Why do so many people fail their AS exams? Watch

Umair Abbasi
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I'm currently studying at a college where lots of people are retaking their AS exams. They have good GCSE's so I was wondering what happened for them to have failed their A levels. I am aware that A levels are much more difficult than GCSE's but they can't be that bad. Is it mainly because they didn't revise enough? I was wondering if you guys could tell me your experiances as well. Thanks for any replies.
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SecretDuck
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A lot of my classmates in AS Maths just took it because "their friends took it" and not because "I'm interested in this".
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andrewl123
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Take this perspective:

GCSEs are easy: it is not hard to get A*s or As. It's a simple matter of memorising the syllabus. Most people realised that during KS4 and did well: they used their teachers' resources well and got good grades.

However they take that attitude with them at A level, thinking that it is the same. They are wrong for several reasons

1. Cramming doesn't work if there's so much content. You may be studying only four subjects, but it goes into far greater depth than GCSEs. Time is of concern that they do not realise.
2. They are still dependent on teachers. Much of learning is independent
3. They still think they can play hard and procrastinate because they did during GCSEs. Fair enough: GCSEs are easy, there's no high level thinking going on. But A level's require deep thought and comprehension.

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2048435
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Back in sixth form when I had received my AS results, I realised how lucky I was to achieve my good grades. My friends, however, were unlucky and got C's or below in all 5 subjects. I think a lot of them thought they could do well in their AS exams because, presumably, they thought it was only a small jump from GCSE. In fact, it is a very big jump and many face the negative consequences of being ill prepared. Plus, sixth form is a whole different environment: there's new people around you and people would want to socialise more often. This can obviously impact someone's academic progress.
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troubadour.
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(Original post by Umair Abbasi)
I'm currently studying at a college where lots of people are retaking their AS exams. They have good GCSE's so I was wondering what happened for them to have failed their A levels. I am aware that A levels are much more difficult than GCSE's but they can't be that bad. Is it mainly because they didn't revise enough? I was wondering if you guys could tell me your experiances as well. Thanks for any replies.
Overconfidence, I suspect. The jump actually is that bad, for most people anyway. At GCSE it's very possible for a reasonably bright person to get an A/A* without trying so, despite all the warnings, some people (like myself ), leave it 'til four days before the exams to start revision.

However, you mention failing specifically: the ones who get Us typically tend to be the ones who didn't do that well at GCSEs either, in my experience. I did alright at GCSE and then got ABBB in my AS levels having started revision less than a week before the exams. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, I don't think there is much excuse for getting straight Us at AS in general.

Sure, there are probably a few cases where people are just lazy but I do think, from my own experience, that most people who got Us are the ones who've carried onto sixth form not because they want to study any particular subjects at that level, but because their friends are doing it, or it's the 'normal' thing to do and so on. It's sad, really, because a lot of people waste a year of their lives this way.
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EllainKahlo
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I really don't have a clue. I found my GCSEs harder than my A-levels significantly. It was a lack of effort from the majority of people I saw who didn't do well and they admitted it too. Lots of them ended up completing their AS and A2 in the same year to make up for it :/

I don't know why you'd subject yourself to that if you could avoid it.
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Asolare
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~As somebody who initially ended up with BEE on his January Exams (several yrs back) for AS and then got only ACD overall for AS (after resits and summer exams), I can assure you it is *largely* down to pure underestimation of how difficult A Levels actually are.

You can't just cram it all in at the last minute.
You can't start revising one week before the exam.
You can't miss the odd lesson here and there and hope it'll be fine cause college is less strict.
You can't just not do homework and make up excuses, it is set for a reason.
You shouldn't choose subjects "just because".

A Levels are difficult and with particular subjects you seriously need to have 100% knowledge of your stuff and how to structure your essays (or exams if you're not doing essay based subjects), and as already said in the thread A LOT of it needs to be independent learning.

This is why in the second year people tend to buck up their ideas and think... **** that was actually hard and we really need to try again.
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andrewl123
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Maybe because you're studying the subjects you truly enjoy in class while in GCSEs you were studying tedious subjects?

(Original post by EllainKahlo)
I really don't have a clue. I found my GCSEs harder than my A-levels significantly. It was a lack of effort from the majority of people I saw who didn't do well and they admitted it too. Lots of them ended up completing their AS and A2 in the same year to make up for it :/

I don't know why you'd subject yourself to that if you could avoid it.
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A level sufferer
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Exam technique is as big a factor at A level as the actual knowledge and many people dont brush up on the structure that is required (Mainly for essay subjects but equally applies to sciences)
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Jonnyss
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THIS!!
(Original post by A level sufferer)
Exam technique is as big a factor at A level as the actual knowledge and many people dont brush up on the structure that is required (Mainly for essay subjects but equally applies to sciences)
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EllainKahlo
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(Original post by andrewl123)
Maybe because you're studying the subjects you truly enjoy in class while in GCSEs you were studying tedious subjects?



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Not really. I enjoyed all of my GCSEs to some degree, didn't hate any of them and I still thought they were far harder than my A-levels in the same subjects.

I know most people won't agree with me but that was my experience. I wouldn't say either were easy, but my A-levels were definitely easier even though my technique was the same.
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Niyi Aderounmu
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I think it's purely on the 'Independent Learning' factor.
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username1221160
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A levels aren't hard, so I think it's a case of people just pissing about initially and not putting any effort in. They are also discovering alcohol, drugs and sex. It can be quite a big distraction.
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Umair Abbasi
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So do you guys think that even if someone didn't do well at their GCSE's it is still possible to receive good grades at AS? Personally I didn't do too well and I know that was down to laziness. Although it is a big step up especially since I didn't get A's but I enjoy my subjects and i'm determined to work muh harder. It just scares me knowing that people with better GCSE's than me failed.
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Niyi Aderounmu
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Anyone can do good it doesn't matter about GCSE results tbh. I think it's to do with hard work and dedication in the field of subject that gets the student far.
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troubadour.
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(Original post by Umair Abbasi)
So do you guys think that even if someone didn't do well at their GCSE's it is still possible to receive good grades at AS? Personally I didn't do too well and I know that was down to laziness. Although it is a big step up especially since I didn't get A's but I enjoy my subjects and i'm determined to work muh harder. It just scares me knowing that people with better GCSE's than me failed.
It's perfectly possible to improve at A-level with bad GCSE results if they were due to laziness. In fact, it's easier to do it if that's the case than if your GCSE results were bad because you're not good at the subjects you were doing, although that can also be remedied with hard work in most cases.
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Umair Abbasi
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Thank you everyone for the really quick replies, it has given me a lot more confidence
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KrisD98
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In my GCSEs I received BBCCCC,would 4As levels at grade AAAA and 3A* at A Level make up for it??
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troubadour.
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(Original post by KrisD98)
In my GCSEs I received BBCCCC,would 4As levels at grade AAAA and 3A* at A Level make up for it??
It depends where you're looking to apply and for what course. For most places it would, yes. But there are obvious exceptions such as Oxford, which uses GCSEs in conjunction with entrance test scores/written samples to decide who to invite for interview. Not having any As or A*s at GCSE would make any application to Oxford, 3 A*s at A-level or otherwise, a wasted application.

Also, it's quite unusual for people to improve by that much at A-level unless their GCSE results were due to significant extenuating circumstances. It's all very well saying you can get 3 A*s at A-level but, really, it's easier said than done.
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Ace555
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I only had 6 As and A* in O levels but got A*ABB at A levels recently but my batchmates who had 8 plus As got BCE or lowet grades while some got straight As.I wasnt happy with my results but everyone takes on studies differently hence different results .I got C in math at AS then A at my resit
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