What do the A Level changes mean for someone who's done some old units? Watch

Neverdie
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I'm doing A Levels including Physics and Chemistry. I've done the practicals, but what happens if by next year I don't have the full A Levels, does anyone know?

While I can live with redoing exams, since they're not expensive, I've all my money so far into the practicals that I can. I recall currently that they sometimes accept grades from old units, but A Levels are changing completely aren't they? Would it not be possible to carry the results over this time?

If this is unknown, when do we find things like this out?
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Neverdie
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Anyone?
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HollieAMarie
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I'm not completely sure what you're asking. However, if you are in year 12 now, which I can only assume you are if you've started studying A-Levels, then the A-Level reforms will not affect you. You'll continue your courses as you have done this year and essentially do what the year 13's above you did.
I hope this helps, be sure to PM if you're unsure about anything.


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gdunne42
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(Original post by Neverdie)
I'm doing A Levels including Physics and Chemistry. I've done the practicals, but what happens if by next year I don't have the full A Levels, does anyone know?

While I can live with redoing exams, since they're not expensive, I've all my money so far into the practicals that I can. I recall currently that they sometimes accept grades from old units, but A Levels are changing completely aren't they? Would it not be possible to carry the results over this time?

If this is unknown, when do we find things like this out?
Sept 2015 - summer 2016 is the last year of teaching of the existing syllabus.
It will be possible to resit AS UNIT exams in summer 2016, they already appear in the exam schedule.
I have not seen an official announcement but it should be possible to resit A2 units in summer 2017 though possibly not AS unit exams.

You will not be able to carry any results from old units forward towards the new qualifications.

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ozzyoscy
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I've been looking into this too. Here's the deal:

- Unless you manage to get top marks in AS and A2 of your science subjects by summer 2016, you wasted your money, but at least you won't be practically forced to spend extortionate amounts now.

- Practicals are being scrapped for the new A Levels (brilliant news for self-studiers), and instead just replaced with another exam about practical work (brilliant news for no one)

- There will still be practical work in the A Levels, but they won't count toward the A Level (wut?). You'll just get a pass or fail, but no one will care. I suspect it'll be like the PSA marks, where you just go through experiments like an ordinary lesson and, assuming you don't stick anything up your arse, you pass. But, again, it'll affect nothing.

- I don't know if, despite having zero impact on your results, you'll still be expected to do practicals, or if you could carry over your practical results from the old specification into a 'pass' in the new one and get yourself a nice, pointless certificate. I've emailed AQA about this. Even if you have to do it, hopefully prices go down, as they appear to effectively be PSAs and will have no exam, and could all be done in a day or weekend. No more postcode lottery, ideally.
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loperdoper
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There will be an AS resit paper available in 2016, and an A2 resit paper available in 2017. So if you need to resit a paper, you get one more shot at it.
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ozzyoscy
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(Original post by loperdoper)
There will be an AS resit paper available in 2016, and an A2 resit paper available in 2017. So if you need to resit a paper, you get one more shot at it.
Alas, no. Look up official timelines from several sources and you'll see that AS and A Levels end in the same year, the summer after the new ones are introduced. Final Physics, Biology and Chemistry exams of AS and A2 will be in summer 2016, as the new ones begin in 2015, despite these leaving an effective gap for anyone wanting to do A2 in 2016. If you don't get it right first time, you can't resit, all the money is down the drain, start all over again, see you in 2 years.

It's illogical, but remember these aren't exactly calm and considered reforms done for the good of society. Don't expect much logic in them.

EDIT: Looking even more, there may be resits the next year, but these aren't official. It depends what Ofqual say in their spring report. It's spring now. Evidently no report here yet. What a mess.
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gdunne42
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To be fair to the regulators the labour education spokesperson had said the A level changes would be delayed if they won the election. I imagine news will be forthcoming soon and I'm sure there will be a resit opportunity for A2 in 2017. It would be grossly unfair to 2016 candidates to be denied this opportunity when everyone else taking that specification has had that second chance.

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loperdoper
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(Original post by ozzyoscy)
Alas, no. Look up official timelines from several sources and you'll see that AS and A Levels end in the same year, the summer after the new ones are introduced. Final Physics, Biology and Chemistry exams of AS and A2 will be in summer 2016, as the new ones begin in 2015, despite these leaving an effective gap for anyone wanting to do A2 in 2016. If you don't get it right first time, you can't resit, all the money is down the drain, start all over again, see you in 2 years.

It's illogical, but remember these aren't exactly calm and considered reforms done for the good of society. Don't expect much logic in them.

EDIT: Looking even more, there may be resits the next year, but these aren't official. It depends what Ofqual say in their spring report. It's spring now. Evidently no report here yet. What a mess.
Ah, guess I was mistaken. It'd be strange for them to not have an A2 legacy paper available, but then it's all a big mess of disorganisation tbh.
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Neverdie
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I know a little more than I did before at least. Great that practicals are being scrapped if it reduces price, I might actually do all the sciences rather than fretting about effectively gambling it.
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danni1612
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They always when they change the papers over, well for Chemistry on OCRA anyway, keep two years worth of papers behind on the old specification and so you still get the chance to retake.
For your A2 you will carry on the same specification as you'd expect however for year 11's coming up next year they will sit the new AS and A2 layout.
Hope this helps
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ozzyoscy
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From AQA:

Thank you for your email. It is true that there is no longer any formal practical assessment which counts towards the final A-level grade. The practicals will form part of an endorsement which appears as pass or fail on the certificate separate to the A-level grade. To meet the requirements for the endorsement students have to meet the requirements of various competencies outlined in the specification.

Practical skills are tested throughout the exams papers. If the students failed to complete the 12 specified practicals they would be severely disadvantaged in answering these questions. They would also receive a fail on the certificate for the practical endorsement. We do not yet [know] but university may use the practical endorsement as means of entrance.

You would not be able to use the skills you gained in the old PSAs experiment as means of passing the practical endorsement in the new specification. You have to complete the 12 specified practicals outlined in the specification and meet the various competencies to pass the endorsement.

Please be aware you can take the course under the current system which has 6 units including 2 practical units. You would have to complete this by June 2016.
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Cherry82
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Hey guys, after reading all of this and emailing AQA I have an entirely different response. I was basically told resits that resits would be available in 2017 for both AS and A2. I asked about resitting modules and exams in English (subject reformed this September) during my gap year which would begin in Sep 2016 and end in 2017. I had sent it to the EOS Call, Exams Office Support and the Exams Support Office but received one reply. The response I had received was:

' I am very sorry for the delay in response and hope that this answer finds you well.As to the proposed English reforms, if you wish to resit your A-level exams you would be able to do this up until June 2017.
However this is for re-sit candidates only and the last English AS and A-Level exams are officially in 2016. So to answer your query, you would be able to resit during your gap year in 2017 if you wish but should sit the A-level exams for the first time in 2016. I hope this has answered your question fully. If you have any other queries, please feel free to email us again.Kindest regards'
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