCE can be used as a sole entry to university and NVQ can't.

    There is some quite hard stuff in AVCE, in terms of difficulty its a cross between A level ICT and Computing.
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    (Original post by AT82)
    The main difference is the AVCE is more acemdic than the NVQ Level 3, which is why the AVCE can be used as a sole entry to university and NVQ can't.

    There is some quite hard stuff in AVCE, in terms of difficulty its a cross between A level ICT and Computing.
    I agree with you that there are some hard stuff in the course. Besides the systems analysis one, the other exams are quite hard too. I think the exams shouldn't be a pre-release where you take notes in. Instead, there should be a pre-release material. You study it but not taking notes in. By having notes in the exam, it defeats the purpose because in exams you are not allowed notes.
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    I do an AVCE and think it's wrong that they are on the same qualification level as GCE A-Levels.
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    (Original post by AT82)
    AVCE's are not really supposed to meausre how adacemic you are (but the exams are quite hard and you need to be fairly academic to pass them) but the main point is to show employers/universities that you are capable of receiving a set of intructions, going of to research how to do it and then solving the problem.
    The exams are not "quite hard". Sure, they may be harder than the coursework but exam questions such as "name 3 types of internet connection" could be worth 3 marks and are incredibly easy. Another exam question that was on this years paper for the Internet Systems and Services unit was asking to name the law that protected users privacy. I can't understand why some people in my class said the answer was "copyright" when the actual answer the was the Data Protection Act. Perhaps that's why the pass rate is so low.
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    (Original post by AT82)
    If it was that easy why is the pass rates in AVCE very poor? There are some quite advanced concepts on that course which A level computing only scrapes, such as 3rd normal form normalisation on databases, the systems anaysis module was very hard, it even attracted an article in the Mail due to how hard it was, although I think they dumbed it down a bit so that people can pass it.
    Yeah, i know what you mean. It's fairly easy to get a half decent grade in any AVCE, but it's just about being able to work independently. To be honest i don't think i could do Alevel computing, the ICT version is so much easier.

    I didn't think the Systems Analysis module was very hard, but i did work hard on it and i was lucky with the questions that came up on the paper. But i guess i'll find out in a few days how well i actually did.
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    (Original post by Aj2003)
    Yeah, i know what you mean. It's fairly easy to get a half decent grade in any AVCE, but it's just about being able to work independently. To be honest i don't think i could do Alevel computing, the ICT version is so much easier.

    I didn't think the Systems Analysis module was very hard, but i did work hard on it and i was lucky with the questions that came up on the paper. But i guess i'll find out in a few days how well i actually did.
    Without sounding like an old man I think they had to make it easier after the 2000 exam disaster. I got a B and was told that was the second highest mark edexcel had for that exam. So I got the second highest grade in the country, only 3 people in my college out of 30 past it, it was so bad it made the Daily Mail.
Updated: April 13, 2005
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