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Should the grading of A levels be changed? Watch

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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    The reason why Russel Group universities don't like people taking these subjects isn't because the exams are too easy, it's because they are too specialised or too vocational to provide the broad knowledge-base that universities feel that students require to take on their courses.
    That is what they want you to believe. In reality they scoff at the softer subjects, some more than others, on the premise that the material being covered does nothing to test innate intellect other than a good memory and basic literacy. As a result, how could any good university use these subjects as a benchmark to select the brightest candidates when even average ability kids stand a good chance of getting AAA/BBB?

    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    I'd love to scrap exams but that's clearly not a practical possibility. The next best alternative is better exams - exams that test understanding and thinking rather than regurgitating.
    That is a nice idea, but making A level Maths more difficult will just kill off the weaker students who had a fighting chance of passing the subject at grade D/E. The Sciences generally would also suffer, being as they are also relatively hard.
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    (Original post by Mansun)
    That is what they want you to believe. In reality they scoff at the softer subjects, some more than others, on the premise that the material being covered does nothing to test innate intellect other than a good memory and basic literacy. As a result, how could any good university use these subjects as a benchmark to select the brightest candidates when even average ability kids stand a good chance of getting AAA/BBB?
    "This is what they want you to believe"

    And how, pray tell, do you know that? Do you have some exclusive inside knowledge on the secret workings of the Russel Group that we don't? What you're saying is a myth perpetuated throughout TSR and it's simply not true. And it still doesn't change the fact that raising grade boundaries won't make an iota of a difference to anything, it'll simply result in entry requirements changing to reflect the change.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    "This is what they want you to believe"

    And how, pray tell, do you know that? Do you have some exclusive inside knowledge on the secret workings of the Russel Group that we don't? What you're saying is a myth perpetuated throughout TSR and it's simply not true. And it still doesn't change the fact that raising grade boundaries won't make an iota of a difference to anything, it'll simply result in entry requirements changing to reflect the change.
    Just ask Chris Woodhead, former Chief of Ofsted and a retired Professor. He has worked at Oxford and other leading universities and knows much more about this area than most. Also, as I mentioned before, I don't believe top universities for competitive courses would change the entry requirements too much, I think they would finally see getting a Grade A = 90% on average at AS/A2 as challenging, even if slightly easier to get than the current A* which demands 90% at A2 in every component at the first attempt. It is kind of stupid to be in a situation were you achieved 90% in all components bar one exam by getting 89% at A2 and thus miss out on the A*, that is too brutal for my liking.
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    (Original post by Mansun)
    Just ask Chris Woodhead, former Chief of Ofsted and a retired Professor. He has worked at Oxford and other leading universities and knows much more about this area than most. Also, as I mentioned before, I don't believe top universities for competitive courses would change the entry requirements too much, I think they would finally see getting a Grade A = 90% on average at AS/A2 as challenging, even if slightly easier to get than the current A* which demands 90% at A2 in every component at the first attempt. It is kind of stupid to be in a situation were you achieved 90% in all components bar one exam by getting 89% at A2 and thus miss out on the A*, that is too brutal for my liking.
    OFSTED is a shining example of everything that's wrong with the current education system - why on earth would I listen to an ex-chief of it?
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    (Original post by Mansun)
    Just ask Chris Woodhead, former Chief of Ofsted and a retired Professor. He has worked at Oxford and other leading universities and knows much more about this area than most. Also, as I mentioned before, I don't believe top universities for competitive courses would change the entry requirements too much, I think they would finally see getting a Grade A = 90% on average at AS/A2 as challenging, even if slightly easier to get than the current A* which demands 90% at A2 in every component at the first attempt. It is kind of stupid to be in a situation were you achieved 90% in all components bar one exam by getting 89% at A2 and thus miss out on the A*, that is too brutal for my liking.
    umm... 1) You don't need 90% on each and every A2 module. Whoever told you that was lying. You need a 90% average across the three A2 modules.

    2) What did chris woodhead say? You haven't given us a quote. So I have no idea on his views on the matter.

    3) Obviously they would change their requirements. They currently require you to get a grade which is 80% average. You're suggesting a new grade which is also 80% average (i.e. the same thing), but you think they'll randomly switch to your 90% grade? Why on Earth would they do that?
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    (Original post by lerjj)
    3) Obviously they would change their requirements. They currently require you to get a grade which is 80% average. You're suggesting a new grade which is also 80% average (i.e. the same thing), but you think they'll randomly switch to your 90% grade? Why on Earth would they do that?
    To ensure getting a grade A is as hard as it was in the 90s. At the moment there are too many people doing soft A level subjects and getting A/B grades. Getting a grade A should be seen as a very special achievement that is only attainable by the super elite. You can do this by making the subjects harder, or by making the grade boundaries harder to achieve.

    I don't think you understand what a huge problem has developed from the fact that over 26% of students get the top grade today, compared to 20% in the mid 90s. The result is a flood of applications to oxbridge from students who simply are not gifted, or even very clever, just ''well drilled''.

    As for quotes from Chris Woodhead, you don't seem to have followed his appearances on the BBC attacking A levels fiercely. Look him up on youtube or on the web. The poor man is now in a similar condition to Stephen Hawking.
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    (Original post by Mansun)
    To ensure getting a grade A is as hard as it was in the 90s. At the moment there are too many people doing soft A level subjects and getting A/B grades. Getting a grade A should be seen as a very special achievement that is only attainable by the super elite. You can do this by making the subjects harder, or by making the grade boundaries harder to achieve.

    I don't think you understand what a huge problem has developed from the fact that over 26% of students get the top grade today, compared to 20% in the mid 90s. The result is a flood of applications to oxbridge from students who simply are not gifted, or even very clever, just ''well drilled''.

    As for quotes from Chris Woodhead, you don't seem to have followed his appearances on the BBC attacking A levels fiercely. Look him up on youtube or on the web. The poor man is now in a similar condition to Stephen Hawking.
    Right, your proposal doesn't give them a way to isolate the top 20% though, does it? You now still have the old 26% who are getting your 'B' grade, and however many people getting you A grade (probably less than 10%). So... they still can't pick. And more to the point, you've isolated exactly the same groups as the current system does by giving the top <10% A*s and the top 26% As (10% is a made-up number, 26% is your number). I will watch a YouTube video to see what his comment is, seeing as you have still failed to make a relevant point regarding him. (If you're going to argue from authority, then you need to actually present their argument you know)
 
 
 
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