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

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Unregistered47
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#21
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(Original post by Unregistered777)
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?
Ok back up your opinion with reputable research instead of denigrating the writer. As I say, you do lack manners inasmuch as making accusations about someone you have never met as though your observations were fact. I have met people at evening classes who say they are learning for recreation but are only there to show off their pomposity! Are you one of those?
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SasunD
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i really don't know whos side i am on...
here is my opinion though. I think that there is too much pressure on us young people and you kant just look at education and say wether it is easier or not. For example. i used to play computer games kind of alot.
Say... 30 years ago, were their any PCs...No, were there any Computer Games Consoles...err...No...

See... we are expected to do all of these things Homeworks, Courseworks and Revision, while the TV and Media bombards you with loads of information telling you "Oh this Pokemon games is sooo cool, everyone is playing it", "The New Legend of Zelda games is coming soon, go and buy it, everyone has pre-ordered it!".

We are expected to do all of these things while the media tells us to watch tv, the new series of so and so, to go and buy this crap and that crap. 30 Years ago, the media didn't tell you to do this and that, to buy this and that, you didn'y have computer agmes and stuff that would sidetrack you.

Nowdays, there is too much stuff that sidetracks people, and you end up with not having time to do other things.

But I also think that standars are slipping.
Eg. Students in Armenia come out of High School and College being fluent in their mother Tongue "Armenian", and also being fluent in Russia and more than enough English to cope when they arrive here if they wish to do so. France and Spain and Russia do a similar sort of thing.
But in England some people kouldn't give a piss about other languages, and the education system doesn't give everyone a default in fluent in some other language.

In Russia one of my cousins, he is younger than me but he knows much more in Maths than i know doing A2 Maths while he is in high school.

anyways... im gonna add more to this after i give my arm a rest.

oh yeah Pi is now 3.141592653589793238462643383279 50288419716939937510582097404459 23078164062862089986280348253421 170679821480865132823
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guest
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Ok this is how it works.

AS is designed to be made up from what would have been the easier questions in the old A level and A2 is made up from what would have been the harder questions at A level. So instead of the easy and difficult questions being mixed on the same paper they are now split into different papers. So AS papers are easier than A2 papers but when combined the same as old A level. They are not the same though. I have taught Chem. for 10 years and I am afraid that the questions are getting easier.
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hildabeast
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The old A Levels were much more blaggable than the new style modular system. All my teachers told me tales of how students used to doss around in the first year and for the first term of 2nd year and then cram up for their exams. Because the new system is modular and because of the existence of AS levels, students now have to work very hard throughout the whole 2 year period, although this does relieve some of the stress at the end of the course.
Most teachers have said they think, in a way, that the old system was easier in that because students took all their exams at the end they were mature and capable enough to handle the pressure and could cope with the standard of work. However there is a huge leap from GCSE to AS standard in many subjects, and many students just aren't mature enough to deal with it.

x-x-x-x-x
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*~Sarah~*
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(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?

Could your view be affected by your higher qualifications? The experience of the demands of a degree and a Master's must make the requirements of A level look comparatively very low. Perhaps you have an advantage that people starting the course at 16, who have only just completed GCSEs, do not have? Although you remember your 'old' style A levels as being hard, maybe that was just because at the time you took them they were the highest level exam you'd done? Maybe if you sat some old style A levels, you would now find them as easy as the new style ones?

I have no idea which is easier/harder...my overall impression is that they are too different in structure to even compare. I hate all the media attention on the number of A grades around - it makes people who work hard to get Bs/Cs/Ds/Es feel that they have achieved nothing, and even those who get an A are punished with the annual 'standards have dropped' row rather than a simple congratulations =)
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Bumblebee3
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Basically the old A' levels had a much wider mark scheme - students were given credit for intelligent, wider, abstract concepts. Now the mark scheme is incredibly precise and also fallible - a good, correct answer may get very few marks because the scheme does not allow for it. So, the old ones really saught out the genuinely intelligent, and the new ones reward rote learning of a small detailed area.

For example, old A'level English lit looked at the whole of Caucer's the wife of Bath's tale. Under the new, I studied only the prologue to the tale, 1 page of which came up in the exam. The reason for this precise mark scheme is because now we have so many more papers to be marked, they have to get more markers. The more markers, the more exact the answer scheme has to be. In answer to the question, if you are a medicore student, the new A' level is easier. If you are very intelligent, only an analysis of what the examiner is looking for and learning to match (playing the game) will reward you.

They are not really comparable. The old was honest, fewer markers, allowence for individual academic contribution. The new... who can tell? We have read all the stories about marks being fiddled to fit quotas. I think the new ones are harder simply because they are unpredictable. This year at my school, c grade students were getting As, and many termed 'gifted' students were getting Bs and Cs. I am so glad I'm out of it! The new system is a sham - hence unis are increasingly looking for other methods to assess candidates. An A grade doesn't mean what it used to, and a C grade may have more potential than it lets on...
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tauneutrino
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(Original post by Kelvin)
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...
Yes I agree with you. Writing essays in physics exams kinda turns it into an English ones especially when you are assessed on spg.
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Kelvin
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since my first language is not English, it came to me that writing an essay in a physics paper was pretty tricky and I believed that i was really lucky to get an A in my A-level...
Anyway, good luck to those who are applying this year..
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not1
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it seems pretty obvious to me that alevels are easier nowadays: easier to get better grades that is. if AS is half the difficulty, and A2 is the same difficulty, as the old alevel, then we have average difficulty of
(0.5+1)/2 = 75% as hard
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