Exams Are Not Getting Any Easier!! Watch

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lady_daisychain
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Don't you just hate it when those know it all politicians make dogmatic comments about how the education system is deteriorating, and that exams, whether that be A Levels or GCSEs are getting easier?!
We work hard, we get good results, and just because teaching methods have become more advanced, and more people have more opportunities to go to good schools and pass their exams- it doesnt mean the exams are getting dumbed down. Give us some credit!

Anyone who feels this way, or doesn't...what do u think?
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Richy Rich$$
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Shouldnt this be in the debate and discussion forum?
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trev
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(Original post by Richy Rich$$)
Shouldnt this be in the debate and discussion forum?
It should be in the secondary school exams forum.
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Sparkle1984
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Yes, it really annoys me, when they say that every year.

Just a few weeks ago, my local newspaper had a poll on its website, asking people whether they think exams are getting easier, children are getting cleverer, or teachers are getting better. And guess which option won? The "exams are getting easier" option.

I bet most of the people who voted in that poll don't even have A Levels, let alone a degree. They don't even know what they're voting about!! :mad:
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goneaway56
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(Original post by Sparkle1984)
Yes, it really annoys me, when they say that every year.

Just a few weeks ago, my local newspaper had a poll on its website, asking people whether they think exams are getting easier, children are getting cleverer, or teachers are getting better. And guess which option won? The "exams are getting easier" option.

I bet most of the people who voted in that poll don't even have A Levels, let alone a degree. They don't even know what they're voting about!! :mad:
I do A levels, and I think exams are getting easier. You can see it with comparison of past papers (and even with the shift from "pure" to "core" mathematics in the mathematics A level).
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fishpaste
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I'm afraid I agree that most Alevel exams are indeed getting easier. If you look at older papers it's hard to deny.
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Chardonnay
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(Original post by fishpaste)
I'm afraid I agree that most Alevel exams are indeed getting easier. If you look at older papers it's hard to deny.
Then why am I still finding them so hard
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Golden Maverick
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The way the grades are given for A-levels in the UK, with the marks being standardised to give a certain number of As, Bs etc is a bit ridiculous. It seems to me it would be best to say a certain percentage of people get certain grades, as at the end of the day the universities are comparing you to the rest of your age group in the country.
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goneaway56
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(Original post by Chardonnay)
Then why am I still finding them so hard
The word is "easier" not "easy". A levels are supposed to be difficult and a "gold standard" of education in the UK.

Now you can pretty much guarantee your A grade overall in your AS year if your UMS scores are high enough.
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piemonster411
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(Original post by Lottelo)
The word is "easier" not "easy". A levels are supposed to be difficult and a "gold standard" of education in the UK.

Now you can pretty much guarantee your A grade overall in your AS year if your UMS scores are high enough.
By obtaining full marks in first year 300/600 you have a Grade E. Still requiring 240 marks at A2. Which still requires an average of a Grade A in your A2 year.

unless i am mistaken which i may well be
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ZigZag
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(Original post by piemonster411)
By obtaining full marks in first year 300/600 you have a Grade E. Still requiring 240 marks at A2. Which still requires an average of a Grade A in your A2 year.

unless i am mistaken which i may well be
You are mistaken. You need 480/600 for grade A, not 540. So, (480-300)/3 = 60. Average of a bottom end C grade for the A2 year.
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Howard
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(Original post by lady_daisychain)
Don't you just hate it when those know it all politicians make dogmatic comments about how the education system is deteriorating, and that exams, whether that be A Levels or GCSEs are getting easier?!
We work hard, we get good results, and just because teaching methods have become more advanced, and more people have more opportunities to go to good schools and pass their exams- it doesnt mean the exams are getting dumbed down. Give us some credit!

Anyone who feels this way, or doesn't...what do u think?
Unless you took A levels 20 or 30 years ago and again today I don't see how you can really say.

I did see some exams from the past designed for 11 year olds at the turn of the century that frankly I couldn't pass so make of that what you will (OK...I'm not the brightest light on the Xmas tree but I do have 2 degrees so was alarmed to be stumped by an exam designed for this age group)

Are A levels easier? Don't know. Never did them myself.
Are GCSE's easier? Who knows?....I only did CSE's and flunked them all anyway!
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ZigZag
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This is an incredibly sensitive subject because current students feel threatened whenever you dare to suggest they're having an easier time than predecessors. What you have to detach yourself from to critically look at it is that you're not liable for any perceived increase in easiness, since you don't control what you're being taught or the syllabi you are required to fulfil. So long as you achieve as well as you possibly can on the current scale, what does it matter?

Are they getting easier? Difficult to say. The difference is the National Curriculum. With a much more specific syllabus, modern day students have very focused learning on a smaller number of topics compared to that of 20 years ago. Perhaps questions 20 years ago required more thought than spewing facts? Also, the style of question changes as the culture does. This culture changes over a 20 year period to reflect the skills which are considered more important during a certain period. Currently, factual recall is the order of the day. Whether that's more useful to society is open to debate.
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animaluvva
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(Original post by Lottelo)
I do A levels, and I think exams are getting easier. You can see it with comparison of past papers (and even with the shift from "pure" to "core" mathematics in the mathematics A level).
This seems to be the main argument for exams being easier now than in the past but surely we'd expect to find past exams harder because we haven't studied their syllabus?

I have looked at old exams for subjects that I've taken and thought they looked really hard - I'd have struggled to do them but I like to think that thats because I haven't studied for those particular exams not that today's exams are easier!

This isn't so much an opinion...just a hope that this is the case really - I don't want our exams to count for less than past exams and grades did!
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goneaway56
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(Original post by animaluvva)
This seems to be the main argument for exams being easier now than in the past but surely we'd expect to find past exams harder because we haven't studied their syllabus?

I have looked at old exams for subjects that I've taken and thought they looked really hard - I'd have struggled to do them but I like to think that thats because I haven't studied for those particular exams not that today's exams are easier!

This isn't so much an opinion...just a hope that this is the case really - I don't want our exams to count for less than past exams and grades did!
You can see it with exams of the same syllabuses, that require the same skills, e.g. mathematics (i'm using that as the main example because its easiest to directly compare).

Trouble is that with exams getting easier, and more and more getting higher marks is that they are simply worth less. I've been rejected from 2 universities (Cambridge, UCL) with GCSEs including 7A*, 3A and AAAAA at AS level. 'A' and 'A*' grades are so common that I would consider anything less than top grade a screw up, and thats not the way it should be.
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randdom
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I don't think that they are getting harder or easier. If you look at a paper from years ago then the syllabus will be different and also the type of questions that they are asking will be different.
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LH
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I think that teachers are getting better at teaching exam technique, which is incredibly important in the current system.
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Dreama
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I partially agree with LH... Exam technique is a very different thing from real knowledge.

I've said t before, I'll say it again. Give us an A* at A level and anything below a C is a Fail.

The End.
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not1
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I think they've become easier; easier to obtain an A grade at least. The obvious solution is just to bump up the UMS boundary for an A a bit; e.g. from 480 to 510. Also, preventing people from taking their AS and A2 exams together would be a good idea (otherwise half the material would seem easy to a 2nd year student).
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Muse
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(Original post by lady_daisychain)
Anyone who feels this way, or doesn't...what do u think?
Either introduce an A* grade or get rid of the system completely. There's no point in having an exam system which can't decently distinguish between candidates.
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