Exams Are Not Getting Any Easier!! Watch

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jamieuk20
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#61
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well considering that you can't actually get less than an E at A-level I would have to say that 260/600 is a fail!
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kiaora
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#62
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Yes the exams have been totally dumbed down. i still find them difficult, but they're much easier than the previous papers. this government has ruined eductation.
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jamieuk20
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(Original post by ant87)
Yes the exams have been totally dumbed down. i still find them difficult, but they're much easier than the previous papers. this government has ruined eductation.
yet 35% of the vote on TSR want to keep labour in power. could we draw some conclusions from this please?
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animaluvva
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(Original post by visesh)
Well the 260 UCAS points translates to BCC (I think) so therefore the average UMS scores would be more than the "unrealistic" 260/600.
Yeah, thats what I was saying!?! The first time I read it as 260 out of 600 which clearly couldn't be the average score because that would mean the average A-Level grade was a U! But, after reading it again, they obviously mean 260 UCAS Points. Why did you quote me and then put the 'unrealistic' in quotes?
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Lidka
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Exams *are* getting dumbed down. They're constructed in a way so anybody can get top grades if they've studied enough, so there's now very little distinction between A and A* grade students. Questions are phrased differently, and coursework is spoon-fed. What really annoys me is how everybody talks about it, but no one does anything. If more and more people are getting to University with A grades, then what does that bode for our future? Are people getting into Uni now the ones who really deserve higher education?
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animaluvva
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(Original post by Lidia)
Exams *are* getting dumbed down. They're constructed in a way so anybody can get top grades if they've studied enough, so there's now very little distinction between A and A* grade students. Questions are phrased differently, and coursework is spoon-fed. What really annoys me is how everybody talks about it, but no one does anything. If more and more people are getting to University with A grades, then what does that bode for our future? Are people getting into Uni now the ones who really deserve higher education?
Well, I don't think that people who don't get A grades deserve to go to university any less
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kellywood_5
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(Original post by animaluvva)
Well, I don't think that people who don't get A grades deserve to go to university any less
Don't you think there should be some minimum limit though, say CCC? At the end of the day, university is supposed to be a challenging experience for those who are academically able, and I don't believe this applies to 50% of 18-30 year olds, no matter what Mr Blair and his ridiculous targets seem to think :rolleyes:
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animaluvva
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(Original post by kellywood_5)
Don't you think there should be some minimum limit though, say CCC? At the end of the day, university is supposed to be a challenging experience for those who are academically able, and I don't believe this applies to 50% of 18-30 year olds, no matter what Mr Blair and his ridiculous targets seem to think :rolleyes:
I think its really hard to say...I don't think it should be simply based on intelligence or grades...the fact is that someone with BBB may be keen to go to university for socialising and not much else whereas someone with DDD may have worked hard for their grades and be prepared to word hard at university...I don't think they should be deprived of the chance because their grades don't match up, if they're prepared to work hard.

Although obviously there are loads of problems with this....how would it ever be possible to tell who was prepared to work hard and who wasn't...and it may be the case that someone with lower grades couldn't manage their degree in which case they may be better off not going.

Its really difficult - I'm just glad I don't have to come up with a solution
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viviki
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(Original post by AT82)
If this was the case then everybody would be getting A's and this simply isn;t the case, the average UCAS point score at A2 (including AS) is 259.

No thats because you are getting people doing A Levels now and taking the final exams who would either never have started them, or would have flunked out before the end say 6 years ago.

When I took A Level Eng lang and lit in 1998 there were 8 people in my year who took it, and we got 1 A, 1B, 3C, 2E and someone who dropped out. My cousin is doing distance learning A Levels atm, I saw her English coursework and it looked easier than my GCSE work.
Noone in my whole year of school got straight As or anything like it, in fact in my whole area in the papers apart from the one good specialist sixth form college each school was lucky to get one or maybe 2 people with really top class results. This isn't the case anymore.
More people take the exams now who quite frankly shouldn't be taking them because its lowering the standards. Each year it means that the A Levels get more attainable, and then they mean less.


Just look how much university entrance standards have risen a a result of the change in A Levels. I could have got in at sheffield or manchester on my grades in 1998 now I would prob only just have enough points for Manchester Met. (yep just had a look and only just about have the entry qualifications)

And just look at basic standards of literacy (and don't all counter by critiquing mine ) I know this forum is informal but the amount of people on here who have decent grades but have no knowledge of spelling or grammar on here is absolutely terrible.
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kellywood_5
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(Original post by viviki)
No thats because you are getting people doing A Levels now and taking the final exams who would either never have started them, or would have flunked out before the end say 6 years ago.
I think there are 2 main reasons for this. Firstly, the lack of credible alternatives. The state of vocational education in this country is a disgrace, and anyone who follows the vocational route is instantly labelled 'thick'. We have a snobbery where students who do vocational qualifications or training are seen as inferior to those who do academic qualifications, and this leads to the stigma that if you don't have A-levels and a degree, you're a failure. This is unacceptable and causes students with mediocre GCSE grades who would perhaps be better off doing vocational courses to do A-levels and degrees because they see it as the only option. Secondly, it's absolutely ridiculous that you are now allowed to resit any AS/A2 unit as many times as you want and the best mark counts. As you said, those who would have flunked out before the end years ago are now effectively being allowed to 'buy' A grades and considered almost as good as those who got As to begin with! So I think what needs to be done is to introduce decent vocational courses and training, remove the stigma surrounding them and limit resits to 1 per subject.

(Original post by viviki)
Just look how much university entrance standards have risen a a result of the change in A Levels. I could have got in at sheffield or manchester on my grades in 1998 now I would prob only just have enough points for Manchester Met. (yep just had a look and only just about have the entry qualifications)
It is ridiculous. There are now so many students getting straight As that the top unis like Oxbridge have real difficulty choosing which ones to give offers to, and with other unis that don't have interviews and entrance tests to help them do it, it's even harder. The stupid target of getting 50% of 18-30 year-olds into HE just makes it worse- A-levels have already lost their value, but now degrees are going that way as well because so many more people are doing them. A-levels and degrees should not be the norm; they should be the path chosen by the academically intelligent so they remain recognised qualifications that actually mean something.

(Original post by viviki)
And just look at basic standards of literacy (and don't all counter by critiquing mine ) I know this forum is informal but the amount of people on here who have decent grades but have no knowledge of spelling or grammar on here is absolutely terrible.
To be fair, this is only a chat forum. Most people on here probably do have a good knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar, but don't think it's necessary to use it. I blame texting personally. If you think standards on here are bad though, just remember that this is an academic forum and only used by those who are interested in learning, who therefore tend to be the best students. Imagine how bad things must be in chat rooms!
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viviki
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I agree with your comment about vocational qualifications, and know many people who have done A Levels and degrees that would have taken a vocational route had it been open to them and been sufficiently respected.

It is a chatroom, but maybe not so much grammar but spelling is just basic. Why spell something wrong when you can get it right.
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usa1981
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www.bstubbs.co.uk/gcse.htm
The number students that rake the the GCSE's now are larger in 1988.
The total number of students that took the GCSE's in 1988 was 5,230,047 and recivced A-U (there was no A* at that time) and 41.9% recived A-C passes.
In 2002 the number of students that took the GCSE's was 5,662,382 and of those 57.1% recived grades from A*-C.

Student Performance Analysis

National percentage figures for GCSE grades (Boys only)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The top line of figures for each subject is 2004 followed by previous years. Where subjects appear to be missing results figures this is usually because the naming or classification of the subject has changed. Try a different subject title.
The figures for 2004 are only provisional as of 21.8.2004

A* A B C D E F G U A*-C A*-U
All subjects
2004 4.6 10.1 16.0 24.2 18.4 12.5 7.6 3.8 2.8 54.9 2891646
2003 4.1 10.0 15.8 23.7 18.8 13.0 7.9 3.9 2.8 53.6 2833611
2002 4.1 9.6 15.9 23.8 19.2 13.3 7.8 3.8 2.5 53.4 2808443
2001 4.0 9.4 15.4 23.8 19.3 13.5 8.2 4.0 2.4 52.6 2789551
2000 3.7 9.4 15.5 23.3 19.4 14.0 8.4 3.9 2.4 51.9 2708887
1999 3.6 9.1 15.3 23.1 19.6 14.1 8.7 4.1 2.4 51.1 2720077

Student Performance Analysis

National percentage figures for GCSE grades (Girls only)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The top line of figures for each subject is 2004 followed by previous years. Where subjects appear to be missing results figures this is usually because the naming or classification of the subject has changed. Try a different subject title.
The figures for 2004 are only provisional as of 21.8.2004


A* A B C D E F G U A*-C A*-U
All subjects
2004 6.5 13.5 18.6 24.7 16.3 10.2 5.6 2.6 2.0 63.3 2983727
2003 6.0 13.3 18.7 24.4 16.8 10.4 5.7 2.7 2.0 62.4 2899876
2002 5.9 13.1 18.9 24.5 17.0 10.7 5.6 2.6 1.7 62.4 2853939
2001 5.8 12.9 18.4 24.4 17.2 10.9 6.0 2.7 1.7 61.5 2843385
2000 5.6 12.8 18.5 24.2 17.4 11.1 6.0 2.7 1.7 61.1 2773033
1999 5.2 12.4 18.4 24.2 17.6 11.4 6.2 2.8 1.8 60.2 2769630



A* A B C D E F G U A*-C A*-U
TOTAL
2004 5.6 11.8 17.3 24.5 17.3 11.3 6.6 3.2 2.4 59.2 5875373
2003 5.1 11.6 17.3 24.1 17.7 11.7 6.8 3.3 2.4 58.1 5733487
2002 5.0 11.4 17.4 24.1 18.1 12.0 6.7 3.2 2.1 57.9 5662382
2001 4.9 11.2 16.9 24.1 18.3 12.1 7.1 3.3 2.1 57.1 5632936
2000 4.6 11.2 17.0 23.8 18.4 12.5 7.2 3.2 2.1 56.6 5481920
1999 4.4 10.8 16.9 23.7 18.7 12.7 7.5 3.3 2.0 55.8 5374751
1998 4.1 10.6 16.5 23.6 18.6 13.2 7.6 3.5 2.3 54.8 5353095
1997 3.6 10.5 18.1 22.3 18.7 13.3 8.5 3.6 1.5 54.4 5415176
1996 3.4 10.3 18.0 22.3 18.6 13.4 8.7 3.8 1.5 54.0 5475872
1995 3.2 9.9 17.8 22.1 18.6 14.0 9.0 3.9 1.5 53.0 5431625
1994 2.8 10.2 18.0 21.8 18.7 13.7 9.3 4.1 1.5 52.8 5029599
1993 12.5 15.9 23.1 18.6 14.2 9.3 4.4 1.8 51.5 4968634
1992 12.3 15.3 22.9 18.6 14.7 9.9 4.7 1.6 50.5 5028554
1991 11.4 14.7 22.4 18.6 15.0 10.5 5.3 2.2 48.5 4947593
1990 10.8 14.4 22.5 18.7 15.3 10.6 5.2 2.5 47.7 5016547
1989 9.9 13.8 21.9 19.0 15.8 11.2 5.6 2.9 45.6 5132998
1988 8.4 12.8 20.7 19.3 16.6 12.5 6.3 3.4 41.9 5230047

Student Performance Analysis

National percentage figures for A level grades

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The top line of figures for each subject is 2004 followed by previous years. Where subjects appear to be missing results figures this is usually because the naming or classification of the subject has changed. Try a different subject title.
The figures for 2004 are only provisional as of 19.8.2004

A B C D E N U A - E
All subjects
2004 22.4 23.4 23.2 17.5 9.5 4.0 96.0 766247
2003 21.6 22.9 23.0 17.8 10.1 4.6 95.4 750537
2002 20.7 21.9 22.7 18.1 10.9 5.7 94.3 701380
2001 18.6 19.3 21.4 18.1 12.4 6.3 3.9 89.8 748866
2000 17.8 19.2 21.2 18.5 12.4 6.6 4.3 89.1 771809
1999 17.5 19.0 21.0 18.3 12.7 6.9 4.6 88.5 783692
1998 16.8 18.9 20.8 18.3 13.0 7.2 5.0 87.8 794262
1997 16.0 18.9 20.3 18.5 13.4 7.4 5.5 87.1 776115
1996 16.0 18.0 19.8 18.3 7.8 7.8 6.4 85.8 739163
1995 15.8 17.1 19.0 18.1 14.1 8.4 7.5 84.1 730415
1994 14.8 17.1 18.6 18.1 14.4 8.8 8.1 83.0 732974
1993 13.8 16.7 17.7 18.1 14.8 9.3 9.6 81.1 734081
1992 79.8
1991 78.0
1990 77.0


A B C D E N U A - E
Total
2004 21.0 21.7 22.8 18.6 10.9 5.0 95.0 352635
2003 20.0 21.2 22.6 18.8 11.7 5.7 94.3 345682
2002 19.3 20.3 22.0 19.0 12.4 7.0 93.0 324030
2001 18.2 18.3 20.8 18.5 13.0 6.9 4.3 88.8 346080
2000 17.5 18.2 20.6 18.7 13.1 7.1 4.8 88.1 354553
1999 17.5 18.4 20.3 18.3 13.2 7.3 5.0 87.7 362316


So what do you think are the exams getting eaiseror arre more students taking them?
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ThePenguinMafia
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#73
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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.
The syllabus changes. Of course older papers look harder.


--------


It does annoy me in a sense. People run faster nowadays, but a mile is still a mile and hasn't got any shorter. We have better facilities in the form of revision text books and the internet, so more students are going to get higher grades.

I think the A* thing would be a good idea. I'm in a position where I only need C's and D's in my final modules and have nothing to aim for. 80% is too low to result in the highest grade.
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goneaway56
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(Original post by ThePenguinMafia)
The syllabus changes. Of course older papers look harder.
Not necessarily. Look at subjects such as mathematics - the basic core syllabuses are the same, requiring exactly the same theory. While undoubtely some exams seem harder because the topics are different, this really is a minority. In subjects such as history, english - the essays are on the same periods books etc, but are much more difficult in the older exams. In the sciences, again the same topics are covered on the whole. You can do a direct comparison of questions and you will soon discover that the older papers are harder, even when comparing identical topics. It is not at all accurate to claim that because syllabuses are slightly different, the exams are different, not easier - even when the syllabuses are identical the exams are easier.

(Original post by ThePenguinMafia)
It does annoy me in a sense. People run faster nowadays, but a mile is still a mile and hasn't got any shorter. We have better facilities in the form of revision text books and the internet, so more students are going to get higher grades
Agreed. But look at the percentage rises in each grade obtained - They are HUGE! That could not solely be achieved by your explanation - clearly it is only a minor subsidary reason. The primary explanation is that exams are getting easier.

(Original post by ThePenguinMafia)
I think the A* thing would be a good idea. I'm in a position where I only need C's and D's in my final modules and have nothing to aim for. 80% is too low to result in the highest grade.
Yes. We live in an appalling examination culture.
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Comp_Genius
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#75
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exams are definitely getting easier, possibly not f.maths, which is about as difficult as a few years ago.
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Mark_KK
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#76
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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?
They are getting easier. Pick up an A-level paper from 20 years ago and one from today.

I recently saw an old "O" level physics paper where the questions were virtually the same as an As level one from today.

The mark to get a "c" grade in some GCSE's is as low as 20%. To get an "a" in the same ones you only need about 40%.

Are you seriously telling me that this is a credible exam?
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usa1981
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The two reasons that the examshave changed.
1) The GCSE's are better ment for more student torecive qulications now. This is better because it opens morre oppertuies up for more pupils.
2)The GCSE's are a cobintation of the old GCE O-Level and the CSE.( the CSE was that mostly state School student took) This makes the GCSE's totally different from the O-levels.
The exams are totally different.
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goneaway56
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(Original post by usa1981)
The two reasons that the examshave changed.
1) The GCSE's are better ment for more student torecive qulications now. This is better because it opens morre oppertuies up for more pupils.
2)The GCSE's are a cobintation of the old GCE O-Level and the CSE.( the CSE was that mostly state School student took) This makes the GCSE's totally different from the O-levels.
The exams are totally different.
Still doesn't explain why A level grades are rising though.
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Onearmedbandit
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#79
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It's pretty simple... have A*'s at A-level for students getting 575/580 or above...
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Comp_Genius
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#80
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they should - people getting crappy A's will be given the same A grade as people getting 95%.
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