exam

Picture copyright
Getty Pictures

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 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?

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

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

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


Why was this variation introduced in?

The change was brought in by the former Education Secretary Michael Gove with the intention of making the exams extra “match for function” – 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 position 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 total 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 season.

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

“The nice good thing about 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 mentioned.

Picture copyright
Getty Pictures

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


Which topics are being phased in when?

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

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

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

historical languages (classical Greek, Latin)

  • dance
  • drama and theatre
  • geography
  • trendy international languages (French, German, Spanish)
  • music
  • bodily schooling
  • spiritual research

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

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

Hasn’t all this variation been hectic for the youngsters concerned?

Younger folks and lecturers have instructed the BBC that making ready for the brand new qualification has been hectic, particularly as there have been no previous papers to consult with and a few textual content books had been written earlier than among the syllabuses had been finalised.

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

“Whereas outcomes nationally could have remained in step with these within the earlier 12 months, some faculties and schools 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 complete A-level and could 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 a substitute, they take Highers and Superior Highers.

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


Reporting by BBC Information schooling reporter Katherine Sellgren