Not sure why people are so negative towards btec

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    Title says it all. Ive done A levels before and Im currently doing an extended diploma. Id say the workload is higher and theres more stress over the duration of the whole year since coursework cannot be retaken. Ive had to write atleast 10,000 words for each unit. I have to do 18 units. Thats 18 dissertations worth of work thats carried out!
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    As someone who did a BTEC (and came out with D*D*D*, 18 units all Distinction*) and A Levels (got AABB) I can say that by far BTEC is easier.

    Coursework is fundamentally easier to complete than exams (or at least it was for me) because of the amount of marking and remarking. You say that you can't redo coursework which is true but equally my teachers would mark it and give feedback before it was officially handed in. If I didn't get things right first time I could go back and make minor changes. The only way I wouldn't have come out with D*D*D* is if I didn't put the work in.

    Exams on the other hand rely on your ability to remember information and articulate it in a set amount of time. Not everyone can do this. Everyone, given enough time and resources can complete coursework perfectly though.

    BTEC's and coursework in general are far easier than exams.
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    Put simply, BTEC simply do not have the academic rigour that A Levels do. If you're academically able you do A levels, not BTECs - sort of says it all.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    As someone who did a BTEC (and came out with D*D*D*, 18 units all Distinction*) and A Levels (got AABB) I can say that by far BTEC is easier.

    Coursework is fundamentally easier to complete than exams (or at least it was for me) because of the amount of marking and remarking. You say that you can't redo coursework which is true but equally my teachers would mark it and give feedback before it was officially handed in. If I didn't get things right first time I could go back and make minor changes. The only way I wouldn't have come out with D*D*D* is if I didn't put the work in.

    Exams on the other hand rely on your ability to remember information and articulate it in a set amount of time. Not everyone can do this. Everyone, given enough time and resources can complete coursework perfectly though.

    BTEC's and coursework in general are far easier than exams.
    Congrats on ur grades, what did you do for btec?
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    I've done a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma.. I can see both sides of the story tbh.

    Yes, I get where you're coming from, I'd be under so much more stress if my reward for 2 years of college work were determined by an exam I'd do in one day. Whoever can do that and get a good grade deserves a pat on the back. Plus you're more likely to revise something time and time again so it sticks in your head instead of writing something once in your coursework which you'll probably never read again.

    But then, someone could revise for 2 years and not understand the questions or have something going on in their personal lives at the time.. if they fail, does that mean they're dumb and shouldn't be employed in their industry? I don't think so.

    And yes, I agree with what people have said about BTEC being easy. Yes, when I was at college we were allowed to amend what we didn't get right the first time and still got the grade. Hey, you could even ask the teacher if what you were writing was good enough.

    But we also had to do roleplays and practical assessments, and you only got one shot at that I think. Definitely if you were going for higher grades, if you wanted a Distinction overall and you got a Pass in a roleplay, you got a Pass overall. That imo is the best thing about BTEC, if you want to get higher grades than the rest of your class, the chance is there, much better option that revising all year round for a not-guaranteed-chance of getting an A*. With BTEC you literally get back what effort you put in. The same can't be said for GCSE.

    Plus it was a fail-safe way to make sure the entire class is writing down exactly what they need to know. With GCSE you can only teach the class the ins and outs of their subject and from then on you're just trusting they'll revise and hoping the exam questions, which you don't know, will be understandable and cover what you've taught them.

    And it was pretty stressful doing the assignments. You don't have a deadline of next week to revise everything you need to know if you do GCSE. You didn't have to write a few thousand words when revising either, you could just read some books and take notes or highlight things, whichever method of revising suited you. If you're doing BTEC and you aren't good at writing or grammar.. tough.

    I sound quite biased towards BTEC but I think honestly, I can see why people are negative towards BTEC... But they're just as good as GCSE, just in a completely different way.
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    Exams test your knowledge, coursework tests your skills. To say people do A Levels if they are academically able is BS because I'm academic and have always gotten good grades, however I cannot cope with exams, this had nothing to do with my intelligence or academia but simply personal preference. You also learn the same content in A Level and BTEC, the only difference is how you are assessed. I do BTEC's and have yet to drop a Distinction but it is a lot of hard work and we get next to no help from our teachers who don't mark and remark our work as that is against the rules of BTEC's. Yes some people take BTEC'a because they aren't academic, some take BTEC's because their school or college doesn't offer the A Level in those subjects, some prefer coursework over exams and other believe the skills learnt in BTEC's are much more applicable in everyday life and in careers than exams. Generalising the people who take BTEC's is narrow minded, at the end of the day both BTECs and A Levels can get you to where you want to go so it really does not matter
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    (Original post by VasDev)
    Congrats on ur grades, what did you do for btec?
    Thank you, it was (officially) a BTEC Extended Diploma in Software Development but the actual amount of software dev involved was fairly small. It was more an all encompassing IT BTEC. Loads of writing and not a whole lot of practical stuff where it mattered.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    Thank you, it was (officially) a BTEC Extended Diploma in Software Development but the actual amount of software dev involved was fairly small. It was more an all encompassing IT BTEC. Loads of writing and not a whole lot of practical stuff where it mattered.
    I'm doing the same thing but in networking. I got D*D* in my first year and you're right about the software development. Im learning Java in my own time at home and discrete mathematics in order to prepare for my BSc
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    (Original post by VasDev)
    Title says it all. Ive done A levels before and Im currently doing an extended diploma. Id say the workload is higher and theres more stress over the duration of the whole year since coursework cannot be retaken. Ive had to write atleast 10,000 words for each unit. I have to do 18 units. Thats 18 dissertations worth of work thats carried out!
    Because they want to big themselves up by belittling others.

    It's pure academic snobbery.
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    (Original post by uberteknik)
    Because they want to big themselves up by belittling others.

    It's pure academic snobbery.
    I'll laugh when I get offers from russell group unis from my btec grades
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    As someone who did a BTEC (and came out with D*D*D*, 18 units all Distinction*) and A Levels (got AABB) I can say that by far BTEC is easier.

    Coursework is fundamentally easier to complete than exams (or at least it was for me) because of the amount of marking and remarking. You say that you can't redo coursework which is true but equally my teachers would mark it and give feedback before it was officially handed in. If I didn't get things right first time I could go back and make minor changes. The only way I wouldn't have come out with D*D*D* is if I didn't put the work in.

    Exams on the other hand rely on your ability to remember information and articulate it in a set amount of time. Not everyone can do this. Everyone, given enough time and resources can complete coursework perfectly though.

    BTEC's and coursework in general are far easier than exams.
    how did you end up doing a btec and a levels
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    (Original post by Spratty)
    I'm doing the same thing but in networking. I got D*D* in my first year and you're right about the software development. Im learning Java in my own time at home and discrete mathematics in order to prepare for my BSc
    Ah I don't remember how many units we did in the first year but it wasn't enough to get D*D* overall. I think I had D* and part of a second D*, total of 8 or 9 units.

    Learning Java and Maths is a good move, the BTEC has been somewhat useful for my degree so far (equally so has A Level Computing) but there's been a lot of stuff that isn't covered. For example I'm 2 weeks in and my A Levels alone would not prepare me for things like Java, experience with Linux and DOS, serious networking, web design and a lot of general computer architecture stuff. Odds are anything you learn on general topics will be useful when you start uni.

    What BSc are you going to study?
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    (Original post by glassanimal)
    how did you end up doing a btec and a levels
    I spent 4 years at college. My first 2 years I did the BTEC and A Level Maths (so equivalent of 4 subjects) and then I went back for another 2 years because I didn't feel like Uni was a good idea at the time. So I got another 3 A Levels in Graphics, Computing and Psychology.

    Academically it was totally unnecessary, the BTEC alone would have got me into uni. Having Maths and Computing is super helpful though. I was looking for apprenticeships at the same time with no luck. I think it was worth it though, the education was free and while it didn't improve my chances of getting into uni it was useful for growing as a person. I don't necessarily recommend it but I don't regret it.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    Ah I don't remember how many units we did in the first year but it wasn't enough to get D*D* overall. I think I had D* and part of a second D*, total of 8 or 9 units.

    Learning Java and Maths is a good move, the BTEC has been somewhat useful for my degree so far (equally so has A Level Computing) but there's been a lot of stuff that isn't covered. For example I'm 2 weeks in and my A Levels alone would not prepare me for things like Java, experience with Linux and DOS, serious networking, web design and a lot of general computer architecture stuff. Odds are anything you learn on general topics will be useful when you start uni.

    What BSc are you going to study?
    BSc Computer science at a russell group uni. I'm projected to get D*D*D* and I have a year to brush up on maths and java.

    Queen Mary London (D*DD)
    Bristol (D*D*D*)
    Newcastle (D*DD)
    Nottingham (D*D*D*)
    University of Southampton (DDD)

    Which one do you recommend and why?
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    (Original post by Spratty)
    BSc Computer science at a russell group uni. I'm projected to get D*D*D* and I have a year to brush up on maths and java.
    Fair enough, good luck when you start.

    Not to put a downer on things but be prepared for a tough battle to get a place. Regardless of what we agree on as being more difficult, universities in general do regard A Levels as a better indicator of ability compared to BTEC's. Oxford for example don't even list BTEC's as an option on their main CS entry requirements page, instead it's hidden as an other appropriate qualification.

    A*AA equates to D*DD at BTEC, but I imagine they might not compare directly. You may instead need to get D*D*D* to compete with someone applying with A*AA. Equally someone with A*A*A* might get accepted over D*D*D* by default. This is all an exaggeration of course and I don't actually know how it works behind the scenes. Just be prepared to have something that makes you stand out.

    I'm sure you'll be totally fine but as you're likely already aware the competition for Russel Group unis is very high. Simply getting D*D*D* might not be enough.

    EDIT: Just seen the addition to your post. I can't really comment on which uni is best since I've not studied at any of them. I can however give a little info about Southampton.

    Before I applied onto a Forensic Computing Degree I was considering Electronic Engineering. I applied to Southampton (with the grades I mentioned before), spent a lot of time on my personal statement and so on. I also applied to do a Foundation Year since I didn't quite meet the requirements (needed an A in Maths and I got a high B, or didn't have Physics or something like that). You'd think I'd have no trouble getting a place. Southampton barely contacted me though.

    I applied in October and by January I'd changed my mind back to an IT related degree. I applied to Portsmouth, both to do Forensic Computing and Computer Networks. I applied after the January deadline (it was a Saturday a few weeks after) and by Monday (so 2 days) I had an unconditional offer. A second unconditional arrived 2 days later. I waited for a while to see if Southampton would make an offer but never heard anything. In the end I withdrew my offer so I could accept one from Portsmouth.

    On the whole Southampton had super nice facilities. Really modern, brand new department and so on. Portsmouth in comparison feels a little outdated (still very high spec machines though) and realistically part of this is just because the building isn't brand new. What really got me though was everything non academic about Portsmouth. All the staff have been super nice in comparison to Southampton. Portsmouth has felt more welcoming, the staff have felt warmer, the variety of clubs and societies seems larger and so on. Southampton was very nice from an academic point of view. But University is not entirely about academia. Portsmouth is not a Russel Group and most people will recommend CS over Forensics but coming to Portsmouth has been, for me, the best decision.

    I'm not at all saying don't go to a Russel Group. Take a look around them all and see which one you like. Consider what is right for you though and not just which has the best facilities.
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    Probably inbetweeners lol. People just love to hate on something to feel superior, it's just natural.
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    (Original post by Acsel)
    .

    You're still being lenient imo. Even BBB would be more impressive than D*DD.

    (Original post by uberteknik)
    Because they want to big themselves up by belittling others.

    It's pure academic snobbery.
    Or because you can effectively keep retrying coursework in BTEC to get the grade you desire. But with a levels you can study for 2 years then bottle it on the day.

    That and the content in a levels is harder. BTEC doesn't have "hard" content. They just have lots of content. There's a difference
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    I'm sorry but you are totally deluded if you think that BTEC is analogous to A levels. I know enough secondary teachers to be able to tell you categorically that the academically weaker students are pushed towards BTEC whereas the ones who can actually do it get to do the A levels. Part of this is the league tables: they can't risk entering low ability students for A level and have them fail. The overall content of BTECs is considerably simplified, and the assessment made as easy as possible, with unlimited resubmission of coursework and no terminal examination. It's Level 3 standard, but on a much reduced syllabus. This is not academic snobbery. It's fact.

    BTEC does have a different skill set, and it suited to a different student. It's certainly not worthless. But to trying to equate it with A levels is both disingenuous and unfair to those who are studying hard at difficult academic A levels.
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    (Original post by stereoashhh)
    You're still being lenient imo. Even BBB would be more impressive than D*DD.


    Or because you can effectively keep retrying coursework in BTEC to get the grade you desire. But with a levels you can study for 2 years then bottle it on the day.

    That and the content in a levels is harder. BTEC doesn't have "hard" content. They just have lots of content. There's a difference
    Oxford are very clear that they consider D* equivalent to A* and D equivalent to A

    "A D grade (distinction) in a BTEC National would be considered equivalent to an A at A-level, and a D* in a BTEC National would be considered equivalent to an A* at A-level."
    https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/unde...rements?wssl=1

    Some universities are a lot less welcoming to BTECs but Oxford aren't nearly as up themselves as TSR.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    I'm sorry but you are totally deluded if you think that BTEC is analogous to A levels. I know enough secondary teachers to be able to tell you categorically that the academically weaker students are pushed towards BTEC whereas the ones who can actually do it get to do the A levels. Part of this is the league tables: they can't risk entering low ability students for A level and have them fail. The overall content of BTECs is considerably simplified, and the assessment made as easy as possible, with unlimited resubmission of coursework and no terminal examination. It's Level 3 standard, but on a much reduced syllabus. This is not academic snobbery. It's fact.

    BTEC does have a different skill set, and it suited to a different student. It's certainly not worthless. But to trying to equate it with A levels is both disingenuous and unfair to those who are studying hard at difficult academic A levels.
    I do somewhat disagree with the point you made on academic students. While I cant talk on behalf of all btec students,the course that I'm doing has some topics that go into as much as detail as A level computing.

    I am, however, teaching myself java and discrete mathematics in my own time so you can't say im academically incapable of doing a-levels.
 
 
 
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