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The British Education system is a mess and needs fixing watch

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    The British Education system is so messed up. There are obvious problems with both GCSEs and A Levels but other factors which make it so much more problematic. This is just my opinion of course but I believe a lot of it is true making the whole system biased and unfair.

    GCSE's
    Whilst I think A Levels are a bigger problem there are still things which need addressing with GCSE's.

    Firstly, it seems pointless/tedious for students to be taught to 'pass' these GCSE exams within 2-3 years just so they can take another set of exams the following 2 years. Obviously it is extremely unlikely that GCSEs will ever be cut, but taking so many exams at the age of 16 is not really beneficial to anyone, many students will wish to drop particular subjects without ever really understanding them fully, thus it would make more sense for only certain GCSE subjects to be examined i.e. Maths, English, Science whereas others should just be taught on the curriculum till year 10/11 as these are generally the only GCSE's you will really ever need.

    A Levels
    Unfortunately, A Levels have a huge bearing on your future, but they coincidentally fail to determine one's academic potential or intellectual ability.

    The main problem here is subject choices, because people are given the freedom to choose what they wan't so early on they often make bad choices or regret the choices the y made originally. There's also the issue of 'difficulty' so called 'blacklisted' subjects are becoming more popular and more unis (other than Oxbridge) are becoming increasingly accepting of them, however this seems to be unfair and I'll give an example why; two students could both be applying for Law at a uni that say requires AAA, one student is taking Maths, History and Economics, another is taking Media, Business and Law. Without being biased it is quite clear that the first students is taking more challenging A Levels in comparison to the second and will have to work much harder to achieve the offer grades than student 2. Come results day, student 1 gets BBB, Student 2 gets AAA, based on the grades you might assume student 2 is 'smarter' or more 'academically capable' than student 1 but of course this may not be the case at all, but our education system has no way to account for this.

    Secondly, there are numerous exam boards for different subjects even, this includes marginally different content and so on, as well as the way subjects are assessed. For instance, some exam boards for English have open book exams, some don't which is clearly an issue with standardisation which even grade boundaries can't account for.

    Furthermore there is examiner marking, it is well known that not all examiners are competent or fully qualified for the job and especially with humanities/essay based subjects this is a huge problem and with the new 'remark' reforms there is very little way of accounting for inadequate marking, meaning the entire system is a fluke.

    Coursework is also an issue, and alongside it marking both internally and externally, and any mistakes can mean the difference between grades and essentially a university place! There are clearly attempts to get rid of coursework, but unless all A Levels are fully exam based it won't really be standardised, as all A Levels are worth the same amount of UCAS points but doing well in your applied A Level coursework and failing your exam isn't really known by anyone when you still come out with i.e. a B.

    BTECS
    It's fairly obvious that BTECs require work, but nowhere near the amount as A Levels, and if people can nowadays get into a top uni without having to do A Levels there's clearly a problem. People nowadays will call their D*s an A*A*A* instead which isn't really fair as they didn't take A Levels but for some reason they are worth the same UCAS points. While some people might benefit more from vocational qualifications it is unfair to those who take A levels to have to compete for a place at uni with someone who had to take very few or perhaps even no exams.

    Other factors
    Whilst many universities do consider a person's living conditions/family income etc. all have different criteria which overall makes the application process unfair and beneficial to some people but not to others in similar situations.

    Extenuating circumstances as such are also not considered to a great enough extent, in fact exam boards (if notified) can allow a 3% mark increase which is quite literally nothing and doesn't in anyway account for how badly one's circumstances may have affected them. The fact linear A Levels are a thing now is even more worrying and does not put previous A Level students on the same grounding as current ones as they do not have a chance to resit modules which previous years were able to, and this is a serious issue.

    There is also the odd chance that someone had an off day on the exam or didn't have enough sleep etc. which hindered their performance, there are stories of A* students failing exams/getting average grades and the current system does nothing to account for this.

    The school a person goes to also have a huge bearing on the grades they may achieve at A Level and with the existence of grammar schools and private schools there is no equal playing field when it comes to teaching quality or academic support as well as careers advice offered. Someone with A*AA from a grammar school may have the same intellectual ability/academic potential as someone who gets BBC from an average or low performing state school yet no one will ever know this. Yes there are people from low performing schools who do better and vice versa but they are simply anomalies in the grand scheme of things.

    And unfortunately, not getting the grades at A Level can close the doors for people when applying for jobs, no matter how capable they are or how well they do later on in life or at university which is unfair and corrupt.

    The Solution
    Clearly the main problem is that there is a lack of standardisation in regards to academic qualifications in the UK. If there was one exam board and more qualified examiners many of these problems could easily be solved.

    Standard Assessment Tests certainly need to be brought here, like in the US where everyone will take the same exams more or less. Everyone would generally benefit from having to study the following post-year 11/GSCE's and would help them make a more informed choice in their future career/aspirations rather than running off to do something completely untenable:

    - Mathematics
    - English
    - Biology
    - Chemistry
    - Physics
    - Philosophy
    - Politics
    - History
    - A Language
    - Citizenship (including psychology/PSHE etc.)

    If all these subjects were standardised and assessed in the same way then it would be a much more fair and students from worse off schools/situation wouldn't be disadvantaged, it also means students can be assessed equally on the exact same exams which would make university admissions much less biased when differentiating between candidates' grades etc. They wouldn't necessary have as much content as A Levels but would obviously be harder and more complex than GCSEs and would still allow more room for citizenship based studies and extracurricular activities which is certainly less emphasised in current education in the UK. Early examination i.e. in January and then June/July may also be an option as students' futures wouldn't entirely be decided on one exam which is the case with new linear A Levels

    This is not to say that A Levels should be completely abandoned, perhaps some university courses will require a specific A Levels and some A Levels may benefit one's application but there would no longer be a need for 3-4 A Levels as the standard assessment tests would do a better job of assessing one's academic ability. These tests would preferably include multiple choice (obviously complex and difficult still - this would also decrease wrongly marked papers due to examiner incompetency) rather than allow for regurgitation that grammar school students for instance may be more equipped for nowadays.

    The teaching quality in preparation for these assessment tests should also be standardised, ensuring no individual benefits more than the other because of huge differences in teaching quality between schools, I'm not talking about the removal of grammar schools and such but ensuring equal opportunities.

    If this was done then perhaps those pesky A Level requirements for graduate jobs would be removed. These standard assessment tests should also be made available to adults who haven't taken them and/or to get back into education and explore their potential.

    I'm aware these problems may never be solved, or that there are better solutions, but I hope I somehow addressed things which I believe are huge issues in the current education system.
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    yo that BTEC one hit me hard in the kokoro. I know someone who got into UCL and they never did any exams
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    (Original post by Satori Tendō)
    yo that BTEC one hit me hard in the kokoro. I know someone who got into UCL and they never did any exams
    Which subject was this in?
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    If you wanted to go on to do A Level Geography (for example) then would it not make sense to sit the GCSE Geography exam?

    Students are free to select lots of their GCSE subjects too. So I'm concerned if you think 16 is too early to make subject choice yet haven't raised that about GCSEs.

    If you're good at Maths, History and Economics, but dislike Media, Business and Law, which would you find more challenging? What is challenging to one person isn't another, so I find it laughable when you say you're not being biased in that assessment.

    You want to remove a school's choice of how many exams their students sit, or what texts they are able to study in English (since you used that example). It isn't an issue with standardisation at all. Exam boards exist for the sake of consumer choice. Tbe consumers here being the schools who pay the exam fees. Would you like to explain how differences in the specifications of exam boards cause standardisation issues?

    "it is well known that not all examiners are competent or fullt qualified" - would you like to provide some evidence for this claim before you go around insulting people?

    There is a problem with subjective marking of essay based subjects I agree. But that has been arouns for a while so if you can think of a solution that'd be grand.

    As for coursework, the majority of A levels that contain coursework weight that component minorly. Meaning that coursework marking errors have significantly less impact on your overall grade than an exam.. Once again you bring up standardisation issues in reference to UCAS Points when the majority of university offers do not use UCAS Points. So I'm confused by where you see the standardisation issue...

    Have you ever done a BTEC? Or witnessed a BTEC lesson?
    Why is getting into university without A Levels a problem?

    I agree with the inconsistency between linear and modular A Levels regarding resits. That is a problem.
    Could you link me to where you got that 3% figure from?

    The old system did nothing to account for people having off days for exams either. The only thing to soften that problem is to have more non-exam assessment (i.e. coursework).

    Would you define exactly what you mean by teaching quality?
    Yes there is an equality that exists between different types of schools in terms of exam results. But the data demonstrates that this is mostly connected to the socio-economic demographic of the students attending these schools than type of schools themselves, or the teaching within them.


    You think lack of standardisation is a problem, and would like to bring SATs to the UK. Whereas I think the UK has too mucb standardised testong already and would prefer to follow the finnish model (which has consistently been at the top of international education league tables during the last decade).

    If you make.everyone sit the same exams do you think you're measuring people's natural academic ability in doing so? Or are you testing their ability to be good at that exam?

    Also, your thread title refers to British education yet you've said nothing about the Scottish system.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    If you wanted to go on to do A Level Geography (for example) then would it not make sense to sit the GCSE Geography exam?

    Students are free to select lots of their GCSE subjects too. So I'm concerned if you think 16 is too early to make subject choice yet haven't raised that about GCSEs.
    I did say that the subjects should be taught on the curriculum as they are now, they just wouldn't be able to choose which ones and so you wouldn't necessarily need a GCSE to study it, perhaps an internal exam, I still think only the GCSEs I mentioned should be externally examined.


    (Original post by 04MR17)
    If you're good at Maths, History and Economics, but dislike Media, Business and Law, which would you find more challenging? What is challenging to one person isn't another, so I find it laughable when you say you're not being biased in that assessment.
    Not sure how not liking a subject would necessarily make it challenging? Yeah not liking maths would make it challenging - it's a harder A Level, but not liking business I'm not so sure, it's not exactly rocket science.


    (Original post by 04MR17)
    You want to remove a school's choice of how many exams their students sit, or what texts they are able to study in English (since you used that example). It isn't an issue with standardisation at all. Exam boards exist for the sake of consumer choice. Tbe consumers here being the schools who pay the exam fees. Would you like to explain how differences in the specifications of exam boards cause standardisation issues?
    When did I say that? And all exams should either be open book or closed book, you can't have people being able to look at their texts in an exam on one exam board then people not being able to on another exam board, it's obviously not fair?

    And content will vary in subjects between exam boards so some people may have performed better having learnt certain content and vice versa and this could be the case with how the exams are assessed i.e. the types of questions/lengths of answers required etc. The huge differences between new and old specifications of the same subjects also demonstrate the difference in difficulty etc.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    "it is well known that not all examiners are competent or fullt qualified" - would you like to provide some evidence for this claim before you go around insulting people?
    It is something that has been claimed by examiners themselves, you can search for articles if you wish. And if someone can go from a D to an A* after an exam remark there is clearly some incompetence with some examiners and it can have a huge impact on someone's future, especially with the new remark reforms, if they aren't marked properly in the first place then that's obviously an issue which should be addressed and not ignored. Whether or not you consider that an 'insult' it doesn't really matter as if people aren't marking properly then it should be called out.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    There is a problem with subjective marking of essay based subjects I agree. But that has been arouns for a while so if you can think of a solution that'd be grand.
    Having one exam board would be one step forward as would fully trained examiners. But anyway having multiple choice based exams for humanities would solve that problem instantly anyway.


    (Original post by 04MR17)
    As for coursework, the majority of A levels that contain coursework weight that component minorly. Meaning that coursework marking errors have significantly less impact on your overall grade than an exam.. Once again you bring up standardisation issues in reference to UCAS Points when the majority of university offers do not use UCAS Points. So I'm confused by where you see the standardisation issue...
    Coursework can account for the difference of between 1-2 grades, this happens a lot, maybe it didn't happen to you - but if exams are going to be the primary way of assessing academic ability then what is coursework doing in some subjects and not others? And some employers use UCAS points. But the main point was that a A grade in Applied Science would probably look better than a B grade in History but the history student may have performed better on their exams than the Applied science student for instance.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Have you ever done a BTEC? Or witnessed a BTEC lesson?
    Why is getting into university without A Levels a problem?
    It's a problem because it's easy for some people to get into uni and harder for others, you shouldn't have to work harder to get AAA when someone can scrape DDD at BTEC and say they got AAA.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    I agree with the inconsistency between linear and modular A Levels regarding resits. That is a problem.
    Could you link me to where you got that 3% figure from?

    The old system did nothing to account for people having off days for exams either. The only thing to soften that problem is to have more non-exam assessment (i.e. coursework).
    I think I saw it on an exam board website a few years ago (I don't have the link, sorry) but I'm aware they can sometimes make allowances somewhere between 2-5% depending on the circumstances, which is nothing really.

    All subjects would have to have coursework then and give the same weighting. And no there's not, which is why schools should provide transcripts of some sort or December/January + Summer exams should be brought back to reduce the likelihood of this affecting results.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Would you define exactly what you mean by teaching quality?
    Yes there is an equality that exists between different types of schools in terms of exam results. But the data demonstrates that this is mostly connected to the socio-economic demographic of the students attending these schools than type of schools themselves, or the teaching within them.
    I'm assuming you meant to say inequality? Grammar school students are taught to memorise textbooks from a much younger age, state school students (at least the non-top performing ones) don't do that. I'm aware some don't even get taught.


    (Original post by 04MR17)
    You think lack of standardisation is a problem, and would like to bring SATs to the UK. Whereas I think the UK has too mucb standardised testong already and would prefer to follow the finnish model (which has consistently been at the top of international education league tables during the last decade).
    I'm not sure what you were trying to say? And it's not that good.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    If you make.everyone sit the same exams do you think you're measuring people's natural academic ability in doing so? Or are you testing their ability to be good at that exam?
    Well you can't even say that about current exams since everyone isn't sitting the same ones. And even if someone were to agree with you at least everyone would be tested on the same exam and not completely random ones.

    But to answer your question properly, SATs, at least multiple choice would mean students could be tested on both logical and analytical skills rather than just regurgitation/memorisation or discursive abilities which A Levels entail.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Also, your thread title refers to British education yet you've said nothing about the Scottish system.
    Could've said English and Welsh education system maybe (oh well, this title seems more fitting anyway) and I haven't done Scottish highers so I can't comment on that
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    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    Not sure how not liking a subject would necessarily make it challenging? Yeah not liking maths would make it challenging - it's a harder A Level, but not liking business I'm not so sure, it's not exactly rocket science.
    Regardless of what you subjectively consider to be rocket science, if you enjoy a subject you're more likely to be good at it, and vice versa? Yes? If you are good at Maths, you don't struggle, then you're far more likely to enjoy challenging yourself and learning more things than someone who has always disliked Maths. The same can be true if you're dreading a Maths lesson, chances are your brain will not be as receptive during the lesson if you don't feel as relaxed and comfortable being there. This is basic psychology.
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    When did I say that? And all exams should either be open book or closed book, you can't have people being able to look at their texts in an exam on one exam board then people not being able to on another exam board, it's obviously not fair?
    Exam boards exist for the sake of consumer choice. School's choice. You said you want to make all specifications the same and describe marginal differences in content. I can tell you that this includes how many exams you sit, because there are some subjects which you will sit a different number of exams depending on which board you're with. Why is it not fair? Schools chose to opt with one exam board and not the other. If schools thought it wasn't fair they'd all pick one exam board. You're really over-emphasising the importance of an open or closed book exam to be honest. I see it usually as a disadvantage to have the book there. People spend too ling flicking through it, and it's a waste of desk space. I used to put mine on the floor.

    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    And content will vary in subjects between exam boards so some people may have performed better having learnt certain content and vice versa and this could be the case with how the exams are assessed i.e. the types of questions/lengths of answers required etc. The huge differences between new and old specifications of the same subjects also demonstrate the difference in difficulty etc.
    What you find more or less difficult someone else will find easier. And someone else harder. DIFFICULTY IS SUBJECTIVE. Therefore any differences between specifications are balanced out because swathes of students are not disadvantages in one hit as you seem to make out. Also, schools choose the specifications. They choose what to put their students through. If they feel that more exams and longer questions is going to be better for the students, they have the consumers choice to pick a specification with those features.

    [QUOTE=The.Arrow;79562084]It is something that has been claimed by examiners themselves, you can search for articles if you wish. And if someone can go from a D to an A* after an exam remark there is clearly some incompetence with some examiners and it can have a huge impact on someone's future, especially with the new remark reforms, if they aren't marked properly in the first place then that's obviously an issue which should be addressed and not ignored. Whether or not you consider that an 'insult' it doesn't really matter as if people aren't marking properly then it should be called out./QUOTE]I agree that the exam marking system isn't fair - I have plenty of experience on that. But unless you provide some actual evidence of unqualified examiners, and present an idea of the actual scale of this problem, you insult an awful lot of qualified people who do a good job by saying they don't deserve to be in a job.
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    Having one exam board would be one step forward as would fully trained examiners. But anyway having multiple choice based exams for humanities would solve that problem instantly anyway.
    So you'd like our children to believe that the solution is always one of four options? And that every problem has a solution?

    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    Coursework can account for the difference of between 1-2 grades, this happens a lot, maybe it didn't happen to you - but if exams are going to be the primary way of assessing academic ability then what is coursework doing in some subjects and not others? And some employers use UCAS points. But the main point was that a A grade in Applied Science would probably look better than a B grade in History but the history student may have performed better on their exams than the Applied science student for instance.
    I don't see the problem. Exams are not the only part of the A Level. And taking History as your chosen example, the coursework is weighted at 25%. If the History student has performed better than the Applied Science student in 75% of their History A Level, then their gradenwill almost certainly be higher. UNLESS the Applied Science student has performed EVEN BETTER in at least 75% of their assessments. In which case shouldn't that be rewarded with an A grade?
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    It's a problem because it's easy for some people to get into uni and harder for others, you shouldn't have to work harder to get AAA when someone can scrape DDD at BTEC and say they got AAA.
    Once again, you provide no evidence of why you think one is more work than the other? Where are you basing this assumption?
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    I think I saw it on an exam board website a few years ago (I don't have the link, sorry) but I'm aware they can sometimes make allowances somewhere between 2-5% depending on the circumstances, which is nothing really.
    I would suggest you go back and have a look at exam board websites to see if any such figure is provided, before you continue to follow this argument without any evidence.
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    All subjects would have to have coursework then and give the same weighting. And no there's not, which is why schools should provide transcripts of some sort or December/January + Summer exams should be brought back to reduce the likelihood of this affecting results.
    What would you like to propose for the Mathematics A level coursework then?
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    I'm assuming you meant to say inequality? Grammar school students are taught to memorise textbooks from a much younger age, state school students (at least the non-top performing ones) don't do that. I'm aware some don't even get taught.
    Nope, I meant what exactly do you mean by teaching quality?
    Can I ask you why you think memorising textbooks is a good thing?
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    I'm not sure what you were trying to say? And it's not that good.
    Put "Michael Moore Finland Education " into YouTube and you'll see what I mean. Apologies for the typos. Finland doesn't have exams on their curriculum. And their curriculum has consistently been measured at the top of the world during the last decade. The US system is far from the best, the main problem with it is students learning revolves around tests. Anything not on the exam isn't worth learning because you doing materially gain anything from it. I think the UK is too much like that as it is, but you'd like to make thag problem worse, from what you're saying about exams.

    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    Well you can't even say that about current exams since everyone isn't sitting the same ones. And even if someone were to agree with you at least everyone would be tested on the same exam and not completely random ones.
    You didn't answer the question. If you make everyone sit the same exams do you think you're measuring people's natural ability in doing so? I'm not defending the current system here. I'm trying to work out what you actually want to achieve, and what purpose you think your new model has.
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    But to answer your question properly, SATs, at least multiple choice would mean students could be tested on both logical and analytical skills rather than just regurgitation/memorisation or discursive abilities which A Levels entail.
    Why wouldn't multiple choice be about memorisation?
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Regardless of what you subjectively consider to be rocket science, if you enjoy a subject you're more likely to be good at it, and vice versa? Yes? If you are good at Maths, you don't struggle, then you're far more likely to enjoy challenging yourself and learning more things than someone who has always disliked Maths. The same can be true if you're dreading a Maths lesson, chances are your brain will not be as receptive during the lesson if you don't feel as relaxed and comfortable being there. This is basic psychology.
    Well I've already made my point about maths and that it is a harder subject than business regardless, as you don't just have to memorise a textbook. There's no subjectivity, some A Levels are much harder than others and require more application, understanding etc. Not that there isn't ways around it i.e. doing past papers multiple times, but the point is you'd have to do way more work to get a good grade in Maths than in a subject like business, there's no refuting this.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Exam boards exist for the sake of consumer choice. School's choice. You said you want to make all specifications the same and describe marginal differences in content. I can tell you that this includes how many exams you sit, because there are some subjects which you will sit a different number of exams depending on which board you're with. Why is it not fair? Schools chose to opt with one exam board and not the other. If schools thought it wasn't fair they'd all pick one exam board. You're really over-emphasising the importance of an open or closed book exam to be honest. I see it usually as a disadvantage to have the book there. People spend too ling flicking through it, and it's a waste of desk space. I used to put mine on the floor.
    'If schools thought it wasn't fair they'd all pick one exam board' well schools aren't always bothered about fairness now are they, nor are the exam boards.
    Whether or not open-book is an advantage or disadvantage the point is that it's not the same for everyone, yeah it may not effect the A*/A calibre of students but may make a difference for those stretching between C/D grades.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    What you find more or less difficult someone else will find easier. And someone else harder. DIFFICULTY IS SUBJECTIVE. Therefore any differences between specifications are balanced out because swathes of students are not disadvantages in one hit as you seem to make out. Also, schools choose the specifications. They choose what to put their students through. If they feel that more exams and longer questions is going to be better for the students, they have the consumers choice to pick a specification with those features.
    Yeah and they shouldn't be able to choose what to put their students through, everyone should be assessed on the same thing.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    I agree that the exam marking system isn't fair - I have plenty of experience on that. But unless you provide some actual evidence of unqualified examiners, and present an idea of the actual scale of this problem, you insult an awful lot of qualified people who do a good job by saying they don't deserve to be in a job.
    I haven't insulted anyone who marks adequately though have I? If someone is an inadequate marker they should be taught to do their jobs properly and exam boards shouldn't allow non-clerical errors to keep students' money from remarks etc.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    So you'd like our children to believe that the solution is always one of four options? And that every problem has a solution?
    Lol, I'm not quite sure what you have against multiple choice but they can test just as many skills as written questions if not more. Every problem does have a solution, the problem is the people that ignore that fact


    (Original post by 04MR17)
    I don't see the problem. Exams are not the only part of the A Level. And taking History as your chosen example, the coursework is weighted at 25%. If the History student has performed better than the Applied Science student in 75% of their History A Level, then their gradenwill almost certainly be higher. UNLESS the Applied Science student has performed EVEN BETTER in at least 75% of their assessments. In which case shouldn't that be rewarded with an A grade?
    But coursework is easier so it's not fair if some subjects have lots of subjects whereas others don't, that's the point. Students also tend to get a lot more support with BTECs or Applied A Levels than students who have A Level coursework.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Once again, you provide no evidence of why you think one is more work than the other? Where are you basing this assumption?I would suggest you go back and have a look at exam board websites to see if any such figure is provided, before you continue to follow this argument without any evidence.What would you like to propose for the Mathematics A level coursework then? Nope, I meant what exactly do you mean by teaching quality?
    I've seen the figure before, and I'm sure you'd be able to find it somewhere that exam boards make a tiny allowance for EC's, why are you ignorant of this fact?
    That's the point, there doesn't have to be coursework in any subjects. And tbh finding coursework for maths wouldn't exactly be difficult at all given how many things are maths or quantitative based in the world... I mean it could be hundreds of things so if coursework were to be a compulsory thing for all subjects I don't see how it would be a problem with maths either.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Can I ask you why you think memorising textbooks is a good thing?
    Because it differentiates between A* and A/B grade students in numerous subjects? Surely you must know this by now if you are an undergraduate? I don't believe that memorising textbooks is a good thing, but that is what current GCSE and A Level exams require to get good grades, there is barely any skill or logic involved, hence, if certain students are taught this practice early on they are bound to perform much better than those who aren't...

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Put "Michael Moore Finland Education " into YouTube and you'll see what I mean. Apologies for the typos. Finland doesn't have exams on their curriculum. And their curriculum has consistently been measured at the top of the world during the last decade. The US system is far from the best, the main problem with it is students learning revolves around tests. Anything not on the exam isn't worth learning because you doing materially gain anything from it. I think the UK is too much like that as it is, but you'd like to make thag problem worse, from what you're saying about exams.
    That was a documentary on one school though, lol, so they don't have exams? For many professions you will need to sit exams.

    Also, why are most of the worlds top universities in the US if it's so bad? Plus, the UK doesn't even have a 'curriculum', you just choose what you want when you're 16, which is ridiculous and absurd. At least in the US you aren't forced to choose something until later on at undergraduate level even.

    And if you think exams are so bad why didn't you do BTEC? Do you think BTEC should replace A Levels?


    (Original post by 04MR17)
    You didn't answer the question. If you make everyone sit the same exams do you think you're measuring people's natural ability in doing so? I'm not defending the current system here. I'm trying to work out what you actually want to achieve, and what purpose you think your new model has. Why wouldn't multiple choice be about memorisation?
    I did answer your question, lol. Multiple choice can test logical and analytical skills and you wouldn't necessarily need to read a textbook to learn the 'content' like with A Levels.
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    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    Well I've already made my point about maths and that it is a harder subject than business regardless, as you don't just have to memorise a textbook. There's no subjectivity, some A Levels are much harder than others and require more application, understanding etc. Not that there isn't ways around it i.e. doing past papers multiple times, but the point is you'd have to do way more work to get a good grade in Maths than in a subject like business, there's no refuting this.
    You have said that you think Maths is harder than business. You have provided no evidence for this, or any substantiation at all. You have only said "I am saying this without bias" and called the statement obvious. No it isn't. It's your opinion. DIFFICULTY IS SUBJECTIVE.
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    'If schools thought it wasn't fair they'd all pick one exam board' well schools aren't always bothered about fairness now are they, nor are the exam boards.
    Whether or not open-book is an advantage or disadvantage the point is that it's not the same for everyone, yeah it may not effect the A*/A calibre of students but may make a difference for those stretching between C/D grades.
    What makes you assume that it being the same for everyone somehow makes it more fair? The education system will always be unfair if students come to it from different socio-economic backgrounds. The system will never be fair.
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    I haven't insulted anyone who marks adequately though have I? If someone is an inadequate marker they should be taught to do their jobs properly and exam boards shouldn't allow non-clerical errors to keep students' money from remarks etc.
    I know several examiners who would be offended since you've STILL yet to provide any evidence of this claim. Stop making these loaded statements without backing them up.
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    Lol, I'm not quite sure what you have against multiple choice but they can test just as many skills as written questions if not more. Every problem does have a solution, the problem is the people that ignore that fact
    If you think every problem can be solved, please demonstrate using any of the examples in the link below.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...in_mathematics

    Or if you'd prefer a simpler example? How about world poverty? What's the solution? Is the answer A B or C?

    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    But coursework is easier so it's not fair if some subjects have lots of subjects whereas others don't, that's the point. Students also tend to get a lot more support with BTECs or Applied A Levels than students who have A Level coursework.
    Evidence?:tumble: I see none.:tumble:
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    I've seen the figure before, and I'm sure you'd be able to find it somewhere that exam boards make a tiny allowance for EC's, why are you ignorant of this fact?
    I am not ignorant of the fact. I asked you to provide evidence. All you had to do was to link me to this... https://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/...cess-2017-2018 which I am now able to do since I am now on a PC rather than my phone earlier. It's just the basic skill of citing the source from which you produce a figure rather than have it appear as though you plucked it from the air. However, I will note that the 1-5% figure is not for all cases. There are no figures listed for "Candidates who are absent from a timetabled component/unit for acceptable reasons".

    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    That's the point, there doesn't have to be coursework in any subjects. And tbh finding coursework for maths wouldn't exactly be difficult at all given how many things are maths or quantitative based in the world... I mean it could be hundreds of things so if coursework were to be a compulsory thing for all subjects I don't see how it would be a problem with maths either.
    Of course it isn't a problem. The modular maths GCSE used to have coursework.

    You still haven't old me what you mean by "teaching quality" though.
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    Because it differentiates between A* and A/B grade students in numerous subjects? Surely you must know this by now if you are an undergraduate? I don't believe that memorising textbooks is a good thing, but that is what current GCSE and A Level exams require to get good grades, there is barely any skill or logic involved, hence, if certain students are taught this practice early on they are bound to perform much better than those who aren't...
    Erm. I didn't memorise any textbooks at GCSE or A Level. I didn't use textbooks in two of my A Levels (English Lit and Maths). I agree that this isn't a good thing that students are being taught to do this, but it is by no means a necessary form of revision.
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    That was a documentary on one school though, lol, so they don't have exams? For many professions you will need to sit exams.
    University exists for anyone interested in those professions. You don't need school exams. Finland proves that.
    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    Also, why are most of the worlds top universities in the US if it's so bad? Plus, the UK doesn't even have a 'curriculum', you just choose what you want when you're 16, which is ridiculous and absurd. At least in the US you aren't forced to choose something until later on at undergraduate level even.
    Because a.) the US school system is different to the US higher education system. And b.) the US public is wealthy enough to pay for that standard of education. You make it sound as though in the UK you can't change your mind. You can leave the education system at 16 if you wish to (and have full time employment or training).

    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    And if you think exams are so bad why didn't you do BTEC? Do you think BTEC should replace A Levels?
    Because BTEC subjects didn't match what I needed for my career plans, and thus university.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    You have said that you think Maths is harder than business. You have provided no evidence for this, or any substantiation at all. You have only said "I am saying this without bias" and called the statement obvious. No it isn't. It's your opinion. DIFFICULTY IS SUBJECTIVE.
    Even if someone likes maths they may struggle with it, whereas business you can just memorise the content, there is a difference in difficulty between subjects, that's why some are 'facilitating', others are 'respected' and some are 'blacklisted'


    (Original post by 04MR17)
    What makes you assume that it being the same for everyone somehow makes it more fair? The education system will always be unfair if students come to it from different socio-economic backgrounds. The system will never be fair.
    We should make it as fair as we can then, logic and intellect based questions wouldn't be affected by bad teaching quality, so it would reduce the impact of such factors.


    (Original post by 04MR17)
    I know several examiners who would be offended since you've STILL yet to provide any evidence of this claim. Stop making these loaded statements without backing them up.
    Good for them, they wouldn't be offended if it wasn't them who made the mistakes.

    https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-...-results-wrong


    (Original post by 04MR17)
    If you think every problem can be solved, please demonstrate using any of the examples in the link below.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...in_mathematics

    Or if you'd prefer a simpler example? How about world poverty? What's the solution? Is the answer A B or C?
    Those aren't real world problems, and don't act like students have to solve those problems in the so called A Level maths exams, because they don't it's all meaningless - A Levels are, that is.

    And I'm not quite sure why you've given that poverty example like any current A Level exams have the solution to poverty as part of their content. And ironically enough, the answer may very will be A, B or C given the nature of the question, nice try though.

    Again, there's nothing the current A Level exams test which multiple choice wouldn't be able to, in fact they simply require you to produce robotic answers and memorise the mark schemes.

    Take a look at an LSAT exam, a good example of a test which doesn't purely rely on memorising content.


    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Evidence?:tumble: I see none.:tumble:I am not ignorant of the fact. I asked you to provide evidence. All you had to do was to link me to this... https://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/...cess-2017-2018 which I am now able to do since I am now on a PC rather than my phone earlier. It's just the basic skill of citing the source from which you produce a figure rather than have it appear as though you plucked it from the air. However, I will note that the 1-5% figure is not for all cases. There are no figures listed for "Candidates who are absent from a timetabled component/unit for acceptable reasons".
    So you found the evidence, good. I did say I saw it ages ago so I didn't have the link. Yes I did say it's only a tiny allowance and doesn't usually cater to those with more serious/long term circumstances, which is why content + memory based exams we have now are terrible indications of intellectual ability, whereas logic based questions would ensure such circumstances affect exam performance to a minimum.


    (Original post by 04MR17)
    You still haven't old me what you mean by "teaching quality" though.
    Teaching quality, as in how they can help you get top marks, not every school does that and in my experience there was sometimes little difference between going or not going to school since you could just use the textbook and have the exact same lesson.

    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Erm. I didn't memorise any textbooks at GCSE or A Level. I didn't use textbooks in two of my A Levels (English Lit and Maths). I agree that this isn't a good thing that students are being taught to do this, but it is by no means a necessary form of revision.
    University exists for anyone interested in those professions. You don't need school exams. Finland proves that.
    Because a.) the US school system is different to the US higher education system. And b.) the US public is wealthy enough to pay for that standard of education. You make it sound as though in the UK you can't change your mind. You can leave the education system at 16 if you wish to (and have full time employment or training).
    Textbooks/revision guides/exam content i.e. from your lesson notes, memorising all of that is how most people obtain full marks, that's not a hard concept to grasp. English and Maths are exceptions since they simply require practice, but almost every other subject requires memorisation.

    And dropping out of school wasn't at all what I've been referring to about 'changing your mind' I'm talking about academia and the subjects you choose in Year 12.

    You haven't really refuted any of my points.
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    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    Textbooks/revision guides/exam content i.e. from your lesson notes, memorising all of that is how most people obtain full marks, that's not a hard concept to grasp. English and Maths are exceptions since they simply require practice, but almost every other subject requires memorisation.

    And dropping out of school wasn't at all what I've been referring to about 'changing your mind' I'm talking about academia and the subjects you choose in Year 12.

    You haven't really refuted any of my points.
    Have you asked "most people" (your words) that this was how they did it? I grasp tbe concept petfectly, I just don't believe it's necessary to success, which you seem to.

    The only evidence you provide is an anonymous begrudged senior examiner who says "I'll take a PGCE student" when you don't even know if they're in charge of recruitment. That doesn't get you very far.

    Please explain to me why you don't believe difficulty is subjective.

    Also, please don't assume that everyone has equal abilities to memorise, (in reference to business studies).

    So you withdraw your comment that every problem can be solved. I didn't say at any point that A Level students would be given tasks of this difficulty (in reference to the world poverty and unsolved maths problems). I suggested that we shouldn't be allowing students to believe that every problem has a solution. Which is what multiple choice testing engenders.

    I find your definition of teaching quality, that you actually link it to exam performance, quite shocking to be honest.

    I've told you why not every school does gets students top marks, it's because of the students that comes through the door. Socio-economic background is the biggest determinant of your academic attainment, and nothing in your model tries to tackle the social problems which are plagueing this country's education system.
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    (Original post by 04MR17)
    Have you asked "most people" (your words) that this was how they did it? I grasp tbe concept petfectly, I just don't believe it's necessary to success, which you seem to.

    The only evidence you provide is an anonymous begrudged senior examiner who says "I'll take a PGCE student" when you don't even know if they're in charge of recruitment. That doesn't get you very far.

    Please explain to me why you don't believe difficulty is subjective.

    Also, please don't assume that everyone has equal abilities to memorise, (in reference to business studies).

    So you withdraw your comment that every problem can be solved. I didn't say at any point that A Level students would be given tasks of this difficulty (in reference to the world poverty and unsolved maths problems). I suggested that we shouldn't be allowing students to believe that every problem has a solution. Which is what multiple choice testing engenders.

    I find your definition of teaching quality, that you actually link it to exam performance, quite shocking to be honest.

    I've told you why not every school does gets students top marks, it's because of the students that comes through the door. Socio-economic background is the biggest determinant of your academic attainment, and nothing in your model tries to tackle the social problems which are plagueing this country's education system.
    You don't need to understand everything to do well in an exam, not all straight A* students are exactly 'intelligent' they just often happen to be quite privileged and perhaps went to a good school, putting a decent amount of effort into their studies, one's socio-economic background is a determinant of one's academic attainment as is a lot of other external factors which I highlighted in the original post.

    Not being able to solve a 'maths' problem =/= Being able to solve a real world problem. Real world problems all have solutions.

    Well no, exam performance isn't the only indicator of teaching quality, understanding concepts, enjoying learning are also factors but at the end of the day none of those matter unless you get a top grade because otherwise many doors will be closed for you.

    I didn't say difficulty isn't subjective, I said some subjects are harder than others at A Level and you know it.
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    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    two students could both be applying for Law at a uni that say requires AAA, one student is taking Maths, History and Economics, another is taking Media, Business and Law. Without being biased it is quite clear that the first students is taking more challenging A Levels in comparison to the second and will have to work much harder to achieve the offer grades than student 2. Come results day, student 1 gets BBB, Student 2 gets AAA, based on the grades you might assume student 2 is 'smarter' or more 'academically capable' than student 1 but of course this may not be the case at all, but our education system has no way to account for this.
    How many students get AAA, or better, in Media, Business and Law compared to Maths, History and Economics?

    The A/A* grade rates for each subject in 2018 were: 11.8%, 15.2%, 17.8% vs 42.2%, 23.5%, 30.3%...

    And yes, you are being biased.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    How many students get AAA, or better, in Media, Business and Law compared to Maths, History and Economics?

    The A/A* grade rates for each subject in 2018 were: 11.8%, 15.2%, 17.8% vs 42.2%, 23.5%, 30.3%...

    And yes, you are being biased.
    That is more of an indication of the calibre of students taking the subjects than anything else, the A/A* rate for Further Maths is very high, and I'm sure you know why that is.
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    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    That is more of an indication of the calibre of students taking the subjects than anything else, the A/A* rate for Further Maths is very high, and I'm sure you know why that is.
    Indeed, so "the calibre of students" is indicated by the grade achieved. Therefore if a university requires AAA (without specifying the subjects) they know they are getting a certain "calibre of student".
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Indeed, so "the calibre of students" is indicated by the grade achieved. Therefore if a university requires AAA (without specifying the subjects) they know they are getting a certain "calibre of student".
    You're misinterpreting my point, I'm saying the more able students are going to be taking the Maths, History, Econ combo for instance in comparison to the other combo, where the A grades will be easier to obtain.

    It's like saying someone with a triple distinction in sport is the same league of an AAA student doing Maths, Biology and Psychology or even a BBB student to be completely honest.
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    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    You're misinterpreting my point, I'm saying the more able students are going to be taking the Maths, History, Econ combo for instance in comparison to the other combo, where the A grades will be easier to obtain.

    It's like saying someone with a triple distinction in sport is the same league of an AAA student doing Maths, Biology and Psychology or even a BBB student to be completely honest.
    Nope you are ignoring my point. The university has determined (as much through supply and demand as anything to be honest...) that it wants AAA students. Therefore the university is looking for that calibre of student.

    Have you tried achieving a triple distinction in Sport? Or AAA in Media, Business and Law? Come back when you have. If the grades are "easier to obtain" you'll have no problems...
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Nope you are ignoring my point. The university has determined (as much through supply and demand as anything to be honest...) that it wants AAA students. Therefore the university is looking for that calibre of student.

    Have you tried achieving a triple distinction in Sport? Or AAA in Media, Business and Law? Come back when you have. If the grades are "easier to obtain" you'll have no problems...
    They are easier, which is why it's not fair for people who have AAA in Maths, Biology, Chemistry to be competing for university places with students doing Applied Science, Media and Business with the same grades.

    This isn't a Sciences vs. Humanities debate, people know there is a bigger workload with the more academic subjects, that's why people do BTEC/Applied A Levels cause they know it's 'easier' it's essentially cheating the system.
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    Thread backfire, classic.
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    (Original post by The.Arrow)
    They are easier,
    How do you know? Have you got AAA in Media, Business and Law?

    which is why it's not fair for people who have AAA in Maths, Biology, Chemistry to be competing for university places with students doing Applied Science, Media and Business with the same grades.
    How often does that happen in reality? Although why shouldn't it? I know someone with AAA in non-facilitating A-levels, who graduated with a 1st in Law and is now a trainee solicitor doing nicely.

    This isn't a Sciences vs. Humanities debate, people know there is a bigger workload with the more academic subjects, that's why people do BTEC/Applied A Levels cause they know it's 'easier' it's essentially cheating the system.
    I never said it was a science v humanities debate. Although I'd point out that Cambridge welcomes BTECs for Engineering when accompanied by A-level Maths.
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    Well given the question refers to British Education maybe Geography should be included in your list, Scotland in the main does not follow your A level exam route, it still has its single year Highers (mainly but not always in fifth year) when one tends to narrow from say 8 subjects to maybe 5, albeit it does also have Advanced Highers for sixth year which appear to have a decent reputation and are well regarded re university entrance south of the border. It does, of course, have the four year degree so launching from fifth year Highers to university is not that unusual.

    Education systems and their qualifications ought to be structured for a wider population than just those aspiring to go to university and in this possibly the Scottish system is more flexible, it offers multiple pathways, however it is hard for me to comment as A Levels etc are somewhat alien territory.

    System is roughly outlined below:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotti...ions_Authority
 
 
 
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