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A-level have been dumbed down and made easier in the past 20 years.......can the same be said for degrees?? watch

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    Ask the title asks....

    Im just choosing maths/physics as an example

    There is strong concensus between experienced teachers that A-level physics and maths have been dumbed down/watered down considerably over the past two decades and that the subjects are much easier/less demanding than they were in their generations time.

    Can the same be said for university degrees?? Eg is a BSc or MSci course in physics at a UK university in 2010 much easier and its degree content watered down compared to the same degree course 50years ago in 1960?

    We hear a lot about our secondary level education ie gcses and As/a2's being dumbed down and being much easier than old style o-levels and a-levels, but i never hear about the situation with university education.

    does anyone know if uni education has been 'dumbed down'? anyone Able to post links re the topic?
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    The content of the exams on my physics course doesn't seem to have become easier as far back as they publish past papers (about 10 years). It's more that you have to teach yourself FM in the 1st year, if you didn't do it.
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    A levels aren't dumbed down.It's just now people are more prepared.
    Back then a bad teacher=you fail your A level.
    Right now a bad teacher=you go online download revision guides and past paper study your ass off and get an A.

    Same goes for degrees.
    It's a good thing.
    I don't understand why people see it as a bad thing.
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    (Original post by Theconomist)
    A levels are dumbed down.It's just now people are more prepared.
    Back then a bad teacher=you fail your A level.
    Right now a bad teacher=you go online download revision guides and past paper study your ass off and get an A.

    Same goes for degrees.
    It's a good thing.
    I don't understand why people see it as a bad thing.
    theres evidence against that.

    Have you studied a-level maths and physics??
    in physics particuarly there has been a large amount of watering down of the syllabus eg removing calculus from the syllabus and examiners arent allowed to write a level physics papers asssuming the candidate is dtudying maths a-level too. Also there is a large amount of subject material removed

    there are many newspaper articles re maths and physics being dumbed down, if you do a quick google search, one article said students today were ''guided through the answers'' and ''too heavy use of multiple choice qu in science exams''
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    (Original post by Collingwood)
    The content of the exams on my physics course doesn't seem to have become easier as far back as they publish past papers (about 10 years). It's more that you have to teach yourself FM in the 1st year, if you didn't do it.
    Would you agree with the previous comment i made on this thread re a level phys???
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    A Levels: Dumbed down? Somewhat. Better teaching? Yes. Greater motivation to get top (but arguably inflated) grades, out of necessity? Yes.

    :holmes:
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    Nothing has been dumbed down, old people just like to say that because they aren't fond of our generation doing better.
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    (Original post by bloomblaze)
    theres evidence against that.

    Have you studied a-level maths and physics??
    in physics particuarly there has been a large amount of watering down of the syllabus eg removing calculus from the syllabus and examiners arent allowed to write a level physics papers asssuming the candidate is dtudying maths a-level too. Also there is a large amount of subject material removed

    there are many newspaper articles re maths and physics being dumbed down, if you do a quick google search, one article said students today were ''guided through the answers'' and ''too heavy use of multiple choice qu in science exams''
    Scenario A: Holy **** exams are too hard!!!!! Only the best of the best in private schools get good grades and us rest are left with crap.

    Scenario B Holy **** an average student can get an A* in an A level subject from a public school if he works hard enough the sky is falling.
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    They haven;t dumbed it down, all they have done is move all the harder stuff to the later units. For example, in maths they basically chucked all the nastily hard stuff in FP3.

    But on the other hand, its called better preparation :yep:
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    An interesting read:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...f-degrees.html
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    (Original post by bloomblaze)
    Ask the title asks....

    Im just choosing maths/physics as an example

    There is strong concensus between experienced teachers that A-level physics and maths have been dumbed down/watered down considerably over the past two decades and that the subjects are much easier/less demanding than they were in their generations time.

    Can the same be said for university degrees?? Eg is a BSc or MSci course in physics at a UK university in 2010 much easier and its degree content watered down compared to the same degree course 50years ago in 1960?

    We hear a lot about our secondary level education ie gcses and As/a2's being dumbed down and being much easier than old style o-levels and a-levels, but i never hear about the situation with university education.

    does anyone know if uni education has been 'dumbed down'? anyone Able to post links re the topic?
    it's a numbers thing.
    back in 60s hardly anyone did A levels. so you were dealing with the cream of the crop. as more people did A levels, so standards had to be dragged down - because the average student was that bit thicker. but nonetheless till the late 80s A levels were still quite rigorous. after that, ever higher proportions of the markedly thicker students got higher grades, especially under new labour - they wanted to show that they were pro student and also wanted lots of top marks so could say to universities that they have to take all these state school dumbos as they now have top A levels.
    but at university level it is different. the oxford physics course, whether we are talking the 60s or now, just educates the top few hundred students. and so the quality can never be reduced by much. yes, a couple of students with grade As who got in probably shouldn't have because there were cleverer students who also had grade As. yes, a few students were taken on as tokens. and yes, everyone is coming to university a little bit less well educated. but these are tiny points. the fact remains, if you have creamed off the top couple of hundred of a country as large as britain you are dealing with the brightest and therefore the degree standard remains high.
    similarly the degree standard for all russell group universities is also high. much lower down the pecking order than that and it all gets a bit mickey mouse.
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    A level physics is not "easier". In the words of my head of physics "It's not easier or harder - just different. Some of the content in the current A level used to be O level, some of the old A level is now GCSE."

    And I once looked at a pure maths A level from the early 1970s, it's not much harder than further maths content today - I could have attempted around half of the questions without a great deal of difficulty and I hadn't even studied FP3.

    Conclusion: maths and physics are not subjects which are "getting easier"
    Yes calculus has been taken out of A level physics, but that's because it allows people who haven't taken A level maths to do physics.
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    Most people here are denying that a levels have became easier, maybe people arent talking about maths and physics though

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-students.html

    This link contains quotes from physics specialists/prefessors who comment on how it has been watered down so much and fails to prepare students for univeristy physics
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    (Original post by Manitude)
    A level physics is not "easier". In the words of my head of physics "It's not easier or harder - just different. Some of the content in the current A level used to be O level, some of the old A level is now GCSE."

    And I once looked at a pure maths A level from the early 1970s, it's not much harder than further maths content today - I could have attempted around half of the questions without a great deal of difficulty and I hadn't even studied FP3.

    Conclusion: maths and physics are not subjects which are "getting easier"
    Yes calculus has been taken out of A level physics, but that's because it allows people who haven't taken A level maths to do physics.
    the physics specialists/professors in this link say a level physics has been made undemanding and fails to prepare students for univeristy physics

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-students.html

    Im unsure what to make of your physics teacher says(im not saying hes wrong) considering so many other physics preofessionals say different
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    I am finding AS Physics pretty damn hard! It is not the Maths that is difficult, as it is just equations and some GCSE trigonometry, but implementing those equations into stupidly worded questions. If it was like a Maths paper where they give you a number of statistics, then say 'Find x', then it may be a fair bit easier!
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    Stop trying to be an elitist.

    For a start if you're good something like Physics or Maths when it comes the degree A levels won't matter.
    Getting a first class degree and your name on research papers is what matters.
    People with 2:1 classifications can still go into research etc and still make a positive contribution to society and could even end up inspiring a future Feynman or Einstein.

    More people doing degrees in general is not a bad thing, yes there will be more competition for jobs but then it gives you more reason to do better and maybe be more realistic.
    We just need more people doing science degrees and going into research and not just doing a three year BSc then going into accounting...
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    (Original post by Manitude)
    A level physics is not "easier". In the words of my head of physics "It's not easier or harder - just different. Some of the content in the current A level used to be O level, some of the old A level is now GCSE."

    And I once looked at a pure maths A level from the early 1970s, it's not much harder than further maths content today - I could have attempted around half of the questions without a great deal of difficulty and I hadn't even studied FP3.

    Conclusion: maths and physics are not subjects which are "getting easier"
    Yes calculus has been taken out of A level physics, but that's because it allows people who haven't taken A level maths to do physics.
    Physics is not ''getting easier''
    you say?

    Surely Calculus was removed to make it easier, so that students who dont have high mathematical ability can do it

    I dont know about other people, but i would think removing calculus from physics would be making it easier
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    I agree with you, the content of courses has been watered down to an extent, alot of the harder content has been removed in courses or been put up to the next level up. I know for a fact that the old french papers are ridiculous to the ones in recent years, some maths content has been removed for being "too demanding". Maybe the harder content has been removed so the courses have a more consistent level on content. Although alot of kids are getting A's and its putting pressure on uni's because they dont know which students they should accept. So if the content was put back in it, it would maybe separate the uni candidates from the rest.
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    Whilst I can't comment on A levels, I would imagine that, at least at the top level, degrees are actually getting harder. If you do a maths degree at Cambridge or Warwick then, particularly in the fourth year of the masters course, you are learning things that have only recently been researched. That means you have to have a grasp of the mathematics from the past 20 years that has led up to it, and then you have to learn the new stuff as well.
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    In some ways Physics is easier and other ways it is harder.

    If you are better at maths it is harder due to the lack of real maths.

    If you are better at straight theory then it is easier.


    A-Level in general are easier now because of all the stupid ones such as PE, Sociology ect

    Those A-Levels pick off the new students in terms of quality. But the same peopel are doing maths and physics as they were 20 years ago really.
 
 
 
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