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Are BTECs worth the same as A Levels (POLL) Watch

  • View Poll Results: Do you think BTECs are worth the same as A Levels
    Yes
    23
    11.39%
    No (Slightly less worth)
    24
    11.88%
    No (More than slightly less worth)
    36
    17.82%
    No (Completely different worth)
    119
    58.91%

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    Asking about their relative "worth" with no context is pointless. They're different things. One's vocational, one's academic. Sometimes they can be pretty fairly compared - A level physics/chemistry/biology/maths is going to prepare you better for a scientific degree than BTEC science almost certainly. On the other hand BTEC performing arts is going to prepare you better for a career in performance than drama/music/english A levels that focus on the theory. Then a lot of the time they're just not comparable. There aren't BTECs in traditional humanities (as far as I know) and they'd likely be fairly pointless - they're academic disciplines. Similarly there aren't A levels in a variety of vocational subjects that I know nothing about, like catering, which you only study because you want to "do" it.

    As far as equivalence to A levels for UCAS points offers goes well it's up to the university. I can't see why you'd want to go to university after a BTEC, but maybe my view of universities as a place for academic learning is outdated. Anyway, it's up to the universities to set their admissions policies and if they're happy taking people with BTECs then in their experience they must be right for the course.
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    (Original post by alexh42)
    Kings College is ranked 8th for business and Nottingham is ranked 13th.
    Fair point, although UCL, imperial and Oxbridge are out of reach.

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    (Original post by Rob da Mop)
    Asking about their relative "worth" with no context is pointless. They're different things. One's vocational, one's academic. Sometimes they can be pretty fairly compared - A level physics/chemistry/biology/maths is going to prepare you better for a scientific degree than BTEC science almost certainly. On the other hand BTEC performing arts is going to prepare you better for a career in performance than drama/music/english A levels that focus on the theory. Then a lot of the time they're just not comparable. There aren't BTECs in traditional humanities (as far as I know) and they'd likely be fairly pointless - they're academic disciplines. Similarly there aren't A levels in a variety of vocational subjects that I know nothing about, like catering, which you only study because you want to "do" it.

    As far as equivalence to A levels for UCAS points offers goes well it's up to the university. I can't see why you'd want to go to university after a BTEC, but maybe my view of universities as a place for academic learning is outdated. Anyway, it's up to the universities to set their admissions policies and if they're happy taking people with BTECs then in their experience they must be right for the course.
    I agree, although BTEC Applied science is not as easy as it is made out to be (but easier than A levels I admit, as I'm doing both), I have to do a 500 word essay on anaerobic and aerobic respiration (Krebs cycle ect...), another essay on cellular differentiation, and quite a few others( easier than it sounds but still quite challenging) and I've learnt how to use a centrifuge, perform electrolysis, paper chromatography and the likes.

    Although it doesn't teach all of the A level chemistry syllabus, my friend who is doing biology thinks that it does include most (he did say there was some gaps but not massive) of A level biology, all in all, BTEC applied science is quite an academic course really (much more theory than I'd have expected).

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    (Original post by chappers-94)
    I agree, although BTEC Applied science is not as easy as it is made out to be (but easier than A levels I admit, as I'm doing both), I have to do a 500 word essay on anaerobic and aerobic respiration (Krebs cycle ect...), another essay on cellular differentiation, and quite a few others( easier than it sounds but still quite challenging) and I've learnt how to use a centrifuge, perform electrolysis, paper chromatography and the likes.

    Although it doesn't teach all of the A level chemistry syllabus, my friend who is doing biology thinks that it does include most (he did say there was some gaps but not massive) of A level biology, all in all, BTEC applied science is quite an academic course really (much more theory than I'd have expected).

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    That is quite challenging for college level I suppose, but I think as long as A level students understand what they're being taught they should be able to do that too. My problem now is, if it's an academic course then what's the point of it existing when there are A levels?
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    (Original post by Rob da Mop)
    That is quite challenging for college level I suppose, but I think as long as A level students understand what they're being taught they should be able to do that too. My problem now is, if it's an academic course then what's the point of it existing when there are A levels?
    Applied Science covers some areas that you wouldn't touch in A-levels. These would be more vocationally oriented units such as forensics, industrial chemistry, medical physics, etc...
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    (Original post by Rob da Mop)
    That is quite challenging for college level I suppose, but I think as long as A level students understand what they're being taught they should be able to do that too. My problem now is, if it's an academic course then what's the point of it existing when there are A levels?
    Some people are better at coursework than tests, I'd say anyone doing BTEC applied science who gets distinctions would be able to understand the vast majority of A level biology and most of A level chemistry. They wouldn't know much A-level physics though.
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    (Original post by StephenNaulls)
    I did Level 3 Business Studies and got a Distinction in year 11. I wouldn't have been able to do that with the actual A-Level Business qualification. And don't call people 'A-Level snobs' for pointing out the fact that you actually have to work hard and learn the information for exams in A-Level, not just re-write a textbook/website.
    You can rewrite a textbook for any coursework, that isn't exclusive to a BTEC. If you do then you're only cheating yourself anyway - I don't do that. I'd have wasted the last 3 years of my life if I had.

    I work hard - just because I'm not sitting a traditional qualification, doesn't make me lazy. Like I said, I'm crap with exams because I have a learning disability so a BTEC suits me better as it's more modular in approach.


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    There are so many idiots on this forum. Neg you for stating the truth. Stupid, stupid people.
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    (Original post by TaylorGang_4)
    There are so many idiots on this forum. Neg you for stating the truth. Stupid, stupid people.
    I agree, BTECS are a lot harder than I thought they would be.

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    2 and a half days worth of work each week got me my triple D, it wasnt hard but i know a hell of alot more about computing than my friends who did A levels
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    I got 3 Distinctions in my BTEC course. Most of it was coursework based, but in my opinion, that is how it should be.
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    Universities require mostly coursework so it prepares you for that. Also it increases your employability due to the weekly deadlines etc. To be honest, bot A-Levels and BTECS are unique in their own way.
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    I would like to see all these people who are saying BTECs are easy, to actually do a BTEC, you are basing it on **** all. BTECs are just as hard as A Levels.
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    (Original post by Kage)
    I got 3 Distinctions in my BTEC course. Most of it was coursework based, but in my opinion, that is how it should be.
    Well, BTECs are all coursework so if you did exams then something's wrong

    (Original post by clareramos)
    I would like to see all these people who are saying BTECs are easy, to actually do a BTEC, you are basing it on **** all. BTECs are just as hard as A Levels.
    Exactly. These "A-levels are harder than your crappy BTEC i'm going to Oxbridge and you aren't" people are snobs. No questions about it.

    Guess what - I don't WANT to go to Oxbridge. I'm not clever enough (regardless of what qualification I'm sitting) and they don't do the degree I want. They do Comp. Sci which is great, but I don't want to do Comp. Sci!

    Doing a BTEC doesn't make you stupid, just as doing an A-level doesn't make you clever. Both are challenging - in their own ways. Academic subjects are better studied under A-level, practical subjects are better under BTEC. Why do you think there are no English BTEC courses?

    I'm guessing this will not likely happen, but if you sit A-levels and get an opportunity to study an unrelated BTEC at the same level (level 3) - do it. You'd be surprised how in depth and difficult they are.
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    (Original post by sabian92)
    You can rewrite a textbook for any coursework, that isn't exclusive to a BTEC. If you do then you're only cheating yourself anyway - I don't do that. I'd have wasted the last 3 years of my life if I had.

    I work hard - just because I'm not sitting a traditional qualification, doesn't make me lazy. Like I said, I'm crap with exams because I have a learning disability so a BTEC suits me better as it's more modular in approach.


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    Regardless of that, A-Levels are harder than BTECS. I don't understand how you can call people snobs for pointing out that truth.
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    (Original post by StephenNaulls)
    Regardless of that, A-Levels are harder than BTECS. I don't understand how you can call people snobs for pointing out that truth.
    Well, it's subjective for a start. If you have an academic brain you'd find A-levels easier and BTECs harder. Likewise, if you have a practical brain, an A-level might be nigh on impossible but you might get DDD or higher with a BTEC.

    Why are A-levels harder than a BTEC in your mind? What makes them worth "less" and therefore less respected than a wad of A-levels?

    It's snobbery to say "Oh, you're a BTEC student, you aren't as intelligent as me because I do 4 A-levels and I have to sit exams, you just submit coursework you probably plagiarised", which is basically implied in EVERY post saying how BTECs are crap.
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    (Original post by sabian92)
    Well, it's subjective for a start. If you have an academic brain you'd find A-levels easier and BTECs harder. Likewise, if you have a practical brain, an A-level might be nigh on impossible but you might get DDD or higher with a BTEC.

    Why are A-levels harder than a BTEC in your mind? What makes them worth "less" and therefore less respected than a wad of A-levels?

    It's snobbery to say "Oh, you're a BTEC student, you aren't as intelligent as me because I do 4 A-levels and I have to sit exams, you just submit coursework you probably plagiarised", which is basically implied in EVERY post saying how BTECs are crap.
    No, not in my posts anyway. I haven't implied once that I'm better than you for doing A-Levels, I just feel that the A-Level course is more rigorous.

    The fact that the workload is spread evenly throughout the year in a BTEC makes the workload a lot more manageable, whereas the preparation that an exam requires, in my opinion, makes an A-Level's workload distribution a lot more rigorous towards the end of the year. This is what i feel makes A-levels "harder" than BTECS- at the top universities your exams are focussed at the end of the year in exactly the same fashion that A-Levels are, and i don't think that it's like that as a coincidence.

    A-Levels offer a more accurate depiction of the way a university will assess you: some coursework in the year, followed by a set of difficult exams at the end on the year, which is why I think they're better.
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    (Original post by Enavor)
    Hi there,

    An answer to you're question regarding are BTEC's worth the same as A HNC <snip>
    L.
    1. BTEC is an awarding body , it's a Brand of Edexcel

    2. Btec accredits awards from foundation to postgraduate levels

    3. HNC is not a 'scottish qualification' it's a BTEC accredited level 4 qualification
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    Well
    If you want to do science: A level in Biology, Chemistry and Physics>BTEC Applied Science
    If you want to do drama: Auditions/having some talent>BTEC Drama> A Level Drama
    If you want to do nursing: BTEC in health and social care> A levels
    If you want to do engineering: BTEC in engineering plus A level Maths= A levels in Maths, F Maths and physics
    If you want to business: A level Economics> A Level Business > BTEC Business
    If you want to do computing: A Level Computing/Maths> BTEC in IT

    Some people really benefit from BTECs like potential nurses, others BTECs in subjects like business are just for them to bum around.
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    (Original post by StephenNaulls)
    No, not in my posts anyway. I haven't implied once that I'm better than you for doing A-Levels, I just feel that the A-Level course is more rigorous.

    The fact that the workload is spread evenly throughout the year in a BTEC makes the workload a lot more manageable, whereas the preparation that an exam requires, in my opinion, makes an A-Level's workload distribution a lot more rigorous towards the end of the year. This is what i feel makes A-levels "harder" than BTECS- at the top universities your exams are focussed at the end of the year in exactly the same fashion that A-Levels are, and i don't think that it's like that as a coincidence.

    A-Levels offer a more accurate depiction of the way a university will assess you: some coursework in the year, followed by a set of difficult exams at the end on the year, which is why I think they're better.
    No I know, the majority of other posters have been like that though.

    The workload isn't necessarily even throughout the year. Units are not of equal difficulty so an easy unit done at the start of the first year (as is often done) will be less taxing than one done at the end of the 2nd year. The exam thing is understandable but still that doesn't mean BTECs don't have a big workload. I'd be willing to wager that BTECs have a higher workload as it's entirely coursework and as a result much more report based. I do 18 units over 2 years with 3/4 assignments per unit with maybe 4-6 pieces of work per assignment for distinction level. I don't believe A-levels have that level of writing.
 
 
 
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