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A-level pass rate rises to 98.1% - fit for purpose? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Are A-levels fit for purpose?
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    (Original post by Paralove)
    Why punish students though? I mean, if they're working harder and want to attain those high grades then that's possible! It isn't fair to make the exams harder or cap the number of students getting those top grades just because students are getting better!

    For example, a student in the top 10% of year X gets an A*. Now, in another year they could've been in the next band and got an A. The grade you would get depends on the year you took the exam in... Making it unfair for the students as its more down to chance than hard work! I'd like to see all these people complaining about exams being too easy to do A-Levels... They are a lot of work!!! You can't pass without putting the work it, it's not possible.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Why 'punish' students by changing A levels so that they actually (have to) learn something?

    Everything you've said works equally well as an argument against the kind of grade inflation we've seen over the last 30 years.
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    (Original post by Paralove)
    Why punish students though? I mean, if they're working harder and want to attain those high grades then that's possible! It isn't fair to make the exams harder or cap the number of students getting those top grades just because students are getting better!

    For example, a student in the top 10% of year X gets an A*. Now, in another year they could've been in the next band and got an A. The grade you would get depends on the year you took the exam in... Making it unfair for the students as its more down to chance than hard work! I'd like to see all these people complaining about exams being too easy to do A-Levels... They are a lot of work!!! You can't pass without putting the work it, it's not possible.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Do you honestly think that students have grown empirically cleverer and have worked harder to the extent that now over a quarter of entries are graded A or A*?

    Honestly?

    I finished my A-levels in 2011 with fairly respectable grades and it was very easy. I just turned up to classes and listened - and that was basically it. It doesn't require a great deal of effort.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    It's still rather high though, isn't it? Over a quarter?
    A lot of people say that the educational system in other countries is better e.g. Finland. I wonder how many people get top grades there?

    From Wikipedia (I aplogise for the source) I read that the Finnish Abitur has individual subject tests, and points are given dependent on which grade you get in each. They are graded into 7 levels with Latin names, with the best being L, then E, M, C, B, A and the worst being I.

    The percentage of the top two grades, L and E, achieved by students in each exam is 20%. A further 20% get an M.

    So looking at that, the UK doesn't award more top grades. However it doesn't consider how much harder the Abitur is.

    Edit - the university of Bristol says an L, E, E, M in the Abitur is like A*AA at a-level. E, E, M, M is like AAB.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    It's still rather high though, isn't it? Over a quarter?
    At university, it's not uncommon for over a quarter of graduates to gain a "First". I just had a look at Manchester Uni for their mechanical engineering and 25% got a First, 70% got a 2:1 and 5% got a 2:2.

    So 95% of people got the highest grades there.



    I think there is a culture of bashing A-levels and trying to make them far more complicated when actually, universities probably don't care too much and they're willing to just go with it. They're trying to make them far more academic and harder to achieve good grades and remove resits, yet universities (the goal for many A-levelers) will do a fair bit of coursework and will do resits as part of their curriculum. So why should A-levels be harder than uni?

    If a university or employer wants a "higher standard" of student, they'll just raise their entry requirements. I don't really see the fuss for those doing the A-levels. Those with As and A*s will have still worked their arses off.
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    (Original post by kpusa1981)
    77.2% get A*- C.
    Ah, but what percentage get ALL their A-levels A*-C?
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    I do not believe A level results represent an accurate portrayal of one's ability at the end of their course, which is of course what they should be. The modular nature of them plays a large part in this, but there are other factors such as the fact that teaching is mostly geared towards passing an exam, rather than actually understanding a subject.

    It is far, far too easy in subjects such as Maths to gain 100-odd percent without actually having a firm grasp of the subject. Compare an A Level Maths paper to a university Maths paper: it is not merely the content that is more advanced, but the actual style of question; they simply make you think a whole lot harder at degree level.

    That said, many people do still find A levels very difficult. As a compromise I suppose they do work quite well. However if I were to change one part of them, I would place the exams at the end of the two year course (less stress in the middle, admittedly more at the end but that's life). I would also not have papers specifically targeted at certain areas of the subject; questions would come up about any area of the entire course. That way, people are forced to understand how everything they have learned links up with each other.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Do you honestly think that students have grown empirically cleverer and have worked harder to the extent that now over a quarter of entries are graded A or A*?

    Honestly?

    I finished my A-levels in 2011 with fairly respectable grades and it was very easy. I just turned up to classes and listened - and that was basically it. It doesn't require a great deal of effort.
    There were 5469260 (3575467 passed A*-C) pupils that took GCSE in your cohort of that 867317 took A-levels. 660895 pupils received A*-C grades. That means 18% of pupils passed A-Levels The pupils that took GCSE in 2011 5151970(3554859 passed A*-C) and this year there were 850752 pupils took A-Levels 656780 pupils received A*-C. 18% passed A-Levels A*-C grades.
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    At university, it's not uncommon for over a quarter of graduates to gain a "First". I just had a look at Manchester Uni for their mechanical engineering and 25% got a First, 70% got a 2:1 and 5% got a 2:2.

    So 95% of people got the highest grades there.



    I think there is a culture of bashing A-levels and trying to make them far more complicated when actually, universities probably don't care too much and they're willing to just go with it. They're trying to make them far more academic and harder to achieve good grades and remove resits, yet universities (the goal for many A-levelers) will do a fair bit of coursework and will do resits as part of their curriculum. So why should A-levels be harder than uni?

    If a university or employer wants a "higher standard" of student, they'll just raise their entry requirements. I don't really see the fuss for those doing the A-levels. Those with As and A*s will have still worked their arses off.
    In a course like mechanical engineering, of course plenty of people will get a First.

    How about a course like Law, PPE or History?

    And you can't raise entry requirements forever. Already universities are making A*A*A offers - and once they're A*A*A*, what are they going to do?

    Expect a fourth A*? Okay, well what about after that?

    You can't just keep tacking on an extra A*.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    so that's an 'are you still beating your wife' style question with a yes/no poll.

    What? "Are you still beating your wife"???
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Do you honestly think that students have grown empirically cleverer and have worked harder to the extent that now over a quarter of entries are graded A or A*?

    Honestly?

    I finished my A-levels in 2011 with fairly respectable grades and it was very easy. I just turned up to classes and listened - and that was basically it. It doesn't require a great deal of effort.
    Well then you must be exceptionally intelligent because all of the people that I know who got high grades at A-level worked incredibly hard to do so.
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    (Original post by tohaaaa)
    What? "Are you still beating your wife"???
    I think Joinedup is saying that there should be more options in the poll than simply 'yes' and 'no', because the 'still' in the poll question means some people may not fall into either option. This is demonstrated with the wife-beating example as, for those who have never beaten their wives, neither a 'yes' nor a 'no' would be suitable since a 'no' would indicate a discontinuation of the beating, but the beating may not have ever happened in the first place.
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    (Original post by HeyThereHarry)
    I think Joinedup is saying that there should be more options in the poll than simply 'yes' and 'no', because the 'still' in the poll question means some people may not fall into either option. This is demonstrated with the wife-beating example as, for those who have never beaten their wives, neither a 'yes' nor a 'no' would be suitable since a 'no' would indicate a discontinuation of the beating, but the beating may not have ever happened in the first place.
    Ah ok Thanks for that! :cool::cool:
 
 
 
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