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A-level pass rate rises to 98.1% - fit for purpose? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Are A-levels fit for purpose?
    Yes
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    As the A-level pass rate has increased yet again to 98.1%, are A-levels still fit for purpose?

    Some statistics from the 2013 results;

    So far, some 385,910 applicants have had their places confirmed - up 9% from 2012.

    345,300 applicants have been accepted to their first choice of university.

    A further 98,740 applicants are awaiting results or decisions, while 145,730 are eligible for clearing

    In total, 26.3% of entries scored an A or A* this year - down slightly from 26.6% in 2012.

    7.6% of entries were graded A*, compared with 7.9 per cent last year.

    98.1% of entries have been graded A*-E, up 0.1% from 2012.

    Do you think A-levels are fit for purpose?
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    What percentage are graded A*-C ?
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    (Original post by llys)
    What percentage are graded A*-C ?
    77.2% get A*- C.
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    I just realised that it's actually probably irrelevant, because I guess the percentage of university places you can get onto with certain grades will correlate in some way with the percentage of pupils who get those grades. If the grading changed, it would still correlate because universities would adjust their entry requirements. Though of course it may make the system look more or less "rigorous" if one were to adjust the grading.

    A more relevant question would probably be: do you feel that A-Level content and 6th form study prepared you adequately for university? Which is a bit of an unfair question (unfair to A-Levels) because the teaching style is so different at university, so students who struggle at university may well struggle with the sudden requirement for independence / lack of spoon-feeding rather than subject content per se. And you can't make A-Levels about independent study to the same extent, because then pupils would fail them in their droves. You need a compromise at that level.

    The EPQ was a good step to introduce independent study at A-Level, which is why many universities seem to like it (and I bet many pupils who start it fail to complete it).
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    D isn't really a pass, is it?
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    Students work harder. That's all.
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    How is each grade classification calculated? If you wanted to decrease the pass rate you very easily could.
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    Of course A levels aren't suited to purpose. But that's only because our entire educational system is geared towards getting people into university, and the fact that a degree is seen as a way of social and financial advancement. Therefore, we have record numbers of students going to university.

    Put it into perspective:

    80% of British people go to university
    55% of American people go to university

    However, America spends WAY more on higher education than the UK (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11438140)

    So, what we've got is record numbers of people with A level passes, record numbers of people going to under funded university (including law/medicine), and not enough graduate jobs. Even the lower-skilled jobs have been taken by the students who've been failed, so unemployment rises.

    In the meantime, British academia is suffering as countries like America/South Korea/Japan spend more money on higher education, yet provide more opportunities for those who aren't suited to academia.


    EDIT: I've digressed. A levels are also unsuitable nowadays because it's all a profit game. If an exam board has more passes, they quite simply get more money from the increase in schools choosing that board so they can climb up the league tables. So, exam chiefs and teachers are pressured to cheat (at both GCSE and A level).

    To put it simply, when Gove points a gun at teachers and says "dance", what are they going to do?
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    (Original post by ArtisticFlair)
    Of course A levels aren't suited to purpose. But that's only because our entire educational system is geared towards getting people into university, and the fact that a degree is seen as a way of social and financial advancement. Therefore, we have record numbers of students going to university.

    Put it into perspective:

    80% of British people go to university
    55% of American people go to university

    However, America spends WAY more on higher education than the UK (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11438140)

    So, what we've got is record numbers of people with A level passes, record numbers of people going to under funded university (including law/medicine), and not enough graduate jobs. Even the lower-skilled jobs have been taken by the students who've been failed, so unemployment rises.

    In the meantime, British academia is suffering as countries like America/South Korea/Japan spend more money on higher education, yet provide more opportunities for those who aren't suited to academia.


    EDIT: I've digressed. A levels are also unsuitable nowadays because it's all a profit game. If an exam board has more passes, they quite simply get more money from the increase in schools choosing that board so they can climb up the league tables. So, exam chiefs and teachers are pressured to cheat (at both GCSE and A level).

    To put it simply, when Gove points a gun at teachers and says "dance", what are they going to do?
    I don;t believe those figures are true, I heard it was 45% that went on to uni.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    As the A-level pass rate has increased yet again to 98.1%, are A-levels still fit for purpose?

    so that's an 'are you still beating your wife' style question with a yes/no poll.

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    (Original post by wildrover)
    I don;t believe those figures are true, I heard it was 45% that went on to uni.
    It's closer to 30%, the article they linked to looks at the graduation rate of other countries compared to the UK of which some have near 80% graduation rates.
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    A-levels r not fit for purpose no. Has no one else realised wat has happened hear?

    Since '98, A-level results have been on the incline with more and more ppl going too uni and a higher number of working class ppl going also. What else happened in 1998, not much with the exception of 1 major event...

    In 1998, the Brit gov. in westmister (Labour of course at the time) allowed terrorists into government. Sinn Fein/IRA, a communist terror organisation have been in power in NI since then and have been controlling the westmister gov since. Thankfully they haven't got total power yet, but they are working on it.

    1 way they are trying to gain total power and install a catholic military dictarorship and maybe try a genocide of prods or at least British culture, is by educating their people, the working class. The only way these people can get to good universities is by giving dem loadz of muney and making exams very easy. Sound familiar?

    If westmister refuse, SF/IRA flex their terror muscles (bombs etc again) and then westmister has to do what dey say or else...

    Ppl need to realise what there terrorists are doing. This is why Grove took a u-turn on his education reforms. Cause SF/IRA didn't like the idea of harder exams in England, so dey threatened another 4 decades of terror and bloodshed.

    SF/IRA r makin the exams too easy and this is why r education system is failin.

    Let terrorists in, this is wat happens...
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    Anything below a C isn't quite a pass though, is it?

    And the number of A* and A grades has fallen.
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    (Original post by kidomo)
    Students work harder. That's all.
    So, almost every year for the past thirty (there have only been a handful of years in which reductions have taken place), students have objectively been working harder?
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    (Original post by Alexandra's Box)
    Anything below a C isn't quite a pass though, is it?

    And the number of A* and A grades has fallen.
    It's still rather high though, isn't it? Over a quarter?
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    So, almost every year for the past thirty (there have only been a handful of years in which reductions have taken place), students have objectively been working harder?
    Our country cares more about statistics than educational standards. Apparently, they're too unintelligent to realise that higher statistics at the sake of easier tests != better students.
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    While it may be called a pass, anything below a C isn't really.
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    (Original post by DaveSmith99)
    While it may be called a pass, anything below a C isn't really.
    But even the A*-C rate is very high - about 77%.
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    A quarter of grades are A and A*.

    A quarter of grades are below C.

    So it's safe to say about half of grades are B and C.

    Good universities tend to offer ABB and above.

    This is achieved by a minority of the population.

    Therefore A levels are still fit for purpose.

    (Besides, if A levels really were so woeful in preparing people for uni, the RGs would have kicked up a massive fuss by now, but they seem fine...)
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    Why punish students though? I mean, if they're working harder and want to attain those high grades then that's possible! It isn't fair to make the exams harder or cap the number of students getting those top grades just because students are getting better!

    For example, a student in the top 10% of year X gets an A*. Now, in another year they could've been in the next band and got an A. The grade you would get depends on the year you took the exam in... Making it unfair for the students as its more down to chance than hard work! I'd like to see all these people complaining about exams being too easy to do A-Levels... They are a lot of work!!! You can't pass without putting the work it, it's not possible.


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