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Is A2 meant to be harder than the old A-levels? watch


    There are theories that AS and A2 combined give the same standard as old A-levels, whereby AS is easier than the old A-level and A2 is harder than the old A-level; thus, suggesting that with both AS and A2 combined gives an equal standard - marks gained in AS due to its low level of difficulty will be lost in A2 with a high level of difficulty, eventually evening out the marks.

    However I disagree. A lot of papers I've seen for example in math and chem are harder in the old system compared to this new system, regardless of splitting into two sittings with a difference in difficulty between them. Looking back at old A-levels, ignoring their wider ranging specification (i.e. more is learnt in terms of content and therefore more demanding), questions in the context of the same areas learnt tend to be significantly harder than the A2 papers now. It used to require more thinking and more deduction rather than simple recall which may or may not be a beneficial factor to students. However, on the whole, we students tend to find deduction rather more difficult than recall.

    Could it be that standards are dropping?
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    obviously more topics would be covered in the old style a-level. in the new style you only learn sept-dec and feb-april. in the old style you learn sept-the next april!!!

    duh!!!

    and if you really think standards are droping, you should try living the life the rest of us are.

    love Katy ***

    Originally posted by ickle_katy
    obviously more topics would be covered in the old style a-level. in the new style you only learn sept-dec and feb-april. in the old style you learn sept-the next april!!!

    duh!!!

    and if you really think standards are droping, you should try living the life the rest of us are.

    love Katy ***
    Hello? They had exams in January too, but they were mocks. It was also during Sept-Dec and Feb-April for each year with an exam in between those two periods. The specification simply had more content within a similar time frame. And I'm talking about more reasoning, thinking and deduction, which you have completely missed out on.

    I did AS and A2s too, and I think I'm just as old as you are. Is it so hard to accept an opinion coming from the same age group that the standards are dropping, leading you to think that I did the old A-levels?
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    Originally posted by Unregistered1
    Hello? They had exams in January too, but they were mocks. It was also during Sept-Dec and Feb-April for each year with an exam in between those two periods.
    no, they had lessons all year for the 1st year, which is sept - july and then sept-april.

    they may have had mocks, but mocks arnt exactly disruptive, probably missed one lesson.

    and i didnt say you were any older than me, i just was pointing out you must have had an easy life. because i could not have been able to do the a2's if they had been any harder, we didnt finnish the syllabus' so if you put more content in, we would probably have covered about half???


    love Katy ***
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    I don't know if A2s are harder or not than the old system. But I do know they shouldn't be, according to the report released after the inquiry into the 'A-level fiasco' last year.

    I think the point others were making was that in the old system, all exams were at the end, but in the new system there are exams in january and june. Hence although the total content could be the same, A2 content is obviously going to be smaller than the total original A-level because AS content hasn't been included.

    About standards... I can see several reasons why they may be slipping. If the amount of content remained the same and AS exams are easier than A-levels, but A2 exams are not harder than A-levels then inconsiderate of the marking scale, AS+A2 will always be easier than A-levels. This added to the possibility of resits made possible by modular exams, provides more freedom to improve grades. Also, non synoptic exams prevalent in AS & A2 simplify revision, making it 'easier'. This might make an A2 level 'A grade' non-comparable with an A-level 'A grade', making it seem standards are slipping. Standards will however only slip if university admissions requirements do not change to reflect changes in the A-level system.

    This of course doesn't mean A2+AS levels are easy, just different.

    Hi Im not sure about teh other subjects but I can comment on mathematics. Im very goood at math and I do think that the present AS and A2 levels are just challenging enuff for students. It isnt ridiculously hard and not ridiculously easy, I guess that is good. The A levels were maybe a tad harder but nothing to complain about, Since u dont get to repeat u r under pressure which makes it seem harder
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    I found all my subjects to be challenging this year, but not so difficult that I needed Einstein style intelligence. I was really shocked by the change between AS and A2. After nearly a year of nothing amazingly hard at AS I felt like I'd been thrown in the deep end. I had to work really hard to maintain my AS grades. Its inevitable that the overal difficulty would decrease because there isn't enough time and you've got to take loads of exams but I wouldn't say that the standard of A-level students has decreased and
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    I was told my by teachers that there is more work during the AS course than the A2 courses, so, this new A2 system is probably just as hard as the old A-Level course.
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    I think, in theory they are but some boards still havn't got the levels exactly right. For my spanish exams with edexcel I did both the AS and A2 this year and I found the AS about a million times harder than the A2

    AS-levels are slightly more harder than GCSEs - or so I've been told. The A2 broadly equivilent to degree standard.
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    the combined as/a2 level is supposed to be as hard as the old a level.

    however as is easier than it, so to balance it out, a2 is harder!

    Which is harder than AS OR A2?
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    (Original post by Unregistered)
    Which is harder than AS OR A2?
    What do you think? Course A2 is harder.

    Judging by the quality of writing in this forum and the ability to express a thought in clear English - I would say that the new system has failed completely...

    I am sure that on an individual level, students aren't biologically less intelligent than they used to be, but they are certainly much more poorly educated.

    If one takes the example of A level English as a benchmark, then it's quite apparent that the almost universal illiteracy of today's undergraduates can be traced back to the intellectual dilution of our linguistic heritage. Virtually any foreign learner of our language will have a much better grasp of Phonetics, Phonology and basic grammar than will any of our so-called "educated" native speakers.

    The current spectacle of indignant "students" puffing out their chests and insisting (in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary) that their easily-won pieces of academic toilet paper match up to the credentials of their forbears is tragic. It's like a gang of clueless fat people, weighing themselves on deliberately miscalibrated scales and then lumbering around yelling to all and sundry about how thin they are. In the meanwhile, those who have eyes, just watch in quiet despair...
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    A levels nowadays are clearly a piece of piss nowadays.

    I crammed for 1 month and did **** all (literally) the rest of the year ended up getting 4 very high As. It's madness!
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    (Original post by Unregistered77)
    Judging by the quality of writing in this forum and the ability to express a thought in clear English - I would say that the new system has failed completely...

    I am sure that on an individual level, students aren't biologically less intelligent than they used to be, but they are certainly much more poorly educated.

    If one takes the example of A level English as a benchmark, then it's quite apparent that the almost universal illiteracy of today's undergraduates can be traced back to the intellectual dilution of our linguistic heritage. Virtually any foreign learner of our language will have a much better grasp of Phonetics, Phonology and basic grammar than will any of our so-called "educated" native speakers.

    The current spectacle of indignant "students" puffing out their chests and insisting (in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary) that their easily-won pieces of academic toilet paper match up to the credentials of their forbears is tragic. It's like a gang of clueless fat people, weighing themselves on deliberately miscalibrated scales and then lumbering around yelling to all and sundry about how thin they are. In the meanwhile, those who have eyes, just watch in quiet despair...
    how do you know our qualifications are that easily won. If you were a student then maybe I would except your opinion, but the likelyhood is that you are know nothing about the current education system. Why don't you take the exams for yourself before you start ranting about how easy they are.

    Ps most people do not worry about spelling and grammar on the forum, maybe thats a sad thing and shows our laziness. However, it is not a reflection of out normal writing skills.

    With respect, I have three of the old-style A levels, a degree in English and a Master's in English Linguistics.

    I am currently taking two of the "new" A levels in History and Economics and am doing so for recreational purposes rather than vocational ones.

    I really can't see how it is possible to fail them unless you deliberately set out to do so. They are structured in such a way that endless resits and a generally low academic level means that only the very densest of students shouldn't be able to get a "respectable" grade.

    This is only my opinion, of course - but it is one formed of practical experience with both types of exam and therefore has the advantage of being relatively balanced. Can you say the same?

    (Original post by Unregistered777)
    With respect, I have three of the old-style A levels, a degree in English and a Master's in English Linguistics.

    I am currently taking two of the "new" A levels in History and Economics and am doing so for recreational purposes rather than vocational ones.

    I really can't see how it is possible to fail them unless you deliberately set out to do so. They are structured in such a way that endless resits and a generally low academic level means that only the very densest of students shouldn't be able to get a "respectable" grade.

    This is only my opinion, of course - but it is one formed of practical experience with both types of exam and therefore has the advantage of being relatively balanced. Can you say the same?
    We live in different times and the needs of society have moved on. We have no need to learn the complex structures of the English language as in 'olden times'. You cannot compare what has gone before with now. It really irritates me when I hear time after time about the "drop in standards" with current generation from an older generation who have forgotten what good manners are! I was never required at primary school to compare texts and do critical analysis of scripts like primary school children are today. I think the current generation are more perceptive and probably more intelligent overall than ever especially with the lack of resources they suffer e.g. not having text books to study from but instead, photocopied paper.

    (Original post by Unregistered47)
    We live in different times and the needs of society have moved on. We have no need to learn the complex structures of the English language as in 'olden times'. You cannot compare what has gone before with now. It really irritates me when I hear time after time about the "drop in standards" with current generation from an older generation who have forgotten what good manners are! I was never required at primary school to compare texts and do critical analysis of scripts like primary school children are today. I think the current generation are more perceptive and probably more intelligent overall than ever especially with the lack of resources they suffer e.g. not having text books to study from but instead, photocopied paper.

    You've obviously thought this one through, haven't you? When you refer to a "lack of resources" do you mean that you can't look things up on the Internet, that you don't have multimedia educational aids, that you have to do mathematical equations long hand because there are no calculators? You are talking nonsense, but don't know enough to realise how very little you understand.

    What do you mean about the older generation forgetting what "good manners" are? Do you mean that because someone points out that educational standards have fallen, that this is somehow discourteous and has offended you? If you had the vocabulary and analytical skills to form a coherent argument against my assertion, then you might not have to resort to the embarassing tactic of only being able to retort: "You are wrong and what's more you have hurt my feelings..." Fantastic comeback!

    As for being "more perceptive" and "probably more intelligent overall" - that is genuinely amusing. If you were indeed "perceptive" you would perceive that raw ability needs to be coupled with rigorous academic effort and perseverence to fully realise its potential. It is no good having a highly-tuned Ferrari with only half a gallon of low-grade fuel. That's my analogy - what's yours?
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    I believe that is the whole idea of introducing a new A- level system. But, if you have done A-level it is not harder, it is just different.. Well, at least it is for physics... The new A-level involves with lots of explaination, whereas the old a-level only involved calculations... It is just different.. I prefer the old a-level, but the new a-level is ok.. well I say that because I got an A for that...
 
 
 
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