Turn on thread page Beta
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Bhaal85)
    So what are you planning on doing at uni?
    Mechanical Engineering. Yourself? Maths?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fluffy)
    Not sure about pre-1994, but I took A-level biology in 1994 and again in 1995 (oops!). Moreover, I have tutored A-Level biology for several years (1998; 1999; 2000; 2001 and 2002). I have to say I firmly believe you have it a lot easier. The syllabuses have been pruned significantly, and with the modular system you can concentrate on one topic at a time. You also have the benefit of information at your finger tips via the internet.
    In that case i think that the levels of difficulty are completely subjective. I am not one of those people who scours the internet to help me with my biology so the internet provides me with no significant advantage. I think perhaps what you are implying is that the method with which we are taught makes it easier for us to pass the papers. This does not mean that the content of the papers is any easier. Bearing in mind as well that we now have to learn a lot more in biology due to the progression of science since the early nineties it would hardly be justifiable to say that our papers have been dumbed down. What I will agree to though is that the papers have been tailored to suit the styles of teaching today i.e. learning the biology in small chunks and then being examined on these small chunks. However, just to reiterate: this does not mean that the contents of the paper have been dumbed down.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by adrian)
    In that case i think that the levels of difficulty are completely subjective. I am not one of those people who scours the internet to help me with my biology so the internet provides me with no significant advantage. I think perhaps what you are implying is that the method with which we are taught makes it easier for us to pass the papers. This does not mean that the content of the papers is any easier. Bearing in mind as well that we now have to learn a lot more in biology due to the progression of science since the early nineties it would hardly be justifiable to say that our papers have been dumbed down. What I will agree to though is that the papers have been tailored to suit the styles of teaching today i.e. learning the biology in small chunks and then being examined on these small chunks. However, just to reiterate: this does not mean that the contents of the paper have been dumbed down.
    I din't say the depth of knowledge required was any less today - just that you don't have to cover as many areas as before.

    I feel I can make the comments I made based on the fact that I find biology reletively easy. Therefore I am not coming to this arguement as someone form whom biology is their weakest subject, meaning I can be more objective.

    I note from other posts you have made that you do not come from the same place as I in terms of subject bias, and it seems that you find Biology somewhat more difficult than your other options. The easiest way to justify this? To claim it's harder than it's ever been.

    I'm afriad that this is just not true.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by adrian)
    However, just to reiterate: this does not mean that the contents of the paper have been dumbed down.
    Indeed, the genetics module now contains far more details than it has ever had in the whole of past A level syllabuses.

    That is not to say of course that some parts of the specification has slipped down a bit. eg bits of the O level (GCSE) course are now in the A level spec.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fluffy)
    I din't say the depth of knowledge required was any less today - just that you don't have to cover as many areas as before.

    I feel I can make the comments I made based on the fact that I find biology reletively easy. Therefore I am not coming to this arguement as someone form whom biology is their weakest subject, meaning I can be more objective.

    I note from other posts you have made that you do not come from the same place as I in terms of subject bias, and it seems that you find Biology somewhat more difficult than your other options. The easiest way to justify this? To claim it's harder than it's ever been.

    I'm afriad that this is just not true.
    Ok before we start jumping to conclusions let's get some facts straight. On the one post I made about finding biology paper's difficult, I clearly stated that I did not find the subject difficult it but it was simply the way in which we are required to answer the questions that does my head in. How does that equate to having a weakness in biology. If you really want to know my history with the subject then, I should tell you that I got the highest UMS marks in my year, and I am talking about a year in which all the student's got high As. So let' not start assuming load of Bull eh? I do not see how any of your opinions can be objective because let's face it, when you started tutoring biology, you would have done so with a new level of maturity therefore you would have found the papers comparatively easy. So unless you can completely erase any previous memory of what knowledge you have of biology papers and sit the current A-levels, your opinions remain blindingly biased. Oh and another point that I would advise you to take note of is that you cannot impose your opinion on me. Because it is, afterall, just that: an opinion. Therefore if you feel you have to disagree fine by me. But justifying your opinion by claiming that I have a weakness in biology from simply reading one post is ridiculous. As it still stands. I still believe that biology papers of pre 1994 are easier than papers of today. Thatr is my opinion
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    My brother was in the position of having done A levels pre-2000 and then more A levels afterwards. He passed all with A grades but did come to conclusion that the new system is easier.

    The facts are that pre-2000 A levels were 'A2' standard for the whole duration of the course. Now we spend the first half studying sub-standard AS levels which count for 50% of the course. You can get an A at AS and so an E at A-level without ever having sat an A-level standard exam. This is why so many people are now getting high grades and why, surely. A levels are now easier.

    My teachers agree with me. Though they do say the level at A2 is slightly above that of pre-2000 and the volume of stuff we are expected to learn in depth is greater than before. The amount of information available to us is also greater, what with the internet, exam bodies making past exams and mark schemes available and better text books. Previously we had to rely solely on our teachers.

    No, I am not a bitter 45 year old, I am taking my A2s now, predicted 3 A grades and have unconditional offers at Leeds, Manchester and Oxford.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by adrian)
    I still believe that biology papers of pre 1994 are easier than papers of today. Thatr is my opinion
    I also believe that this has got alot to do with the way different boards/papers are structured. Some like 25 marks essay questions others (mostly nowdays) like to separate the questions into less chunky aprts. It all depends which types you prefer.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Bhaal85)
    Speaking of which, where is Mr 'fifty year old' complaining about A-levels getting easier?
    Back on The Guardian's Higher Education 'talkboard', I should imagine!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I don' think these type of discussions really help anybody though to be honest. All they seem to is boost the ego of Mr 50 year old "in my day nobody had O levels and if you have an A level you were a genius"
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fully)
    -unconditional offers at Leeds, Manchester and Oxford.
    Not meaning to be pedantic, but don't you mean conditional offers, seeing as you are predicted 3A's and have not already got them? Hmm.......

    Anyway, as I said, I think that the level's of difficulty are completely subjective. I also do think that, yes AS levels are ridiculously easy, but that this is not the case for A2's. As for the high number of students getting A's nowadays, maybe that is due to the fact that the methods of teaching are better in that we are just taught how to pass an exam. If you think about it biology is not a subject which requires you to expand your thinking. All you have to do is learn the stuff which anybody with enough brain cells can do. It therefore stands to reason when I say that perhaps, it's the style of the questions that have changed and not their level of difficulty.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by amazingtrade)
    I don' think these type of discussions really help anybody though to be honest. All they seem to is boost the ego of Mr 50 year old "in my day nobody had O levels and if you have an A level you were a genius"

    Couldn't agree more.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by adrian)
    Ok before we start jumping to conclusions let's get some facts straight. On the one post I made about finding biology paper's difficult, I clearly stated that I did not find the subject difficult it but it was simply the way in which we are required to answer the questions that does my head in. How does that equate to having a weakness in biology. If you really want to know my history with the subject then, I should tell you that I got the highest UMS marks in my year, and I am talking about a year in which all the student's got high As. So let' not start assuming load of Bull eh? I do not see how any of your opinions can be objective because let's face it, when you started tutoring biology, you would have done so with a new level of maturity therefore you would have found the papers comparatively easy. So unless you can completely erase any previous memory of what knowledge you have of biology papers and sit the current A-levels, your opinions remain blindingly biased. Oh and another point that I would advise you to take note of is that you cannot impose your opinion on me. Because it is, afterall, just that: an opinion. Therefore if you feel you have to disagree fine by me. But justifying your opinion by claiming that I have a weakness in biology from simply reading one post is ridiculous. As it still stands. I still believe that biology papers of pre 1994 are easier than papers of today. Thatr is my opinion
    And my opininon is that they are not. This comes from someone with experience of syllabuses then and now. You pay and I would sit the A-level today with pleasure - and without revision!

    I disagreed with your post and I substaniated my opinion with fact both in terms of the changed syllabuses and with anecdotal evidence of my own experiences.

    In the years I mention I have helped 12 people gain A-levels in biology - of those I have a record of 11 A's or A*s and 1 B (well with a little help of the people thjat actually sat them!). I think I understand enough to be able to make comment.

    (Original post by Adrian)
    Ok so is it me or is anyone else finding that the whole ' biology is the easiest science' thing a myth? Fair enough AS was a complete breeze but A2? What the hell is going on? I can't seem to be getting the grades that I am used to I am always a few goddam marks off an A and that is not on, especially for biology. Last year I hardly dropped any marks. Thank god I only need C's to secure an A or I'll be doomed. Compared to biology, chemistry is a walk in the park. I HATE Bio and can't wait to give it up (even though I am going to uni to study medicine).
    Anyone find the same thing or am I just being relatively thick at the most important stage of my life so far?
    (Original post by adrian)
    It's not the 'learning the facts' bit that I have a problem with. That part's easy enough. It's the way the stupid questions require you to answer. Most of the time I know what I am talking about but if none of my answers contain any of the specific words on the marking scheme, then I lose marks. I would prefer if the questions were multiple choice, like SAT's (American style). That way you'll really have to learn your stuff instead of wasting time in the exam room thinking about ways to be concise. I hope you're right about medschool exams being different.
    (Original post by adrian)
    I should tell you that I got the highest UMS marks in my year, and I am talking about a year in which all the student's got high As.
    (Original post by adrian)
    Yeah just found out my spring term predictions and let's just say they made me jump off my high horse pretty quickly. During christmas term i was predicted AAA now I'm down to A, A/B and B/A. Guess being complacent does nobody any good. But then I don't get it because in all the past papers I've been doing (with min revision) I've been getting A's albeit very low A's. But what does that matter? I'm pretty annoyed and, yes, have begun to feel that 'I'll show them' emotion. It's very difficult not feeling disheartened but at the end of the day I know my capabilities more than anyone else. So I guess I won't really be taking their predictions into account.
    :rolleyes:
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by adrian)
    Not meaning to be pedantic, but don't you mean conditional offers, seeing as you are predicted 3A's and have not already got them? Hmm.......

    Anyway, as I said, I think that the level's of difficulty are completely subjective. I also do think that, yes AS levels are ridiculously easy, but that this is not the case for A2's. As for the high number of students getting A's nowadays, maybe that is due to the fact that the methods of teaching are better in that we are just taught how to pass an exam. If you think about it biology is not a subject which requires you to expand your thinking. All you have to do is learn the stuff which anybody with enough brain cells can do. It therefore stands to reason when I say that perhaps, it's the style of the questions that have changed and not their level of difficulty.
    I'm FLUFFY not FULLY :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    Like you, I'm off to do medicine in Septemeber - unconditional offer!!!!

    And I know that biology requires you to expand your thinking - I have a BSc and a D.Phil in biological science based subjects!
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fluffy)
    Like you, I'm off to do medicine in Septemeber - unconditional offer!!!!
    Though a just tiny bit older and hopefully wiser
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I found AS Business Studies quite easy but I enjoyed the subject, however out of the class of 30 most failed it. I got a B and had to self teach one of the modules as the because of that stupid college I ended up having to do a different college which just to take AS Business Studies which was 16 miles away, it was supposed to be done at my normal campus.

    I would find AS Maths impossible, and would find physics hard due to maths, however I reckon I could do Electronics and Georgraphy quite easily as well as IT/Computing. If I did straight A levels I would have done computing, geography, electronics and business studies.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fluffy)
    And my opininon is that they are not. This comes from someone with experience of syllabuses then and now. You pay and I would sit the A-level today with pleasure - and without revision!

    I disagreed with your post and I substaniated my opinion with fact both in terms of the changed syllabuses and with anecdotal evidence of my own experiences.

    In the years I mention I have helped 12 people gain A-levels in biology - of those I have a record of 11 A's or A*s and 1 B (well with a little help of the people thjat actually sat them!). I think I understand enough to be able to make comment.


    :rolleyes:
    Your point of that quote was...... Please re-read it carefully. I did mention that it was the way in which the papers required you to answer that was getting me low predictions and that despite this I was getting As (although low As) with minimum revision. Now doesn't that tell you about my level of biology? As for you helping out with people to pass their A-levels: the relevance of the point please? The whole point of my posts was to tell you, which you seem to keep ignoring, that the style of A-level papers has changed and not the level of difficulty. I know it can seem a little hard to the ego when someone finds that the papers which you did were easier and I am saying this from personal experience because I have sat both types of papers, and although the content on both is the same, it was easier for me to get high marks on the pre-1994 ones and this is because the style of the questions suited me better.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fluffy)
    I'm FLUFFY not FULLY :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    Like you, I'm off to do medicine in Septemeber - unconditional offer!!!!

    And I know that biology requires you to expand your thinking - I have a BSc and a D.Phil in biological science based subjects!
    ARGGGG get over yourself. I was not quoting you! You are not the one who posted that you have an unconditional offer to Oxford and sheffield! There is someone on the forum called fully! Please do some research before you start posting. It saves you a lot of embarrassment.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 2776)
    Though a just tiny bit older and hopefully wiser
    Tiny bit? Try a decade!
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by adrian)
    Your point of that quote was...... Please re-read it carefully. I did mention that it was the way in which the papers required you to answer that was getting me low predictions and that despite this I was getting As (although low As) with minimum revision. Now doesn't that tell you about my level of biology? As for you helping out with people to pass their A-levels: the relevance of the point please? The whole point of my posts was to tell you, which you seem to keep ignoring, that the style of A-level papers has changed and not the level of difficulty. I know it can seem a little hard to the ego when someone finds that the papers which you did were easier and I am saying this from personal experience because I have sat both types of papers, and although the content on both is the same, it was easier for me to get high marks on the pre-1994 ones and this is because the style of the questions suited me better.
    Well as your previous post about me waiting until I had A-level biology before commenting made me slightly suspect that you didn't read any of my threads on this matter! Given I told you when I took my A-level and the years I have tutored A-Level biology I would have thought it obvious that I already have A-level biology under my belt - although the idea of being a biology tutor att he age of 13 is somewhat funny.

    The relevance of the point of 'helping out' with people passign A-levels is that you kind of need to be fully aware of all the syllabuses and their content in order to help imporve someones ability to pass the course! Failing to cover the entire syllabus would not make for a good tutor!

    Also - and this is where you also need to employ the skills you claim I am devios of - I did not say that they exams were easier - if you read my previous comments I say that there is no difference in the depth of knowledge required. It's a fact thought that todays syllabus does not cover as many areas as pre 1998 syllabuses. Simple as! They have been shaved considerably - largely as a result of the introduction of combined science GCSE which failed to provide the requisit knowledge to lead on to the old style A-Level as GCSE biology did. There are published studies on this - if I get back home in time thisafternoon I will see if I can lay my hands ont hem - the pdfs are bound to be on line.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by adrian)
    Tiny bit? Try a decade!
    Your point being? child! :rolleyes:
 
 
 
Poll
Do you think parents should charge rent?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.