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'New' A Levels - today's announcement

(65 Posts)
BidRed Wed 23-Jan-13 15:11:10

Another issue has just come up today; the proposal to change the A Levels back to where they were in my day – exam-based.

I do understand why this has been proposed – the Universities and Employers are worried about the drop in standards of the current A levels.

However, there is a big debate starting about how boys do better in exams rather than coursework and that anyway coursework is 'easy' and/or is all down by the parent and therefore cheating.

Essentially, Mr Gove is saying that girls cheat and because they are getting better standards than the boys and have pushed up the pass mark, he wants to go back to the old method which is favoured by boys and will push the girls back down again.

Is this all part of a scheme to get women back in their rightful place of in the home; looking after all generations thereby decreasing the bill for looking after both pre-schoolers and the older generation, and also freeing up jobs for the boys therefore decreasing the unemployment numbers?

All in one go, what a brilliant plan.

If you choose to stay at home, absolutely FINE, but if you can't/don't want to .... ?

Just a little bit sexist though, don’t you think? We are 52% of the vote don’t forget – good old Emily!

What do you think of this plan?

gelo Sat 26-Jan-13 14:46:22

On the whole I think employers are able to see who the quick ones are Mordion, and not just from exam results. The existing exams aren't too far from being fit for purpose. It speaks volumes to me that the top universities seem against the changes.

gelo Sat 26-Jan-13 14:46:59

I mean LaQueen, not mordion, sorry.

gillviola Sun 27-Jan-13 17:39:17

AS exams are useful as a guide to see if pupils are on track for A2 exams and they prevent what happened to me when I sat my A levels - being taught the wrong syllabus for 2 years and no one realising it until no one could answer a single question on either paper. Sitting in an exam hall for 2 exams,(sociology so no transferable skills, just knowledge or in my case, lack of) not being able to write anything of note is not something I would wish on anyone.

MoominmammasHandbag Sun 27-Jan-13 17:57:14

I think terminal exams benefit the ones who are lazy but have good memories, I include myself in that category. My bright but idle DS would probably have pulled himself together enough to do well in final exams but struggled a bit with the grind of more continual assessment. DD1 on the other hand is not as bright and has a rubbish memory but is doing rather well under the current A level system because she has a really good work ethic. I suspect she would not fare as well if two years' work was condensed into one final exam.

LaQueen Sun 27-Jan-13 19:42:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 27-Jan-13 19:52:55

What utter tosh OP.

There are just as many A levels now that don't include coursework. Students initially want to study the subject in many cases to go to uni.
I too welcome the change and hopefully it will stay that way for my dd. She will be able to access the subjects she wants as under current system anything with coursework is not available to her.

noblegiraffe Sun 27-Jan-13 20:08:52

LaQueen, you said you basically skived down the pub through Uni and blagged the exams through cleverness so presumably continuous assessment wouldn't have suited you and maybe weeded you out as lazy which would have been good, or it would have actually made you work for your degree, which would also have been good.

LaQueen Sun 27-Jan-13 20:11:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gelo Sun 27-Jan-13 20:21:21

Hmm, the problem with those who do their coursework the night before is that they inevitably don't get as good marks as those who have slogged over it for months (the standard expected for coursework is usually way higher than that expected for exam work because of this). Which is why exam only courses favour the bright but last minute 'do as little as possible' types whereas coursework oriented courses favour the sloggers.

Yellowtip Sun 27-Jan-13 21:30:59

So which uni did you go to LaQueen? (did anyone anywhere really hang out in the Student Union?).

One of my DDs spent the entire Christmas break completing a single piece of coursework. The finished piece looks way above undergraduate level to me (but that could be me getting old and stupid I guess, since she claims the piece is jejeune). She's almost disturbingly bright. There's no necessary correlation between completing essays or coursework at the last minute and being stupendously bright. So many closet sloggers claim that anyway. Ignore! (or at least take with a bag of Saxo).

QuickLookBusy Sun 27-Jan-13 22:21:06

Having had 2 bright DDs recently go through A levels, it infuriates me when people say that A levels are easy.
They obviously have no idea what they are talking about. I assume they haven't had children going through the process as a huge amount of work is required. These days very few find getting into a top uni "easy", there is huge competition and getting top marks at A level is essential.

Yellowtip Sun 27-Jan-13 22:31:57

QuickLookBusy I agree. It's almost always people with young kids or much older people or people with no kids who say that sort of thing. Most people with kids recently through the system or going through the system know quite well that it's tough.

breadandbutterfly Mon 28-Jan-13 14:30:07

i think the current system is better - I'm another one who did well under the old system but would probably have benefitted from learning how to complete high quality coursework earlier - continuous high standards of essays expected at uni came as quite a shock to me, as i was used to doing a La Queen and getting by with something pulled out of a hat last minute. The sooner schools can teach kids how to apply themselves consistently to study (without essay crises) the better - a useful life skill.

Also agree that it's far better to have AS levels - to give kids a chance to drop a course they realise is a mistake. Two of my dbs would have benefitted from this; in addition, Gove wants people to study maths post A Level - far more sensible to take it to AS only if not doing sciences at A Level and not interested enough in maths to wish to devote 1 out of 3 choices to it at A Level.

noblegiraffe Mon 28-Jan-13 17:55:29

Gove is an idiot, and the only person to seem to have an issue with AS levels as they are. Unfortunately he's in charge. It's outrageous that he is able to steam-roller his plans through in the face of all these professional criticisms.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Mon 28-Jan-13 18:44:49

When the conservatives brought in AS and A2 exams they spent quite some considerable time getting a review done to look at what should change and what the new system should look like...and why it needed reform.

Gove seems to go for announcing it to the press as the first anyone at all in education knows anything and insisting that it is all in place in a breathtakingly short time.

Still waiting to see what the current year 7 students will be sitting for their GCSE exams and those course need to be taught from year 9/10 onwards... I find that frankly scarey

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