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Annual A-Level Bashing watch

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    The Guardian "Row over no fail A-Levels"
    The Independent "A for achievement (and astonishment) as A-Level passes reach 96 per cent with a record number of A grades"
    The Times "A Level students to write extra 4000 word 'super-essay'"
    Telegraph "A-Level pass rate hits new record of 96pc"

    I hate the way the press twists each statistic to look like we're all getting 5 As at A Level in an exam that we couldn't possibly fail. :mad: I just want to say to everyone: don't let the *cough* nasty people *cough* take away from you the satisfaction of achieveing your grades after working so hard. Don't let them make you think that As are easy to achieve and (perhaps more importantly) don't let them tell you that anything other than a wash of As is worthless. Make the most of where you all end up, whatever you are going to be doing.

    Life is too important to be taken seriously - Oscar Wilde (although I would add make it too seriously).
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    Yup they don't even wait for a second, candidates don't even have the results and yet a bunch of 30+ distanced, uninformed journalists/ministers are arguing over standards and easyness.
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    (Original post by fishpaste)
    Yup they don't even wait for a second, candidates don't even have the results and yet a bunch of 30+ distanced, uninformed journalists/ministers are arguing over standards and easyness.
    I KNOWW!!!!
    I sent a really snotty letter to BBC Breakfast. Something along the lines of "get a new story why don't you - stop pissing all over our parade before it even hits the street!!!!"

    GGGRRFGMRR
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    (Original post by fishpaste)
    Yup they don't even wait for a second, candidates don't even have the results and yet a bunch of 30+ distanced, uninformed journalists/ministers are arguing over standards and easyness.
    We just have to accept that there is, of course, politica spin put oto the skewing of our results and we can't do anything about it but A levels remain a tough challenge.

    MB
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    Its OK, next year they will do the same to the next crop of students thereby making our results seem wonderful. :rolleyes: I have little respect for anyone of the journo's behind those articles so I shall not be reading too much into them.
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    (Original post by Leekey)
    Its OK, next year they will do the same to the next crop of students thereby making our results seem wonderful. :rolleyes: I have little respect for anyone of the journo's behind those articles so I shall not be reading too much into them.
    I really wonder how many of them don't have a qualification to their name and worked up the news company...
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    Headteachers said the bar for access to a good career was being raised to a minimum of a C, as happened years ago with GCSEs.

    Ministers joined teachers' unions in defending the rigour of A-levels - but Tories announced proposals intended to make them more difficult.

    School Standards Minister David Miliband told those who got their results today: "Don't let anyone tell you that standards have dropped because more of you have done well, this is simply a myth.

    "Your hard work has merited success.''
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    I watched David Milbanks talking and was actually impressed. Finally, a politician i don't despise.
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    What annoys me is that the only reason more students didn't get As back in the day, is that they have a rigid percentile quota for each grade. So they would only give an A to the top 10% taking the exam, regarding only the top 10% is deserved of an A - it didn't take into account a clever year or that more than 10% are worthy of an A :mad:
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    Makes me mad when it gets you lot all upset...

    Why would people be as evil to put you down on whats meant to be the happiest day's of your life...
    Passing something as hard as A-levels should be applauded by anyone and everyone with respect for us... but instead its an oppertunity to slander us as dumb and getting through by luck...

    I agree will Miliband,
    "Your hard work has merited success.''
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    If they think A-Levels are getting easier, than why don't those politicians or whatever, who were probably top students at their colleges, try out the exams of today. They are just as hard. They are making such a big deal of this 96% pass rate. Anyone can pass an A Level these days if they just work on it, or fluke it at the exam. I have really high expectations of myself so I don't bother much about what they say.
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    I am doing A/S's at the moment, and feel that at some point (probably either our year or the year below) people will be unable to better the previous years score, and then the press will go mental about that...
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    I doubt it'll be your year, but yes, I expect you're right - as soon as it plateaus it'll be 'are teaching standards dropping?' Bloody media. Hate 'em!
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    (Original post by blissy)
    The Guardian "Row over no fail A-Levels"
    The Independent "A for achievement (and astonishment) as A-Level passes reach 96 per cent with a record number of A grades"
    The Times "A Level students to write extra 4000 word 'super-essay'"
    Telegraph "A-Level pass rate hits new record of 96pc"

    I hate the way the press twists each statistic to look like we're all getting 5 As at A Level in an exam that we couldn't possibly fail. :mad: I just want to say to everyone: don't let the *cough* nasty people *cough* take away from you the satisfaction of achieveing your grades after working so hard. Don't let them make you think that As are easy to achieve and (perhaps more importantly) don't let them tell you that anything other than a wash of As is worthless. Make the most of where you all end up, whatever you are going to be doing.

    Life is too important to be taken seriously - Oscar Wilde (although I would add make it too seriously).
    Let's look at the statistics. About 22% get an A. 47.5% get an A or B. 96% pass. I liked to think my A levels meant something.
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    (Original post by Mysticmin)
    I really wonder how many of them don't have a qualification to their name and worked up the news company...
    Answer: None
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    I think the message is finally starting to trickle through - 2 people on BBC breakfast were emphasising the fact that hardly anyone is likely to continue after AS level if they're not going to even get an E.

    A failed A level is a waste of everyone's time - especially the person who's put in all that work and has nothing to show.

    The move towards a 100% pass rate is a very positive thing - it means people have a more realistic idea of how they will do and if things aren't working out in one subject they drop it and focus their energy elsewhere.
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    I don't think A-levels have got easier per se, but they have got broader, which means core parts of the courses are not taken to quite as high a standard - this is a problem for people studying a subject like mine where it is important to have a strong understanding of the core concepts before moving onto the broad applications of the subject. Whilst I realise that increasing the broadness of the A-level makes it more interesting (hence probably why more people do well) it does somewhat of a disservice to the student upon entering university, which is why universities have to pitch their first year courses a bit lower. Of course though, academic subjects move on through research and A-levels have to reflect that, there is more information about these days and so some broadening of the syllabus is neccessary.
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    (Original post by Pencil Queen)
    I think the message is finally starting to trickle through - 2 people on BBC breakfast were emphasising the fact that hardly anyone is likely to continue after AS level if they're not going to even get an E.

    A failed A level is a waste of everyone's time - especially the person who's put in all that work and has nothing to show.

    The move towards a 100% pass rate is a very positive thing - it means people have a more realistic idea of how they will do and if things aren't working out in one subject they drop it and focus their energy elsewhere.
    Yeah that or the school won't let them continue becouse it'll make their stats look bad.

    Maybe instead of saying they're getting easyier, just it harder to get an A, it'd make it easyier to be able to pick and choose candidates for uni. I think that the exams are hard enough, they can't be much different to when i did them 4 years ago!
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    (Original post by Pencil Queen)
    I think the message is finally starting to trickle through - 2 people on BBC breakfast were emphasising the fact that hardly anyone is likely to continue after AS level if they're not going to even get an E.

    A failed A level is a waste of everyone's time - especially the person who's put in all that work and has nothing to show.

    The move towards a 100% pass rate is a very positive thing - it means people have a more realistic idea of how they will do and if things aren't working out in one subject they drop it and focus their energy elsewhere.
    Erm. A levels were and should be a means of distinguishing between those who are regarded as being intellectual. People who aren't should be doing other things. The trouble with a system with a 100% pass rate is that there are invariably a greater proportion at the top end of the spectrum. The grade system doesn't have enough resolution to distinguish between these so-called top candidates, and therefore there is a big difference even between those people who society regards as being equally intelligent.

    The ramifications of this can be seen in the university admissions system, which is why students are being to yet more tests, set by the university, in order to gauge a real measure of their applicants' characteristics that A levels are failing to provide.
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    (Original post by muncrun)
    Erm. A levels were and should be a means of distinguishing between those who are regarded as being intellectual. People who aren't should be doing other things.
    And the statistics show that they ARE - the move to AS and A2 has prevented people likely to fail A levels from carrying on with them. And so the pass rate is edging towards 100%. You say you don't want people incapable of taking A levels to take them but then you say you don't want a 100% pass rate exam - which is it?

    The trouble with a system with a 100% pass rate is that there are invariably a greater proportion at the top end of the spectrum. The grade system doesn't have enough resolution to distinguish between these so-called top candidates, and therefore there is a big difference even between those people who society regards as being equally intelligent.

    The ramifications of this can be seen in the university admissions system, which is why students are being to yet more tests, set by the university, in order to gauge a real measure of their applicants' characteristics that A levels are failing to provide.
    I'm afraid I don't buy that. Incredibly intelligent students tend to not only get AAA but take more than 3 A levels and manage to get As in the extras as well. If uni's were naive enough to continue judging applicants on their "best 3" A levels then yes they're likely to have rtouble distinguishing between the good and the great. But then grades do not represent potential. Uni's aren't really that fussed about grades - they're more concerned with getting the students who will excel on their course. That requires admissions tutors to consider enthusiasm and talent related to the course content and style of teaching rather than simply "everyone with AAB and above is in".

    Why one earth should the whole system be changed for the sake of oxbridge, devaluing the A grades of previous years students (who may have scored as well or higher than students achieving the A1 or A* grades proposed by the complainers) when the entire 14-19 system is due for a complete overhaul in the next 5/10 years anyway?

    http://www.14-19reform.gov.uk/
 
 
 
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