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    (Original post by frith27)
    If you've put in loads of effort in your A-Levels and get good results then there's no reason why you can't put in similar effort at university and get a good classification.

    I was just stating that I didn't try my hardest at A-Level and got average grades, at uni I put a lot more effort in and got a good final classification.
    Ok thanks for making me feel slightly better; It's just I remember it getting to the stage this year when I felt I was going slightly crazy as I tend to put in effort for exams and school but it felt like I couldn't keep up as well as I'd like. It's also super embarrassing when you're not doing very well (like one of my subjects last year in practise tests [will see final result on Aug 14], and also GCSE English coursework in the run up to the final draft) and your teacher tells you to put in more effort and you felt like you've given as much as you can . But what will be will be and if I can't keep up in uni it won't matter anyway because I don't want to use the degree to get a job (I want to be a musician so whether I get a nice, shiny 2:1 or not I'll still be poor and starving ).

    Also, congrats on your uni degree and result
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    (Original post by uxa595)
    For me, I honestly think A-Levels were probably harder (I did get AAA so it's not because I was **** at my A-Levels)
    Why? Because in my opinion, they required a higher level of critical thinking.
    This probably varies from degree to degree and university to university, which I think is the conclusion these threads usually end up coming to.

    I can tell you that I just graduated from Cambridge with a law degree, and that A levels were not even on the same planet in terms of the difficulty, quantity, or any other measure you care to apply.
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    (Original post by uxa595)
    I'm sure it's been done quite a lot before but I really wanted to add my perspective.

    Most people say a degree is harder. But if that is the case, then why do most the population taking A-Levels fail to get AAA and above while at university, there is a far higher % that get a 2.1/1st.

    If you were to consider A-Levels looking back, they would obviously seem easier as you've already done them and they should therefore look relatively easier. So I think it's important to consider the difficulty of both while you are/were actually taking them.

    For me, I honestly think A-Levels were probably harder (I did get AAA so it's not because I was **** at my A-Levels)
    Why? Because in my opinion, they required a higher level of critical thinking. At university, it's all about rote learning problem sheets and praying for the best as learning 10 different 300-400 page books for each module is just silly.
    A-Level exams covered less content but it felt like the work was covered in greater depth. There was loads of variations that would arise in exams, along with variations that had not shown up in the past. I think it's key to note here I still remember most my A-Level Econ/Maths while I cannot remember much of some of my modules in uni last year so A-Levels clearly taught content better.


    In terms of workload, I guess a degree could be harder but it's a non-issue for me as I never attended classes at school nor do I attend lectures/seminars at uni. My workload in both scenarios pretty much consists of no work all year then turtle mode 2-3 weeks prior to my exams.

    I think it's also important to consider university. I'm pretty sure a degree from Warwick is not the same as a degree from Coventry in terms of difficulty. Otherwise, How would students who were getting BBB- at A-Levels suddenly be acing university exams and getting firsts?
    I think the issue of varying difficulty of degrees probably makes it hard to come to any solid conclusion.
    Getting AAA or a 2.1/1st refer to arbitrary grade thresholds so comparing them in that way is meaningless. After graduating from sixth form college people enrol on a variety of courses, and the difficulty can vary wildly within the same subject. So your last few points are relevant, I think people who go on to universities with low entry requirements are given an easy ride, because otherwise there would be very few people getting firsts which would look bad for the department. So yes, the bottom line is that it depends on the course. I can only speak accurately from my own experience, but to me university was definitely a step up. For A levels, regardless of how challenging I found the content when I first encountered it, I could spend a couple of weeks before exams running through past papers and get very high UMS marks without feeling much stress. University's a different matter. Even if I were aiming just for a borderline first I would have to put in vastly more effort, not just before exam season but in being more attentive throughout the year. As it stands I aim for 85%+ on exams and doing so requires learning far more content over a year then my A levels combined as well as a much higher level of critical thinking. While I remember A levels as being easy even though I had trouble at some points, I can't look back at any year of university and say "oh yeah, that was easy to pull off".
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    I found my degree harder, because unlike during A Levels, there was so much 'life' stuff going on at the same time as the uni work. I had a job, relationship issues, a rented flat to sort out, bills, extra-curriculars, volunteering etc. all going on alongside and so there was the added pressure of managing my time.
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    My sister said that she found A Levels harder. But then again it might be because she did a lot of practicals in her degree.


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    (Original post by R+G are dead)
    I think for maths and science based subjects A levels are easier than university degrees; I'm no expert on this but it's the feedback I've been getting back from friends studying maths/science based stuff at uni, and also my personal experience of Maths A-level (if university level maths wasn't much harder I'd be gobsmacked).

    But for humanities and arts based subjects I've always held the impression that there's no set level at which A-level standard stops and university standard starts; I think it's much more up to the individual standard and progress rate of each person. For example, I remember getting really confident at essay writing between years 10 and 11, but didn't seem to progress much between years 12 and 13 (only doing 1 essay based subject by year 13 so that's probably why)-having said this I found it didn't bring my grades down, I just felt less confident writing essays and it took me longer. The only difference between university and A level study when it comes to humanities is, I think, that for A-levels you have textbooks to help you and at uni you don't. But the conceptual material you're handling in a History degree can't really get harder in the same way it can with e.g. a physics degree. Not to say that physics is more difficult than History they're just different disciplines.
    It depends on the Arts subject. Looking back at the History A2 taught module I took and comparing it with what I did in History at uni and the questions are fairly similar in style, however uni required a much more indepth and original answer. However Politics at A-Level was about reciting the facts- AS rote learning the British governmental system and then at A2 I did International Politics- there was a markscheme which if you memorised helped you significantly- I know because I improved massively in my retakes after memorizing it. Also at my uni when you write essays as well as giving your own line of argument, you are encouraged to challenge someone else's argument. Your sort of right about the content though, History didn't get any more complex but Politics did- I had to do Marx e.c.t at uni and I struggled to understand his arguments.
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    Personally I found uni easier but only because my degree was mostly coursework based and I'm terrible at learning vast quantities of information needed for exams.
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    A-Levels were great. Easy as hell for me. I'd turn up to school late everyday, spend all of my frees chatting, spend all of my lessons chatting, then I'd get home and spend the night chatting. Of course, I did work at the same time, but it never felt like I was working, it felt like one laid back two-year long conversation and I still came out with A*A*A*B. It was probably the best two years of my life actually, but looking back, it was way too easy and served as extremely poor preparation for the academic world, the IB would have been better I think.

    The jump between A-Level and my first degree was insane. The workload was enormous and the actual difficulty of the content was massive. Part of the problem was that I didn't enjoy the content (and ended up dropping out to change degrees) but still, it was messy. Term 1 was alright. Term 2 was madness. I'd usually have 2 hours free a night or 4 if I decided to sacrifice some of my sleep for it. And all I could do with such a small amount of time was eat, Skype and engage in physical relations with another human (but not all at the same time!) I was severely drained by the end of it though, genuinely took me a few months to recover.

    Degrees aren't standardised, some are easier than others, I suppose some might even be easier than A-Levels, but it's not the case everywhere. Getting a 2.1 at one university on one course does not mean it compares to a 2.1 elsewhere on another. Where A-Levels compare you to the entire country, your degree compares you to your coursemates.
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    I'm not saying that a degree is harder, but your reasoning is stupid

    You can't argue that most people get a 2:1 or above, yet most people fail to get AAA at A level, therefore A levels are harder, when degrees generally have A level requirements. So the bottom half of people (roughly speaking) are being filtered out of doing the degree in the first place

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    (Original post by uxa595)
    I'm sure it's been done quite a lot before but I really wanted to add my perspective.

    Most people say a degree is harder. But if that is the case, then why do most the population taking A-Levels fail to get AAA and above while at university, there is a far higher % that get a 2.1/1st.

    If you were to consider A-Levels looking back, they would obviously seem easier as you've already done them and they should therefore look relatively easier. So I think it's important to consider the difficulty of both while you are/were actually taking them.

    For me, I honestly think A-Levels were probably harder (I did get AAA so it's not because I was **** at my A-Levels)
    Why? Because in my opinion, they required a higher level of critical thinking. At university, it's all about rote learning problem sheets and praying for the best as learning 10 different 300-400 page books for each module is just silly.
    A-Level exams covered less content but it felt like the work was covered in greater depth. There was loads of variations that would arise in exams, along with variations that had not shown up in the past. I think it's key to note here I still remember most my A-Level Econ/Maths while I cannot remember much of some of my modules in uni last year so A-Levels clearly taught content better.


    In terms of workload, I guess a degree could be harder but it's a non-issue for me as I never attended classes at school nor do I attend lectures/seminars at uni. My workload in both scenarios pretty much consists of no work all year then turtle mode 2-3 weeks prior to my exams.

    I think it's also important to consider university. I'm pretty sure a degree from Warwick is not the same as a degree from Coventry in terms of difficulty. Otherwise, How would students who were getting BBB- at A-Levels suddenly be acing university exams and getting firsts?
    I think the issue of varying difficulty of degrees probably makes it hard to come to any solid conclusion.
    jaysus im tired for starters so feel free to critique me

    ah..firstly you mention theres load of rote learning in uni...variations in papers..sure I didnt do a levels..but one thing is for sure you dont rote learn on my course and we didnt even have exam papers to begin with for uni!

    id say the variations are much more substantial in uni! its hard to focus on subjects as some tests end up being way harder than predicted.if anything comparing to my school exams it involves a lot more critical thinking

    now the last thing with the BBB candidate getting a first...people sometimes go through different phases...theres a lad on my course he flunked his school exams..now hes the best in the class..people change in college..its very possible to do something like that!
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    A degree is a walk in the park compared to A-Levels in certain subjects.
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    Ha, uni is at least 10x harder than A levels for me. A-levels now feel like a piece of piss.
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    I don't know what most of the people in this thread are on about! University is way easier than than A-levels. I got a 1st in my mechanical engineering degree with last minute revision, If i did that at A-levels I would have surely failed.
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    I did a Physics Degree, found the degree easier than A -levels. I just got better at maths and learning new stuff intimidated me less. I also prefer being able to focus on one subject.
    Just wondering... where did you do your degree? I've just finished my A Levels and have firmed a uni for Physics (hopefully I've got the grades. Thanks
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    I found A levels harder but that's because i only enjoyed one of my A levels, but at university its hard as well, I just work extra hard because i enjoy my subject.


    (Original post by uxa595)
    I'm sure it's been done quite a lot before but I really wanted to add my perspective.

    Most people say a degree is harder. But if that is the case, then why do most the population taking A-Levels fail to get AAA and above while at university, there is a far higher % that get a 2.1/1st.
    There is a higher % that get a 2.1/1st because those are the people that survived first yr, 2nd yr and then graduated.
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    (Original post by Jatom)
    Just wondering... where did you do your degree? I've just finished my A Levels and have firmed a uni for Physics (hopefully I've got the grades. Thanks
    University of Salford

    The content itself was much more in depth and difficult after first year, but I got better at learning it. I just found it easier managing everything. It was still difficult though, my final year project was bloody difficult :/
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    (Original post by SloaneRanger)
    A degree is a walk in the park compared to A-Levels in certain subjects.
    And the award for sweeping generalisation of the year goes to...
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    (Original post by addylad)
    And the award for sweeping generalisation of the year goes to...
    Been to 3 unis all russell group (UCL/KCL/Soton) still a doss compared to a A-Levels. I could run every degree from the comfort of my own bed. A-Levels required way more effort, the information wasn't just get a lecture dvd and look at the notes. If i went to a worser university, would have been more of a breeze. Btw with distance learning degrees you can "outsource the work", read the appropriate stuff and pass for the exams and pass. The way A-Levels are examined you can't do that with TCA's. Fact is you wouldn't be going to bad universities like Strathclyde if A-levels weren't hard.
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    A-levels were a simple case of learning what the mark schemes want; as long as you did that and had at least a reasonable understanding of the content the exams were pretty straightforward.

    Although I have only sat my first year exams for University you could tell there was far more to be known, admittedly it is for Medicine but I would imagine that across virtually all courses there is a jump up.
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    (Original post by Muppet Science)
    A-levels were a simple case of learning what the mark schemes want; as long as you did that and had at least a reasonable understanding of the content the exams were pretty straightforward.

    Although I have only sat my first year exams for University you could tell there was far more to be known, admittedly it is for Medicine but I would imagine that across virtually all courses there is a jump up.
    Aside from medicine, with typical humanities and social science degrees, you get mocks they are basically the final exams just with slightly altered questions. So exams at degree level aren't overly challenging as what people make them out to be. Just turn up and put a reasonable amount of effort you will pass. The mark scheme is in the undergraduate handbook, if one actually read it, its the same concept. So your just sitting there just giving again reasonable understanding on paper.
 
 
 
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