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Goves plans for end of 2yr exams Watch

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    (Original post by sophus18x)
    Recently as you might have heard, education minister Michael Gove has announced plans to give A levels a 'face lift'. He plans to move all As/A2 exams to the end of the 2 year course. Surely this would mean fewer passes and less people going to university. Is Gove attempting to revert to past stage whereby university was just for the richer classes? It seems like it. Years ago when there was exams at the end of the 2 yrs few working class kids went to uni as they weren't inspired or failed to achieve whereas the middle classes did because of their cultural, social and economic capital. To me these plans seem unfair and very extreme. I fail to see where Gove is coming from. I am sure that he thinks Alevels these days are 'easy'. Well I'd love to see him sit his a levels today and see how he does. The students of this generation aren't being given enough credit for all their hard work. This is disgusting.
    What are your thoughts on these soon to be changes?
    Are you suggesting having exams which are harder to pass disadvantage poor students?

    Is the implication, therefore, that poor students are idiots whom rigour intrinsically disadvantages?

    For his faults, Gove is at least trying to ensure that all students receive a proper, rigorous education which has for too long been the preserve of the rich. Judging by the varying logical fallacies and poor command of the English language in your post, I assume this is a benefit you did not receive.
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    I am not clear why abolishing AS levels is being predicted to impact on disadvantaged students disproportionately ?
    Universities will have to go off predicted grades and students from poor families usually have lower predicted grades.
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    I don't really give a ****. I'll be in university when the changes occur.
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    I don't really see the point. Isn't the whole point of A levels to get into Uni or at least for future professional qualifications. They all have modular systems, of normally 2 sittings per year. Gove has already changed to 1 sitting per year. Now 1 sitting per 2 years?

    Anyway, this would suit the weaker GCSE students more, as they would have more time before their proper exams to catch up. However, that's in terms of A level grades rather than uni admissions. In terms of uni admissions, GCSE's would get more emphasis than currently I guess.
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    (Original post by Camoxide)
    Universities will have to go off predicted grades and students from poor families usually have lower predicted grades.
    Students from poor families won't have poor predicted grades predicted grades will be submitted after teachers have seen a year of the students work so their predicted grade will reflect their ability its likely that the teachers won't even know which students are poor and which are not:confused:
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    I don't see how this will help. IMO the problem is that exams are too easy and resits are too widespread. Making it at the end of 2 years will only benefit those with good memories and at good schools which can provide support and motivation to retain the information.

    However, I think the main problem is with university admissions. Without AS levels there's no indicator for uni admission and the whole universities will have to rely on predicted grades and GCSEs which are pretty terrible compared to AS levels.
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    (Original post by Mike93L)
    I don't see how this will help. IMO the problem is that exams are too easy and resits are too widespread. Making it at the end of 2 years will only benefit those with good memories and at good schools which can provide support and motivation to retain the information.

    However, I think the main problem is with university admissions. Without AS levels there's no indicator for uni admission and the whole universities will have to rely on predicted grades and GCSEs which are pretty terrible compared to AS levels.
    Have you sat a current a-level exam? They are far from easy


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    Looks like Gove won't be doing any more planning as he has been given the boot as education Secretary.
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    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    Students from poor families won't have poor predicted grades predicted grades will be submitted after teachers have seen a year of the students work so their predicted grade will reflect their ability its likely that the teachers won't even know which students are poor and which are not:confused:
    But the teachers don't do the predicted grades. A system does. Remember the FFT grade? It uses information like where you live to get a predicted grade.
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    (Original post by Camoxide)
    But the teachers don't do the predicted grades. A system does. Remember the FFT grade? It uses information like where you live to get a predicted grade.
    Teachers do decide. Well ours do they let us decide a sensible target for A2


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    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    I think the changes are good in some ways because the amount of students passing a degree isn't equal to the amount of graduate jobs available.I would like to see a system where passing your degree virtually guarantees you a high earning job due to a lack of competition due to the amount admitted to university being planned so that the amount who pass will equal the jobs available this will be hard to do so they will have to prepare for some uncertainty in the job markets in the future.
    How could a lack of competition in the graduate job market possibly be a good idea? Answer: it couldn't.

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    (Original post by Mutleybm1996)
    Have you sat a current a-level exam? They are far from easy


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    Yes I have. I think that they do not stretch the most able students enough while also not very useful for the lower performers. For example an A grade is not that distinguishing (over a quarter of examinations are awarded it or an A*) while those that are not motivated by A levels end up with D, E and fails.

    Comparing our education standards with that of other countries would suggest that it is not performing competitively at a global level. I mean secondary education and not higher education.
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    (Original post by Mike93L)
    Yes I have. I think that they do not stretch the most able students enough while also not very useful for the lower performers. For example an A grade is not that distinguishing (over a quarter of examinations are awarded it or an A*) while those that are not motivated by A levels end up with D, E and fails.

    Comparing our education standards with that of other countries would suggest that it is not performing competitively at a global level. I mean secondary education and not higher education.
    There is an inherent contradiction in A levels. Are they intended to be:

    • A terminal qualification for school leavers;
    • A preparation for higher education; or
    • An admissions test for university?

    Back in the day O levels served the first purpose, but now most stay on until 18. When A levels were invented 60 years ago, there was no doubt that the second was the objective. However does a teacher today teach a subject or a syllabus?
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    There is an inherent contradiction in A levels. Are they intended to be:

    • A terminal qualification for school leavers;
    • A preparation for higher education; or
    • An admissions test for university?

    Back in the day O levels served the first purpose, but now most stay on until 18. When A levels were invented 60 years ago, there was no doubt that the second was the objective. However does a teacher today teach a subject or a syllabus?
    Yes I agree. Now they seem to fail at all 3 of those purposes.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    There is an inherent contradiction in A levels. Are they intended to be:

    • A terminal qualification for school leavers;
    • A preparation for higher education; or
    • An admissions test for university?

    Back in the day O levels served the first purpose, but now most stay on until 18. When A levels were invented 60 years ago, there was no doubt that the second was the objective. However does a teacher today teach a subject or a syllabus?
    In science subjects, you could argue that teaching a subject or syllabus are one and the same (you can't teach everything so you have to limit what knowledge you cover in sixth form). I do agree it's less clear for other subjects.

    Furthermore, to the extent that the A-Levels end in some form of exam which is used as a basis for university places, why can't they serve the second and third purposes at the same time?
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    (Original post by addylad)
    How could a lack of competition in the graduate job market possibly be a good idea? Answer: it couldn't.

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    So that people who have worked hard for their degree can find work.
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    (Original post by Camoxide)
    But the teachers don't do the predicted grades. A system does. Remember the FFT grade? It uses information like where you live to get a predicted grade.
    Teachers decide your A2 predicted grades and your AS is predicted based on a national system thats what my college told me they send them off and you get them back and this system must be mainly based on GCSE grades because I come from a poor family and area and got AAAA predictions which was the highest of the top achiever set-the predicted grades were pretty pessimistic.I know what you mean though because some of my predicted Y9 levels were done on that system and I had some very low predicted levels my SATs levels had already exceeded one I think but your college must be pretty stupid to use that system for AS/A2 predictions because it should only be used when there is very little to base your predictions on or even GCSE predictions,which at my school where done based on your SATs levels I got high SATs levels so I got all A*s predictions.
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    (Original post by shamika)
    In science subjects, you could argue that teaching a subject or syllabus are one and the same (you can't teach everything so you have to limit what knowledge you cover in sixth form). I do agree it's less clear for other subjects.
    The complaint from academic scientists is that students arrive at university knowing less than they ever did. However there is o doubt that the syllabus is being mastered.

    Furthermore, to the extent that the A-Levels end in some form of exam which is used as a basis for university places, why can't they serve the second and third purposes at the same time?
    I think that depends on the significance of the exam to the process. There has been a progressive move to wards making a greater number of more challenging offers. That means that the exam rather than getting an offer becomes central to the VIth form experience. Teachers have reacted accordingly.
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    (Original post by Dalek1099)
    So that people who have worked hard for their degree can find work.
    What makes you think everyone has worked hard for their degree?
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    The complaint from academic scientists is that students arrive at university knowing less than they ever did. However there is o doubt that the syllabus is being mastered.
    In an essay based subject (say History), I would expect a meaningful response to the question "What caused WW1?" to be answered by anyone studying the war from a GCSE, A-Level, degree or doctoral student.

    In contrast, in many quantitative subjects (say Maths), you would have to tailor the course to provide specific and distinct knowledge at each stage. For example, a typical GCSE student couldn't reasonably be expected to understand calculus whereas at A-Level it's pretty much all you do. In this sense the syllabus defines the subject matter, which is what I mean by the two being the same thing.The problem with A-Levels is less to do with the syllabus and more to do with how the syllabus is assessed...


    I think that depends on the significance of the exam to the process. There has been a progressive move to wards making a greater number of more challenging offers. That means that the exam rather than getting an offer becomes central to the VIth form experience. Teachers have reacted accordingly.
    Again in a humanities subject, a university admissions interview would be able to probe and challenge in a meaningful way regardless of the actual period (in History) or literature in English) studied. My understanding is that exams remain essay-based and that whilst there is a trend for answers to be directly in line with "assessment objectives" (urgh), the exams have been similar in content and challenge for a long time. Because of that, exams can be a lesser part of the overall sixth form process in a humanities subject.

    Contrast that to maths, where necessarily exam questions focus on specific areas of the subject. Exams, either written or oral (think Oxbridge interview where the main part is essentially a series of problems), have to be the central part of the process. In that sense, for a maths qualification, an A-Level is both preparation for university more generally, and the key admissions test for entry. I'd be interested to hear suggestions of making exams less important to the sixth form experience, particularly for maths and science subjects. Moving to a linear system seems like one way to do it.
 
 
 
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