Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

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%

    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by xMr_BrightSide)
    What else can she base them on other than her experience of them?!
    The question is not 'Did you find A-Levels hard' - it's about whether they are hard enough in general. Of course it will be based on her experience, but it doesn't have to be based on how difficult she personally found them. Perhaps she saw other people who found them too easy.

    When people say 'A-Levels/GCSEs aren't easy, I found them hard', it's never a decent argument.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I'm going to say suitable difficulty would be that after having put the work into the A level, you have a basic understanding of the subject and are prepared for further study in it.

    In this respect I thought Physics was far too simple : concepts like fields were simplified and worst of all it didn't bring in any maths beyond GCSE, I don't think there's two ways about the fact that to do physics in satisfying way calculus is needed.

    Further maths on the other hand reached quite a suitable level - the methods taught were easily enough to be useful in say a first year physics course,

    On the whole, the exams could've been made harder, i.e. with more unconventional questions which tests your application of a concept more in line with say STEP, that way the top marks would be awarded to the people who've thought about the subject more rather than people who just cram with the help of a mark scheme/.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    1. Eight per cent of papers sat by boys scored the top A* grade, compared to only 7.9 per cent for girls.
    There's a 0.1% difference
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by uttamo)
    There's a 0.1%
    Strong maths.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (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.
    What's wrong with A Level Maths?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I think, particularly in Maths, the current A Level should be brought forward and sat in place of the GCSE for Set 1/Set 2/motivated students; maybe other subjects like the sciences as well. GCSE revises a lot of the stuff you do in KS3 and so people who pay attention know the majority of the GCSE syllabus before Y10 and 11. It's a bit of a waste of time so I believe we should at least replace Higher Tier with AS exams. Maybe we could have an entry level qualification covering current Foundation Tier, a new Standard Tier covering GCSE stuff from a C/B-A*, a Higher Tier covering AS standard so more of the curriculum can be assessed and in doing so encourage understanding over drilling and key focus questions, in addition to an Extended or Advanced Tier covering current A2 stuff. We could then take topics dropped from A Level to slim it down, maybe a few basic university topics and other key core/applied areas of the subject and make it into an A Level- Further Maths would replace Maths and the new Further Maths would be developed like all the other A Levels. Doing A Level Maths as a Year 10 student, I can say the challenge is about right (and there is Further Maths for challenge) unlike the GCSE I may have had to carry on studying for for another 2 years.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    The question is not 'Did you find A-Levels hard' - it's about whether they are hard enough in general. Of course it will be based on her experience, but it doesn't have to be based on how difficult she personally found them. Perhaps she saw other people who found them too easy.

    When people say 'A-Levels/GCSEs aren't easy, I found them hard', it's never a decent argument.
    But surely the 'in general' difficulty is nothing but a collection of personal experiences? The difficulty will always be subjective.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Liquid Gold.)
    What's wrong with A Level Maths?
    See my posts - essentially, it's too much about learning a few procedures rather than understanding, and so leads to exams being as much about not making mistakes as actually understanding the material.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by xMr_BrightSide)
    But surely the 'in general' difficulty is nothing but a collection of personal experiences? The difficulty will always be subjective.
    Of course it's a collection - what the person was mocking was the attitude that because one person finds it hard, that automatically means it can't be too easy.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    I don't mean that they should leave the exams the same and lower the boundaries. They should make the exams harder, so the boundaries lower and the people who get the highest marks are those who can answer the harder questions, not the ones who make the fewest mistakes.
    Agreed, it's reached the point where, in many subjects, a single innocent mistake that could be made by anybody costs an entire grade. Harder exams would probably be the only way to really solve this.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by venenecinema)
    Agreed, it's reached the point where, in many subjects, a single innocent mistake that could be made by anybody costs an entire grade. Harder exams would probably be the only way to really solve this.
    They don't even need to be much harder. Just a couple of A* standard questions would separate the wheat from the chaff.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by yepyepyep)
    ...How did you do four science A-levels when there are only three sciences? Or are you including maths?
    There are more three sciences. For example, there are social sciences which include psychology, economics, geology, etc... However, to answer your question I did mathematics.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Ben Kenobi)
    There are more three sciences. For example, there are social sciences which include psychology, economics, geology, etc... However, to answer your question I did mathematics.
    Oh okay that makes sense then. But they aren't really sciences. I can see why people see maths as a science though.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (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.
    Agreed.

    Relieved they aren't as demanding as they could possibly be, yet disappointed they haven't pushed me to my full potential.

    For example when I see A level mathematics papers (or equivalent) from decades ago, I feel a bit sad that my current mathematical ability is inadequate to complete the questions.

    Should be a different story at university though.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Endless Blue)
    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.
    Of course but Like pyth said it feels a bit formulaic and is more about learning a set of methods rather than understanding the material. Many students who apply for maths at university actually don't do further maths (although not wise) it certainly isn't helped when quite a number of schools do not offer the further maths qualification.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    Strong maths.
    Lol I meant to say there is a 0.1% difference so OP's point is quite illogical
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by uttamo)
    Lol I meant to say there is a 0.1% difference so OP's point is quite illogical
    I understood what you meant. Also, the OP wasn't making a point, merely pointing out a fact.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fayled)
    Agreed.

    Relieved they aren't as demanding as they could possibly be, yet disappointed they haven't pushed me to my full potential.

    For example when I see A level mathematics papers (or equivalent) from decades ago, I feel a bit sad that my current mathematical ability is inadequate to complete the questions.

    Should be a different story at university though.
    I saw those papers as well, they definitely proved a challenge compared to A-levels. In A-level papers you can have gem questions which actually do push candidates far. For example I thought the M1 moments question was a particularly good use of moments knowledge to find out various things about a beam and a person.

    Although not as intense as the papers from decades ago it did kind of break this trend.

    Yeah hopefully, Cambridge or Warwick 2014 gogo
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    I think they're fine how they are, they don't need changing.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    I understood what you meant. Also, the OP wasn't making a point, merely pointing out a fact.
    I just mean that that fact is pretty pointless because the difference in the numbers aren't significant to mean anything useful
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
    Help with your A-levels

    All the essentials

    The adventure begins mug

    Student life: what to expect

    What it's really like going to uni

    Rosette

    Essay expert

    Learn to write like a pro with our ultimate essay guide.

    Uni match

    Uni match

    Our tool will help you find the perfect course for you

    Study planner

    Create a study plan

    Get your head around what you need to do and when with the study planner tool.

    Study planner

    Resources by subject

    Everything from mind maps to class notes.

    Hands typing

    Degrees without fees

    Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

    A student doing homework

    Study tips from A* students

    Students who got top grades in their A-levels share their secrets

    Study help links and info

    Can you help? Study help unanswered threadsRules and posting guidelines

    Sponsored content:

    HEAR

    HEAR

    Find out how a Higher Education Achievement Report can help you prove your achievements.

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.