When do you stop putting A-levels on your CV? Watch

apotoftea
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#41
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#41
(Original post by mastersapplicant)
But this gives discipline and instils a good work ethic.
Not for me it didn't - sent me completely the other way (actually went from being a straight A GCSE student to almost dropping out of 6th form, it was that bad!). I was so fed up of having to write essays that contained the needed 20 key things in order to get an A grade, rather than actually write what I thought, and in some cases, completely disagreed with.

But you're not allowed to think for yourself which is where the_alba's post comes in - it's not until University level that people can really show their true academic and intellectual ability. A-levels are far more spoon-fed than GCSEs are (but probably changed in the 4 years since I took mine).

Someone I work with has just done Philosophy for A-level and she got pulled up on in a mock for not doing what the examiner wants to see. That's probably one of the most personal and subjective subjects there is. But NO, you're not allowed to say what you think. Yeah, really helps with being analytical. You're developing skills, but only the ones needed to make an examiner tick the box and give you an A grade, nothing more.
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cutandpasteandtwisty
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#42
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(Original post by vickytoria77)
University of London asks for A-level results judging by the MA application forms that I've got
University College doesn't and neither does LSE. Maybe some of the other colleges do though.

Although passing A levels has become somewhat of a game, obtaining three As or above is still a considerable accomplishment and imo does warrant a place on any CV. Of course, they may not be entirely reflective of an individuals current research ability, but for the sake of a short paragraph or two should not be left off as far as I'm concerned.
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the_alba
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#43
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(Original post by mastersapplicant)
But this gives discipline and instils a good work ethic.
Vickytoria, I had a similar experience to you with my English Lit A-level. At AS, I did what I was told and got pretty much 100% in every module. For the synoptic module at the end of A2, I had moved beyond the A-level framework and was utterly tired of being told what to think and what to write, and tired of constructing such basic answers to the questions. So instead, I engaged with real critics (something A-level examiners can't bear to see students do - they think we are getting too big for our boots), and found some interesting angle from which to approach my topic - as I would later be encouraged to do at university. I wrote the best exam I'd ever written at that stage in my career, and got a D. Luckily, the other high marks made up for it and it didn't affect my overall grade. But it cemented the view of A-levels I stated earlier. Learning to write less intelligent and more formulaic essays than you are capable of does not make for self-discipline, but rather intellectual frustration and apathy.
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iceman_jondoe
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#44
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#44
i will prbably leave my grades on. i mean its not like it'll hurt will it?
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The Boosh
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#45
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(Original post by vickytoria77)
PAH - utter utter crap! You don't need critical skills to be do well at A-level, you just need to know what's on the syllabus, what the objectives are and what 10 key points they're looking for.
Aye, it's about knowledge aquisition. A-levels are not intellectually rigorous, they simply require a capacity to conform to designated rules and facts, as if the facts are unproblematic. Memory is prioritised over critical ability. I was shocked as a fresher when the rule book was thrown out and all of my so-called "facts" were abandoned. University is a different league and a university graduate is above and beyond somebody with a-level in the same subject.
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The Boosh
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#46
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(Original post by iceman_jondoe)
i will prbably leave my grades on. i mean its not like it'll hurt will it?
It depends how much of a gap you have in your C.V. that needs filling.
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cutandpasteandtwisty
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#47
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#47
(Original post by The Boosh)
It depends how much of a gap you have in your C.V. that needs filling.
Well everyone has a spare line or two somewhere :p:
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Angelil
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#48
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#48
(Original post by mastersapplicant)
A- levels are still an intellectually rigorous exam and do indeed help develop and refine one's critical skills, sifting out the very cream of the crop each year.
Are you mad? Of course, a system where a quarter of all exams of that type taken are getting A grades really sifts out the cream of the crop, doesn't it? How silly of me :rolleyes:
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Wyrd14
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#49
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#49
Wow. This thread has been a breath of fresh air. I thought I was the only one who found A-Levels tedious and intellectually stifling.

I know someone who, for their recent English Lit A-Level, never read the book they were studying but watched the film instead -- and because they knew what 'key points' to mention still came out with a very high B. You'd never get away with that at university.

I do still feel slightly embarrassed about putting my A-Level grades on my CV, though. Whenever I apply for something I make sure to mention my First and Best-In-Year Award; but to then mumble under my breath that I got BBC in A-Levels feels like I've undermined my abilities in a way . . . I wonder what potential employers etc. must make of it. Would I better off if I'd got AAB in A-Levels and a 2:1 in my degree?
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mastersapplicant
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#50
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(Original post by Wyrd14)
I know someone who, for their recent English Lit A-Level, never read the book they were studying but watched the film instead -- and because they knew what 'key points' to mention still came out with a very high B. You'd never get away with that at university.
Unfortunately some people do. There are some who read little or nothing and still scrape through with a good degree.
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shady lane
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#51
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I wasn't asked to list any pre-degree qualifications and I applied to LSE, SOAS, UCL, and KCL.
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lucho22
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#52
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#52
(Original post by the_alba)
Vickytoria, I had a similar experience to you with my English Lit A-level. At AS, I did what I was told and got pretty much 100% in every module. For the synoptic module at the end of A2, I had moved beyond the A-level framework and was utterly tired of being told what to think and what to write, and tired of constructing such basic answers to the questions. So instead, I engaged with real critics (something A-level examiners can't bear to see students do - they think we are getting too big for our boots), and found some interesting angle from which to approach my topic - as I would later be encouraged to do at university. I wrote the best exam I'd ever written at that stage in my career, and got a D. Luckily, the other high marks made up for it and it didn't affect my overall grade. But it cemented the view of A-levels I stated earlier. Learning to write less intelligent and more formulaic essays than you are capable of does not make for self-discipline, but rather intellectual frustration and apathy.
I found this exact same problem with the History synoptic paper and the coursework - everything is so bloody prescriptive these days and the synoptic paper was the most tedious module I've ever done in my life. It was simply an exercise of stating truisms one after the other with mindless superficial "analysis". I always got - "this is a good essay but it does not meet the criteria - D" lol.. I lost all faith in History and as a result decided to take modern langs at uni instead of History which I'd always envisaged myself doing before - so if that's what A-level does I'd say rather than challenging people intellectually it actually kills intellectual curiosity and stunts development of original thought.
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apotoftea
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#53
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UCL MA application form: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-stu...duateforms.pdf

Look at page 2, and I know for definate that my King's, Birkbeck and Royal Holloway application forms also ask for A-level results

Lucho22 - that's how I found my synoptic paper - yawnworthy
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lucho22
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#54
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#54
(Original post by vickytoria77)
Lucho22 - that's how I found my synoptic paper - yawnworthy
What made it even worse was it was the "development of democracy in Britain - 1868 - 1992".. It really was the most turgid uninteresting nonsense..

It's terrible to think I'd probably be off to do History now if it wasn't for my bad experience with History A-level...
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Profesh
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#55
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(Original post by the_alba)
I don't have the usual set of A-levels so I don't include them on my CV, and I never did GCSEs so obviously can't include those (not that I would anyway). It hasn't really stopped me getting really good jobs / interviews, although I have terrible luck getting 'bad' jobs - maybe with more ordinary jobs, lower qualifications have more significance for the employer, who isn't used to dealing with higher degrees.
That depends quite how ordinary you mean by "ordinary": there is, after all, little point in employing someone so vastly over-qualified for the ancient art of litter-picking (noble though it is) that, assuming they intend to remain for only so long as it takes them to find something better-suited, one can reasonably expect them to have left within the week.

For those kinds of jobs, a surfeit of credentials can be, I should think, as detrimental to one's prospects as a dearth of them; better to simply omit that 'PhD' altogether.
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Profesh
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#56
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I "thought for myself" at A-Level, and ended up with 'A's (in History and English Literature) notwithstanding; though, having account for what has been said here, I suspect my examiners of having been - for the most part - uncommonly sympathetic.
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Alan Smithee
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#57
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#57
(Original post by Angelil)
Hmmm, funny I swear I had to put my A Levels on at least one form. Maybe it was York or UCL then.
It was UCL.
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Alan Smithee
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#58
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#58
(Original post by cutandpasteandtwisty)
University College doesn't
You're wrong. UCL does.
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hobnob
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#59
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#59
(Original post by Pernell Whitaker)
You're wrong. UCL does.
Hmm, sorry if this is a dumb question, but where do you see this?:confused: The graduate application form I found only has section 16a: 'Education - Qualifications already obtained', but that clearly refers to undergraduate degrees.
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Angelil
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#60
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#60
It says 'since age 17', which would include A Levels.
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