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    (Original post by Fluffy)
    Hmmm so...



    Is your usual way of adressing people.... Let's hope you're applying for courses that don't require interview

    Oh if only you knew!

    And how could I ever get bored with a sweet little mouse like you to bat around?
    I don't know fluff...how could you ever get bored? But for some reason I keep thinking that perhaps you said that somewhere? Maybe it's just a deja vu. Because I swear somebody under the name fluffly said they were getting bored of this forum. But hey what do I know? As for me? Well your pompous drivel has surpassed my boredom threshold. I shall therefore do the adult thing and bow out. You should take notes from me seeing as you are ten years older! Tsk! The elderly of today clinging on to youth for dear life. Just let it go because at the end of the day age is one thing that goes up but N-E-V-E-R comes down. I know it sucks. But hey good things die hard! Good night!
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    Have these people who have decided that maths A-levels are not getting easier had a look at the papers from 20 years ago and attempted them?

    Have they borne in mind that many university professors are complaining that every new set of undergraduates seem to know less and less about maths?

    Maybe these aren't the criteria that you go by.

    I am not trying to devalue anyone's achievements where they've got 100% on every module, but merely pointing out the fact that the papers are easier in terms of content, difficulty and how much help you get from the question itself.

    Most of those who are really good at maths don't even need to revise for the exams any more.
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    i have seen old physics Alevel papers............they r quite hard compared to the ones we get now, but i think the way of answering has changed, they now test different things in new ways.
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    (Original post by quantum)
    I don't know fluff...how could you ever get bored? But for some reason I keep thinking that perhaps you said that somewhere? Maybe it's just a deja vu. Because I swear somebody under the name fluffly said they were getting bored of this forum. But hey what do I know? As for me? Well your pompous drivel has surpassed my boredom threshold. I shall therefore do the adult thing and bow out. You should take notes from me seeing as you are ten years older! Tsk! The elderly of today clinging on to youth for dear life. Just let it go because at the end of the day age is one thing that goes up but N-E-V-E-R comes down. I know it sucks. But hey good things die hard! Good night!

    Night night, loser

    I guess you'll have to get used to the thought of old age (as you said it just goes up)... Only the good die young, and you just seem like a freak with nothing to add but insults because you can't cope with reasoned debate! Run away child! Come back in 10 years time when your brain and thought process has matured...
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    But how is an 18 year old supposed to understand a 1970's maths paper when they haven't studied that sylabus?
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    cause this level of maths hasn't really changed much....
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    (Original post by amazingtrade)
    But how is an 18 year old supposed to understand a 1970's maths paper when they haven't studied that sylabus?
    Thing is with maths, differential equations have the same solutions now as they did back in 1970. It's not like you can fudge the syllabus that much in maths, you have to teach differentiation to do anything, you have to teach integration to be able to do anything, and by the time you've taught that, most of the alevel is over, and you're left with a few topics like vectors. So the syllabus hasn't really changed, it's just been diluted over more modules.
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    (Original post by marabara)
    I am not trying to devalue anyone's achievements where they've got 100% on every module, but merely pointing out the fact that the papers are easier in terms of content, difficulty and how much help you get from the question itself.
    I agree with this, but also think it stupid that it is possible for nearly 25% of candidates to score 100% in any one module. What is the point of an exam if it doesn't stretch and distinguish? In the 70's A-Levels were designed so that only around 5% could cope enough to get an A, that's an A, not 100%.

    Nowerdays it also seems that most of the exam boards have a large government interest, which is wrong. Education should be free of politics (unless you are studying the subject ) and exam boards certainly shouldn't find their curriculum beign defined by whoever resides in power.... All they are interested in saying is 'Look! Under us 90% of 18 year olds got A-C grade A-Levels'. They're not really interested in the fundamentals of education, they just see it as the emotive, vote winning pawn it can be.
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    (Original post by calumc)
    Okay, I'll explain our system, I think it works..

    Our exam system has two one-year courses - the first year being "Higher" grade, the second being "Advanced Higher", just like your AS/A levels. Each is split into three units, which have easy unit assesments to cover the basics required to pass, like the first question you mentioned. You are required to pass the unit assesments, but they do not count towards your final grade, which is decided in the final exam at the end of the year, which covers the whole course, and would include harder questions such as the second one you mentioned.

    This means we do have a modular system and it's associated benefits, but do not have the problem of making it easier to pass, as the modules do not count towards the final grade. We also sit prelim exams at the same level before the finals, which you can 'fall back' on if you perform badly on the day.
    So really, that's just like our system with the synoptic element which will always count for more than the other modules. No matter how many times you sit the first economics module and perfect your score to 100%, you are always going to have to sit a gigantic synoptic paper at the end and know the entire course to get a good grade in the alevel.
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    (Original post by amazingtrade)
    But how is an 18 year old supposed to understand a 1970's maths paper when they haven't studied that sylabus?
    because the harder stuff has been removed from the syllabus

    the syllabus may be a bit broader now, covering things from physics and computational statistcs, but it doesn't go much further than the basics on anything now

    note also that the questions from 20 years ago were very short compared to the spoon-feeding questions spread out over 2 pages that you get on some papers now
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    (Original post by calumc)
    Except the synoptic element is the entire exam, which means every single question can be a hell of a lot harder.
    I still think it's just as effective when the synoptic element tends to around 50%, also, unless students are naturally more gifted in Scotland, the UMS system will compensate for this anyway.
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    there needs to be harder papers to sort the good ppl from the great ppl.

    having said that the great ppl get (AS) 100% on the earlier modules and the good ppl dont. then on the harder papers (A2) less great ppl get 100%.
    They should either introduce new grades A* perhaps.. and make the exams harder.

    But this may mean less and less ppl choose the subject. in the case for maths, the great ppl do further maths if they get the chance to. Fmaths is harder, it probably contains more material from the older (harder) alevel.
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    (Original post by marabara)
    because the harder stuff has been removed from the syllabus

    the syllabus may be a bit broader now, covering things from physics and computational statistcs, but it doesn't go much further than the basics on anything now

    note also that the questions from 20 years ago were very short compared to the spoon-feeding questions spread out over 2 pages that you get on some papers now
    Yeah I don't think that the content has been watered down as much as the questions have become alot more predictable. One of the reasons I find STEP so bloody mad is because in the alevel you see a question and you go "Ah, this is related rates of change, think chain rule, think finding a formula for one of the related rates." But in STEP, you think "Ah crap what the hell is this about, what are they asking me to apply here I have no clue."
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    I'm in agreement with Fluffy here. I think A-levels are becoming easier. AS levels are certainly much easier than the old system, even in it's final stages. Whilst I was taking my A-Levels (upper6th), I saw the AS papers for AS chem, and they really were a joke. People complained that there wasn't enough time to 'get up to standard' before the 1st AS level exams. However, I found this quite a joke, considering I took my 1st A-Level chem papers (which I assure you were much harder) in the March of lower 6th.

    Similarly, looking back, the past papers dating back to early 90's were difficult - probably more so than the ones I was sitting. I worked extremely hard for my a-levels. I got straight A's and 100% in many modules. However, in a way, this was 'the norm' and in a strange way, I didn't feel such a high sense of achievement. A's should be reserved for those in top 5% or whatever.

    Similarly, without ****ging off certain subjects (infact, I won't name them). I find it hard to believe that some people could completely fail more traditional subjects, yet achieve an A in a more 'modern' subject.
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    (Original post by marabara)
    because the harder stuff has been removed from the syllabus

    the syllabus may be a bit broader now, covering things from physics and computational statistcs, but it doesn't go much further than the basics on anything now

    note also that the questions from 20 years ago were very short compared to the spoon-feeding questions spread out over 2 pages that you get on some papers now
    Yes I will admit that things don't seem to go that much in depth anymore. Though I can't make a comparison I have never seen a 1970's A level paper. On my degree at least I admit we have used every bit of technology, in fact they teach just us about everything under the sun, but none of it is in depth. OK thats a bit off topic sorry.

    When I did AVCE ICT that went to depth in some areas but other areas it just touched on it was odd. Again thats off topic. I shall shut up

    Basicaly I want to agree with you but I don't have any personaly evidence back that up, however I am sure you're right.
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    (Original post by marabara)
    Some A-levels are indeed easier than 25 years ago, maths being the prime example.

    For others, the syllabus has just changed, and the focus is more on understanding than learning parrot-fashion.

    Otherwise, your comments are rubbish and unnecessarily derogatory.
    which is why people take Further Maths, Applied Maths and STEP exams if they so wish... stop whining and sobbing. If you want to push yourself you can do it regardless of the ease of A-levels. Take more of them and do harder ones... how about that? I'd like to see anyone 25 years age try and take 5 A-levels, let alone 7. 3 was the MAX.
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    (Original post by calumc)
    But not as effective as when it's 100%. A single paper covering the entire course will give a pretty accurate picture of how much of it you know, far more so than six smaller papers covering smaller aspects followed by a lesser-weighted paper covering everything.

    Arguably those who do Advanced Higher probably are more intelligent on average than those who do A-level, as far fewer people actually sit Advanced Higher. Higher grades (1 year) are the 'standard' qualification for university entry here, which is why our degrees are a year longer. People only generally do Advanced higher if they're particularly good at a subject and/or plan to go to an English university.
    No, because they still have to test the range of abilities possible. So surely these final papers you have are going to include easier questions and harder questions?

    The only way you're going to be able to argue that one is to get the statistics for the percentage of the population studying A2 in England, and the percentage of the scottish population studying AH. I imagine they would be more similar than you say, because most people in England don't do alevels, and very few low ability candidates progress to the A2.
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    (Original post by calumc)
    Obviously some are easier than others, but there are no 'easy' questions, which are all covered in the unit assesments. You can easily pass the units but fail the final exam, as the questions in it are far harder - you could not pass on unit-test level only ability.

    Then what's the point in having the unit tests?
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    (Original post by Yannis)
    which is why people take Further Maths, Applied Maths and STEP exams if they so wish... stop whining and sobbing. If you want to push yourself you can do it regardless of the ease of A-levels. Take more of them and do harder ones... how about that? I'd like to see anyone 25 years age try and take 5 A-levels, let alone 7. 3 was the MAX.
    not really sure what your inflamatory comments are getting at there...

    people will need the support of their school to take more than 3 or 4 A-levels, which does not always happen as many state schools do not have the resources

    the reason people may not have done 7 A-levels 20 years ago is probably because there was too much to revise for back then, and perhaps because there weren't many more A-levels to take than that!

    you prove my point that some subjects cover more material over more papers, but only going into the basics so it is easy to understand and revise for
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    So what do people make of the proposal to get rid of A-Levels and replace with an IB style diploma?
 
 
 
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