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    Excuse my naivity here, but I was wondering before the introduction of As-levels how did universities choose students? Was it just based on mock exams, personal statements and teacher statements? I suppose this is relevant to IB students as they do not have official interim exams
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    They base in on existing AS grades and predicted A2 grades. Of course there are still the personal statements and references.. and for a couple of universities, interviews.

    Not sure if that's really what you're asking though.
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    Teachers would have based predicted grades on class work rather than exams, so people who don't really work and then cram it at the end would have been predicted lower grades. And those who work hard all year and then totally go to pieces would be predicted higher grades!

    It would be the same system as applying to a different college for A Levels. You don't do half GCSEs and then the next year do the rest, so your teachers have to predict grades based on whatever they've got. And I'd imagine that since the A Level exams were really important as there wasn't another go, schools would probably give more mock exams and tests to get their pupils used to it, which would also give more results to use for predictions.
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    (Original post by Knogle)
    They base in on existing AS grades and predicted A2 grades. Of course there are still the personal statements and references.. and for a couple of universities, interviews.

    Not sure if that's really what you're asking though.
    No, they were asking about the old system. With the current system, you do the AS first, usually sitting all the AS exams after 1 year, then the A2 in the next year. Under the old system, you sat all the exams at the end of the 2 years, or so I've gathered.

    Confusingly enough, the old system also had AS levels, but these were advanced supplementary, not advanced subsidiary. I've gathered that the difference between those is that the current AS covers as broad a range of topics as the A2 but only half of the difficulty (for want of a better way of expressing it), whereas the old AS would be just as difficult but cover a narrower range of topics. Also, the AS levels would also take 2 years, and weren't taken prior to the full A level.
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    (Original post by nikki)
    No, they were asking about the old system. With the current system, you do the AS first, usually sitting all the AS exams after 1 year, then the A2 in the next year. Under the old system, you sat all the exams at the end of the 2 years, or so I've gathered.

    Confusingly enough, the old system also had AS levels, but these were advanced supplementary, not advanced subsidiary. I've gathered that the difference between those is that the current AS covers as broad a range of topics as the A2 but only half of the difficulty (for want of a better way of expressing it), whereas the old AS would be just as difficult but cover a narrower range of topics. Also, the AS levels would also take 2 years, and weren't taken prior to the full A level.
    Ah right, thanks for pointing it out. I mis-read the question.

    Heh, I sat for the old 'A' levels myself (i.e. all the exams at the end of 2 years). They still use that system around here where I live.
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    (Original post by nikki)
    No, they were asking about the old system. With the current system, you do the AS first, usually sitting all the AS exams after 1 year, then the A2 in the next year. Under the old system, you sat all the exams at the end of the 2 years, or so I've gathered.

    Confusingly enough, the old system also had AS levels, but these were advanced supplementary, not advanced subsidiary. I've gathered that the difference between those is that the current AS covers as broad a range of topics as the A2 but only half of the difficulty (for want of a better way of expressing it), whereas the old AS would be just as difficult but cover a narrower range of topics. Also, the AS levels would also take 2 years, and weren't taken prior to the full A level.
    they did all the exams at the end so there wasnt really an AS as such. They covered the same stuff, but the advantage in the new system is you can do retakes.
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    (Original post by ba_ba1)
    they did all the exams at the end so there wasnt really an AS as such. They covered the same stuff, but the advantage in the new system is you can do retakes.
    1) You can do re-takes.
    2) Modular structure, i.e. choose options that you're more comfortable with.
    3) Stress of exams no longer focused at one period of time.
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    ok thanks guys and girls for clearing up my curiosity there
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    (Original post by PQ)
    And it's all modular so there's a smaller more defined syllabus for each exam.

    I had 2 three hour exams per A level to assess the syllabus for the entire 2 years...
    I'm with you PQ. We pulled through! :banana:
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    (Original post by Knogle)
    I'm with you PQ. We pulled through! :banana:
    I'd've died! My wrist had problems with one hour exams!
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    (Original post by PQ)
    And it's all modular so there's a smaller more defined syllabus for each exam.

    I had 2 three hour exams per A level to assess the syllabus for the entire 2 years...
    Same here. (Apart from maths and further maths, in which the pure side of each was assessed my a final thee hour exam and the applied sides were sat as 5 modular tests for each A Level over the two years.

    But the three hour exams per good stuff. It was hard work, especially the couple of days on which I had two exams in a day. Three hours of Chemistry in the morning followed by three hours of further maths in the afternoon. Being the only person to do further maths I was the only person left taking an exam in the Hall for the last hour as well.

    Those were the days when A Levels were still proper :p:
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    (Original post by PQ)
    speak for yourself my A level grades were pretty naff
    Oh common, you're doing very well now, it doesn't really matter.

    I remember my exams ended with an anti-climax.. it was Physics Paper 5, i.e. experimental design. Just an hour long!

    But most of the other papers were nothing but intensive, especially since there were often multiple papers in a day, only with a short break in between.
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    (Original post by Roger Kirk)
    But the three hour exams per good stuff. It was hard work, especially the couple of days on which I had two exams in a day. Three hours of Chemistry in the morning followed by three hours of further maths in the afternoon. Being the only person to do further maths I was the only person left taking an exam in the Hall for the last hour as well.

    Those were the days when A Levels were still proper :p:
    Luxureh! When I were 'lad, an "Heh Level" exam used ter mean 12 'ours down t'pit, and we husualleh 'ad 5 in row, wi' meyhbe 30 second break in'tween fer bite o't'gravel.
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    (Original post by Popa Dom)
    Luxureh! When I were 'lad, an "Heh Level" exam used ter mean 12 'ours down t'pit, and we husualleh 'ad 5 in row, wi' meyhbe 30 second break in'tween fer bite o't'gravel.
    Hehe, lol
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    (Original post by PQ)
    And it's all modular so there's a smaller more defined syllabus for each exam.

    I had 2 three hour exams per A level to assess the syllabus for the entire 2 years...
    well it hardly makes a difference compared to now. Even though you have modules, you usually do 3 (or at least 2) modules in the same sitting (i.e. back to back on the same day).
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    In some respects I feel that the old A-level system was better. To me it seems a bit illogical to be able to retake exams and not be penalised for it (saying that doesn't some of the oxbridge colleges reject you if you have retakes?). I would much prefer if we all just took exams at the end of the 2 years such that everyone is in the same boat - not one person has retaken exams but the other hasn't.

    But seeing as we are allowed to retake exams I will be in no doubt benefitting from that next January inorder to boost my As marks, probably.
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    Actually some schools in the UK still have their students sit the exams (AS+A2) at the end of the 2 years
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    This is true of Radley
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    I would say that some subjects are better of with the new system and some aren't. A subject which has struggled with the new system is economics, you learn all the basics in the first year, then you relearn all the basics in the second but with a bit more detail a bit pointless.

    However maths and biology have benefitted greatly.
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    (Original post by ba_ba1)
    they did all the exams at the end so there wasnt really an AS as such. They covered the same stuff, but the advantage in the new system is you can do retakes.
    There was an AS, but not as we know it these days (like I pointed out, it had a slightly different name with the same acronym), I remember my ex having done one (and it definitely wasn't the new AS because he's 4 years older than me and the new AS/A2 system had only been around 1 year when I started ). QCA used to have a page I used to link to when my foreign friends wanted to know what all these acronyms meant, but I'll be damned if I can find it now. Hmm. this has a section for both the new and old ASes. *bookmark*
 
 
 
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