I'm very annoyed about this. Generally I support the sentiment behind Gove's reforms but this is completely absurd.
So the government does analysis which "showed that knowing GCSE results alone allows a university to correctly predict whether a student will receive a 2:1 in 69.5% of cases," and that "AS-levels alone correctly predicted the outcome slightly less frequently in 68.4% of cases." seems legit. Not. I don't buy this for a second. It obviously doesn't factor in the tier of university attended, and they must have used some arbitrary discrete categories to fiddle with the data.
AS levels are the ONE indicator, the most up-to-date reliable evidence that you can give to a university to prove your competence in the subject you apply. I think I had something like 6A*s at GCSE, which isn't entirely out of the ordinary for people applying for Russell group universities, so how on earth would I have been able to reliably show my ability without displaying my AS grades? It feels like they went back and punched my 16-year-old self in the teeth. Also:
He argues that GCSE and AS grades both "record essentially the same information about the student: their general academic intelligence and willingness to work hard."
What a load of tosh. Wasn't it the government who was banging on about how easy GCSEs are? That's the problem. At my sixth form most students essentially found GCSEs easy and barely had to work for them, because they simply do not challenge people at the upper end. How is it an accurate test of ability if people don't work for it and get roughly similar results?
"The government has argued that A-levels and AS-levels in their current form do not help students develop a deeper understanding of their subjects."
This is again nonsense. The point is not whether you can arbitrarily remember the content, but whether you gained the skills to immediately pick it back up, and to further the point, has the government forgotten that pretty much every university in the country has exams on a yearly basis or less, so it makes no difference to them?
AS levels are the one thing that allow bright students from abysmal secondary schools to up their game and enter a good university, as soon as we go back to 'predicted grades' there will be no such thing as certainty, and these types of students will inevitably be shafted in favour of private school students who generally get more support with their personal statement and extra-curriculars. The only way for top universities like Cambridge to re-leverage the playing field would be to introduce their own entrance tests (Cambridge already has quite a few of course . . .) which will essentially amount to the same thing as AS levels.
Well, those are my thoughts anyway. I'm aware there was some mild opinion-polling on this forum about this a while ago, but I don't recall scrapping AS exams to be the conclusion reached. This is simply wrong. Simply wrong. On a logical basis having AS exams is immediately a vastly more favourable option if you want better admissions chances for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. I simply don't think the government should be allowed to go through with this under any circumstances.
Minister rejects concerns over AS-level changes. Watch
- Thread Starter
- 15-05-2013 02:14
- 15-05-2013 09:44
The secret is this. If you predict that ALL students will get a first or 2:1, then as 64% of students do get a 1st or 2:1 you will be right 64% of the time.
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