(Wishy Washy A Levels) Watch

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DemonDemonic
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#61
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#61
Oxford and Cambridge Examining Board


Why on earth do Oxbridge hate the Law AS/A2 course which there exam boar offer surely there own syllabus is changing.

What I find funny is MOST OF ALL THE WISH WASHY AS/A2 LEVEL subjects are all OCR courses.

I wonder how much the university has to do with the examination board if any thing?

In my own opinion I think its always better to study Law at As level/A2 I’m sure many students see it was a easy ride but if you take the time to read around the subject properly and develop un knowledge it will help you on university in subjects like politics and law far more than Math’s or one of the other unrelated subjects would.

I’m sure when you apply to Oxbridge and you have a Law AS level they will use the opportunity to try and trip you up…but if you actually know your subject and prove them wrong then I’m sure the offer is as good as yours?

And to be honest if you want to do Law or Politics I have become aware that there are a few other university’s who are just as good and better. Many of who have students on far higher starting salaries I suppose I should have done a lil research before hand.

Kings LSE Warwick …
LAW is a good Alevel to take ...if you do the work the problem is to many students don't...
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RxB
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#62
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Umm, not convinced OCR is that connected with Oxbridge - it just happens to be based in Cambridge. And most of the courses aren't just offered by OCR, anyway.

To be honest, reading around any subject will mean it's more helpful at university. History is the obvious one for politics. The fact that the subject is useful doesn't mean the A-level is.

And can people please stop saying maths is useless for politics? It really isn't, for a whole bunch of elements you could explore.

Finally, the universities that have higher starting salaries than Oxbridge are all based in London, so it's not really that surprising, given that lots of their graduates will stay in London, and so get London weighting.
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amateurish
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#63
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(Original post by RxB)
Umm, not convinced OCR is that connected with Oxbridge - it just happens to be based in Cambridge. And most of the courses aren't just offered by OCR, anyway.
It is, it was set up by the universities. It administers STEP and stuff too.

"OCR was formed in 1998 from the University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate and RSA" - from their website.
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grumballcake
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#64
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(Original post by DemonDemonic)
In my own opinion I think its always better to study Law at As level/A2.
That may be your opinion, but it isn't shared by admissions tutors at Oxford, Cambridge, Nottingham or even humble UWE. I heard the same thing from each of them when my eldest son was doing the rounds. The consensus was that they had to un-teach you A-level law so that they could teach the degree level stuff.
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Yttrium
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#65
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(Original post by grumballcake)
That may be your opinion, but it isn't shared by admissions tutors at Oxford, Cambridge, Nottingham or even humble UWE. I heard the same thing from each of them when my eldest son was doing the rounds. The consensus was that they had to un-teach you A-level law so that they could teach the degree level stuff.
I've heard that this is also the case with psychology degrees; people with AS or A2 levels are actually at a disadvantage (at first) to those who have no taught experience in the subject...

Makes you wonder why they don't reform the A-levels in subjects like Law and Psychology to study fewer things but in more depth (presumably this is the worry... too much corner-cutting and superficiality...)
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CamSPSer
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#66
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(Original post by DemonDemonic)
Oxford and Cambridge Examining Board


Why on earth do Oxbridge hate the Law AS/A2 course which there exam boar offer surely there own syllabus is changing.

What I find funny is MOST OF ALL THE WISH WASHY AS/A2 LEVEL subjects are all OCR courses.

I wonder how much the university has to do with the examination board if any thing?
OCR doesn't specifically cater for Oxbridge applicants. I did 2 OCR subjects. In Politics 2 of the 9 people studying applied for Oxbridge and in History I think 3 or 4 did out of about 30-40 (numbers a bit hazy now). That means only a small percentage of people taking an OCR syllabus actually apply for Oxbridge, if it did only cater for Oxbridge they would find it quite difficult to attract people to the syllabus. Strictly speaking all the different boards are supposed to have similar levels of difficulty, ie if someone can get a B in Edexcel then they should get a B in OCR so OCR isn't designed to test oxbridge candidates and there is no benefit of taking OCR over any other exam board. I doubt oxbridge has much influence over the setting of the syllabus
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JHutcher
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#67
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Exam boards do sometimes matter in ****** subjects...

OCR critical thinking is much harder than AQA's.
OCR Psychology is a more difficult subject than some of the other boards.

and its the same in many subjects.
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DemonDemonic
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#68
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#68
OCR is in my opinion the most difficult in any subject. Edecel is a joke in my opinion!
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WelshPixie
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#69
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(Original post by DemonDemonic)
OCR is in my opinion the most difficult in any subject. Edecel is a joke in my opinion!
Yes, I've come across this opinion too, and I've even heard that admissions tutors take your examination board into consideration when deciding on offers.

I took some pretty rubishy A-levels (General Studies, Sociology, English Language, History) with only History being a traditional and well-regarded subject from my choices, but I still got an AAB offer from Oxford to read History. I don't think they care that much unless:
a) you're from a top private school so more is required of you (i.e. people from somewhere like MGS pretty much HAVE to do 4 AS levels, if not 5)
b) you picked them for an easy ride, rather than genuine interest

Do what you enjoy, because you'll get the best grade and have fonder memories of 2 years!
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dappleddawndrawndauphin
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#70
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(Original post by WelshPixie)
Yes, I've come across this opinion too, and I've even heard that admissions tutors take your examination board into consideration when deciding on offers.

I took some pretty rubishy A-levels (General Studies, Sociology, English Language, History) with only History being a traditional and well-regarded subject from my choices, but I still got an AAB offer from Oxford to read History. I don't think they care that much unless:
a) you're from a top private school so more is required of you (i.e. people from somewhere like MGS pretty much HAVE to do 4 AS levels, if not 5)
b) you picked them for an easy ride, rather than genuine interest

Do what you enjoy, because you'll get the best grade and have fonder memories of 2 years!
I heard that but thought it was just a rumour - anyone heard admissions tutors actually say this?? & are there any exam boards that are actually considered to be really lousy - if so, why? :confused:
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priya
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#71
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depends what you want from the subject. for example, the majority of people i came across at application, had read some foreign literature as part of their course. thus they had complemented any english/history alevels they were taking by writing essays on the novels (albeit in a foreign language) but they therefore had something else to talk about at interview, not just their love of the subjunctive or whatever. my exam board didn't offer literature- any books i read were a) usually in translation (apart from a couple) and b) recommended by the teacher. but they knew this, and still quizzed me on the literature i'd read, to see what i'd thought of it, taking my circumstances into account
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~~hannah~~
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#72
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Well also what do we think of Human Biology versus ordinary Biology? And also Maths with stats, versus Maths with application and Maths with mechanics?

Personally I think, if you wanna apply to Oxbridge don't do the obvious doss subjects like Film and Media and vocational ones like Business, Law and Accounting.

I managed to get an offer doing A2 Psych, Human Bio and Maths with stats, and AS chem. So I wouldnt worry too much.

x x x
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priya
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#73
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you are entitled to your opinion, but i have to ask, how do you define an 'obvious' doss subject? what makes pyschology any less of a doss subject that business or Law? people have already said on here that a subject they would consider 'easy' may not be easy for others.

as for human bio/biology proper, i don't see any discrepancy between the two, regular biology alevels are heavily geared towards human biology anyway- the ecology section is tiny. as long as basic core biological priniciples are taught that's what should matter; and these are taught in both syllabi.
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emily87
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#74
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(Original post by ~~hannah~~)
Well also what do we think of Human Biology versus ordinary Biology? And also Maths with stats, versus Maths with application and Maths with mechanics?

x x x
good grief, I think maths is hard enough and respected enough without obsessing over what kind of maths it is! I very much doubt that admissions tutors either know or care about different maths syllabuses unless they are admissions tutors for maths (in which case you'd have done maths and f. maths and have covered it all).

Just do what you enjoy and are good at.
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minimo
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#75
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(Original post by whauden)
Seconded - adding a subject like Physics or Maths might seem weird for an artist, but I did it for AS, got a B, and this was much better than any A I may have got in Economics, Business Studies etc.
Please don't associate Economics with Business Studies. Economics is a far harder and well recognised A Level unlike Business.
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zxczxc
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#76
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To say A Level Economics is difficult is wrong: as A-Levels go, it doesn't challenge.
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ProzacNation
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#77
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(Original post by YouKnewThat!)
no school ive ever heard of sends that many. are you sure that's not 70 applicants?
I would be prepared to bet that he goes to Westminster, where they pick Oxbridge candidates to come to the school in the first place and then approach the teaching in a way similar to Oxbridge, i.e lots of going outside the subject. Westminster roughly send up around 130 candidates to interview every year out of which about 70 get in. Those who don't often reapply (successfully) the following year. My info is definitely not 100% accurate but that's what I've heard.

To throw in my two cents worth, although this thread has kind of faded out, subjects are divided into blue chip and non blue chip. Blue chip subjects are fairly old and established courses like sciences, maths, English lit, languages and history. Because these are broader than courses like 'media' or 'psychology' they are preferred. For a psychology degree you should have sciences and an essay subject, as this will show a broad range. For Law maths is incredibly useful and shows a logical brain, whilst blue-chip essay subjects will show that you can do analytical essays.

As someone else has mentioned, the problem with subjects like Law and Art History, whilst being interesting in themselves are not preferred for the degree because they effectively have to reteach the candidate, who thinks he/she is already an expert, having done the A level (and this comes from an Oxbridge admissions tutor). Always go for a blue-chip if youre not sure.
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Narcissus
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#78
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Good advice; people might not like the reality, but it's generally true.
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dappleddawndrawndauphin
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#79
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So does getting a top mark in the so-called "Mickey Mouse" subjects mean anything at all to universities? Or was my Law AS a complete waste of time from that point of view? Even if I'd known it wasn't respected (I took it because I thought it would be a challenge...), I would've taken it and I've really enjoyed it and will carry it on next year- I think that's the most important thing. *But*, if I'd known it was seen as non traditional or whatever I might have done a 5th AS.
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YouKnewThat!
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#80
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(Original post by *Bethany*)
So does getting a top mark in the so-called "Mickey Mouse" subjects mean anything at all to universities? Or was my Law AS a complete waste of time from that point of view? Even if I'd known it wasn't respected (I took it because I thought it would be a challenge...), I would've taken it and I've really enjoyed it and will carry it on next year- I think that's the most important thing. *But*, if I'd known it was seen as non traditional or whatever I might have done a 5th AS.
Are you taking all your subjects to A2?
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