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Yep, A levels are a lot easier than 25 years ago! watch

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    (Original post by Mysticmin)
    go buy lots, I'm poor at the moment so you'll do double the usual volume of shopping.
    I ended my May cd-buying embargo yesterday, I was quite pleased that I only spent £22 on 3 cds Well, how could I resist? Johnny Cash and Supergrass £6 each! Bloody Music Zone, taking all my money :mad:
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    (Original post by elpollodiablouk)
    I ended my May cd-buying embargo yesterday, I was quite pleased that I only spent £22 on 3 cds Well, how could I resist? Johnny Cash and Supergrass £6 each! Bloody Music Zone, taking all my money :mad:
    Let me guess...you subjected yourself to the temptation that is know as a Virgin sale?
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    (Original post by Mysticmin)
    go buy lots, I'm poor at the moment so you'll do double the usual volume of shopping.
    Me too - I'm putting all my 'excess' wages into an account for medical school - knowing what I'm like I put a few clauses on the account - locked it in until Oct 2004 and if I do nibble into it, I pay a penalty. Only way I can save, without hitting a certain level and blowing it on something I 'desperately need'.

    However, I also have a credit card (arse!).
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    (Original post by Mysticmin)
    Let me guess...you subjected yourself to the temptation that is know as a Virgin sale?
    No, I managed to avoid it There's a shop in Leeds called Music Zone which sells cheap CDs permanently - I only went in for a browse....
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    Yes I am the one who posted that I had unconditional offers. And indeed I do. I don't know why I was lucky enough to get them - just excellent reference and personal statement I suppose.
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    (Original post by Fluffy)
    Me too - I'm putting all my 'excess' wages into an account for medical school - knowing what I'm like I put a few clauses on the account - locked it in until Oct 2004 and if I do nibble into it, I pay a penalty. Only way I can save, without hitting a certain level and blowing it on something I 'desperately need'.

    However, I also have a credit card (arse!).
    My god that is an arse. I just turned 18 and I'm determined not to get one, london and credit cards go too well hand in hand.
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    (Original post by elpollodiablouk)
    No, I managed to avoid it There's a shop in Leeds called Music Zone which sells cheap CDs permanently - I only went in for a browse....
    Ha ha, i do that, go in for a browse and come out with two pairs of shoes and a hat. I won't pay full price for a CD though. I wish there was a shop like that near me.
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    (Original post by Mysticmin)
    Ha ha, i do that, go in for a browse and come out with two pairs of shoes and a hat. I won't pay full price for a CD though. I wish there was a shop like that near me.
    Fopp's another good one. There isn't one in Leeds, but there is in Bristol, so I've got cheap CDs all year round
    Just been looking at Music Zone's Website and they seem to be a northern store. Fopp are quite spread out.
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    (Original post by elpollodiablouk)
    Fopp's another good one. There isn't one in Leeds, but there is in Bristol, so I've got cheap CDs all year round
    Just been looking at Music Zone's Website and they seem to be a northern store. Fopp are quite spread out.
    Nice name! Ah they've got an eels album on for £7, I only have one eels album.
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    (Original post by fully)
    Yes I am the one who posted that I had unconditional offers. And indeed I do. I don't know why I was lucky enough to get them - just excellent reference and personal statement I suppose.

    Wow impressive! So are you going to go to Oxford? If so what subject are you going to study?
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    I decided on manchester for microbiology. Leeds was for medicine but I hated the place and I didn't think Oxford would suit me. I think I'll be happiest in manchester.

    Oxford was for maths.

    Strangely I got rejected by nottingham and bristol, while I had unconditionals from everyone else?????
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    Boy this makes me feel old. I did 'O' Levels in 1982 and 1983 and A Levels two years later.

    1) It is easier to get a higher grade because of the 'banking' system. When I did A levles it was 2, 3 hour papers at the end of two years. If you were ill it was tough you had to wait a year for the resits. This doesn't mean the actual content is easier, just that the system is different, and in my view better. Would I have got better grades under the new system? Yes, I was ill throughout most of my upper 6th so of course I would.

    2) Maths. Have you any idea how many syllabuses there were for Maths? I don't but there were loads. I did totally different maths to my brothe. My 'O' Level was 'modern maths' so included matrices, differenciation/integration, vectors, linear programming. My brother did 'traditional' maths. Not sure what he covered but certainly not any of the above. Even at 'A' Level there were different syllabuses, the 6th form I went to taught 'pure and Mechnics' to boys and 'pure and statistics' to girls.

    3) O Levels and CSE's. Only a minority of students took O levels and even then many failed. O levels were graded A-E with A-C being a pass. CSE's were graded 1-5, grade 1 was equivelant to grade C at O level. Still a lot of people were not even entered for exams. At my school only about 50% of pupils were even entered for O Levels and that was a high percentage. There was a joke that a CSE grade 5 only required you to write your name on a paper and if you spelled it correctly you got a grade 4. There was also 'double entry'. This was where the school were not sure if you would get an O Level so they entered you for O Level and CSE. You took two totally seperate exams in the hope you would pass one. Your parents had to pay for one of the exams.

    4) 3 A levels was the norm but some people took 4 or 5 even then.

    When I was taking O Levels we were told how they must have got easier because people were now sitting 7 or 8 subjects when 20 years before they had only sat 5.

    5) National cuuriculum. OK this might shock a few people but in the early 80's schools could teach whatever subjects they liked. I went to a girls school, we couldn't study technology, woodwork or other 'boys' subjects. We did have to do needlework and domestic science. If a head teacher did not like a subject they could just not teach it in that school. (with the exception of RE). You no longer get people who only study science subjects from age 13, or only study arts and humanities from age 13.

    The bottom line is it doesn't matter if the exams are easier or not, it doesn't matter what year you learned a particular bit of maths. The system is better, more people take and pass exams, people take a wider range of subjects. The brightest do more subjects. It's no longer normal for people to leave school with no qualifications.

    Any exam paper is going to look hard if you have not been prepared for it.

    And what the hell is the point of telling someone "It was harder in my day", can you be sure? Is it true?

    What the hell can they do about it? NOTHING. If you think the exams are easier now why aren't you taking a couple of dozen A levels? surely you can get grade A in all of them?
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    (Original post by sashh)
    Boy this makes me feel old. I did 'O' Levels in 1982 and 1983 and A Levels two years later.
    At good old Saint Hilda's, the Cheltenham Ladies' College of Burnley.
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    (Original post by Fluffy)
    I got IDed in a bar yesterday

    I unfortunately look like a child! Still it's quite funny when you go to conferences to give seminars and sign in at the registration desk! I once got asked if I was Dr Fluffy's (not my real name LOL) daughter and if the room they had booked me was ok!
    You're kidding! And I always thought you were old and wrinkly
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    what is the point in everyone getting stressed n cross about whether they were easier or not?! it doesnt matter!
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    Attitudes have changed. Courses have changed. Comparable courses are in general easier, but that's not necessarily a bad (or good thing). They're easier because they can be - i.e. what was being taught or asked in the past was often superfluous compared to normal applications. So, such parts got removed and replaced with simpler to understand, but more functional topics.

    Also university standards (for individual courses at individual unis) have been more comparable in general - this shows that reducing the content of A-level courses over time to make them easier has little detrimental effect to overall graduate ability. I.e. people can make up for it later and can still do the same jobs.

    An A-level after all has (and had) little value on its own as a means to related work. It is most useful as a prerequisite to university study at which point it matters less the depth it goes into - provided candidates of different abilities can still be distinguished. For unrelated jobs, again the level of detail is hardly relevant if using a maths A-level to operate a till.
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    (Original post by fully)
    Yes I am the one who posted that I had unconditional offers. And indeed I do. I don't know why I was lucky enough to get them - just excellent reference and personal statement I suppose.
    Are unconditional offers unusual? I got unconditionals from all my choices except Oxford, and I don't (personally) think there was anything remarkable about my references or PS. Then again, it could be as I did Highers instead of AS.
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    (Original post by Baron Huntroyde)
    At good old Saint Hilda's, the Cheltenham Ladies' College of Burnley.
    yeah and I still shudder if I ever have to go past.
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    (Original post by freddy6k)
    Search the Internet for O level papers from 25 years ago. You'll find in the same subjects that most of what was taught to 14 - 16 year olds then is now in today's 16/17 year old AS level syllabuses, with bits appearing even in the A2 Level.

    What has changed is the volume of pointless sh*te that 16-18 year olds are expected to do - "pump up the volume". Poor pre-university kids have to waste hundreds of hours on waffle: Citizenshit, General Studies, Team Building, Numeracy etc. Back in the days when qualifications meant something, these kinds of skills were developed through voluntary work, activity weekends, sport etc, with no exams unless you wanted to get certificated.

    Nowadays, you have every skiving moron under the sun getting Es and Ds without lifting a finger. You have students doing A Levels who can't work out a basic percentage in their head, add two numbers together without a calculator and don't have the ability to string a sentence together that makes sense to at least 50% of the Engliush-speaking world. Unluckily as well, there are now so many joke A Levels around that the whole system has been undermined. Still, students who finish Uni with a Media Studies degree (third class), a £20,000 debt with no job can feel very proud.
    I disagree with this completely for two reasons. The subjects I do are very science based and I know for a fact that some of the things that are learnt in science A-levels used to be done at uni. This is because science progresses so fast. I don't think that A-levels have got easier I think the way that people are assessed are different but that doesn't make them easier. I think the reason that pass rates have gone up is because there are more options for people who may have originally not done so well at A-level.

    The other reason that studying at the moment is so difficult is because we no longer get y12 off. Loads of adults I have spoken to have told me about how they spent the whole of y12 messing around. Now we have AS levels this just isn't an option anymore. We don't get a break.
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    (Original post by freddy6k)
    Search the Internet for O level papers from 25 years ago. You'll find in the same subjects that most of what was taught to 14 - 16 year olds then is now in today's 16/17 year old AS level syllabuses, with bits appearing even in the A2 Level.

    What has changed is the volume of pointless sh*te that 16-18 year olds are expected to do - "pump up the volume". Poor pre-university kids have to waste hundreds of hours on waffle: Citizenshit, General Studies, Team Building, Numeracy etc. Back in the days when qualifications meant something, these kinds of skills were developed through voluntary work, activity weekends, sport etc, with no exams unless you wanted to get certificated.

    Nowadays, you have every skiving moron under the sun getting Es and Ds without lifting a finger. You have students doing A Levels who can't work out a basic percentage in their head, add two numbers together without a calculator and don't have the ability to string a sentence together that makes sense to at least 50% of the Engliush-speaking world. Unluckily as well, there are now so many joke A Levels around that the whole system has been undermined. Still, students who finish Uni with a Media Studies degree (third class), a £20,000 debt with no job can feel very proud.
    Qualifications are only a stepping stone. Don't get so frustrated over something silly and which you can't do anything about.

    I looked at an o level chemistry paper and it required as much knowledge and understanding as double science so I don't see how you can say they are getting easier. Maths and Science never get easier.
 
 
 
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