A levels easier than they used to be? Watch

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Flubi
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#1
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We are constantly being told by newspapers, teachers and parents etc. that A-levels are not nearly as difficult as they used to be.

Is this true, or are general standards of education just higher than they used to be, with better quality teaching & facilities (including the internet)?

Also, if standards have slipped, how and why do you think this has occurred?

Do students find this demoralising and unfair?

Opinions please!
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contauri
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Although I don't know if there has been a considerable change in the difficulty of the content, the six module system certainly makes it easier to achieve higher grades than being examined in the whole A-level at the end of year 13.
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UniOfLife
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I don't know for sure but it seems that people are doing more A-levels now than they used to. This, at least superficially, implies that they are easier to do. But my facts could be wrong on that.
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TotalImmortal
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Yes, they are getting easier.

A 'B' used to be a very good grade, and very few used to get 'A' grades. This has changed considerably now with more 'A' grades being awarded than ever.
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Lizsco3
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They seem to be, as a larger amount of people are now getting AAA than before and as a result, uni grade expectations have also gone up drastically.
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bright star
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i think that there is definite grade inflation and that this is hard to deny. i read a really good article about this though a while ago. i'll see if i can find it. it said that basically, it's only the very able that benefit from "fair" grading and as a result, few people fight for it. mainly the argument is centred around pety side issues rather than finding a solution. normally this sort od thing descends into snobbery.
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Laevis
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(Original post by bright star)
i think that there is definite grade inflation and that this is hard to deny. i read a really good article about this though a while ago. i'll see if i can find it. it said that basically, it's only the very able that benefit from "fair" grading and as a result, few people fight for it. mainly the argument is centred around pety side issues rather than finding a solution. normally this sort od thing descends into snobbery.
It's impossible to deny :p:

Most people here are just stating that everyone gets AAA nowadays but that isn't really a proper argument for A Levels getting easier. Perhaps students really are getting brighter? Perhaps the fact that people have come to realise you cannot get anywhere in life without a good education has motivated them to work? Perhaps the standard of education has increased? Perhaps technology has made it easier to revise? Perhaps all this research into the different revision methods that seems to have dominated education over the last decade really is working?

Personally, i think exams are getting easier
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bright star
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but i think the value of an a level as a measure of someone's academic achievent relative to the performance of others needs to be maintained. there's no point to saying the exams aren't easier, everyone does very well but they all get A's. that renders the system totally pointless. so i don't know about exams getting easier, obviously i only took them once!! but i think that grade inflation is a bad thing. i read something about the italian degree classification system once, that basically said that grade inflation was such that everyone got over 99% and it was the decimal point that was the discriminator. when assessing someone you took this and treated it almost as a mark out of 10.... madness!!
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amjw
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(Original post by bright star)
i read something about the italian degree classification system once, that basically said that grade inflation was such that everyone got over 99% and it was the decimal point that was the discriminator
yeh i read that in the telegraph i think (not that it matters, but might jog your memory o.O)
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FoeGeddaBowDeet
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I think it's a mixture of improvements in education and grade inflation. I don't think that many people would deny that the general level of schooling now is far better than it would have been even as recently as the eighties but to deny grade inflation would probably imply the creme de la creme back then are simply now slightly above average.

Personally i'd favour a system of staggered grades rather than banded, e.g.
1% A, 5% B, 14% C, 30% D, 40% E, 10% U...or National Rankings.
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Invocation
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Probably.
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blahbloo
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Before we start thinking Alevels are getting easier. How many of those As are in traditional subjects?

It is far easier to achieve As in non-traditional subjects and we all know there has been an increase in people taking those non-traditional subjects. 25% get As. This means...some people will get one A and rest lower grades, not someone automatically getting 4 As as shown above.

When it's just ONE A out of 3, 4..why, Alevels cant be getting that much easier.

However, i do agree that in some respects Alevels have got easier due to increase promotions of study aids, exam papers and such.
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bright star
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14% of people sitting 2 or more a levels got AAA this summer in this country. they weren't all in general studies :rolleyes:
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sunspoon
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I still found it harder toget a good grade in General Studies though ... only managed a B at AS :p:
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swiftuk
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(Original post by contauri)
Although I don't know if there has been a considerable change in the difficulty of the content, the six module system certainly makes it easier to achieve higher grades than being examined in the whole A-level at the end of year 13.
I did A-levels under both systems (I had a 7 year gap).

I certainly felt that the level of question in the AS physics modules was on the same level as the higher tier physics GCSE exam that I'd sat 9 years before.

The only module paper that I felt was of a simlar level (in the sciences) was the 'synoptic' paper, and I was pretty appalled at how badly the rest of my class did on it, and how much they complained about it.
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made_of_fail
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yes, it is quite undeniable that A levels are getting easier. This can be seen in the overall improvement in grades, which simply can not be explained by better teaching and better students. Although it may well be true that teaching has improved, at least in how well students are prepared for their exams, I don't find it believable that it can be solely responsible for the increase. Neither do students work significantly, or even more at all, than used to be the case. And it would be just bizarre to claim that the level of attainment and innate ability of students arriving in the sixth form has increased.
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Commodus
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Yes they are much easier.

One thing that has changed from the old system is that you have less time to answer the questions, so can achieve full marks with a short answer. This allows you to memorise the key points and regurgitate just what is required for each question. Previously you had hours and hours so if you had only superficial knowledge of the subject you could be caught out.

Also you now often have a choice of questions in exam papers, i.e. you can have huge gaps in your knowledge of the syllabus and still do well.

The problem is that there is a huge pressure to improve exam grades for the vast majority, but little pressure to ensure that the achievements of the 'elite' students are fairly appraised (hence the difficulty the top universities have of distinguishing the top students). It's difficult to do both if they are both sitting the same exam papers.
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Eddy253
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(Original post by Flubi)
We are constantly being told by newspapers, teachers and parents etc. that A-levels are not nearly as difficult as they used to be.

Is this true, or are general standards of education just higher than they used to be, with better quality teaching & facilities (including the internet)?

Also, if standards have slipped, how and why do you think this has occurred?

Do students find this demoralising and unfair?

Opinions please!
Yes it is demoralising although modular subjects are easier than linear ones .
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Ambitious1999
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(Original post by Flubi)
We are constantly being told by newspapers, teachers and parents etc. that A-levels are not nearly as difficult as they used to be.

Is this true, or are general standards of education just higher than they used to be, with better quality teaching & facilities (including the internet)?

Also, if standards have slipped, how and why do you think this has occurred?

Do students find this demoralising and unfair?

Opinions please!
A levels are worse than ever! The government just want more excuses to make A levels harder so fewer working class people get to university. Often Qs on the exam paper were never even taught in class!
Also they want to have more exams and less course work. I much prefer CW! Exams are unfair and performance is affected by how you feel on the day if you have a cold you will perform craply. If your not a morning person then you'll do worse than a student who likes mornings in a morning exam.

They're already making GCSE harder, hoping people leave school with nothing then end up jobless and can be forced to do unpaid Workfare and be sanctioned if they are forced onto dole.

The tories want the poor to stay poor and be exploited.
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Gerry-Atricks
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(Original post by Ambitious1999)
A levels are worse than ever! The government just want more excuses to make A levels harder so fewer working class people get to university. Often Qs on the exam paper were never even taught in class!
Also they want to have more exams and less course work. I much prefer CW! Exams are unfair and performance is affected by how you feel on the day if you have a cold you will perform craply. If your not a morning person then you'll do worse than a student who likes mornings in a morning exam.

They're already making GCSE harder, hoping people leave school with nothing then end up jobless and can be forced to do unpaid Workfare and be sanctioned if they are forced onto dole.

The tories want the poor to stay poor and be exploited.
10 years bro, posted 10 years ago
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