Picture copyright
Getty Photos

Hundreds of youngsters throughout England, Wales and Northern Eire are receiving their A-and AS-level outcomes. However, in England, there have been adjustments to this 12 months’s A-level – the BBC Information web site units out the adjustments.

What’s totally different about this 12 months’s A-levels in England?

Below the brand new system, college students sit all A-level exams on the finish of two years of examine, as an alternative of taking modular exams all through the course.

AS-level outcomes not depend in the direction of A-level grades. No topic can have greater than a 20% coursework part and most programs will probably be assessed completely by means of exams.

Resits will nonetheless be out there, however January exams will probably be scrapped, so college students should wait till Could/June of the next 12 months for an opportunity to enhance their grades.

Why was this alteration introduced in?

The change was brought in by the former Education Secretary Michael Gove with the intention of making the exams extra “match for objective” – or more durable.

The brand new AS- and A-levels syllabuses have been phased in throughout faculties in England from September 2015.

The DfE says: “The content material for the brand new A-levels has been reviewed and up to date. Universities performed a better function on this for the brand new than they did beforehand.”

What is going on to AS-levels?

The AS-level is being decoupled from the A-level, which implies it operates as a stand-alone qualification and the outcomes don’t depend in the direction of A-level grades – though in Wales and Northern Eire, they may nonetheless depend in the direction of an general A-level mark.

Provisional figures from the Division for Training present that the variety of entries for AS topics has fallen by 42% this summer time.

Affiliation of Faculty and School Leaders basic secretary Geoff Barton mentioned it “sounded the dying knell for AS-levels”.

“The nice advantage of the outdated system was that it gave college students a broader vary of information and allowed them to maintain their choices open for longer,” he mentioned.

Picture copyright
Getty Photos

“The choice to decouple these was a completely pointless reform, which is narrowing the curriculum and decreasing scholar selection.”

Which topics are being phased in when?

This 12 months, new A-level have been taken in:

  • artwork and design
  • biology
  • enterprise
  • chemistry
  • laptop science
  • economics
  • English language
  • English language and literature
  • English literature
  • historical past
  • physics
  • psychology
  • sociology

Subsequent summer time, candidates will sit the brand new A-level within the following topics:

  • historic languages (classical Greek, Latin)
  • dance
  • drama and theatre
  • geography
  • trendy overseas languages (French, German, Spanish)
  • music
  • bodily training
  • non secular research

In the summertime of 2019, new exams will probably be sat in:

  • accounting
  • historic historical past
  • historic languages (biblical Hebrew A-level solely)
  • classical civilisation
  • design and expertise
  • electronics
  • environmental science
  • movie research
  • additional arithmetic
  • geology
  • authorities and politics
  • historical past of artwork (A-level solely)
  • regulation
  • arithmetic
  • media research
  • trendy overseas languages (Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Greek, Japanese, trendy Hebrew, Panjabi, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Turkish, Urdu)
  • trendy overseas languages (Chinese language, Italian, Russian)
  • music expertise
  • philosophy
  • statistics

Hasn’t all this alteration been disturbing for the youngsters concerned?

Younger folks and academics have informed the BBC that getting ready for the brand new qualification has been disturbing, particularly as there have been no previous papers to consult with and a few textual content books have been written earlier than a few of the syllabuses have been finalised.

Rosamund McNeil, from the Nationwide Union of Academics, mentioned: “The upheaval of a rapidly reformed curriculum and the adjustments resulting in a discount in a lot of the coursework components, created pointless stress and concern for pupils and academics alike.

“Whereas outcomes nationally might have remained according to these within the earlier 12 months, some faculties and schools will little question see appreciable variation.

“The volatility round outcomes and the accountability measures which use them can have damaging and unfair penalties.”

What is going on elsewhere within the UK?

There have been no main adjustments within the different nations.

In Wales and Northern Eire, AS-levels have remained as an integral a part of finding out for A-levels.

AS-levels contribute 40% of the full marks of the complete A-level and will be taken on the finish of the AS course or alongside A2.

In Scotland, college students don’t sit A-levels and AS-levels. As an alternative, they take Highers and Superior Highers.

This 12 months, the Higher pass rate dipped by zero.2%, however the whole variety of passes remained above 150,000 for a 3rd successive 12 months.

Reporting by BBC Information training reporter Katherine Sellgren