Those who say A-Levels are getting easier should be force-fed Marmite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#101
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http://www.qca.org.uk/ages14-19/subj...tics_2495.html
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username9816
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#102
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(Original post by amazingtrade)
But maybe the exams have got harder? How many people now drop out at AS instead of continuing to A2? There are lots of factors involved, the internet also helps as you can get more revision information etc.

People have been saying A levels are getting easier since the 1960's surely by now they would be easier than the old O levels?
I've done past papers for Mathematics, Physics, Economics and Computing and the general trend was that the older the paper, the harder I found it.
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AT82
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#103
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(Original post by an Siarach)
Thats a fair point, but at the end of the day the entire point of the grading system is to allow the universities to differentiate between students of differing ability and potential, which is something they cannot do if there are so many people who get As. Im unsure what percentage mark is required for grades though i seem to recall something along the lines of 40% for a pass and 70% for an A? Perhaps they should increase this benchmark to 50% for a pass and 80% A for example which would allow them to palce greater confidence in the ability of straight A students once more.
The fact is though maybe people going to Oxbridge should just do IB instead. Most universites can easily differeninciate between candidates its only the very few top ones that can't and they are the minority in terms of where most HE students actually go.

I can see the problem but half the problkem is to wide entry requirements which can be anything from EE to AAAA.
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#104
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(Original post by Invisible)
I've done past papers for Mathematics, Physics, Economics and Computing and the general trend was that the older the paper, the harder I found it.
Do you also know the grade bounderies for each of these papers?
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an Siarach
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#105
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(Original post by Louise_1988)
But them you would have a system of an A before 2002 being worth more than an A in 2004, for example. They would have to rename the whole system for it to be fair, although I agree with your point.
Yes it would lead to complications, and it could end up being nothing more than a short term fix - should an even greater proportion of the population stay on for A-Levels youd get increasing numbers of As again and a repeat of the current dilemma.

Personally i say scrap the entire system and bring back the good old trivium-quadrivium!
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Machine
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#106
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A-Levels are no easier than before, its just peple now are better coached for the papers.
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an Siarach
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#107
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(Original post by amazingtrade)
The fact is though maybe people going to Oxbridge should just do IB instead. Most universites can easily differeninciate between candidates its only the very few top ones that can't and they are the minority in terms of where most HE students actually go.

I can see the problem but half the problkem is to wide entry requirements which can be anything from EE to AAAA.
Personally id have everyone doing the IB.
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#108
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(Original post by Louise_1988)
on average As are awarded to the top 20%, which isn't that high, but when top unis are looking for the top 5% or less in a subject it makes it hard.
Stats are on http://www.qca.org.uk/ under subjects if your interested.
20% of A Grades are awarded, but 20% of people do not get straight A's.

I think the % who get straight A's is around 7-8%, but obviously I'm not sure.
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an Siarach
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#109
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(Original post by Machine)
A-Levels are no easier than before, its just peple now are better coached for the papers.
Yes this is a valid point. People arent so much taught knowledge that is applicable in the real world during school as taught only what they require to pass the exams.
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#110
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(Original post by an Siarach)
Personally id have everyone doing the IB.
But its not comptable with everybody though, not everybody would be suited to it.
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meepmeep
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#111
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(Original post by Invisible)
I'm talking about the same syllabus but exams from 3/4 eyars ago.

For AQA B Maths, I did past papers from 2000/2001 up until 2004 and even in this 3 and a half year space, the gradual easing of the exam papers was noticeable.
You're entirely right. AQA were critised for making the A-level maths exams too hard when Syllabus 2000 came through. A large proportion of candidates dropped it at AS, and an unpopular course is an unprofitable and unsuccessful course (eg. the modal score on one AQA A Pure 1 was 0). Of course, this kind of thing isn't important to the press, as it doesn't make a good story. In the eyes of the press, exams don't get harder. The same old garbage is trotted out every year. If more people get passes, exams are getting easier. If less people pass or gain As, teaching standards are falling and kids are getting increasingly stupid. I take it with a pinch of salt.
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#112
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(Original post by amazingtrade)
Do you also know the grade bounderies for each of these papers?
Yes, that is also a very good point - But it seemed that even though the paper got easier, there wasn't much compensation in the grade boundaries IMO.

For example, a much easier exam paper but only slightly upped grade boundaries.

Good point raised though trade.
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EconLou
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#113
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(Original post by amazingtrade)
But its not comptable with everybody though, not everybody would be suited to it.
yep, i personally think making someone study a second language should not be compulsary in England, I know we are notoriously bad at languages but it is a fact that it is much more important for a German to speak English that for an Englishman to speak German.
It also limits the amount of science one person can study and if you want to do Science at uni often having 3 sciences is very useful.
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#114
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(Original post by Louise_1988)
yep, i personally think making someone study a second language should not be compulsary in England, I know we are notoriously bad at languages but it is a fact that it is much more important for a German to speak English that for an Englishman to speak German.
It also limits the amount of science one person can study and if you want to do Science at uni often having 3 sciences is very useful.
Exactly, I suffer from high frequency hearing loss which made even learning english quite difficult. I struggled and messed about in class in languages in every other subject I was as good as gold. In year 10 I said if I had to languages (even study them) I would leave school. I knew I would fail it at GCSE and I would have done.

I am also crap at sports.
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mobbdeeprob
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#115
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(Original post by an Siarach)
Personally id have everyone doing the IB.
Noooo - it's much more demanding!

It's nice doing AS/A2 and knowing that you can get top grades with minimal exertions in the first year of study.

Don't you have to write long essays and do charity work for the IB?!
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EconLou
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#116
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What would you think about having to sit a verbal paper like they do in the US(SAT), where it is scored out of 800 with score being rounded to 10 points, like 640,650,660 ect?? I think it could be a good idea to help discriminate between candidates and also may help those who arn't very academic but arn't thick either to show how bright they are.
You can read about the US SAT here:http://www.collegeboard.com/student/...sat/about.html
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an Siarach
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#117
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(Original post by mobbdeeprob)
Noooo - it's much more demanding!

It's nice doing AS/A2 and knowing that you can get top grades with minimal exertions in the first year of study.

Don't you have to write long essays and do charity work for the IB?!
Thats the point though, what worth is a qualification if its easy? a good grade at A-Level isnt very impressive if its equivalent to a narrow pass or even a fail in another qualification(for example, im not stating that this is the case).
Anyway were talking about pre-university qualifications here, theyre not supposed to be easy.
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EconLou
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#118
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(Original post by amazingtrade)
Exactly, I suffer from high frequency hearing loss which made even learning english quite difficult. I struggled and messed about in class in languages in every other subject I was as good as gold. In year 10 I said if I had to languages (even study them) I would leave school. I knew I would fail it at GCSE and I would have done.

I am also crap at sports.
One thing I think is good about A Levels is that they are very flexible, and i get the impression the new school diploma will be much more rigid, i.e must do maths + english in 6th form.
Also, A levels are very good as free-standing qualifications, you can go back and get another A Level during a gap year or take one during evening classes which I think may not be as easy with the new "diploma". And, one more think is that if someone wants to study only creative art subjects to A Level because they want to be a musician, or whatever having to study maths and english could put them off sixth form education.
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EconLou
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#119
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(Original post by mobbdeeprob)
Don't you have to write long essays and do charity work for the IB?!
Essay's 4000 words I think, that's no more that I have written for my GCSE english coursework, it does have the rather randon theory of Knowledge involved, but i think it may be an equivalent to key skills.
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AT82
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#120
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(Original post by Louise_1988)
One thing I think is good about A Levels is that they are very flexible, and i get the impression the new school diploma will be much more rigid, i.e must do maths + english in 6th form.
Also, A levels are very good as free-standing qualifications, you can go back and get another A Level during a gap year or take one during evening classes which I think may not be as easy with the new "diploma". And, one more think is that if someone wants to study only creative art subjects to A Level because they want to be a musician, or whatever having to study maths and english could put them off sixth form education.
Yep if the only post 16 option was NVQ or IB I would not be at university now, I would probably be working in tesco instead. And so would the majoirty of people, the economy would just collapse.

Did you know that TVU is apparantly the largest provider of graduate employees in the Thames Valley and northern south east area of London? I bet most of TVU students wouldn't have ever done an IB either.
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