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    People have told me that an achieved A* at A-level won't be an advantage over an achieved A when applying for medicine, as apparently unis just wan't to see if you can meet their minimum requirements of AAA, and anything higher will not put you in any better stead.

    This is all very fine but then why do the majority not really admit that many candidates with the minimum GCSE requirements, the universities instead prefer people who have exceeded the minimum requirements for GCSE.

    So why then not prefer candidates with A*s at A-level?
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    In my mind, the difference between A and A* is simply how neeky somebody is. In my opinion, the knowledge gap between an A grade and an A* is nowhere near as big as the difference between let's say an A and a B
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    (Original post by as_94)
    In my mind, the difference between A and A* is simply how neeky somebody is. In my opinion, the knowledge gap between an A grade and an A* is nowhere near as big as the difference between let's say an A and a B
    You realise B is 70%, A is 80%, A* is 90%. All the same difference.
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    That's just the way it is, I'm afraid. I would assume that they are waiting for studies that show some kind of correlation between the A* grade and improved medical school performance.

    (Original post by arunadindane)
    You realise B is 70%, A is 80%, A* is 90%. All the same difference.
    No it isn't: you do not understand how the A* works. It's a lot easier on paper than it is in the exam, it's exponentially more difficult gaining those last few % so imo there's a world of difference between 88% and 92%, for example.
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    (Original post by Beska)
    No it isn't: you do not understand how the A* works. It's a lot easier on paper than it is in the exam, it's exponentially more difficult gaining those last few % so imo there's a world of difference between 88% and 92%, for example.
    If it really is that hard then surely only the best candidates will get them, and surely only the best candidates are admitted to medicine.
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    (Original post by arunadindane)
    If it really is that hard then surely only the best candidates will get them, and surely only the best candidates are admitted to medicine.
    It is that hard. Only the best candidates are given medicine places, but your logic assumes that the all the best candidates need to achieve A*'s - that isn't true.
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    (Original post by Beska)
    It is that hard. Only the best candidates are given medicine places, but your logic assumes that the all the best candidates need to achieve A*'s - that isn't true.
    Of course they don't need A*s but my original question was that universities give so much weighting to GCSE A* and having all A's at GCSE is considered a big disadvantage for medicine, so rather than me saying AAA A-level is a disadvantage, why isn't A* an advantage?
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    (Original post by arunadindane)
    Of course they don't need A*s but my original question was that universities give so much weighting to GCSE A* and having all A's at GCSE is considered a big disadvantage for medicine, so rather than me saying AAA A-level is a disadvantage, why isn't A* an advantage?
    GCSE's are a completely different thing so it's irrelevant for you to bring them up, the only similarity between the A* at GCSE and the A* at A-Level is that they share the same symbol.

    I have already answered your question.
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    (Original post by Beska)
    GCSE's are a completely different thing so it's irrelevant for you to bring them up, the only similarity between the A* at GCSE and the A* at A-Level is that they share the same symbol.

    I have already answered your question.
    They are not that different with the exception that A-levels are harder.
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    (Original post by arunadindane)
    They are not that different with the exception that A-levels are harder.
    GCSE's are graded on a linear scale, with the higher your % then the higher the grade you achieve. There is the same difference in 'ability' between a C grade and a B grade as there is between an A grade and an A* grade.

    A-Levels are graded on this linear scale up to the A grade, where then afterwards the system becomes a bit more blurred. The A* was introduced as a 'stretch and challenge' grade, first conceptualised to replace the AEA, so are not based on this same linear scale as GCSE's and up-to-grade-A A-Levels. Add this to the fact that the A* grade requires 80% at AS (not 90% because there are no 'stretch and challenge', AEA-style questions in the AS paper) and 90% at A2, it is not a linear way of marking. It is better to see the A* grade as a special recognition for people that sat the test well on the day rather than a continuation of the standard letter grading system.

    e: In theory, the perfect A-grade candidate would score 100% on all their AS exams and then 89% on all their A2 exams. Any % above 89 (i.e. 90%+) shows that they have answered correctly a 'stretch and challenge' question.
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    (Original post by Beska)
    GCSE's are graded on a linear scale, with the higher your % then the higher the grade you achieve. There is the same difference in 'ability' between a C grade and a B grade as there is between an A grade and an A* grade.

    A-Levels are graded on this linear scale up to the A grade, where then afterwards the system becomes a bit more blurred. The A* was introduced as a 'stretch and challenge' grade, first conceptualised to replace the AEA, so are not based on this same linear scale as GCSE's and up-to-grade-A A-Levels. Add this to the fact that the A* grade requires 80% at AS (not 90% because there are no 'stretch and challenge', AEA-style questions in the AS paper) and 90% at A2, it is not a linear way of marking. It is better to see the A* grade as a special recognition for people that sat the test well on the day rather than a continuation of the standard letter grading system.
    Fair enough but I reckon unis should take UMS scores like Cambridge do for a more transparent admissions policy rather than predictions.
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    (Original post by arunadindane)
    Fair enough but I reckon unis should take UMS scores like Cambridge do for a more transparent admissions policy rather than predictions.
    That's a completely different point so opens up a whole new direction of discussion, enough to start a new thread on...
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    Because, to achieve an A at A level is in itsefl a VERY hard challenge. Those who get A*s really aren't smarter than those that A's at all, they may just have been slightly luckier in a solitary exam.
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    Are you creating these threads because you are worried that your academics are the only thing you have going for you?
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    I always thought getting the A* at A level is pips. Providing that you've got an A in the exam the only thing you need to tip you over to an A* is to write a few carefully selected sentences that give the impression you've read around the subject in the long answer questions. It's all about ticking their boxes.
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    the A*...especially in exams which are essay based.....is entirely based on how you do "on the day"....getting the A in history will be easy enough....but getting the A* will be hard as its so subjective that I won't know if its good enough until results day
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    (Original post by WackyJun)
    I always thought getting the A* at A level is pips. Providing that you've got an A in the exam the only thing you need to tip you over to an A* is to write a few carefully selected sentences that give the impression you've read around the subject in the long answer questions. It's all about ticking their boxes.
    Ha.
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    (Original post by Renal)
    Are you creating these threads because you are worried that your academics are the only thing you have going for you?
    No I believe I will have a good all round application (UKCAT pending) except that my GCSEs aren't the best, however I'm just trying to assess every area of my application critically, because, unfortunately "good" just doesn't cut it anymore and I will probably get 4 rejections next year again because there are just too many perfect candidates. So I just want to give myself a chance thank you, and if people are replying what's the problem, you don't have to.
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    (Original post by arunadindane)
    No I believe I will have a good all round application (UKCAT pending)
    My work here is done. :no:
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    (Original post by Renal)
    My work here is done. :no:
    I got 670 last year so not bad thank you.
 
 
 
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