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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%

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    In decision maths you make one counting error and end up losing 10 marks, knocking you down two grades. You could be a maths genius and be given a C grade on one of the easiest maths papers. I think A levels should be made harder and GCSE's made harder so the gap is less noticeably different. That way the grade boundaries could also be raised, preventing stupid mistakes from dragging you down multiple grades.
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    My subjects were manageable, but difficult and I had to put lots of time into it. I won't be getting top grades though, but that's just me!
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    (Original post by aliman65)
    In decision maths you make one counting error and end up losing 10 marks, knocking you down two grades. You could be a maths genius and be given a C grade on one of the easiest maths papers. I think A levels should be made harder and GCSE's made harder so the gap is less noticeably different. That way the grade boundaries could also be raised, preventing stupid mistakes from dragging you down multiple grades.
    This is only true for some subjects, maths being one of the worst.
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    depends what exam board your doing
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    I think it's ridiculous that so many people get a B or above. I do think it's more to do with exam technique/past papers etc than the exams being too easy. Teachers and students are much more savvy than they were 20 years ago and league tables have made the whole thing much more competitive.
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    (Original post by Liquid Gold.)
    What's wrong with A Level Maths?
    http://mysite.science.uottawa.ca/mne...artsLament.pdf
    (It's talking about the American system, but the UK system is only a bit better, IMO [no pun intended].)
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    (Original post by Smaug123)
    http://mysite.science.uottawa.ca/mne...artsLament.pdf
    (It's talking about the American system, but the UK system is only a bit better, IMO [no pun intended].)
    Where's the pun?
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    Where's the pun?
    I'm tempted to reference http://xkcd.com/559/ but I was actually referring to the International Mathematical Olympiad, being a much, much better test of high mathematical ability.
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    (Original post by xMr_BrightSide)
    What else can she base them on other than her experience of them?!
    Yeah I don't know, statistics.
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    Too easy when it is compared to Asian exams lol
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    It depends on what you study and what kind of person you are I suppose.
    I studied French and Spanish which I didn't find especially difficult.
    A Level Maths however I found really hard. Every day my maths lessons were just pure stress :lol:
    We'll have to see how tomorrow goes though :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Robbie242)
    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
    Didn't sit M1, but there was a tricky moments of rigid bodies question in the M2 paper, which I thought was an interesting twist.

    It would be nice (on one hand) to be challenged more in maths and physics exams (if we could start using some simple calculus in physics, for example, that would be nice), because it is quite a good feeling when out of an algebraic mess everything comes together and you just know you have the correct answer.
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    I haven't found any of my subjects easy. History and English were OK, sometimes difficult/stressful, whilst I found Chemistry & Biology really difficult and had to put a whole lot of effort into them. Hopefully it'll have paid off...
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    Depends from person to person I guess. Personally, I found A level Maths quite simple, ditto most of my further Math modules barring FP2 and S4 which I found fairly challenging. The Economics A level was alright too, just horrifically mundane and I learnt nothing - its just about pattern memorization - which is the main issue with the basic Math modules as well.

    On the other hand, I got my ass handed to me by AS level Chemistry, barely getting an 80 average across my AS level after an insane amount of work. Infact, I probably worked harder for that AS level than any of the 3 full A levels I did combined, because I just couldn't get my head around the stuff!

    I can see how a lot of the super-smart folk on here (TSR on average has a far more academically able cohort than the general public) find them easy - there's blokes on here who've barely lost 10 UMS across 12 modules in Maths and Further Maths, and there's a LOT of them.

    Overall, I think A levels are alright, just the exams should be a little less repetitive in terms of testing. The C3 paper for example, though quite difficult by normal standards, it was across c1-c4, m1,s1 the only exam that kind of tested any mathematical ability, and in the end the low boundaries hopefully enabled people to make the grades they needed for their offers. Maybe the testing should just be made more difficult so as to properly determine whose really good at a subject and whose not.
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    I think reform is necessary but I'm not sure how far it's helpful to suggest the way forward is to make A Levels easier/harder

    A Levels nowadays are arguably more unrelenting thanks to coursework and resits which effectively means from the beginning of year 12 onwards there's always something looming on the horizon of further education - back in the day I hear year 12 was a jolly old time for most because exams and coursework were few and far between

    I also find A Levels particularly annoying nowadays because of their emphasis on knowing what's in the textbook and playing the exam game - I can't be sure if this was always the case but a system that seems to punish creativity and reward cramming from a textbook and doing as many paragraphs as some random examiner somewhere demands of you seemingly requires some looking at

    It's also worth noting that stellar performance in A Levels is more necessary now than it ever was before. I know as late as the 1980s the standard university offer even from Oxbridge was 2 Es - now I think from next year an A* and As everywhere else is the bare minimum

    So I don't think it's helpful to suggest A Levels need to be easier or harder. It is a system that, rightly, has its detractors, but they are somewhat unrelenting, require rigorous (if rather rigid) learning and have become in spite of all this a very high stake system.
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    (Original post by abhiksetia)
    I can see how a lot of the super-smart folk on here (TSR on average has a far more academically able cohort than the general public) find them easy - there's blokes on here who've barely lost 10 UMS across 12 modules in Maths and Further Maths, and there's a LOT of them.
    Part of the trouble is that the Tests Well trait isn't quite perfectly correlated with actual ability. It's possible to just do every single maths A-level past paper, and "learn" maths that way, and get enormous numbers of marks without actually understanding any of it (I know someone who did this).
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    Nah, though GCSEs are.
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    The OP is blatently Gove. We know it's you Michael, come out from hiding!
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    Gcse's are a joke... A-levels are tough... Especially if you have part time job along side...


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    You have to remember that TSR is not representative of the whole population, I know many people who struggle to get B-C grades at A level.
 
 
 
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