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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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    Are there more people taking A levels now then before ? Also alot of students take live 5 A levels and get all A's. Then theres the easier subjects general studies, critical thinking, media studies, photgraphy, leisure and tourism ect.

    It would be better to see A level results per subject and then compare.
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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.'
    But in maths it's completely true. Someone posted a paper from long ago on here the other day and it is so much harder than present day maths A level. It's clear that A levels have become easier in the sciences, I can't speak for the other subjects. Combine this with grade inflation and generous marking and you have a complete farce!

    Edit: This has already been mentioned earlier in the thread, apologies!
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    (Original post by impervious)
    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.
    I think in the sciences they have got a lot easier.
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    (Original post by orionmoo)
    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.
    This has happened at university level for maths as well.
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    I think it's a whole host of reasons.

    Undoubtedly some subjects are getting easier. I was studying Alevels during the time when the P-unit syllabus of Maths was changed to a C unit syllabus. I sat AS in P-modules, but then at the beginning of A2 teachers decided to flip to the new C-unit syllabus. The 3 pure maths papers were being changed into 4 core maths papers, which meant not only did each module contain less and we didn't have to study S2 (stats), but it also meant we had an entire term to be retaught topics we already did in AS year. In the end, no one got below 85% in those C papers, and most people got 95%+. Okay, part of the reason was we were lucky enough to be taught the same information twice, but the core units were definitely easier than the previous pure units. This was all around the time that universities were worried not enough people were studying maths and physics, so the reasons for the change were fairly obvious.


    I think the resit culture A levels have is another main offender. So many students think "Oh well, if I get a few marks short of an A, I'll resit and get an A next time". Education is about finding students' abilities, not giving them umpteen chances til they get the grade they want. A levels should pick up the university system of only allowing resits if students fail a module, and then capping it at the lowest grade possible.
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    I cannot believe it was the 14th last year and the 20th this year. More than that, I can't believe it was nearly a YEAR ago when I got my first set of A level results
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    It does annoy me tho, the way we can't win.

    I saw some SATS results article in the paper the other day, basically saying kids were getting stupider. But as soon as we do well, it's all 'exams are getting easier'.

    I don't think it's as bad as people make out, exams/assessments/teaching are all different now so it's rather difficult to compare. I do agree however that there is a difference between exams now and those decades ago, although what may be easier in terms of knowledge is much harder in the sense that you're trying to tailor your answers to mark schemes and various weightings of marks. The only thing that annoys me really is the amount of people who go to university these days, when it used to be only for the academically gifted.
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    I dunno but when I was in my 1st year of High School in Scotland, this girl transferred in from England quite a well off girl and boasted how she got straight A's at her last school and even showed us some of her old reports and certificates.

    She failed every test she did in Maths and other classes because the standards were "higher" she even admitted she had no idea what the questions meant, and over the space of the next 2 years we had about 5 more English students arrive all with the same problems, one in fact took his sisters A level Maths books for his 2nd Scottish year(not even Standard Grade) classes and they were the same.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    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 ...
    True. But it is still neck and neck.
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    (Original post by EarlHickey)
    I dunno but when I was in my 1st year of High School in Scotland, this girl transferred in from England quite a well off girl and boasted how she got straight A's at her last school and even showed us some of her old reports and certificates.

    She failed every test she did in Maths and other classes because the standards were "higher" she even admitted she had no idea what the questions meant, and over the space of the next 2 years we had about 5 more English students arrive all with the same problems, one in fact took his sisters A level Maths books for his 2nd Scottish year(not even Standard Grade) classes and they were the same.
    Frankly, there's a load of bull in there.
    I've done the scottish system, but I have a fair knowledge of the A-level maths system, and whilst I'd say its true that Advanced higher maths has more content than the pure maths module of straight a level, a level maths+ further maths will have more than advanced higher.
    And if you think Standard grade is harder than A level, you're basically delusional.
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    (Original post by oo_Lucinda_oo)
    It does annoy me tho, the way we can't win.

    I saw some SATS results article in the paper the other day, basically saying kids were getting stupider. But as soon as we do well, it's all 'exams are getting easier'.

    I don't think it's as bad as people make out, exams/assessments/teaching are all different now so it's rather difficult to compare. I do agree however that there is a difference between exams now and those decades ago, although what may be easier in terms of knowledge is much harder in the sense that you're trying to tailor your answers to mark schemes and various weightings of marks. The only thing that annoys me really is the amount of people who go to university these days, when it used to be only for the academically gifted.
    This. To sell papers they will dramtise any result in the opposite light. If the number of A's achieved at A level dropped, then they would claim we are collectively becoming dumber.
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    (Original post by Slumpy)
    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?

    Well i took them last year and without a shadow of a doubt it was extremely easy. That isn't meant as a boast or anything just the Triple Science GCSE was a joke, and the maths paper even i found good (and i hate it).

    We were the first year to take the new course so we didn't have any past papers to revise from except those from the old course, and so we were treated to a pleasant surprise when we came across the actual exams and found they were easier.
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    (Original post by Flying Scotsman)
    This has happened at university level for maths as well.
    May be it's some ageist ploy to keep the older generations more knowledgeable, to keep the young submissive?
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    (Original post by Slumpy)
    Frankly, there's a load of bull in there.
    I've done the scottish system, but I have a fair knowledge of the A-level maths system, and whilst I'd say its true that Advanced higher maths has more content than the pure maths module of straight a level, a level maths+ further maths will have more than advanced higher.
    And if you think Standard grade is harder than A level, you're basically delusional.
    Technically I never said it was I said the standards were "higher" and I never mentioned they were harder than A levels just that a guy I knew had to use his sisters A level work to catch up.

    It could of just been that our 2nd year just covered part of what this guys sister did in her A levels but still every English person who came up had problems in maths as the system was different and all admitted they were harder.

    And bearing in mind I left school 10 years ago so I would have a different experience than you.
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    The most significant way they have become easier imo is how exams are done in modules and can be resitted. And there are lots of textbooks and websites that have usefull notes dedicated to specifications.
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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 you've been looking in wrong places then (no offence intended, just my point of view). But here's the thing, ever year the number of Oxbridge candidates are increasing; i mean easier A'levels cannot be the sole cause for it? In addition Oxbridge generally has admission test for their courses and many students are known to perform well in them like BMAT and STEP are pretty difficult tests (much harder than the A'levels anyway) but students still perform well in them. Doesnt all this indicate that student calibre has gone up?
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    What about the introduction of new subjects? Like design and technology and film studies?
    Did they have these subjects in the past?
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    (Original post by EarlHickey)
    Technically I never said it was I said the standards were "higher" and I never mentioned they were harder than A levels just that a guy I knew had to use his sisters A level work to catch up.

    It could of just been that our 2nd year just covered part of what this guys sister did in her A levels but still every English person who came up had problems in maths as the system was different and all admitted they were harder.

    And bearing in mind I left school 10 years ago so I would have a different experience than you.
    Well, you said 2nd year was the same as his sister's A level books.

    I would say that I came up from England, and got money from the SQA/somebody for both advanced higher maths and mechanics for being in the top few in the country, so it's not across the board(I did come up at the end of primary school, so my entire secondary school education was in Scotland, but it's still not across the board.)
    I suppose the people from England who came up later on had it harder, but that's more to do with different syllabi than anything else in my eyes.

    I'll accept that, CSYS was apparently a mission(I've seen some past papers, and I could do them, but they were harder than today's I think.)
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    (Original post by bluemax)
    Maybe you've been looking in wrong places then (no offence intended, just my point of view). But here's the thing, ever year the number of Oxbridge candidates are increasing; i mean easier A'levels cannot be the sole cause for it? In addition Oxbridge generally has admission test for their courses and many students are known to perform well in them like BMAT and STEP are pretty difficult tests (much harder than the A'levels anyway) but students still perform well in them. Doesnt all this indicate that student calibre has gone up?
    I wouldn't say gone up.
    But I've definitely seen people(who know more than I do) say that they think the difference at the very top(ie STEP) compared to S level is very much smaller than the difference between A levels of the past and now.
    But certainly the best now aren't much different than the best in the past, I think the fact is just so many more people in higher education is going to cause what we're seeing, because there's a wider spread of abilities.
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    (Original post by Heir-Head)
    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.
    Ditto, we don't get credit on results day. They start the debate there and then. Students are opening their results and they go "do you feel they have gone easier" and the guys like wut? :congrats: you just ruined results day.
 
 
 
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