A level points

(12 Posts)
nat73 Wed 31-Aug-16 08:23:30

I am trawling through league tables for A levels. According to the one I am looking at.. the very best school in our area last year average number of A level points was 1066. For the rest of the private schoolsector it's 800 and something. I go to the points calculator and it says it's something like 140 points per A* A level. How does this add up to 800 or 1066? Surely they are studying 8 A levels each? Do I double the 140 to 280 and then it's 3 or 4 A*s? Sorry to be dense but I appreciate some light being cast on this...

TheSecondOfHerName Wed 31-Aug-16 21:51:46

an A* grade scores 300 points
A 270, B 240, C 210, D 180, E 150

TheSecondOfHerName Wed 31-Aug-16 21:53:45

I think the points you were looking at are UCAS points, which is a different scale.

homebythesea Thu 01-Sep-16 08:08:06

Personally I would not look at points but percentage of A*-B grades, the actual results for each subject in which you are interested and the range of higher education destinations of each school. Universities generally don't offer on the basis of points (not the top ones anyway) and average points per pupil don't give a feel for how well a particular subject is taught.

nat73 Thu 01-Sep-16 20:50:39

Aha thank you TheSecondOfHerName. You are quite right I was looking at UCAS tables. So to get 1066 average you need more than 3 x A*. That's pretty impressive!! And 750 points (average score for local 6th form college) would be BBB.

angelnumber9 Fri 02-Sep-16 13:40:50

I agree with homebythesea, A* to B is by far the best measure and I've trawled through many tables myself. Some Independant schools try to sneak C grades into the percentages to make themselves appear better so look closely. In Shropshire we have Concord College which is consistently in the top 20 of the Independant School A level tables and a very good school indeed. If you measure it with ucas points it actually becomes the top performing school in the whole country, above even Wycombe Abbey so it is all quite confusing. Happy trawling!

titchy Fri 02-Sep-16 13:49:14

Alternatively this 'very best' school could put all their kids in for Critical Thinking and General Studies A Level as well as their usual three, and they all get straight Cs.

And your local 6th form college I'm assuming isn't selective so inevitably will have a lot of kids getting C, D and E grades.

Look at the results for the subjects your child is interested in. You can ignore everything else.

nat73 Sat 03-Sep-16 07:59:17

I started out looking at the Telegraph table of %A/A* at A level but then some schools like Shrewsbury are not listed because they do I or preU. So it's like comparing apples and pears..

homebythesea Sat 03-Sep-16 08:13:18

That is why league tables are not worth the paper they are written on. You really need to look at individual schools to get the data on the subjects you are interested in.

angelnumber9 Sat 03-Sep-16 12:27:58

I know what you mean, it is confusing but Shrewsbury School is very transparent and even though it doesn't feature in league tables it does publish detailed results analysis openly on its website. I have tried obtaining something similar from Shrewsbury High School but they (very tellingly) do not wish to disclose figures. At that point you only really have the option of league tables which though not perfect at least give you an idea. In the case of the High School results have fallen considerably again this year but the school website (as you might expect) spins a very different story!
So you must research carefully using all available information to try to draw some sort of conclusion but do beware of some school websites.

nat73 Sat 03-Sep-16 13:23:39

True Shrewsbury seem to publish all data. Just seems v confusing with all the different exams!

stubiff Thu 08-Sep-16 08:36:39

I would ignore tables which use Average Point Score per pupil (total points). It favours quantity over quality. A lot of schools who offer the IB will be near the top as they take more subjects.
More here - choosingaschool.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/league-tables-vs-performance-tables/

I would use Average Points Score per entry (quality) and for A-level the Value Add score (i.e. how much they progressed).

However, the main determiner of attainment is prior attainment, so if a school produces good A-level results then they will have had, on average, good GCSE results, and an above average intake at Y7 (all on average of course).
Some schools are able to 'progress' their pupils more than the average, which should also be taken into account.

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