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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    Sorry to butt in on your debate here but can I just ask, why is it that whenever any form of exam results, be they SATs, GCSEs, A-levels, or degrees, are published, we always hear comments like 'more people are getting level 7s/A*s/As/1sts, so that must mean exams are getting easier?' Why can't it just be that teaching standards are improving, students are getting better at knowing what the examiners are looking for through examiners reports from previous years, and students are working harder due to the increased importance of qualifications? After all, if exam results didn't improve every year, people would complain that standards were slipping. You can't win :p:
    Well for university that's not necessarily the case. At Cambridge the grade boundaries are fixed so every year a certain percentage get 1sts, 2.1s and so on. My Dad jokingly grumbled about declining standards when I told him a first for first year NatSci is everyone in the top 25%. In his day at Manchester only the top 10% got firsts!

    He got a 2.2 :rolleyes: (edit: That was in maths, though)
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    (Original post by PQ)
    First of all apologies
    No problem - I've had a lot worse than that (and given it out too).
    I've never come across a claim from the QCA/JCQ stating that 100% UMS = 100% raw marks.
    I'm dealing with a general perception in the world at large, rather than a published statement. Look at TSR with its 100% society, for example. Anyone outside the system would think that someone who got 100% in an exam was close to genius level, but for some exams it's actually a lower percentage of raw marks than for an A grade in the past. It's that devaluation of grades that's so worrying to me as an employer.
    The chances of it being significant is miniscule - but it does happen. [...] 2002 (the first cohort to take curriculum 2000 A levels) is well known as a "bad" year,
    With respect, you're mixing up ability with teaching. 2002 was no worse for intelligence than any other year. If they'd simply marked all those results on the curve as in earlier days, then the people getting A grades would have had the same ability as those who got A grades 30 years before them. They might have been taught better or worse, but it's irrelevant. Both employers and universities are looking for people who are intelligent and can reason. they don't care that much (within reason) about the number of facts that those students know. After all, they are going to teach them a load of stuff that's completely unrelated to what they learned at school.

    The problem comes when you try to impose some arbitrary standard of knowledge levels. If you say that a student has to know as many facts (or techniques) as a different year, then it varies far more on how they were taught in their whole school career. That's the trap that A-levels (and degrees) have fallen into - assuming that they're an absolute standard rather than simply a means of discriminating between students. As you say...
    significantly devaluing the quality of a maths A level from that year in comparison to other years.
    Except it isn't devalued. You're comparing like with like within a cohort and that's what the real world wants.
    I do think it should have been renamed.
    Possibly - but there were political reasons why it couldn't with Blair's commitment to the 'gold standard' of A-levels (which now means that everyone receives a gold medal).
    I do think that the newer A levels offer in most cases a much better grounding in the subjects and in the whole "learning to learn".
    Not that I've seen, I'm afraid. As I've said elsewhere, I think I could have achieved an A in Chemistry after a couple of days' revision, despite not having studied it for 30 years. I certainly couldn't have done so 25 years ago.
    I'm a lazy bugger who does well at exams
    Me too, but coursework full marks are an absolute doddle if you read the specifications and follow them.
    I'm withholding judgement on degree grade inflation. My impressions (as someone working within a university) are that quality control is of the highest priority when it comes to grading,
    Hmm. I'm not convinced, but I'm in a department where 70% is a distinction, but you have to work extremely hard to get that much. I've been giving presentations for many years professionally. I gave a presentation which was judged by the tutor to be "the best student presentation I've ever seen". It got 75%. Go figure.

    However, I've also looked at other units and universities and you have to be lazy (or dull) to get a 2.2 in my opinion.
    I believe has influenced the way students work towards their degree to a much greater extent than many people recognise.
    Not really, and I have been at universities in both eras. In my day maybe only 5-10% went to university at all, so they were the hard working ones.
    But if someone says they got 100% in Universal Marking Scheme marks you would assume they'd achieved 100% in every exam and peice of coursework?
    Until a few months ago, yes I would. It's only having to delve into the detail that's revealed the horror to me.
    Back when I took my A levels Oxbridge were still running their own entrance exams - if you passed you got an EE offer for A levels...they couldn't care less about your A levels as a way to spot the best applicants.
    Yes and I think that they'll return to that model, or they'll add some other hurdle in addition to A-levels. They need a discriminator. If they look at modern business research, they'd know that interviewing is a very poor predictor of future success. It scores around 13% accuracy - just a bit better than graphology. Of course, the Oxbridge interviews are more structured and are also related to the teaching environment, but I'd be interested to see the correlation between interview scores and eventual degree grade. I know that Oxford has shown that GCSE and test scores are the only identifiable two significant factors on offering a place.
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    though there's no longer one general entrance exam, i think you'll find that there are admissions exams in quite a few subjects atm. I took one... and then there's all the BMATs etc.

    i don't think there's any harm in entance exams, and it allows individual universities to set different tests dfepending on what they are looking for, specifically.
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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    if exam results didn't improve every year, people would complain that standards were slipping.
    English grammar and punctation has slipped dramatically, but the number of English As has risen. The rates of adult literacy and numeracy have actually fallen, but more people have A levels and degrees than ever before. That's what old codgers like me are muttering about.
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    Could the ability to resit be partly accountable? I personally don't really agree with them. A friend of mine did no work for her art alevel, got a C at AS, whilst the rest of us slaved away and earned our A's. she just resat every unit at A2, adding a bit more (higher quality stuff) to her projects, and somehow maintained a reasonable C- without the resits she probably would have failed.

    I totally agree with the standards of English grammar and punctuation having dropped, I was shocked when I learnt that in Italy, Germany, and indeed in most of Europe, children are made to learn grammar by rote. I very much doubt that GCSE students know the grammar of English as well as they know the grammar of, say, the foreign language they are learning alongside it.


    edit: I have done a resit myself, even though I didn't need to, and the increase in marks wouldn't have affected my overall grade at A2 anyway. I was merely encouraged to by my teacher, it's only looking back on it in retrospect that I realise how useless it was, and unfair because I didn't need to do it
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    I've bitten my tongue for a while now, but stuff like this really does depress me.
    It's not easy to get three A's, it wouldn't be through laziness or carelessness if I wouldn't get mine. It is not "a doddle" to get 100% in coursework if you know the specifications.

    I'm pretty sure that English grammar and punctuation is actually improving in our generation, because of the odd hippy attitude adopted in teaching yours, in any case. ;p

    It's extremely frustrating to be told that it's easy to achieve 100% UMS when I know for an absolute fact that it is not, because I'm the one that's been trying to do it for the past two years, you have not. I have been the one studying chemistry for the past two years, and am absolutely certain that I could not have learnt it in two days, regardless of whether you could. I am not a stupid person, and to be continually told by people like you that my achievements are meaningless is amazingly irritating.

    Sorry to be so blunt when you're only trying to spread information, but it's not important and doesn't help and just makes you seem exactly what you admit to being in your post - an old codger.
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    I would happily resit 1/3 Eng modules and all of my others apart from Hist as I've dropped it. But this is only because I do skills based A Levels and you are constantly gaining on previous knowledge, not just learning about one thing then another. I'm confident I'll get AAA so it does seem pointless to resit but it might take the pressure of A2. Although, in the end, all I'm going to put on my CV is AAA or whatever...they won't care about UMS marks then & universities will already have made me offers so they don't seem too important to me, even though I could do them as they don't require any revision.
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    (Original post by coldfish)
    I've bitten my tongue for a while now, but stuff like this really does depress me.
    It's not easy to get three A's, it wouldn't be through laziness or carelessness if I wouldn't get mine. It is not "a doddle" to get 100% in coursework if you know the specifications.

    I'm pretty sure that English grammar and punctuation is actually improving in our generation, because of the odd hippy attitude adopted in teaching yours, in any case. ;p

    It's extremely frustrating to be told that it's easy to achieve 100% UMS when I know for an absolute fact that it is not, because I'm the one that's been trying to do it for the past two years, you have not. I have been the one studying chemistry for the past two years, and am absolutely certain that I could not have learnt it in two days, regardless of whether you could. I am not a stupid person, and to be continually told by people like you that my achievements are meaningless is amazingly irritating.

    Sorry to be so blunt when you're only trying to spread information, but it's not important and doesn't help and just makes you seem exactly what you admit to being in your post - an old codger.
    Quite true - in my English class I know far more grammar than the majority because I learn a language too. My German teacher has to teach us the grammar in English first before getting into German!

    Why is this? Because we went through primary and secondary school before literacy hour, numeracy hour etc. We were taught by teachers who had been taught that the old methods of learning by rote, focus on grammar etc were outdated.

    The 'hippy' generation decided that the old methods of teaching were unfashionable and changed it, but now they complain that our generation doesn't have the same grip on grammar that theirs does.

    They introduce tuition fees for university and then complain when the number of firsts increases - well isn't it likely that students now work harder than they did, because we now bear part of the cost and see university as somewhere where you need to get the most out of your investment rather than it being a fun government-funded course of dossing around?

    A lot of the students here are clever, all the same, we haven't found it easy to get As. I've noticed, and I'm sure other students here have, the students who work and work and work to achieve a D or a C and are hugely proud, and rightly so, when they achieve it. It's hugely insulting when the media and older people in general denigrate our achievements, telling us that it's easy. Having not taken the exams they really have no idea and they are insulting all of us who have worked for our grades - not just As and Bs but Cs and Ds too.

    If they found themselves in our position I think that they'd soon realise how much harder it actually is - there are more exams, we take more subjects, the number of people going into HE is much bigger and the competition much tougher. Relatives, solicitor and a doctor, have said that, seeing their childrens' experiences in A levels and applying to university, they are sure they would have never made it today.

    It used to be that those aiming for professional jobs only tended to be those from fairly well off families, the competition wasn't that great. Now students from a far wider area aim for the professions which is a good thing, but does have the effect of greatly increasing the competition! I rather resent being told that we 'have it easy' when we quite clearly don't.

    Oh, and as regards resits, what is the problem with resits within the 2 years? Surely an A level is meant to be a reflection of 2 years study, if you can do your best after one year that's great but not everyone is ready for that and retakes it in the second year when they are better and would have taken it under the old system anyway. Also, taking resits affects your work whilst you resit, so it's not exactly pain free. It makes me very cross to hear people telling us that our qualifications are not worth as much as theirs since we can 'just' resit till we get a better mark - for a start getting a good mark is a matter of work, not of rolling a dice till you get a good result. Secondly, the modular system we have that allows resits means we have to work through both years whereas older people tell us how the lower sixth used to be an easy year!

    Please, don't patronise us and don't try and tell us about the relative difficulty of exams you have not actually taken (generally, not a great idea in a forum full of students!).

    (edit: probably obv, but just in case - this isn't aimed at all at coldfish! Of course, it is aimed at grumballcake. This is, by the way, a huge rant and not intended to be personal. Just realised it could be taken the wrong way!)
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    (Original post by coldfish)
    It's not easy to get three A's, it wouldn't be through laziness or carelessness if I wouldn't get mine.
    Let me start by saying that I have children going through the system. I have actively participated in coaching two of them through their exams. So far, that's covered RS, Economics, Chemistry, Business Studies and Psychology. I only studied one of those subjects at A level (although I do have later qualifications in two others) so I can't compare like-for-like in all of them. When I picked up the A-level chemistry stuff, I was amazed how much I knew, compared with my perceptions. I was expecting that I'd really struggle after a 30 year gap. As it was, much of the stuff was from O-level (i.e. the old GCSE) and many of the questions would lead you by the hand to the correct answer. So I could both mark papers and set new questions with only a glance at the textbook. Am I a genius, or is it just easier?
    It is not "a doddle" to get 100% in coursework if you know the specifications.
    Maybe I'm looking at the wrong subjects, but in most of them, you only need around 80% of the raw marks to get 100% UMS. In those far-off days, you'd need more than that just to get an A.

    What you have is a vast array of resources that few use. You have a complete, detailed marking scheme, for example (nope, we didn't have those). You also have the reports of the examiners for each paper, which says what they were looking for and how candidates answered papers. That stuff is pure gold for getting marks, but how many people actually read it?
    I'm pretty sure that English grammar and punctuation is actually improving in our generation,
    Well, you're probably in a minority there. Just look around TSR for evidence. U wll no when u c it.
    It's extremely frustrating to be told that it's easy to achieve 100% UMS when I know for an absolute fact that it is not, because I'm the one that's been trying to do it for the past two years, you have not.
    I agree it could be frustrating, but there are a few possible explanations you haven't addressed. You might not have used all the resources at your disposal, for example. You might not know how to read specifications or marking schemes. Yet, lots of people on TSR have got 100% marks. So are they all super-bright? Or maybe, just maybe, you aren't as bright as they are, or don't work as hard as you need to. It's much easier to attack the messenger, though, isn't it?

    I've not met an A-level student who doesn't say that they're working hard. Yet compare the attitude of those who get to Cambridge and find out what hard work really is. A-levels are a walk in the park compared with getting a first at Oxbridge, but you have exactly the same amount of raw intelligence in each case. The difference is the intensity and the number of hours you have to spend.
    I have been the one studying chemistry for the past two years, and am absolutely certain that I could not have learnt it in two days,
    Nor could I, but that's not what I claimed, was it? You see, you don't read as carefully as you might. 100% marks come from attention to detail. I already had an A grade at Chemistry from 30 years ago. Yet, I know I couldn't have taken my A-level papers again, even a few years afterwards.
    to be continually told by people like you that my achievements are meaningless is amazingly irritating.
    Sadly that reads as a high pitched whine like Harry Enfield's character Kevin. I haven't said that your achievements are 'meaningless', have I? Getting into Cambridge is still a great achievement, whatever A-level grades you obtain. In my day I got offers for medicine with BCC and CCC; now it would be AAAa. You need higher grades because those grades are easier to get than they were. The people who get top grades should be proud of their achievements. I'll certainly be proud if #2 son comes home with AAA on August 18.
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    (Original post by emily87)
    The 'hippy' generation decided that the old methods of teaching were unfashionable and changed it, but now they complain that our generation doesn't have the same grip on grammar that theirs does.
    That's not quite true - it's my generation who complain. The 'hippy' generation were teaching the ones after mine, thankfully, so I grew up knowing how to use an apostrophe.
    we now bear part of the cost and see university as somewhere where you need to get the most out of your investment rather than it being a fun government-funded course of dossing around?
    I think that's a possibility, but university grade inflation has been noticed in USA and Canada too, which never had any tradition of free grants and where college education has always been a privilege.
    older people in general denigrate our achievements, telling us that it's easy.
    We don't say it's easy, but it's certainly easier. We aren't attacking the students (although teeneagers see everything as personal) but the system. As an employer I'm disappointed that people with university educations often can't use punctuation, or do anything without spoon-feeding. The failure is not the students' - it's those who perpetuate a broken system.
    If they found themselves in our position I think that they'd soon realise how much harder it actually is
    Maybe, but I took 5 real A-levels (no general studies) only 4 of which were taught at the school. The other I did in my own time. Hard work? You bet.
    It used to be that those aiming for professional jobs only tended to be those from fairly well off families, the competition wasn't that great.
    Oh please. My father was a wages manager after 28 years in the Army (starting as a private). My grandfather was a milkman. I was the first person in my family to go to university.

    The number of students entering university is misleading. I think Cambridge now takes nearly twice as many people as it did in my day and most universities are much bigger. Only around 20% of people did A-levels (indeed they were intended for the top 20% of students) and only maybe 8% went to university at all. Yet which 8% was that? It was the top 8% and we went to the same universities as the top 8% do now. The competition for those places was just as tough, but there was no place at Luton reading Media Studies for those who didn't make Oxbridge, Durham or London.

    Meanwhile, we can't get a decent plumber for love or money.
    Oh, and as regards resits, what is the problem with resits within the 2 years?
    Nothing, as long as you aren't going to claim that it isn't easier to get higher grades than earlier times. We had synoptic papers of 3 hours each (usually two) covering everything we did in the two years. Death or glory - no resits allowed. This meant that the people who got As were the best at their subject, not those who'd had their coursework adjusted by teachers until it was just right, or those who took several attempts with only the best one counting.

    If everyone uses resits, then it's a level playing field in the current year, but it's not comparable with earlier systems. Let's be clear, I'm someone advocating AS resits if you have an AAA offer.

    whereas older people tell us how the lower sixth used to be an easy year!
    Yes, I think it's one way that current students are disadvantaged. It's a treadmill of exams every year. The lower VIth was probably less pressured in my time.

    In summary - it's the system that we're concerned about, not the quality of students. You're just as bright as we were/are.
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    (Original post by priya)
    Could the ability to resit be partly accountable? I personally don't really agree with them. A friend of mine did no work for her art alevel, got a C at AS, whilst the rest of us slaved away and earned our A's. she just resat every unit at A2, adding a bit more (higher quality stuff) to her projects, and somehow maintained a reasonable C- without the resits she probably would have failed.

    I totally agree with the standards of English grammar and punctuation having dropped, I was shocked when I learnt that in Italy, Germany, and indeed in most of Europe, children are made to learn grammar by rote. I very much doubt that GCSE students know the grammar of English as well as they know the grammar of, say, the foreign language they are learning alongside it.

    edit: I have done a resit myself, even though I didn't need to, and the increase in marks wouldn't have affected my overall grade at A2 anyway. I was merely encouraged to by my teacher, it's only looking back on it in retrospect that I realise how useless it was, and unfair because I didn't need to do it
    I don't agree with resits either. In my opinion, telling people they can resit an exam as many times as they want and their highest mark will count is just encouraging them to be lazy and not do their best because they know they can just take the exam again. I think the system should either allow students to reist an exam once and that mark will count, or just get rid of them altogether. The fact is, someone who gets an A after sitting the same exam 3 times is clearly not on the same level as someone who does it first time.
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    (Original post by coldfish)
    I've bitten my tongue for a while now, but stuff like this really does depress me.
    It's not easy to get three A's, it wouldn't be through laziness or carelessness if I wouldn't get mine. It is not "a doddle" to get 100% in coursework if you know the specifications.

    I'm pretty sure that English grammar and punctuation is actually improving in our generation, because of the odd hippy attitude adopted in teaching yours, in any case. ;p

    It's extremely frustrating to be told that it's easy to achieve 100% UMS when I know for an absolute fact that it is not, because I'm the one that's been trying to do it for the past two years, you have not. I have been the one studying chemistry for the past two years, and am absolutely certain that I could not have learnt it in two days, regardless of whether you could. I am not a stupid person, and to be continually told by people like you that my achievements are meaningless is amazingly irritating.

    Sorry to be so blunt when you're only trying to spread information, but it's not important and doesn't help and just makes you seem exactly what you admit to being in your post - an old codger.
    I agree with you about it not being easy to get AAA or 100% UMS, but I have to say, I agree with grumballcake that English punctuation and grammar have gone drastically downhill due to 'text speak' and mistakes going unpunished in English exams. Foreigners who learn English on the whole probably speak better English than most English people, and that is an absolute disgrace.
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    (Original post by emily87)
    A lot of the students here are clever, all the same, we haven't found it easy to get As. I've noticed, and I'm sure other students here have, the students who work and work and work to achieve a D or a C and are hugely proud, and rightly so, when they achieve it. It's hugely insulting when the media and older people in general denigrate our achievements, telling us that it's easy. Having not taken the exams they really have no idea and they are insulting all of us who have worked for our grades - not just As and Bs but Cs and Ds too
    Exactly. If there's one thing that really winds me up, it's opening the paper on results day and reading an article about how exams are so easy nowadays, or hearing some old fuddy-duddy bang on about how 'things were so much harder in my day!' They haven't even taken the exams, so they don't have a clue what they're talking about, and it's so irritating to be told you've had it easy when you've worked so hard to get your grades.

    (Original post by emily87)
    If they found themselves in our position I think that they'd soon realise how much harder it actually is - there are more exams, we take more subjects, the number of people going into HE is much bigger and the competition much tougher. Relatives, solicitor and a doctor, have said that, seeing their childrens' experiences in A levels and applying to university, they are sure they would have never made it today
    Agreed again. Previously you could get into top universities with Cs at A-level, but now there are so many people rejected with straight As! The introduction of Curriculum 2000 has meant that we have to work hard for the whole 2 years; we can't doss about for the first year as we would have been able to before. Also, most people nowadays take at least 3.5 A-levels, compared to 3 in the past.
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    I have to agree with the entirity of coldfish's post, but i can see that there's no point arguing with grumblecake, because you clearly have a bee in your bonnet for some reason, and are not going to change your opinion one iota, regardless of what we say.

    Also, you mention that you 'coached' your children through their A Levels and will be very proud if son #2 gets his As on results day - but surely it would have been more of an achievement had you left him to do it by himself? Or are you just scared that he wouldn't get the 3 As that you say are so easy to achieve? Surely coaching is not necessary with this system of really easy exams where it would be careless not to get an A.

    While i don't dispute that i haven't found it particularly difficult to get an A, in the past, i do think that it does require you to work pretty hard (even if that is only relatively speaking when compared to oxbridge... but then that would only be natural - a lot of people thought they worked hard for GCSEs and then realised otherwise when they came to A Level - it's called progression)

    Just look around TSR for evidence. U wll no when u c it.
    I hardly think that you can use an internet forum as evidence of the slipping standards of english. Personally, i write in proper prose, because i find it quicker than condensing everything, but i understand that some people write like that on the internet (however much it does annoy me). I don't know whether the standard of english is dropping because i've never seen a wide enough sample of good evidence - though, if the people i know are anything to go by, it's not; which is pretty much a miracle given how little we were taught. I recall learning about apostrophes - that's it. However, i think if the new literacy hour in primary schools is any good, then perhaps the 'dropped' standards will raise again.

    As for UMS, i have one 100% and having got my paper back i know that i also scored 100% raw mark. If you want to complain about how easy it is and how all our grades are worth 'nothing', why don't you go and complain to someone who can do something about it? There's no point winging at us, because we're stuck with the system we've got.
    You really have no idea how demoralising it is to be forced through a system of exams/school, and working hard for them, only to be told at every stage, that all of what you're doing is worthless and easy etc. If it's so bad you go and change the system - i'm sure some of the time you spend on here complaining at a bunch of teenagers could be far better spend changing the world or something...

    you seem exactly what you admit to being in your post - an old codger.
    hehehe...
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    (Original post by groovy_moose)
    Also, you mention that you 'coached' your children through their A Levels and will be very proud if son #2 gets his As on results day - but surely it would have been more of an achievement had you left him to do it by himself? Or are you just scared that he wouldn't get the 3 As that you say are so easy to achieve? Surely coaching is not necessary with this system of really easy exams where it would be careless not to get an A.
    I was wondering that too actually. Surely if exams are so easy now, your sons shouldn't need coaching?
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    (Original post by groovy_moose)
    clearly have a bee in your bonnet for some reason, and are not going to change your opinion one iota, regardless of what we say.
    I haven't seen much to change my opinion, to be honest. If I do, I'll change it. Just having a bunch of people whinge at me doesn't really constitute evidence. There is published evidence from QCA that grades have been inflated, so at what point will you admit that an A today is worth less than 20 years ago?
    Also, you mention that you 'coached' your children... but surely it would have been more of an achievement had you left him to do it by himself?
    Why? I'm a hockey coach too. Should I let my teams lose, or try to improve their play? Coaching is about getting the best out of someone and helping them to develop their full potential. You can't put skill in that isn't there and ultimately my son takes his exams on his own. By your token, shouldn't avoid teaching any subjects at A-level and simply allow the best students to teach themselves?
    Surely coaching is not necessary with this system of really easy exams where it would be careless not to get an A.
    What I've done is to show him all the resources which are available and how to make best use of them. It's what any good teacher should do. Not everybody seems to have the research skills to find out everything that's going. That's where a coach or a teacher comes in.

    It seems that you're polarising the discussion to try and score points. While that might work at school, it cuts less ice outside. Perhaps you might stand back a little more dispassionately.
    Personally, i write in proper prose,
    Apart from understanding that the first person pronoun - I - is capitalised in normal English, obviously. Or, perhaps, how to spell 'whinge'. OK, that's being picky, isn't it?
    As for UMS, i have one 100% and having got my paper back i know that i also scored 100% raw mark.
    Well done, my congratulations! What was it in?
    how all our grades are worth 'nothing',
    By putting it in quotation marks, you're implying that I actually said that. I didn't. If you want to discredit me, please do so with logic and evidence, not with misleading attributions.
    why don't you go and complain to someone who can do something
    I am.

    I do not think that what you're doing is worthless at all. I know that most A-level students work hard and have a steady diet of exams. However, I have been a teenager too. I remember that I worked exceptionally hard during A-levels - harder than I ever worked in my degree(s). It's a rough time emotionally too, with all the problems of establishing who it is that you are. This sometimes makes people take every comment personally and in extremes. One of the advantages of maturity is that things no longer have to be solely about you, nor black and white. I'm not there yet, but it's a journey worth taking.
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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    Agreed again. Previously you could get into top universities with Cs at A-level,
    Not really - it was only for courses where they knew they liked you, much like EE offers from Cambridge. I didn't meet anyone at medical school with less than ABB from memory.
    but now there are so many people rejected with straight As!
    Yes, because a much higher proportion of people have them. Given that people aren't any more clever now than before (and vice versa) it is some of the best evidence that grades are easier to get. So universities have to keep raising the bar so that they only get the top 1-2% of each year that they want.
    The introduction of Curriculum 2000 has meant that we have to work hard for the whole 2 years; we can't doss about for the first year
    I had more homework in the lower VIth than either son seems to have had.
    most people nowadays take at least 3.5 A-levels, compared to 3 in the past.
    I took 5 (no general studies either).
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    (Original post by grumballcake)
    I had more homework in the lower VIth than either son seems to have had.
    Surely it depends on your school anyway - not a fair comparison.
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    (Original post by sbailey)
    Surely it depends on your school anyway - not a fair comparison.
    Well, my old school is further down the league tables than either of the two schools they attended. Maybe I was just a swot.
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    I think whatever happened to you, Mr grumballcake, the old perception was that L6th was a bit of a year off (certainly how my dad viewed it - unfortunately he also did the same with U6th! :p: ) Nowadays there IS much more of a need to work consistently - and being allowed resits doesn't mean this is not the case - if you don't work throughout the time, you have to work your arse off for your final round of exams, just like in the old days

    I find it very irritating when people criticise students getting good grades in the current system. It is NOT these students who design this system (whereby the exams might be easier, or countless resits allowed) - it is adults of your age working for the exam boards that do that. Therefore it's not fair at all to belittle the achievements of current students as it's not their fault that the system has changed.

    I do however think that being allowed unlimited resits is ridiculous - I was the first year to do Curriculum 2000 and only one resit per paper was allowed, which I think is much fairer (I didn't do any, but that's entirely beside the point).
 
 
 
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