A* is the new A Watch

Asexual Demigod
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With grade inflation vastly devaluing the worth of grades, do you think A* is the new A, A is the new B, etc.?
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HillsRoadSFcx
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Pointless thread is pointless.
Percentage of candidates attaining a* was lower than previous years last year.


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solarplexus
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not really, A* in sciences - no way...
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indigobluesss
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Not really
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by Asexual Demigod)
With grade inflation vastly devaluing the worth of grades, do you think A* is the new A, A is the new B, etc.?
Technically speaking, the number of A*s awarded now is similar to the number of As awarded in the 60s and 70s which could, I suppose, support that argument. That doesn't, however, necessarily mean that the A* is "the new A". Grade inflation does not necessarily mean that exams are getting easier - there are a host of other facts that could be leading to these better performances.


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hemalgangani
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no.
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Asexual Demigod
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Technically speaking, the number of A*s awarded now is similar to the number of As awarded in the 60s and 70s.
Precisely.
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gr8wizard10
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A* is the new C tbh.

Grades don't even matter no more. If you get an A* you're an average candidate. When it comes to the job market it's all about extra-curriculars. Well.. for the field I'm aspiring to go into. Everyone pretty much has flawless grades, what else can set you apart.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by Asexual Demigod)
Precisely.
Well not "precisely" because that's not the end of the story. Just because as many people are getting A*s now as were getting As 50 years ago, doesn't mean that they represent the same level of achievement. It could indicate that a new method of differentiation might be needed.
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Project Tsukyomi
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No not at all. Why??? Not many people get A*'s in a-levels whereas a lot of people get A but even if you still get an A I think its still an A as uni's still like it. However B is like the new C uni's will definatly choose someones with A that some with B's as they might think "well B's are close C's and that isn't all that great" I'm not going to say it true but that's what I think.
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Asexual Demigod
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Well not "precisely" because that's not the end of the story. Just because as many people are getting A*s now as were getting As 50 years ago, doesn't mean that they represent the same level of achievement. It could indicate that a new method of differentiation might be needed.
It could simply mean that those getting A*s now are comparable to those who attained As back then. In other words, getting an A is no long as impressive or differentiating as it used to be hence the introduction of the A* grade.

I see where you're going - teaching is better and resources are more readily available nowadays which is reasonable, but surely it isn't the whole story?

A** perhaps?
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President Putin
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Yes. I agree.

Everyone who gets A*s now thinks that they're intellectual. That is not the case at all.

Grade inflation is a false ego booster and something that only harms those who are not as academic - yet they think they are...
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EllieC130
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In which case, wow I'm dumb.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by Asexual Demigod)
It could simply mean that those getting A*s now are comparable to those who attained As back then. In other words, getting an A is no long as impressive or differentiating as it used to be hence the introduction of the A* grade.

I see where you're going - teaching is better and resources are more readily available nowadays which is reasonable, but surely it isn't the whole story?
Regardless, I think exams need to get more rigorous. I can't talk for the humanities but definitely for the sciences and maths, I would fully support more difficult examinations. In physics for exams, you can currently get away pretty much with sub-GCSE standard mathematics which is an absolute joke given that maths is at the very heart of physics. Personally, I'd be in favour of papers that are more similar in style to Olympiad papers which test understanding rather than regurgitation of the specification. That would obviously be very unpopular since lots of people wouldn't be able to cope, but my argument would be that those people shouldn't be sitting those exams in the first place. So to conclude, I don't necessarily think grade inflation is the result of easier exams, but I definitely do think that more difficult exams are needed. This isn't going to be achieved by raising grade boundaries, it will only be achieved firstly by more challenging examination styles (which test understanding and ability rather than memory and exam technique) but also by stopping this absurd concept in the UK that everyone should be sitting academic qualifications. Academia is not for everyone, so we need to stop this ridiculous idea that if you've not taken academic qualifications, you must be a failure.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Well not "precisely" because that's not the end of the story. Just because as many people are getting A*s now as were getting As 50 years ago, doesn't mean that they represent the same level of achievement. It could indicate that a new method of differentiation might be needed.
as many - only if you look at is as proportions of people entered into the exams, in the previous eras a far smaller proportion of all 16-18 year olds were studying A levels.

being in the top 10% of the top 10% is different to being the top 10% of the top 50%, even if the exam are equally 'hard'
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by Joinedup)
as many - only if you look at is as proportions of people entered into the exams, in the previous eras a far smaller proportion of all 16-18 year olds were studying A levels.

being in the top 10% of the top 10% is different to being the top 10% of the top 50%, even if the exam are equally 'hard'
That's actually a very fair point.
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Asexual Demigod
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Academia is not for everyone, so we need to stop this ridiculous idea that if you've not taken academic qualifications, you must be a failure.
I agree wholeheartedly. Interesting perspective. Thanks for taking the time to articulate it.
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imapedo
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(Original post by Anonynous)
A* is the new C tbh.

Grades don't even matter no more. If you get an A* you're an average candidate. When it comes to the job market it's all about extra-curriculars. Well.. for the field I'm aspiring to go into. Everyone pretty much has flawless grades, what else can set you apart.
What a load of rubbish. Everyone has flawless grades? It's ALL about extra-curriculars? I bet you're only saying that cos you messed up in YOUR A-Levels, probably got 3 D's and got into a rubbish 'university' like London Met or Bolton. You're only saying this bull probably cos you're jealous of your peers who did better than you, got A*s and got into top RG universities. Loser.
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Scott.M
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ITT: people who went to top schools who believe As and A*s across the board at A-levels is the norm.
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Asexual Demigod
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(Original post by Anonynous)
A* is the new C tbh.

Grades don't even matter no more. If you get an A* you're an average candidate. When it comes to the job market it's all about extra-curriculars. Well.. for the field I'm aspiring to go into. Everyone pretty much has flawless grades, what else can set you apart.
So getting a C is a fail? Interesting.
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