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Unfair bias against private schools watch

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    Both papers look fairly similar, personally I would rather sit the AH because the style of question seems easier, but in term of content neither can claim to be much harder than the other.

    As for AHs being sat it one go, it's totally irrelevent, most ASs are also sat in one, 3 hour block.
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    I don't mean to dig this up again, but it's something which has just been brought to my attention - why is the A level pass rate so much higher? Given that AH is something of a rarity for the few who get excellent Highers here I would expect our pass rate to be the higher of the two, since (not to be taken offensively) the mean intelligence of candidates probably is, but the A level pass rate is 20-25% higher!
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    (Original post by calumc)
    I don't mean to dig this up again, but it's something which has just been brought to my attention - why is the A level pass rate so much higher? Given that AH is something of a rarity for the few who get excellent Highers here I would expect our pass rate to be the higher of the two, since (not to be taken offensively) the mean intelligence of candidates probably is, but the A level pass rate is 20-25% higher!
    What do you need to pass an AH?
    A-level scores are A=80, B=70, C=60, D=50 and E=40. It might well have something to do with that, as while it's hard to get an A it's also pretty hard to fail.
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    (Original post by RxB)
    What do you need to pass an AH?
    A-level scores are A=80, B=70, C=60, D=50 and E=40. It might well have something to do with that, as while it's hard to get an A it's also pretty hard to fail.
    They vary from year to year but I think they aim for 50% to pass (C) and 70% for A grade. It's only really the grade Es which make the difference, and I wouldn't think as many as 1 in 5 could be getting them, surely?
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    (Original post by RxB)
    What do you need to pass an AH?
    A-level scores are A=80, B=70, C=60, D=50 and E=40. It might well have something to do with that, as while it's hard to get an A it's also pretty hard to fail.
    Those are moderated scores though. In some subjects you only need 70% raw marks to get a moderated score of 80/100 (and hence an A).

    There are a number of reasons why fewer Scottish students get A-grades...maybe more lenient marking in the English exam system, or more exam-oriented English teaching. However I just looked at an AH Maths paper and I don't think it's any harder than an Edexcel one. In fact, I'd argue that it's easier.
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    (Original post by Squishy)
    Those are moderated scores though. In some subjects you only need 70% raw marks to get a moderated score of 80/100 (and hence an A).

    There are a number of reasons why fewer Scottish students get A-grades...maybe more lenient marking in the English exam system, or more exam-oriented English teaching. However I just looked at an AH Maths paper and I don't think it's any harder than an Edexcel one. In fact, I'd argue that it's easier.
    They change the raw percentages here instead, but not usually by more than 1-2%, certainly never 10%.

    I think the difference might be down to the style of the exams. Since in most (well, my ones anyway) subjects there is only 1 paper to grade the whole year's work they need at least 20-30% of marks to be "A/B level", which basically means trying to catch people out. The SQA themselves say something along the lines of aiming for a competent candidate to be able to score 50%, and a very well prepared one 70%.

    I'm sure this happens at A-level aswell, though I would guess not to the same degree since there is more papers to work on. Based on the specimens I've seen anyway it seems to be more about thorough examination of everything rather than differentiating between candidates.

    Of course, this is just another guess to be honest!
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    (Original post by calumc)
    I'm sure this happens at A-level aswell, though I would guess not to the same degree since there is more papers to work on. Based on the specimens I've seen anyway it seems to be more about thorough examination of everything rather than differentiating between candidates.
    But by thoroughly covered the content they arguably favour the stronger candidates, rather than those who simply got lucky that the topics they studied hardest came up.
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    (Original post by ASNaC)
    But by thoroughly covered the content they arguably favour the stronger candidates, rather than those who simply got lucky that the topics they studied hardest came up.
    True, which is what they should be doing. However I was suggesting that AH exams, while also covering as much of the syllabus as possible in a ~120 mark paper, perhaps put more emphasis on differentiating between candidates. This is mainly done by making some questions intentionally more difficult, often pushing them slightly beyond the syllabus, or by presenting them in an unfamiliar way. "Hence.." parts in follow-on questions often force the candidate to do things in a totally different fashion in order to use the previous information as requested. Large multi-part questions also appear more frequent - in my 2004 maths paper there were 4 questions worth 10 marks or more each.

    Obviously it's hard for me to say without having done A-level, so I could be totally wrong but from the specimen papers I've seen it appears so!
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    (Original post by calumc)
    They change the raw percentages here instead, but not usually by more than 1-2%, certainly never 10%.
    The moderated marks vary quite a lot here...some subjects may want 83% or so for 80/100, and some want quite a bit lower.

    It sounds as if the higher number of modules in A-level is an advantage for a lot of students, who find that one strong module can compensate for another weak one. I'd like to know why so many people pass as well, since I've already heard everyone predict even higher pass rates this year, and they're branding A-levels as even more worthless, and results haven't even come out yet!
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    (Original post by Squishy)
    The moderated marks vary quite a lot here...some subjects may want 83% or so for 80/100, and some want quite a bit lower.

    It sounds as if the higher number of modules in A-level is an advantage for a lot of students, who find that one strong module can compensate for another weak one. I'd like to know why so many people pass as well, since I've already heard everyone predict even higher pass rates this year, and they're branding A-levels as even more worthless, and results haven't even come out yet!
    I hadn't thought of that - I'm still not 100% on the A-level system, ours is a lot simpler!

    Incase I'm coming across wrong, I'm not bashing A-levels or anything - I saw something about the pass rate in the news yesterday and I'm genuinely a bit confused about whats causing the difference and trying to work it out. I'd heard the usual "exams are getting easier" lark every year before, but never realised the pass rate was so high which appears to be the primary cause of such speculation. Here in Scotland with pass rates in the 70's we seem to be doing something different, and I can't work out what!
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    (Original post by Squishy)
    I'd like to know why so many people pass as well, since I've already heard everyone predict even higher pass rates this year, and they're branding A-levels as even more worthless, and results haven't even come out yet!
    I know, they do that every year - the *******s. The morning I went to get my results I turned on the news and they were slating them. Ignore them, they're just bitter cos their grades weren't very good You'd think they could wait until the day after everyone's found out though - talk about insensitive!
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    (Original post by MadNatSci)
    I know, they do that every year - the *******s. The morning I went to get my results I turned on the news and they were slating them. Ignore them, they're just bitter cos their grades weren't very good You'd think they could wait until the day after everyone's found out though - talk about insensitive!
    Here here!!!!
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    (Original post by calumc)
    I believe I've dealt with all of that already. I agree that there may be areas which we do not cover which are in "ordinary" A level maths but would argue that the ones we replace them with are harder, and based on the fact that these appear in what is often regarded as the hardest A level this appears to be the case.
    And the fact that some of the topics we cover in our syllabus are not even touched by your syllabus would suggest that perhaps Maths AH is of a lower standard than A-level Maths. See it can be viewed the opposite way too...
    There is unfortunatley no AH Further Maths, for me to compare our maths Alevel syllabus too, but if there was I suspect some of the stuff we do in maths alevel right now which don't get covered in AH maths would be covered in some sort of AH F.maths.
    All you have shown is that the topics differ......you do some topics we don't do, we do some topics you don't do. You have the advantage of comparing your qualification to our F.maths, you guys don't have F.mathsAH for us to compare too.
    (Original post by calumc)
    Since you ask, AH maths is now a pure course, though until last year it was available with mechanics/statistics/numerical analysis as the third unit (remember this is a 1 year course), but this has now become a seperate 3-unit course in applied maths.
    This is interesting.....since AH maths is a pure course, then a fairer comparison would be between AH maths and a Pure Maths A-level (P1-P6) rather than a General maths Alevel (which forces topics other than pure maths too). You will find that the majority of topics covered in your AH maths will be covered in P1-P6, and if some aren't I suspect they've been replaced with topics that are just as important which you guys don't cover.
    Btw, if most people spend the majority of their AH maths lives doing pure, I find this to be a less-rounded qualification than the general A level maths system. Why? Because although I consider myself a Pure-ist, i think it's important to have some knowledge about the other forms of maths in a little more depth e.g mechanics.
    (Original post by calumc)
    I still believe our exam system is definately harder, and is much more like the "old style" of a big paper at the end of the year. I've certainly never heard anyone say exams are getting harder.
    You're extremely biast and have not even taken a maths A level, you have provided no evidence to support your notion that AH maths is harder. BTW the old style big papers are not neccessarily better, it comes down to what you prefer really. I'd like to know though, do they squish your whole year's work into some kind of 2hour paper then? Because we get 3 papers at the end of each year, 1h30 each, so each year it's 4h30 worth of papers.

    edit: nevermind about the last bit, you've answered it a few posts back.
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    (Original post by Yannis)
    The fact that it is easier to get into Oxbridge is also ultimately flawed. I came from a highly regarded private school and we have only had 10-12 Oxbridge offers for a year of 200 recently.
    I go to a state grammar school and we had 2.
 
 
 
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