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Finally are a-levels getting easier then? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Are a-levels getting easier?
    Yes
    60
    47.24%
    No
    67
    52.76%

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    A-level results day is around the corner.

    Guaranteed the media will start this debate again.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...s.schooltables


    That was the guardian article before results day last year.

    Some key figures -

    The proportion of A-levels awarded an A grade has increased from 12% in 1990 to 25.3% last year.

    How can this be explained?
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    Grade inflation due to government intervention - trying to show that students are getting smarter when actually achieving an A is becoming easier.
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    Also be prepared for the tabloid stories - 'We compared a 1959 Maths A-Level exam question to a typical question from a 2009 paper'

    Then they'll show the most difficult question on the 1959 paper, compared to the first and easiest question on the 2009 paper!

    From the Sun in 2005: 'It suggested standards have slipped so much that a maths student awarded an E in 1988 would now get a B grade.'
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    More people get A's because of the marking system used. The tests themselves are probably not getting that much easier, but in scaling the marks to try and ensure a similar spread to previous years, they are gradually increasing the number who get A's.
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    Yes.

    Complex numbers is now AS Further Maths. When my dad was doing A Levels it was A Level Mathematics.
    Calculus is introduced in AS Mathematics. When my dad was in education, it was in O Level Mathematics.

    Maths is dumbing down. The exams over the short period of time of the papers' series is not getting easier (i.e. the 2002-2009 syllabus), but over the course of a generation or two, yes. Things are getting pushed back farther and farther into the education cycle, until eventually things we do now will only be touched on briefly.
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    (Original post by 123450)
    Also be prepared for the tabloid stories - 'We compared a 1959 Maths A-Level exam question to a typical question from a 2009 paper'

    Then they'll show the most difficult question on the 1959 paper, compared to the first and easiest question on the 2009 paper!

    From the Sun in 2005: 'It suggested standards have slipped so much that a maths student awarded an E in 1988 would now get a B grade.'
    YES! :mad: stupid manipulation.
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    Stuff is easier these days.
    In the maths forum the other day, there was a paper from 1970(admittedly S level, but still), and the general consensus was that the A level then was much harder than these days.
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    The tests are far easier; that is undeniable. But the marking system has changed significantly so that more people pass, and achieve top results because the government want more people to pass and achieve top results...

    There has been a slight drop in expected grades in the SATS though; the first in a long time.
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    God, the whole debate is depressing. Anyone feel like we're being blamed for the exams apparently getting easier when it's obviously nothing to do with us?
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    Somone posted 1970 maths examination papers the other day, people who were doing A level Maths and Further Maths were puzzled on the difficulty which was comparable to STEP II papers. So the syllabus seems to have got easier, but it's also down to how the UMS scalling scores depend on how the population does so someone could get an A whereas last year it would have been a B depending on how hard the test was.
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    (Original post by FootPrints)
    God, the whole debate is depressing. Anyone feel like we're being blamed for the exams apparently getting easier when it's obviously nothing to do with us?
    Ditto.
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    (Original post by Econight)
    Somone posted 1970 maths examination papers the other day, people who were doing A level Maths and Further Maths were puzzled on the difficulty which was comparable to STEP II papers. So the syllabus seems to have got easier, but it's also down to how the UMS scalling scores depend on how the population does so someone could get an A whereas last year it would have been a B depending on how hard the test was.
    As I said, that was an S level paper, so vaguely comparable to STEP.
    However, Mr M and DFranklin both seemed to agree that the A level papers(which were later posted) had a fair drop in standard from then to now.
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    (Original post by FootPrints)
    God, the whole debate is depressing. Anyone feel like we're being blamed for the exams apparently getting easier when it's obviously nothing to do with us?

    ditto.

    mayyybe its not that the exams are actually getting easier, its just that for alot of jobs qualifications are required now and so people are working their asses off to get them. the whole working climate has changedddddd and i dont get how its really comparable :confused:
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    (Original post by Slumpy)
    As I said, that was an S level paper, so vaguely comparable to STEP.
    However, Mr M and DFranklin both seemed to agree that the A level papers(which were later posted) had a fair drop in standard from then to now.
    Sorry only really skimmed the posts, yeah I don't know A level Math yet but that thread looked as though the overall opinion is that it's dropped. It's a shame but I think I began to realise this when my mum was saying my A* questions for GCSE looked really simple. Didn't know if she was telling the truth but seeing as she did O levels and passed then probably
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    The modularization of A levels has made them easier, for starters.
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    (Original post by DrDomDom)
    Got to agree with you there.

    You only have to go back as far as the old pure papers to start noticing the difference in difficulty IMO. My friend's dad still has his old Core 2 book from back in the day: while the topics were much the same, the difficulty was VERY different.
    Yup. It's not just a simple matter of the 1960s papers being different from the 00's papers which I agree they are very different now. It's more about the simple fact that they learnt topics earlier than us! What was once simple/standard maths then is now advanced/further maths now. Surely that's undeniable proof that the topics studied now are easier topics than what was once taught.
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    (Original post by Econight)
    Sorry only really skimmed the posts, yeah I don't know A level Math yet but that thread looked as though the overall opinion is that it's dropped. It's a shame but I think I began to realise this when my mum was saying my A* questions for GCSE looked really simple. Didn't know if she was telling the truth but seeing as she did O levels and passed then probably
    Admittedly, I did Advanced highers, so haven't sat any A-levels, but I have a fair idea of what's in the A-level.
    Mr M though, is a current maths teacher, so his view on it I consider to be well worth believing, and DFranklin seems on the ball too, so along with my own thoughts being that way, them two agreeing makes it seem pretty likely to me.
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    That they are sat in modules possibly contributes.
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    its oly becaese AS acts as a precursor to A2
    when people do badly in AS, they either drop out, or step it up in A2

    both increasing the number of higher grades, hence more As at A-Level

    in olden days, it was just the exams after 2 years, people would have dossed those two years and failed final exams
    they wont have had the wake-up call that AS gives

    its not necessarily getting easier, people are just getting motivated more especially from AS, plus more people are going to Uni than in those days, so they have do get better results
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    (Original post by BJack)
    The modularization of A levels has made them easier, for starters.
    Yes yes yes yes yes!
 
 
 
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