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Finally are a-levels getting easier then? watch

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

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    (Original post by Jack Sparrow)
    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?
    Yay! I love the A-level and GCSE debate! :p:

    Tbh, there are many factors on why there "A-levels are getting easier", but I would like to point out one point that hasn't really been mentioned (not that I'm aware of anyway).

    Umm, 30, hell, 20 years ago there wasn't this large library of A-level resources on the net! E.g. this forum for instance.

    And tbh, I doubt there was mark schemes, examiner's reports, past papers etc readily available from the net, was there?

    Because of all the technology here today, it's become much more easier to get an A grade, with the resources mentioned and others.

    I.e. there are more resources NOW to get an A in A-level maths than 30 years ago. There wasn't revision books that condenses everything easily etc.

    This can be compared to the private school v state school debate. LIKEWISE, there are other factors involved, but because, generally speaking, there is more/better resources in private schoo than state school, they tend to do better.

    Similiarly, there are more resources now for A-level maths, than 30 years ago.

    However, I would like to clarify that is this just ONE factor involved - but one factor that hasn't been mentioned thus far.

    Though, can I just ask the forum something: WHY is the curriculum nowadays dumbed down? Who suggested the idea of "let's make A-level maths easier!" and this was put into force?

    BTW: just realised my post was based on A-level maths. of course, subjects work in different ways. it just happened I based my posts on the past posts focusing on A-level maths.
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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.'
    True 'dis
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    (Original post by im so academic)
    Though, can I just ask the forum something: WHY is the curriculum nowadays dumbed down? Who suggested the idea of "let's make A-level maths easier!" and this was put into force?

    BTW: just realised my post was based on A-level maths. of course, subjects work in different ways. it just happened I based my posts on the past posts focusing on A-level maths.
    I imagine because too many people failed maths/not enough took it, the government decided it was too hard, so it was made easier.
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    (Original post by Lil' Flo)
    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
    This.
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    (Original post by BJack)
    The modularization of A levels has made them easier, for starters.
    :lolwut:

    Oh my days, I didn't know A-levels didn't used to have modules. :eek:

    So, knowing that, yeah that is a factor as it allows:

    Memorise A
    Test A
    Forget A

    Then:

    Memorise B
    Test B
    Forget B

    etc

    As if you just only memorised the material for the sake of getting a grade, instead of truly understanding it and actually being taught it.

    Hmm... that's really a surprise. Can I ask, is the university system organised into modules, i.e. take a module, pass the module, forget the module? Because, I find that exams in uni are at the end of the year, are they not?
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    (Original post by Lil' Flo)
    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
    Have you compared papers?
    In the past, there was more content, and generally less guidance in the questions(I can only speak for some subjects, but my guess is that this is true across the board).
    In the past, people dossing around were kicked out generally, although the modular system makes everything a lot easier.
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    (Original post by im so academic)

    Hmm... that's really a surprise. Can I ask, is the university system organised into modules, i.e. take a module, pass the module, forget the module? Because, I find that exams in uni are at the end of the year, are they not?
    Depends on the uni.
    My friends at Edinburgh had exams at the end of each semester, and that was that.
    I just had exams at the end of the year.
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    Well everything is getting easier without a doubt.
    You can't say all students everywhere have been getting better and better year in year out for decades without a single dip ever. It just doesn't happen.
    A bit off topic - but GCSE's are a piece of piss nowadays. Unbelievably easy.
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    I saw my name mentioned in this thread!

    I'm afraid all school examinations have become progressively easier over the years. This is not surprising as 25 years ago 15% of people went to university and now the Government target is 50%.

    There is no reason why any current student should feel bad about this. All you can do is sit the exams that are put in front of you and do your best. I can only imagine how annoying it is when newspapers sneer about your achievements.

    If you want to read some research into grade inflation, click this link and open the .pdf entitled "A new level":

    http://www.reform.co.uk/Research/Res...l/Default.aspx
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    What i dont get is why did the exam boards introduce the system of A*?? When they can easily extend the syllabus and make the exams tougher as it was in the 80's.

    But there is this thing and it may be a parodoxical explanation, even though the A'levels are getting easier there is another thing, kids are actually more smart at 18 compared to the same 18 year old living back in the 80's
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    I saw my name mentioned in this thread!

    I'm afraid all school examinations have become progressively easier over the years. This is not surprising as 25 years ago 15% of people went to university and now the Government target is 50%.

    There is no reason why any current student should feel bad about this. All you can do is sit the exams that are put in front of you and do your best. I can only imagine how annoying it is when newspapers sneer about your achievements.

    If you want to read some research into grade inflation, click this link and open the .pdf entitled "A new level":

    http://www.reform.co.uk/Research/Res...l/Default.aspx
    Sorry about that, but I figured you were as credible source as anybody on here for this kinda thing:p:
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    A-levels have become easier due to the following reasons;
    1) It has been modularised
    2) too many resits!!
    3) Grade boundaries have fallen so low
    4) very few trick questions-students don't have to think much these days...
    most of the time they have to memorise the mark schemes to get a decent grade
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    It's just old people jealous that we're so much more clever than they were :cool:
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    Do these muppets want to try and take the exams themselves? My A2 Physics exams were VERY difficult in places this year, and looking at previous years I would rather have sat them then. I'm sure anybody who took them here will agree. (OCR Physics A)

    I'm fed up with these idiots sitting in offices saying they get easier every year when they don't even sit the bloody things.

    They don't know how much stress were put under. For the majority these results could affect the rest of their lives, it certainly will be the case with me.

    Instead of moaning about they're getting easier, why don't they bloody congratulate us on our results.

    I am damn sure everyone who gets decent grades puts a hell of a lot of work in. Stupid bloody newspapers etc.

    /rant.

    :mad:!
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    If we take it as fact that A levels are getting easier, do you think a potential employer would ever take it into account? Say for example they had 2 candidates who were exactly the same but had taken A levels 10 years apart, would they look at one and think well he did his exams earlier so they were harder and he must be better? (I understand that it's highly unlikely to happen as the older candidate would have 10 years more experience, but just for the sake of asking).
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    (Original post by Slumpy)
    I imagine because too many people failed maths/not enough took it, the government decided it was too hard, so it was made easier.
    Oh no... that's where it went wrong! It targeted the effect of people failing maths rather than the cause.

    I.e.

    1. The cause of failing maths is the lack of teaching. (for sake of argument there will only be one cause to demonstate my argument.

    2. The effect of failing maths is that it is thought to be too hard (consequently not many people take it).

    Instead of tackling number one by training maths teachers etc, they tackled number two as it was the easier option, albeit the short term option.

    Had they invested money etc into option one, personally, I don't think we'd be in the position now where a-level maths is "dumbed down", and in fact, there is another effect - there are many BBC articles stating the experience and capabilities of maths teachers. Because they didn't target that in the first place.

    So know we just keep going back in circles:

    bad teaching (1st place) > people fail maths > no training by government/instead make exams easier

    because of bad teaching > people fail maths > no training by government/instead make exams easier

    and on and on again...

    of course, this is a huge generalisation, but I think the principle is still there.

    and because of the modulisation of A-level maths, resources on the net etc it becomes easier to get an A.

    you may think I'm contradicting myself - oh the resources on the net makes it easier to get an A, but the bad teaching fails people?

    this is the situation we are in today.

    top-grade (for sake of argument) students can get an A because of the resources etc etc, but low-grade students are being failed by bad teaching.

    of course this is a generlisation but I think this post represents how people can't get a C in GCSE maths at age 16, yet lots of people are getting As in A-level maths.

    however you will say people who can't get a C don't do A-level maths, but that's a different story...

    the point is, the fact that the government didn't act in option one in the first place caused a series of events making it easier to get an A in a-level maths.

    (I'll stop here 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?
    Exactly. Plus... nobody seems to consider the fact that we have Critical Thinking, GS, Media and Tourism A Levels now.. in which it's not really all that difficult to get an A grade.. that's obviously going to bump the A% up. Possibly it shows kids are getting smarter?
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    (Original post by callum Honisett)
    Do these muppets want to try and take the exams themselves? My A2 Physics exams were VERY difficult in places this year, and looking at previous years I would rather have sat them then. I'm sure anybody who took them here will agree. (OCR Physics A)

    I'm fed up with these idiots sitting in offices saying they get easier every year when they don't even sit the bloody things.

    They don't know how much stress were put under. For the majority these results could affect the rest of their lives, it certainly will be the case with me.

    Instead of moaning about they're getting easier, why don't they bloody congratulate us on our results.

    I am damn sure everyone who gets decent grades puts a hell of a lot of work in. Stupid bloody newspapers etc.

    /rant.

    :mad:!
    I would happily accept that today's students are under considerably more pressure.

    One thing that is hardly ever mentioned is that is was unusual to do more than 8 O Levels and 3 A Levels 25 years ago* whereas 10/11 GCSEs and 4/5 AS Levels are now the norm. It seems students now study a broader range of subjects (albeit more superficially).

    * not counting General Studies - it was rubbish in my day too!
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    (Original post by Emperor)
    A-levels have become easier due to the following reasons;
    1) It has been modularised
    2) too many resits!!
    3) Grade boundaries have fallen so low
    4) very few trick questions-students don't have to think much these days...
    most of the time they have to memorise the mark schemes to get a decent grade
    that implies you can take a lot of resits. :eek:

    tbh, I think you should only be allowed to resit if something happened, e.g. you were sick on the day of the exam or something; NOT because you got a grade lower than anticipated. however it would be VERY difficult to prove that, so that's the flaw.

    realistically, there should be the max of 1 resit, but if anything there should be no resits to give everyone a fair chance. then again, "fair chance" can be defined in many different ways....
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    (Original post by Hasan)
    It's just old people jealous that we're so much more clever than they were :cool:
    This
 
 
 
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