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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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    (Original post by bluemax)
    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
    How can you prove that?

    Personally I disagree. Apparently, in general, 18 year olds are more interested in getting:

    Wasted
    Laid
    High

    This wasn't the "norm" 20-30 years ago.
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    The "maths is so hard that the EBs had to dumb it down" is embarrassing but probably true tbh. I feel let down that subjects I did such as Latin made mathematics seem like Key Stage 2 stuff. Mathematics should be much harder than Latin, and it doesn't help when your Latin teachers aren't exactly amazing (granted Latin is probably the hardest subject to teach alongside ancient Greek). Yeah, totally wasted my time with that subject. I don't even think I'll be allowed to retake the modules in Jan, will I?
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    By the way, even though the debate is interesting, I'm not sure your poll will be at all reliable.

    It is a bit like asking the customers of a tobacconist whether they think the health risks of smoking are exaggerated ...
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    (Original post by im so academic)
    How can you prove that?

    Personally I disagree. Apparently, in general, 18 year olds are more interested in getting:

    Wasted
    Laid
    High

    This wasn't the "norm" 20-30 years ago.
    Maybe not the 'High' part, anyway.

    And doing these things doesn't make you any less intelligent. Nor do the actions of the minority represent the majority - I'm sure there were still stoners around 20 years ago!
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    There is a big distinction between A levels today and A levels 40 years ago, in terms of grade inflation. But bringing it up every year - and all year round on TSR - like a broken record, is pathetic in the extreme. I would bet that the differences with regards to "difficulty" (which can't even be measured systematically anyway as it's different for every person) one year after another are very miniscule indeed. I am in favour of a reform to A levels, beyond the changes of the 2008 syllabus, but droning on and on about difficulty isn't the way to go. These people are talkers, not doers.
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    The poll would have been better had votes been public, so we could see more easily who the delusional people on here are.
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    (Original post by im so academic)
    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....
    Well Uni's can see what resists you've taken now.
    Also what really annoys me is a girl in my school for her Biology AS froze in the exam and wrote absolutely nothing, not even her name on the paper. All because she was stressed from the day before when her physics didn't go as well as she hoped.

    When she did it again in the summer it didn't count as a resit because she wrote nothing on her paper before so they decided to mark her absent. I think its a disgrace as a student in the same position who struggled through the paper and for whatever reason did really badly would be declared as having resat and that could potentially put them at a disadvantage later on.

    Resits = bad idea unless its an exceptional circumstance. Leads to major unfairness.
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    Tbh, I think the ONLY way to "prove" if A-levels are getting easier is to e.g.:

    10,000 people or so taking A-level Maths will take, e.g. 8 exams in the equivalent of C4 from every decade:

    2000-2008 exams
    8 from 1990-1999
    8 from 1980-1989
    8 from 1970-1979

    so in total 32 exams.

    if there is a general increase of marks from 1970s exams to 2000s exams, I think that will show if exams are getting easier.

    because it isn't fair to compare *result* of 1980 to 2009 because they were sat from different people.

    if they were sat by the same people, then we can see if they are easier or not.
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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.'
    :mad:
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    (Original post by im so academic)
    Tbh, I think the ONLY way to "prove" if A-levels are getting easier is to e.g.:

    10,000 people or so taking A-level Maths will take, e.g. 8 exams in the equivalent of C4 from every decade:

    2000-2008 exams
    8 from 1990-1999
    8 from 1980-1989
    8 from 1970-1979

    so in total 32 exams.

    if there is a general increase of marks from 1970s exams to 2000s exams, I think that will show if exams are getting easier.

    because it isn't fair to compare *result* of 1980 to 2009 because they were sat from different people.

    if they were sat by the same people, then we can see if they are easier or not.
    But the syllabus would have been different in the 1970s to how it is now so the test would be unfair.
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    It seems like the new Pre-U is the best alternative to the A-levels, seeing as it's linear as opposed to the modular (easier) A-levels, plus I think more is covered in the Pre-Us which is why an A* at say Pre-U maths is awarded more ucas points than its equivalent A-level.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    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!
    Yeah, I see where you're coming from on that one.

    I didn't take general studies/ wasn't forced to so I wouldn't know anything about it :p:
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    Judge for yourselves whether exams are getting easier.

    Here is the 1988 O Level Paper 2 in mathematics (the equivalent of Edexcel Higher Tier GCSE now).

    O Level mathematics paper 2 1988.pdf
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    (Original post by Hula129)
    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:
    :rofl:
    So there's more binge drinking, underage sex, knife crime and 50% can't get 5 good GCSEs, as well as being able to get into uni with DDC, and apparently people are working harder....Seriously, if anything they're doing less work, if my school is anything to go by.
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    This whole debate really angers me, it's inevitable. It seems to me that students, and young people, as a whole spend the whole year being slated in the media for being lazy, unemployed binge drinking hoody's, then when we finally do something positive it's because the exams are getting easier, not because we worked hard for the results. If the exams are so 'easy' why don't they sit them.
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    (Original post by Hasan)
    But the syllabus would have been different in the 1970s to how it is now so the test would be unfair.
    they get taught the syllabus from 1970-2008?

    this probably is the only way to see if a-level maths is getting easier...
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    (Original post by Marsha2112)
    :rofl:
    So there's more binge drinking, underage sex, knife crime and 50% can't get 5 good GCSEs, as well as being able to get into uni with DDC, and apparently people are working harder....Seriously, if anything they're doing less work, if my school is anything to go by.

    i wasnt referring to the population as a whole

    i just feel its unfair for the people who do work hard to then be told the only reason theyre getting such good grades is because the exams are easier
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    i can say this for languages (i do three at as level) - we have in class done all of the past papers from like 2000 until 2008 (last year's) - and I can see a gradual change in easiness year by year. the exam itself this year was easier than last year's. so yes, they are.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    Judge for yourselves whether exams are getting easier.

    Here is the 1988 O Level Paper 2 in mathematics (the equivalent of Edexcel Higher Tier GCSE now).

    O Level mathematics paper 2 1988.pdf
    To my mind, that looks significantly harder than standard grades were, but to be honest, I've no real idea anymore what I got taught when, so I might be wrong.
    Any thoughts from people who've sat GCSEs recently?
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    matrices on a gcse equivalent paper? i thought the whole exams getting easier thing was rubbish till i saw that...

    after a quick look through, matrices, complex numbers and mechanics stuff now only appears at As or A2 level
 
 
 
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