A-Levels

Old Aug 18th 2007, 12:06 am
  #61  
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Default Re: A-Levels

You have to consider the actual subjects that students are sitting these days. A lot of the non-traditional subjects are a lot easier to get an A grade for rather than subjects like Economics, Psychics, English.

Media studies... psssht.
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Old Aug 18th 2007, 8:41 am
  #62  
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Default Re: A-Levels

Originally Posted by Liyamu
You have to consider the actual subjects that students are sitting these days. A lot of the non-traditional subjects are a lot easier to get an A grade for rather than subjects like Economics, Psychics, English.

Media studies... psssht.
Psychics? Lord help us if there's an A-Level in that

For 2006, the propportions getting an A by subject look like this:

Irish 51.4%
Maths 41.7%
German 40.7%
French 36.2%
Classics 33.7%
Chemistry 30.2%
Physics 27.7%
English 21.7%
Sociology 16.2%
Computing 15%
Business Studies 15.4%
Drama 13.8%
Welsh 12.6%
Psychology 11.3%
Media Studies 11.2%
Sports Studies 9.9%
Home Economics 1.2%
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Old Aug 18th 2007, 8:56 am
  #63  
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Default Re: A-Levels

Originally Posted by GarethR
It's a very useful warning flag. When an education system finds itself in a position whereby students obtaining A-grade A-levels are of a demonstrably lower standard of academic ability than was considered the norm among A-grade students of the recent past, something's wrong somewhere.
What makes me uneasy is 'demonstrably'. Anecdotally they may well be of a lower standard, and certainly less well prepared for certain kinds of university courses, but where's the data?

I can well believe that teaching has become more focused on getting pupils through their specific A-levels, which could certainly explain many of the problem universities face with their new intake not having the breadth of knowledge of previous undergrads, but it's impossible to discount the major role played by more lenient marking.
Again, you claim for it a major role, but *where is the evidence*? IF exams are getting easier, then I would be pointing the finger at curriculum and assessment changes, personally. Broader syllabuses covered by continual assessment does make it easier for kids to score highly. And I'm yet to be convinced that this is a bad thing in and of itself.

Any student who takes Media Studies is, by definition, a slacker. Hence, I'm surprised as many as 11% are getting A-grades.
Harsh. Some are more or less forced into it by poor 16+ provision at their school - I've met a couple of students who are doing it alongside two 'proper' A-Levels.

Originally Posted by Fairydust
One comment I'd like to throw into the equation is at what age children are being taught different skills, ie my daughter has been doing algebra in year 5 primary which I know for a fact I did not do or even think about until secondary school so maybe they are just learning more at a faster pace
Quite so.
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Old Aug 18th 2007, 1:40 pm
  #64  
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Default Re: A-Levels

any exam where 40-50 pct get an A grade should be printed on 3 ply paper that is soft strong and very absorbant!!
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Old Aug 18th 2007, 1:49 pm
  #65  
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Default Re: A-Levels

Originally Posted by typical
What makes me uneasy is 'demonstrably'. Anecdotally they may well be of a lower standard, and certainly less well prepared for certain kinds of university courses, but where's the data?
So the fact that the universities, even Cambridge, are adamant that today's A-graders are of lesser ability than yesterday's A-graders (and the universities should know) isn't good enough for you? Surely the simple fact that unis are having to run remedial classes is demonstration enough.

Again, you claim for it a major role, but *where is the evidence*?
Again, you don't believe the A-level marking staff who are speaking out?

Harsh
But fair. It's a Mickey Mouse course, and is absolutely useless if you want a career in the media. For some years now, there have been more people graduating from Media Studies courses each year than there are jobs in the entire British media industry.
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Old Aug 18th 2007, 11:38 pm
  #66  
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Default Re: A-Levels

[QUOTE=GarethR;. For some years now, there have been more people graduating from Media Studies courses each year than there are jobs in the entire British media industry.[/QUOTE]

And so have we not come the full circle from part of OP's original point.?...not enough traineeships for fledgling LLB'S or whatever the English equivalent is

Gareth,You are imho a great big snob!
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Old Aug 19th 2007, 5:02 am
  #67  
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Default Re: A-Levels

if you think that way Eva you summed him up wrongly, very wrongly
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Old Aug 19th 2007, 8:30 am
  #68  
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Default Re: A-Levels

I stand corrected -sorry man.
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Old Aug 19th 2007, 9:38 am
  #69  
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Default Re: A-Levels

Originally Posted by Inselaffen
any exam where 40-50 pct get an A grade should be printed on 3 ply paper that is soft strong and very absorbant!!
You don't really think that Maths is much, much easier than Home Ec, do you? For that matter, why should 10% (or whatever) of both Maths students and Home Ec students fail if the former set of students are rather more able than the latter?

Originally Posted by GarethR
So the fact that the universities, even Cambridge, are adamant that today's A-graders are of lesser ability than yesterday's A-graders (and the universities should know) isn't good enough for you? Surely the simple fact that unis are having to run remedial classes is demonstration enough.
Lesser ability full stop, or lesser ability to cope with aspects of a university course? It seems to me they're saying the latter. And we've done the remedial class thing to death now - yes, it proves that students aren't learning the exact same skills as they used to, but it doesn't prove that their overall learning is diminished.

And that's really my point. I've repeatedly agreed that A Levels aren't as good as they used to be for university admissions. I just dispute that one can automatically say that that is because they're getting easier. Easier != less suitable.

By the way, the Russell Group seem mostly happy with the new A* grade being introduced.

Again, you don't believe the A-level marking staff who are speaking out?
There isn't one voice. Maybe it's happening in some subjects, but there's no overwhelming chorus - and I'm quite sure those speaking out have their own agenda to push too.

But fair. It's a Mickey Mouse course, and is absolutely useless if you want a career in the media. For some years now, there have been more people graduating from Media Studies courses each year than there are jobs in the entire British media industry.
It's hard to keep up when you keep mixing up GCSEs, A Levels and University courses FWIW I agree about Media Studies at university, but at school it shouldn't matter as much because a) it's just one of three or four courses followed, and b) how many courses at A Level are really that vocational? A Law A Level, though well respected, is pretty useless for becoming a lawyer; A Physics one isn't going to get you into CERN. As long as there is some rigour there - and a low pass rate suggests there is - it's fine by me.
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Old Aug 19th 2007, 11:39 am
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Default Re: A-Levels

Im just glad that school's over!!!! Party on people!!!!
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Old Aug 19th 2007, 2:20 pm
  #71  
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Default Re: A-Levels

Originally Posted by zamboooka
Im just glad that school's over!!!! Party on people!!!!
ohh too right, lol...!!!

MM, xx
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Old Aug 19th 2007, 2:23 pm
  #72  
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Default Re: A-Levels

Originally Posted by zamboooka
Im just glad that school's over!!!! Party on people!!!!
Too right I still have nightmares after all these years
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Old Aug 19th 2007, 5:34 pm
  #73  
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Default Re: A-Levels

Oh, well I had to post, I knew I missed doing one last month.......lol

The daughter got 2 As and a Distinction (I guess thats an A??) at A level this year, ah, yes....Art, Photography and Drama, NOT real subjects you say....lol. We called them her 'dosser subjects'

but she got unconditional offers from Westminster/Southampton/Portsmouth Unis and Bournemouth Arts Institute way back in April based purely on her portfolios and interviews. Yes, she's doing Animation (its got a more fancy title but Im beggared if I know what the full title is) and some might say, well thats not proper Uni is it? lol

but we are proud of what she's achieved. As for GCSE's you only need to turn up, lol. The daughter got an A for English lit and a D for English language 3 years ago....how does that work?....and who the bloody hell marked those?
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Old Aug 19th 2007, 7:15 pm
  #74  
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Default Re: A-Levels

Originally Posted by Mellie66
Oh, well I had to post, I knew I missed doing one last month.......lol

The daughter got 2 As and a Distinction (I guess thats an A??) at A level this year, ah, yes....Art, Photography and Drama, NOT real subjects you say....lol. We called them her 'dosser subjects'

but she got unconditional offers from Westminster/Southampton/Portsmouth Unis and Bournemouth Arts Institute way back in April based purely on her portfolios and interviews. Yes, she's doing Animation (its got a more fancy title but Im beggared if I know what the full title is) and some might say, well thats not proper Uni is it? lol

but we are proud of what she's achieved. As for GCSE's you only need to turn up, lol. The daughter got an A for English lit and a D for English language 3 years ago....how does that work?....and who the bloody hell marked those?
well whether they are mickey mouse exams or not, you must be dead proud Mellie...!!

MM, xx
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