The Student Room Group

Why are a levels more difficult than gcses?

A lot of people on tsr say its because it requires a deeper understanding and that GCSEs are just memorisation, but isn't a levels just more memorisation?
Reply 1
yeahh it iss.. its deeper understanding meaning more content to memorise/learn for exams
Original post by seagull11
A lot of people on tsr say its because it requires a deeper understanding and that GCSEs are just memorisation, but isn't a levels just more memorisation?

Speaking for the A-Levels I did: Maths (and FM), Chemistry and French, there is a lot more of an expectation of understanding as well as memorising. A good example is with French. At GCSE, one can simply learn a few 'set phrases' in other tenses and still get credit, whereas at A-Level, you actually need to know how to form those tenses for any word. Similarly, there is no Defined Vocabulary List at A-Level, so you are much more likely to see words you're not familiar with rather than having a long, but definitively finite, list of all vocabulary. Similarly, with Chemistry, you actually have to understand and apply ideas to newer situations. There is still memorisation but you then have to apply it beyond simply using a few learned rules. There is also a lot more content.

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