This discussion is closed.
london_bum
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#81
Report 14 years ago
#81
(Original post by Lottelo)
Eventually everywhere would reach an equilibrium, not everywhere will ask for 4A* grades.

e.g. Oxbridge - 4A*
UCL/LSE - 3A*
Durham/Warwick 2A*
Kings/Nottingham 1A*

They won't be left university less, the entrance requirements will change according to the popularity of each course and the quality of applicants they can attract AND fill the course.
Yes, but what's the real difference once you get up to such high marks? A lot of the whole A-level thing is just according to how much revision you do. I doubt the people who get 290/300 are materially more intelligent than those who get 260. In my ASs, the modules I revised for, I got almost full marks, and for the ones I didn't, I just got lower marks. I don't really see the finer differentiation between marks as being particuarly relevant. Just because someone can categorically memorise a whole chemistry textbook or something doesn't mean they have the sort of mind that would really work with their chosen subject. Of course that suggests that current A-levels themselves are pretty pointless, and the system which is used is pretty pointless, but I suppose you do need SOME sort of benchmark.
0
Dreama
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#82
Report 14 years ago
#82
(Original post by london_bum)
Yes, but what's the real difference once you get up to such high marks? A lot of the whole A-level thing is just according to how much revision you do. I doubt the people who get 290/300 are materially more intelligent than those who get 260. In my ASs, the modules I revised for, I got almost full marks, and for the ones I didn't, I just got lower marks. I don't really see the finer differentiation between marks as being particuarly relevant. Just because someone can categorically memorise a whole chemistry textbook or something doesn't mean they have the sort of mind that would really work with their chosen subject. Of course that suggests that current A-levels themselves are pretty pointless, and the system which is used is pretty pointless, but I suppose you do need SOME sort of benchmark.
I don't think we're suggesting the A level system is correct, - but if we're forced to use it we might as well use it *properly*
0
Mark_KK
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#83
Report 14 years ago
#83
(Original post by tomcoolinguk)
If you're going to insult people, spell correctly; DIVINE!

I don't think there is anything wrong with people who have attained exemplary grades- as many of the UCL rejects have- thinking they would have got places. There isn't an interview, so grades are the crux of their application. To say grades are only 50% of it is crap- most top 10 law schools won't even consider you without an AAA prediction, in the absence of mitigating cirumstances.
How about things like music, drama, sport and extra curricular activity?

At places like Nottingham and Manchester there are something like 4000 applicants for 200 places.

I applied to both whilst expecting good A level grades. I also expected rejection as you would have to be very lucky to get an offer with those odds against you no matter how good you were.

Law is currently one of the most popular subjects. Even the "second tier" of law departments such as Newcastle, Hull and Lancaster are asking for A's although you can often get into Hull with less because it’s undersubscribed.

A grades are becoming meaningless as 40% of papers marked get one.
0
Onearmedbandit
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#84
Report 14 years ago
#84
(Original post by Mark_KK)
How about things like music, drama, sport and extra curricular activity?
Yes! Music and sport! Mark's a legend :cool:
0
Onearmedbandit
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#85
Report 14 years ago
#85
By the way, universities such as Harvard and Princeton (i.e. american ones) take extra cirricular activities into account HEAVILY. CurryADD reckons people like me me have a better chance getting into law at harvard than oxford.

Maybe there's something to be learned from across the pond?

Or is this just me suggesting a system which would personally suit myself best
0
goneaway56
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#86
Report 14 years ago
#86
(Original post by Onearmedbandit)
By the way, universities such as Harvard and Princeton (i.e. american ones) take extra cirricular activities into account HEAVILY. CurryADD reckons people like me me have a better chance getting into law at harvard than oxford.

Maybe there's something to be learned from across the pond?

Or is this just me suggesting a system which would personally suit myself best
don't think you have a very good chance at harvard law - i think you can only study law as a postgrad in yankeeland
0
tomcoolinguk
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#87
Report 14 years ago
#87
(Original post by london_bum)
Yes, but what's the real difference once you get up to such high marks? A lot of the whole A-level thing is just according to how much revision you do. I doubt the people who get 290/300 are materially more intelligent than those who get 260. In my ASs, the modules I revised for, I got almost full marks, and for the ones I didn't, I just got lower marks. I don't really see the finer differentiation between marks as being particuarly relevant. Just because someone can categorically memorise a whole chemistry textbook or something doesn't mean they have the sort of mind that would really work with their chosen subject. Of course that suggests that current A-levels themselves are pretty pointless, and the system which is used is pretty pointless, but I suppose you do need SOME sort of benchmark.
This entire argument is hilarious; why do people always resort to it? I mean- we accept that people who get 250 are better than those who get 210. In fact we think they're so much better we give them a higher grade. This is differentiation, and it is also of course therefore a means of discrimination. All can not have prizes, and I would rather- however flawed it may be- see my place allocated to someone with higher scores than myself than in the hot potch way admissions are being handled nowadays.

Personally, however, I think that rather than adding extra grades the government needs to tackled the 'all must have prizes' culture in British culture, recognise the tragic decline in examination standards and toughen them back up, abolish coursework and return to harsher marking- negative marking in translation exercises etc.
0
Wild Thing
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#88
Report Thread starter 14 years ago
#88
(Original post by Onearmedbandit)
By the way, universities such as Harvard and Princeton (i.e. american ones) take extra cirricular activities into account HEAVILY. CurryADD reckons people like me me have a better chance getting into law at harvard than oxford.

Maybe there's something to be learned from across the pond?

Or is this just me suggesting a system which would personally suit myself best
LOL...well i play guitar and i do 4 hours of competitive tennis per day so I would also love that new system
0
london_bum
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#89
Report 14 years ago
#89
(Original post by tomcoolinguk)
This entire argument is hilarious; why do people always resort to it? I mean- we accept that people who get 250 are better than those who get 210. In fact we think they're so much better we give them a higher grade. This is differentiation, and it is also of course therefore a means of discrimination. All can not have prizes, and I would rather- however flawed it may be- see my place allocated to someone with higher scores than myself than in the hot potch way admissions are being handled nowadays.

Personally, however, I think that rather than adding extra grades the government needs to tackled the 'all must have prizes' culture in British culture, recognise the tragic decline in examination standards and toughen them back up, abolish coursework and return to harsher marking- negative marking in translation exercises etc.
Yes...but how would a whole new range of A* grades help with the admissions process? Of course there has to be some differentiation...you have to draw the line somewhere, but if you introduce A*s, then you'll need B+, B- etc. in addition to a normal B, but my point is, in the end, the difference between people scoring at the top end of the scale is really very minimal. I don't think creating a wider range of grades would help, nor do I think that making them harder is necessarily going to help with the real problem...universities are still going to have to turn away thousands of equally able students. And for that, I suppose, there is no remedy.

As I've mentioned before, a wider grade range will just lead to an even more confused admissions process, with universities trying to decide how many places should be offered to straight A* students, and how many should be allocated to mere straight A students.
0
tomcoolinguk
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#90
Report 14 years ago
#90
(Original post by london_bum)
Yes...but how would a whole new range of A* grades help with the admissions process? Of course there has to be some differentiation...you have to draw the line somewhere, but if you introduce A*s, then you'll need B+, B- etc. in addition to a normal B, but my point is, in the end, the difference between people scoring at the top end of the scale is really very minimal. I don't think creating a wider range of grades would help, nor do I think that making them harder is necessarily going to help with the real problem...universities are still going to have to turn away thousands of equally able students. And for that, I suppose, there is no remedy.

As I've mentioned before, a wider grade range will just lead to an even more confused admissions process, with universities trying to decide how many places should be offered to straight A* students, and how many should be allocated to mere straight A students.
A new A* would provide differentiation at the top levels, reducing the number of candidates top unis have to- for the most competitive courses- pick from.

I think you have to appreciate how low grade boundaries are before you make such sweeping statements. My school were sent all my exam papers back in the summer [Econ/English because they were 100% papers, Bio/Chem because there was a major remarking problem]. In Economics on paper one, you could get 38/50 for an A. I got 50. I refuse to believe that it is small difference between my capability and someone who scores say 39 or even 40, 41. It is fairly significant. In the other economics, English and chemistry papers a similar tale can be heard.

A choice English one being the poetry paper- I score 49/50, an A was 32- Please don't dismiss this as small, it is major- the difference reversed- e.g. 15/50 is 17 lower from the A- is a resulting borderline E grade. These difference can not be brushed aside. My essays contained- in the words of the examiner; perceptive analysis, excellent structure, confident overview, fully integrated analysis, explicit and mature awareness of contextual factors. Knowing other people who got As in English last year, they didn't even refer to context!

Or as another example, Biology paper 2- genetics. An A was I think 38/54. I got 52 for this paper. This doesn't show a complete regurgitation os the material for the module, but instead shows a detailed and thorough knowledge of the unit. 52/54 means I got correct the vast majority of the 'suggest' questions which test an application of biological knowledge.

Accordingly, I firmly believe that either the standard of an A grade has to be raised or new grades introduced.
0
Wild Thing
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#91
Report Thread starter 14 years ago
#91
(Original post by tomcoolinguk)
I got 50. .
mate..what ARE you? some kind of brain machine??
0
london_bum
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#92
Report 14 years ago
#92
(Original post by tomcoolinguk)
A new A* would provide differentiation at the top levels, reducing the number of candidates top unis have to- for the most competitive courses- pick from.
Maybe I'm not explaining myself very well. The point is, YES, that will help show who's got the best marks, but the fact remains that the universities can't just give places to everyone with the 4A*s. Otherwise all the 4A* students would have 6 offers, and everyone else would have none (a gross generalisation, but I hope you understand what I mean). It would create more problems university wise...the new strategies universities would have to implement to make sure that the next year they actually fill out all their spaces would be impossible to manage (who will actually MAKE their A* predictions - as the grade margins would be much tighter, it'd be even more risky, how many A students should they offer as back up, how many A* students will take the offer etc). It would just make things extremely convoluted. (I'm sorry it's so badly explained, but I just do NOT know how to make you see what I mean).

(Original post by tomcoolinguk)
I think you have to appreciate how low grade boundaries are before you make such sweeping statements. My school were sent all my exam papers back in the summer [Econ/English because they were 100% papers, Bio/Chem because there was a major remarking problem]. In Economics on paper one, you could get 38/50 for an A. I got 50. I refuse to believe that it is small difference between my capability and someone who scores say 39 or even 40, 41. It is fairly significant. In the other economics, English and chemistry papers a similar tale can be heard.
A choice English one being the poetry paper- I score 49/50, an A was 32- Please don't dismiss this as small, it is major- the difference reversed- e.g. 15/50 is 17 lower from the A- is a resulting borderline E grade. These difference can not be brushed aside. My essays contained- in the words of the examiner; perceptive analysis, excellent structure, confident overview, fully integrated analysis, explicit and mature awareness of contextual factors. Knowing other people who got As in English last year, they didn't even refer to context![/QUOTE]
When you do the whole comparing marks thing (apart from the reversal bit...the build up of marks is something I have in my head, but can't be bothered to type out), I do see what you mean, and I can see what you mean by the need for greater differentiation (here I go contradicting myself!), but it doesn't necessarily make the applications system fairer. Bearing in mind, people will have at this stage done only half the required work, it would work against those who, although performing not so well at AS, have the potential, which they might then go on to fulfil, to do brilliantly at A2.

(Original post by tomcoolinguk)
Or as another example, Biology paper 2- genetics. An A was I think 38/54. I got 52 for this paper. This doesn't show a complete regurgitation os the material for the module, but instead shows a detailed and thorough knowledge of the unit. 52/54 means I got correct the vast majority of the 'suggest' questions which test an application of biological knowledge.
Meh. I didn't do biology, but to me, chemistry was one massive regurgitation session. The different situations to which you had to apply knowledge weren't particuarly complicated. The marks I lost were marks from copying out equations which I should've learnt by heart.

(Original post by tomcoolinguk)
Accordingly, I firmly believe that either the standard of an A grade has to be raised or new grades introduced.
Yes, but I still fail to see how in the end it'll help with the university admissions process. Marks are a huge factor, but they can only measure ability up to a certain point, and are still only a precursor to the final grade.

ETA: All that said, you must actually be freakishly clever to do so amazingly well!
0
Onearmedbandit
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#93
Report 14 years ago
#93
Instead of have A++ etc .. why not introduce grades F and G for A-level, and push the existing grades up to higher boundaries?

This is the same thing, I know, but it'd make more sense I think.
0
TheWolf
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#94
Report 14 years ago
#94
Surely making exams harder solves the problem.
0
Wild Thing
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#95
Report Thread starter 14 years ago
#95
LOL gd point Mr. Wolf
0
tomcoolinguk
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#96
Report 14 years ago
#96
(Original post by london_bum)
Maybe I'm not explaining myself very well. The point is, YES, that will help show who's got the best marks, but the fact remains that the universities can't just give places to everyone with the 4A*s. Otherwise all the 4A* students would have 6 offers, and everyone else would have none (a gross generalisation, but I hope you understand what I mean). It would create more problems university wise...the new strategies universities would have to implement to make sure that the next year they actually fill out all their spaces would be impossible to manage (who will actually MAKE their A* predictions - as the grade margins would be much tighter, it'd be even more risky, how many A students should they offer as back up, how many A* students will take the offer etc). It would just make things extremely convoluted. (I'm sorry it's so badly explained, but I just do NOT know how to make you see what I mean).
Yeh, I've understood in this your previous posts, and can completely identify with what you say. Obviously, I am also of the opinion that this system of predicted grades need significant structural reform.


(Original post by london_bum)
When you do the whole comparing marks thing (apart from the reversal bit...the build up of marks is something I have in my head, but can't be bothered to type out), I do see what you mean, and I can see what you mean by the need for greater differentiation (here I go contradicting myself!), but it doesn't necessarily make the applications system fairer. Bearing in mind, people will have at this stage done only half the required work, it would work against those who, although performing not so well at AS, have the potential, which they might then go on to fulfil, to do brilliantly at A2.
This whole argument about 'people not peaking' is fairly oxymoronic in my opinion, as I have yet to encounter someone who did better at A2 without the aid of AS retakes.


(Original post by london_bum)
Meh. I didn't do biology, but to me, chemistry was one massive regurgitation session. The different situations to which you had to apply knowledge weren't particuarly complicated. The marks I lost were marks from copying out equations which I should've learnt by heart.
You might have noticed I didn't mention Chemistry! I don't know which board you do- I do AQA- and equations didn't feature very much on our papers. Chemistry papers are much more intensive on the regurgitation, but there is still a synthesis. And nevertheless, if we accept that an E grader is better than an A grader, why not install an A+ and A++ to make that distinction even firmer.

(Original post by london_bum)
Yes, but I still fail to see how in the end it'll help with the university admissions process. Marks are a huge factor, but they can only measure ability up to a certain point, and are still only a precursor to the final grade.
Well the way I see it, whilst teachers may freely give out A*/A** predictions [as they currently give out A grade predictions] students will be less inclined to take them, and obviously results day would serve to embarass those who took offers well beyond their means. Similarly, I think it doubtful that there would be the mass grade shift- people on B grade predictions would not have them raised to A* or A** nearly as frequently.

NB. Sorry if any of my posts have been hysterical, but I am so friggin fed up of waiting for UCL/Bristol.
0
Onearmedbandit
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#97
Report 14 years ago
#97
I'm waiting for exactly those two as well! Only my offers so far aren't all that great
0
london_bum
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#98
Report 14 years ago
#98
(Original post by tomcoolinguk)
Yeh, I've understood in this your previous posts, and can completely identify with what you say. Obviously, I am also of the opinion that this system of predicted grades need significant structural reform.

This whole argument about 'people not peaking' is fairly oxymoronic in my opinion, as I have yet to encounter someone who did better at A2 without the aid of AS retakes.
Oh. I just assumed AS retakes were ok. I've known a couple of people to do better, but only in minimal amounts...like raising a high B to a fairly ok A.

(Original post by tomcoolinguk)
You might have noticed I didn't mention Chemistry! I don't know which board you do- I do AQA- and equations didn't feature very much on our papers. Chemistry papers are much more intensive on the regurgitation, but there is still a synthesis. And nevertheless, if we accept that an E grader is better than an A grader, why not install an A+ and A++ to make that distinction even firmer.
Well, you could say that, but in the end, the universities can't fill up all their places with the ultimate best, so although I see what you mean, I can only imagine it as presenting even more problems. I do OCR Chemistry. My Biology friends have told me that with biology there's even less processing to do, but that could be due to the different exam board (EDEXCEL). The only science I think that really uses the whole 'applying theories to reality' thing to the max is Physics. (Which it does in abundance!)

(Original post by tomcoolinguk)
Well the way I see it, whilst teachers may freely give out A*/A** predictions [as they currently give out A grade predictions] students will be less inclined to take them, and obviously results day would serve to embarass those who took offers well beyond their means. Similarly, I think it doubtful that there would be the mass grade shift- people on B grade predictions would not have them raised to A* or A** nearly as frequently.
Meh. This kinda stuff gets pretty hypothetical here. It's difficult to predict how stringent this sort of thing would be, and the proportion of people who would make their grades in comparison to now. And in my experience, people will take the highest prediction possible. They only start to regret AFTER they've got their offers, when they realise they can't make it.

(Original post by tomcoolinguk)
NB. Sorry if any of my posts have been hysterical, but I am so friggin fed up of waiting for UCL/Bristol
Good luck. Just remember, no news is good news!
0
Wild Thing
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#99
Report Thread starter 14 years ago
#99
hey people you've hijacked my thread!!! serves me right for hijacking other ppl's threads too :rolleyes:
0
tomcoolinguk
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#100
Report 14 years ago
#100
(Original post by london_bum)
Meh. This kinda stuff gets pretty hypothetical here. It's difficult to predict how stringent this sort of thing would be, and the proportion of people who would make their grades in comparison to now. And in my experience, people will take the highest prediction possible. They only start to regret AFTER they've got their offers, when they realise they can't make it.
Yeah- this is true. I acknowledge the flaw of my logic.
0
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • University of Bristol
    Undergraduate Open Afternoon Undergraduate
    Wed, 23 Oct '19
  • University of Exeter
    Undergraduate Open Day - Penryn Campus Undergraduate
    Wed, 23 Oct '19
  • University of Nottingham
    Mini Open Day Undergraduate
    Wed, 23 Oct '19

Have you made up your mind on your five uni choices?

Yes I know where I'm applying (152)
59.61%
No I haven't decided yet (58)
22.75%
Yes but I might change my mind (45)
17.65%

Watched Threads

View All