vix.xvi
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Do unis look at them the same?
I'm just curious...
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Theloniouss
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Broadly, yes. Some universities don't accept them, especially for some subjects (they aren't accepted for A100 medicine and they aren't accepted at Oxbridge in most cases). Also, entry requirements are 'higher' - for example, you might be asked for DDD at BTEC or ABB at A level (they aren't really higher because distinctions are much easier to get than As).
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username5395306
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yes and no depending on the level and subject, for example i did Aeronautical Engineering lv3 extended diploma and alot of my mates went to either unis or if they were lucky they went to airbus or boeing. however i wont say that its harder or easier for both as it depends on the subject , i however see its easier to get A than Distinction as you can get A if you revise alot and youll get a D if you understand the topic extremely well
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by 7xm2)
i however see its easier to get A than Distinction as you can get A if you revise alot and youll get a D if you understand the topic extremely well
Around 60% of BTEC grades are D/D*, and around 25% of A level grades are A/A* - so Ds are easier to get than As.

I would also say that proper understanding is definitely required at A level, although I can't comment on BTECs.
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username5395306
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
Around 60% of BTEC grades are D/D*, and around 25% of A level grades are A/A* - so Ds are easier to get than As.

I would also say that proper understanding is definitely required at A level, although I can't comment on BTECs.
well it depends on course , plus BTECS come in differnent Levels for example Level 2 is Gcse level and Level 3 is A level. another thing is this A levels grades are done by percentage so thus it will always be 25% get A* and A and thus its really unfair to say that its better because less get it...
Grade boundaries are set at the end of the marking period, which means it's only once all the papers have been marked that the awarding body will set the boundaries. so you could hypothetically say that a paper was the same and one year the grade to get A was 30 out of 50 , but next year people on the same test did worse and only required 25 out of 50.. Btec grades arent set like that , you either meet that criteria or not and on each model from the course work you have certain criteria. in most units you will have to do 3 assignments and somtimes its 3 to do in 2 weeks being handed in days apart.... in one unit i got for 2 out of my 3 assignemnts distinctions, however in one of my assignemnts i got pass and thus i was capped at a pass for that unit as i did not meet all the criteria for that units merit and distinction even though i did in the previous 2 in that unit...
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Admit-One
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(Original post by vix.xvi)
Do unis look at them the same?
I'm just curious...
Most do, although you may want to check with them before applying if they don’t list a BTEC offer for the course. Some may still require a Maths A-Level for example.

Here’s a rough list of their AL equivalencies:

BTEC Nationals (Pearson BTEC Level 3)

National Certificate (graded P, M, D, D*) = 0.5 x A level
National Extended Certificate (graded P, M, D, D*) = 1.0 x A level
National Foundation Diploma (graded P, M, D, D*) = 1.5 x A levels
National Diploma (graded from PP to D*D*) = 2.0 x A levels
National Extended Diploma (graded from PPP to D*D*D*) = 3.0 x A levels
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by 7xm2)
well it depends on course , plus BTECS come in differnent Levels for example Level 2 is Gcse level and Level 3 is A level. another thing is this A levels grades are done by percentage so thus it will always be 25% get A* and A and thus its really unfair to say that its better because less get it...
Grade boundaries are set at the end of the marking period, which means it's only once all the papers have been marked that the awarding body will set the boundaries. so you could hypothetically say that a paper was the same and one year the grade to get A was 30 out of 50 , but next year people on the same test did worse and only required 25 out of 50.. Btec grades arent set like that , you either meet that criteria or not and on each model from the course work you have certain criteria. in most units you will have to do 3 assignments and somtimes its 3 to do in 2 weeks being handed in days apart.... in one unit i got for 2 out of my 3 assignemnts distinctions, however in one of my assignemnts i got pass and thus i was capped at a pass for that unit as i did not meet all the criteria for that units merit and distinction even though i did in the previous 2 in that unit...
I'm aware of the reasons why there's a difference, but if 60% get a D/D* (at level 3), then it's easier to get than an A/A*.
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username5395306
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
I'm aware of the reasons why there's a difference, but if 60% get a D/D* (at level 3), then it's easier to get than an A/A*.
yes but A level grade boundaries are set out after everyone has done it... and thus your grade depends how your years cohort has done rather than individual performance... im currently doing another Lv3 course and its already a big difference... however i wont say its easier as A levels depend on how others performed...
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by 7xm2)
yes but A level grade boundaries are set out after everyone has done it... and thus your grade depends how your years cohort has done rather than individual performance... im currently doing another Lv3 course and its already a big difference... however i wont say its easier as A levels depend on how others performed...
It doesn't matter, though. It's not a criticism of the method of marking for BTEC, it's just a fact.
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
It doesn't matter, though. It's not a criticism of the method of marking for BTEC, it's just a fact.
but im stating the fact that alevels A* and A will always be 25%.....
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by 7xm2)
but im stating the fact that alevels A* and A will always be 25%.....
Yeah, so they're harder to get than BTEC D/D*s.
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AcseI
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
I would also say that proper understanding is definitely required at A level, although I can't comment on BTECs.
When I was at college, I completed a BTEC Extended Diploma (worth 3 A Levels) and 4 regular A Level subjects, so I'm somewhat in a position to compare them.

I would say that a "proper understanding" is required for both. The key difference is the application of knowledge. A Levels are more likely to involve exam based assessments, and exams tend to test your ability to recall, and communicate the correct information. They can also test your ability, with Maths being a good example where recall is not enough. By comparison a BTEC assessment is more like coursework, which still requires the ability to communicate the correct information but you don't need to actively recall it. I would not say one is easier than the other, it's down to the individual. Some do well in exams, others do well in coursework. I would say that BTECs are more forgiving, as they tend to have less pressure and more freedom to improve work if you aren't quite there.

Of course this line gets blurred quite frequently. Some A Levels have a mix of exams and coursework. Some A Levels don't use traditional exams. Understanding is also not a suitable description for every course. To give an example, I studied A Level Graphic Communication. It was predominantly coursework based, and the "10 hour exam" was more like a timed coursework. It was very "practical oriented" and doesn't sound all that different to a BTEC.
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username5395306
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
Yeah, so they're harder to get than BTEC D/D*s.
no there not it depends on the course lets say people took a levels maths every year the same paper. there are 100 questions. the first year the top grades where 50 out of the 100 to get A, the next year it was 30, then 40 then 70, it fluctuates based on how well people did and not because its harder... if alevels worked like btec then the grade boundaries would be set and you would have to get 60 to get A ....
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nexttime
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
Broadly, yes. Some universities don't accept them, especially for some subjects (they aren't accepted for A100 medicine and they aren't accepted at Oxbridge in most cases). Also, entry requirements are 'higher' - for example, you might be asked for DDD at BTEC or ABB at A level (they aren't really higher because distinctions are much easier to get than As).
Although Oxford actually accepts them for medicine!
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by 7xm2)
no there not it depends on the course lets say people took a levels maths every year the same paper. there are 100 questions. the first year the top grades where 50 out of the 100 to get A, the next year it was 30, then 40 then 70, it fluctuates based on how well people did and not because its harder... if alevels worked like btec then the grade boundaries would be set and you would have to get 60 to get A ....
That's not quite how A level grade boundaries are set, and it actually does depend on how hard the papers are.

It doesn't matter, though, because if 25% of people get an A/A* on one qualification and 60% of people get a D/D* on another qualification, it is easier to get a D/D* than an A/A* (assuming people doing the second qualification aren't a lot smarter than those doing the first).
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by nexttime)
Although Oxford actually accepts them for medicine!
Learn something new every day, I suppose

Are they the only ones?
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pepsimaxcherry
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
Yeah, so they're harder to get than BTEC D/D*s.
False.

A LEVELS are exam based subjects, BTECs are coursework based. They are completely different and therefore incomparable.

Depends what subject is taken as a BTEC. Coursework is seen as easier as you are tracking your progress as you go, and not all your grade relies on an exam. So yes, easier in that sense.

However it depends on the individual. I hated exams and knew I would excel in BTEC which is why I took one. It doesn’t make me stupid or mean that I took an easy route. I work just as hard, if not harder, than my friends doing A Levels.

The A Level A/A* rate always stays at around 25% as it is calculated after the results are put through. This is the same way GCSE results are worked. The grading is different between A Levels and BTECS meaning the pass rates are obviously different, therefore the two cannot be compared based on the stats you’ve provided.
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_gcx
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(Original post by 7xm2)
yes but A level grade boundaries are set out after everyone has done it... and thus your grade depends how your years cohort has done rather than individual performance... im currently doing another Lv3 course and its already a big difference... however i wont say its easier as A levels depend on how others performed...
As far as I am aware, exam components of BTECs have their grade boundaries determined in the same way as A-levels.

When A-levels had coursework components too the grade boundaries of these was broadly speaking fixed, sometimes fluctuating by a mark or two.
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by pepsimaxcherry)
False.

A LEVELS are exam based subjects, BTECs are coursework based. They are completely different and therefore incomparable.

Depends what subject is taken as a BTEC. Coursework is seen as easier as you are tracking your progress as you go, and not all your grade relies on an exam. So yes, easier in that sense.

However it depends on the individual. I hated exams and knew I would excel in BTEC which is why I took one. It doesn’t make me stupid or mean that I took an easy route. I work just as hard, if not harder, than my friends doing A Levels.

The A Level A/A* rate always stays at around 25% as it is calculated after the results are put through. This is the same way GCSE results are worked. The grading is different between A Levels and BTECS meaning the pass rates are obviously different, therefore the two cannot be compared based on the stats you’ve provided.
Okay.

Let's assume BTEC and A level students have equal distributions of ability, and that qualifications exactly reflect ability.
We'll measure something's difficulty by either the minimum ability required to achieve it or the mean ability of those who achieve it.
That means the top 60% of BTEC students will get a D/D*, and the top 25% of A level students will get an A/A*.
As a result, if you take all BTEC students with a D/D* and all A level students with an A/A*, the lowest ability BTEC student will have lower ability than the lowest ability A level student, and the mean ability of the A level students will be higher than the mean ability of the BTEC students.
Therefore, it is more difficult to get an A/A* than a D/D*.
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pepsimaxcherry
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
Okay.

Let's assume BTEC and A level students have equal distributions of ability, and that qualifications exactly reflect ability.
We'll measure something's difficulty by either the minimum ability required to achieve it or the mean ability of those who achieve it.
That means the top 60% of BTEC students will get a D/D*, and the top 25% of A level students will get an A/A*.
As a result, if you take all BTEC students with a D/D* and all A level students with an A/A*, the lowest ability BTEC student will have lower ability than the lowest ability A level student, and the mean ability of the A level students will be higher than the mean ability of the BTEC students.
Therefore, it is more difficult to get an A/A* than a D/D*.
A level grades are determined after exams are sat, BTECs are graded throughout the year. One has set boundaries already, the other doesn’t. That’s where your argument is flawed. That’s all I’m saying
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