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Are A-levels too easy? POLL Watch

  • View Poll Results: What do you think of the difficulty of A-levels at the moment?
    They're too easy
    15.85%
    They're just right
    59.37%
    They're too hard
    24.78%

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    It depends on the A-level.

    Nearly all essay writing based subjects are based on focus on the question and being coherent; rather than actual knowledge or quality of the argument. So these exams depend on the individuals ability to adapt to writing in a certain way.

    I think a lot of doubt would be removed if they removed the exam board system, and made one standard one.

    I feel (for essay based subjects) A-levels would be really easy if teachers knew definitively what they were meant to be teaching in terms of writing style and focus, in subjects like Eng Lit at my college teachers had absolutely know clue why Person X got 120/120 UMS and Person Z got 80/120.

    Stuff like Maths and Science are always going to be difficult though, don't see how it can be too hard/too difficult in those subjects if boundaries are standardized to how well people do.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    What?
    Well you can't have it both ways - if making no mistakes is the criteria for an A*, then people who make mistakes must be prevented from getting the A*.
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    I'd say they were, but getting rid of January exams has made them somewhat more difficult. I would also say that exams should be more based on applying your knowledge than memorising a list of facts or methods, which quite a few exams still tend to be. But this wouldnt necessarily make them harder, just better at judging ability.
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    Compared to UCL, A levels were an absolute breeze. A massive jump in standards. I voted 'too easy'. I felt I could have been better prepared, even though I scored A*s.
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    Well you can't have it both ways - if making no mistakes is the criteria for an A*, then people who make mistakes must be prevented from getting the A*.
    Oh. 'So other A-Levels should be made easier to the point than an arithmetic or spelling error denies you the top grade?' seemed a little bit confusing to me.

    But if that's what you mean, yes. I don't think people should be getting A* grades if they're making mistakes.

    I don't know what you mean by 'other A-levels should be made easier' - I'd suggest that A-levels are too easy as it is.
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    (Original post by Robbie242)
    Obviously quite a few are easy, most notably maths but there are still others which prove quite a challenge, although some of these are subjective as well so that doesn't help either.

    Maths A-level doesn't prepare you fully for maths at degree level but it does give you an incentive to go beyond your studies which can benefit individuals very much. I'm confused on which side to take because on the one hand I'm glad a-levels didn't destroy me but on the other hand this is a bias opinion which is catered to my needs. I certainly see what is wrong with A-level maths atm though.
    Maths A level isn't explicitly designed to adequately prepare those planning to continue it to undergraduate level; after all, that's why Further Maths exists (and Additional Further Maths, beyond that) so I'm not sure it's fair to isolate it in that sense. If it did need to become more difficult, it should be in line with all of the other subjects.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Oh. 'So other A-Levels should be made easier to the point than an arithmetic or spelling error denies you the top grade?' seemed a little bit confusing to me.

    But if that's what you mean, yes. I don't think people should be getting A* grades if they're making mistakes.
    But that's a terrible test. Like in my previous example - if a Professor of maths made a single arithmetic error, is he not deserving of the A*? The fact is people always make mistakes, even the smartest people. A test should always have plenty of room at the top.
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    I don't think that the content of A-Levels is too easy, moreover the structure of the specifications, too many coursework modules and countless opportunities to resit. I think one/two exams at the end of Year 13 would toughen them up. However I do think that the majority of exams are testing skills/techniques/ability to argue not just recollection of facts..
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    Some subjects are easier than others. What makes some subjects easier is pure interest and natural talent (maths and science).

    I found Law A-Level particularly easy because I was very interested in that subject whereas others in my class, who were less interested, found it more difficult.

    Psychology A-level was in between. I enjoyed the subject, but it was more about learning the exam technique.

    History A level was by far my most hardest A-level and I struggled a lot. I had to put a lot of time and effort into that subject and I'm not sure if I will leave A-levels higher than a C. I am disappointed, but it appears I'm not that talented at History despite finding it interesting in certain aspects.
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    But that's a terrible test. Like in my previous example - if a Professor of maths made a single arithmetic error, is he not deserving of the A*? The fact is people always make mistakes, even the smartest people. A test should always have plenty of room at the top.
    I disagree - the top grade should only be for the best candidates, and the best candidates are not the ones that make foolish mistakes.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    I disagree - the top grade should only be for the best candidates, and the best candidates are not the ones that make foolish mistakes.
    But ability is about so much more than merely an ability to not make mistakes. Hence why humans are still used over computers.
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    It depends on:
    1. What you're comparing it to - previous A-level specs/exams or (universities) expectations.
    2. The subject (content) itself
    3. How it's examined: grade boundaries, marking procedures. You may understand a subject well, but how well can you meet what the examiners want?
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    I disagree - the top grade should only be for the best candidates, and the best candidates are not the ones that make foolish mistakes.
    What if other factors (external circumstances or stress) have an impact? You may say with stress it's your responsibility to not allow it to get to you, but some humans react differently to others in stressful situations.
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    Which *******s wrote that it was too easy? Show me your ****ing results day forms and then we'll see
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    I think my subjects (History, Sociology) are too easy. Psychology I guess is just right.
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    (Original post by Infinity_4652)
    How heavy are your textbooks? All of mine are really thin.
    Law and psycholgy textbooks are thick
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    (Original post by Secretnerd123)
    Law and psycholgy textbooks are thick
    Ohh i see, i dont do them subjects. I have heard biology, chemistry and philosophy textbooks are also thick.
    But i dont do any of these subjects, so my textbooks are thin.

    To be honest, a lot of the content in textbooks is not useful. You only need to know what it says on the specification.
    All the unnecessary knowledge in the textbooks will obviously make them thick.
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    (Original post by Secretnerd123)
    Whoever says Alevels are easy deserves to have all my heavy textbooks thrown at them
    Do not base the difficulty of the A-levels on your incompetence.
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      I think they're alright.
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      (Original post by g.k)
      Do not base the difficulty of the A-levels on your incompetence.
      What else can she base them on other than her experience of them?!
     
     
     
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