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The A Level Results

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30 replies to this topic

#1
offline cantos

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Once again the A'Level results have improved again this year with a quarter of all entrants receiving a A.

When i finished school in 1980,i only ever knew one person to get a A and he went to Oxford.

I did not take up my Uni. place at Reading,but was offered a place and had to get 2c's and D.

I think the Government have devalued the value of A Levels by making the obtaining of grade A so easy and someone who is truely a A grade student is regarded on a par as someone who may have only achieved a D in the 70s and 80s.

A time for a change methinks.


#2
offline Greg_Dyke

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A levels are not easier, they are just different.

Teaching has improved.

Teaching is now also extremely focused on the subjects and sections that will come up in the exams. The whole 2 year AS/A2 cycle is focused on the end exam, and therefore results have improved as teachers now teach less information.

This of course is not a good thing, as the students have an A level of a very limited knowledge, rather than a broad range of information about a subject.

A levels are not easier, they are different.

#3
offline The Invisible Man

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So therefore Cantos is right, a modern A level is not 'worth' as much as old fashioned one. Modern ones are different in that they are not as good.

#4
offline Coffin Ender

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Young people certainly work hard, and they are no less bright than any previous generation, but I am worried about the education they receive.

A work colleague's son did A-level history - all he studied was the assassination of JFK - and nothing else. I did A-level history in 1989 and had to learn about the industrial revolution, the Victorian age and the First World War.

The problem is it suits everyone - the schools, politicians and exam boards - to pretend everything is rosy. So nothing will change.


#5
offline Greg_Dyke

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In my opinion, Cantos is correct, the modern A level is not the same as the one he and me took all those years ago....

I wouldnt say that modern day students dont work hard for them though...they just have a different focus.

For example, I got a History A level, for which I studied about 200 years of British and 200 years of European History, but only 50 years came up in the exam.....
Nowadays, say only 75 years will be taught and 75 years will come up...

There is also a lot more coursework marks counted, therefore ability is more accurately monitored, rather than just leaving it to a one off exam event

#6
offline BlueGate Alan

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I agree that coursework has improved the grades. I wish my studies counted coursework because I used to hate exams.

#7
offline Greg_Dyke

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me too !



#8
offline Big J R

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I prefer 'O' levels ! chloebolt

#9
offline cantos

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I remember last year on Radio 5 Live they got 6 A grade students in Maths to take the 1979 O level maths paper,I took an interest as it was the paper i got a C in.

1 student got a E Grade and the other 5 got a U.

#10
offline cantos

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Originally Posted By: Taffy_Alan
I agree that coursework has improved the grades. I wish my studies counted coursework because I used to hate exams.


Coursework is only as good as the parent that does it. smile

#11
offline The Invisible Man

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This indeed is the problem. It's not only parents who often only intending to help but actually substantially doing the work, but the teachers as well. After all it is their interest for as many as possible to pass with good grades. I understand that children are also encouraged to use the internet for 'research' but at that stage they are not equipped to evaluate the source sufficiently: while some serious work is published on the net the huge majority is drivel. Plus of course they simply plagiarise it. In principle I agree that coursework is generally better, and they will come across it a lot at university, but it is only as good as the standards by which it is monitored and I am not sure that this is sufficient at present.

#12
offline cantos

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My son is doing a piece of course work for Geography at the moment to be handed in the first day of term.
It is his 3rd attempt and he has list from the teacher on ways he can improve it.This is in my eyes is cheating.

#13
offline The Invisible Man

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No disrespect meant to your son, it's obviously not his fault, but that is ridiculous! The whole point of it is that you only get one go. You take the comments on board and try to improve your next bit of work. Not only is this cheating, but the kids are themselves being cheated.

This sort of thing was highlighted in a report on coursework standards a year or so ago, I believe. Clearly nothing has been done about it.

Mind you, what they call geography now........... I recall the invisible children doing a whole term on Native Americans. The next year they did it again under History. Apart from that, history seemed to be nothing but Nazis (the subject I mean, not the teachers....).

#14
offline cantos

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What makes me laugh about some of the students defending the exams is the keep coming out with the line 'we had to work hard to get the results' as if we didn't.

The big difference between now and when i was studying is that todays kids can get the info they need at a click of a button.When i was studying for my A levels it involved a hours journey to Romford Central library and getting information out of a book,if you could find the one you needed.

#15
offline Stu M

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I wouldn't worry. Aren't they introducing an A* to sort the the real boffins from the sort of people that would have got a C in my day (1991)...?

#16
offline The Invisible Man

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So the grades will be a bit like cars - bottom of the range is De Luxe, and they work up from there.

Obviously no-one is allowed to fail any more, so less than 40% will get B. Grades will then up through A, A*, A**, and A Premium.

Turning up for the exam will earn 10 marks. Being on time will get another 10. Writing your name on the top is another 10, and spelling it correctly also 10.

In the interest of diversity, equality and inclusion, all those from a single parent family will be awarded 20 marks compensation. All those who ARE single parents will get 25 marks and a council flat. Dyslexics will have three weeks to complete the exam (and an extra 25 marks). The test will be whether they can spell dyslexic or not. Anyone with British parents or grandparents will be deducted 10 marks, ethnic minorities will be awarded 25 points to level the playing field. Speakers of other languages may complete the paper in the language of their choice, or not at all. Entrants with at least one parent in receipt of benefits, or who qualify for free school dinners, are awarded 30 points and a clerk to do the writing for them.

In order to streamline the system which is danger of becoming unwieldy, everyone will be awarded 100 per cent if they give an assurance that they have done lots of work.

I'm getting the hang of this, I should work for the government!

#17
offline cantos

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Apparently the bottom GCSE paper in Maths giving a F OR G Pass could be passed by a 11 year old just leaving primary school.My daughter just got a Grade 5 in her SATS and her teacher said she could obtain a F at GCSE,she is 11.

#18
offline Uncle Urchin

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when I was a lad they never took sissy exams...we were sent down the mines to work for a living....with no shoes on... shocked

fckn students..... grin

#19
offline Jeff Hamnett TSF

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amo amas amat amamus amatis amant

wolfgang amadeus mozart werde in salzburg geboren

and what was the point in me ever looking at a logarithm table?



#20
offline Stu M

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Originally Posted By: Uncle Urchin
when I was a lad they never took sissy exams...we were sent down the mines to work for a living....with no shoes on... shocked


The only mines in Essex were surely German ones dropped from bombers in 1940...? grin




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