1000’s 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 yr’s A-level – the BBC Information web site units out the adjustments.
What’s totally different about this yr’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 now not rely in the direction of A-level grades. No topic may have greater than a 20% coursework part and most programs will probably be assessed totally by way of exams.
Resits will nonetheless be out there, however January exams will probably be scrapped, so college students should wait till Might/June of the next yr for an opportunity to enhance their grades.
Why was this modification introduced in?
The change was brought in by the former Education Secretary Michael Gove with the intention of making the exams extra “match for goal” – or more durable.
The brand new AS- and A-levels syllabuses have been phased in throughout colleges 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 higher function on this for the brand new than they did beforehand.”
What is occurring 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 rely in the direction of A-level grades – though in Wales and Northern Eire, they’ll nonetheless rely in the direction of an general A-level mark.
Provisional figures from the Division for Schooling present that the variety of entries for AS topics has fallen by 42% this summer season.
Affiliation of Faculty and Faculty Leaders common secretary Geoff Barton stated it “sounded the loss of life knell for AS-levels”.
“The nice advantage of the previous system was that it gave college students a broader vary of data and allowed them to maintain their choices open for longer,” he stated.
“The choice to decouple these was a completely pointless reform, which is narrowing the curriculum and decreasing pupil selection.”
Which topics are being phased in when?
This yr, new A-level had been taken in:
- artwork and design
- laptop science
- English language
- English language and literature
- English literature
- historical past
Subsequent summer season, candidates will sit the brand new A-level within the following topics:
- historical languages (classical Greek, Latin)
- drama and theatre
- fashionable overseas languages (French, German, Spanish)
- bodily training
- non secular research
In the summertime of 2019, new exams will probably be sat in:
- historical historical past
- historical languages (biblical Hebrew A-level solely)
- classical civilisation
- design and know-how
- environmental science
- movie research
- additional arithmetic
- authorities and politics
- historical past of artwork (A-level solely)
- media research
- fashionable overseas languages (Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Greek, Japanese, fashionable Hebrew, Panjabi, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Turkish, Urdu)
- fashionable overseas languages (Chinese language, Italian, Russian)
- music know-how
Hasn’t all this modification been irritating for the youngsters concerned?
Younger folks and academics have informed the BBC that getting ready for the brand new qualification has been irritating, particularly as there have been no previous papers to seek advice from and a few textual content books had been written earlier than a few of the syllabuses had been finalised.
Rosamund McNeil, from the Nationwide Union of Lecturers, stated: “The upheaval of a swiftly reformed curriculum and the adjustments resulting in a discount in a lot of the coursework parts, created pointless stress and concern for pupils and academics alike.
“Whereas outcomes nationally might have remained in keeping with these within the earlier yr, some colleges and faculties will little doubt see appreciable variation.
“The volatility round outcomes and the accountability measures which use them can have damaging and unfair penalties.”
What is occurring 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 overall marks of the total A-level and may 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 yr, the Higher pass rate dipped by zero.2%, however the complete variety of passes remained above 150,000 for a 3rd successive yr.
Reporting by BBC Information training reporter Katherine Sellgren