‘Any idiot could take A-levels’ claim teachers

Teachers have universally slammed the standard of A-level papers today as overall pass rates are expected to top 100% for the first time since last year.

A survey conducted by Civitas, the social policy think tank, found that most students are already aware of the type of questions likely to feature in their exam paper several months before taking the exam, and in some cases even have answers prepared in advance.

“Any idiot can learn the answers to questions in advance,” says Peter Ian, a director of A-levels based in the North West, “But how many students today could go into an exam hall after two years of having not revised and still score an E or a D grade? Twenty years ago the pass rate was around 75% – and that was with minimal revision. Basically, if anyone fails an A-level in today’s environment they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

“Study levels today are more prolific than ever before, with most students choosing to turn up to the majority of lessons, making copious notes and revising up to a year in advance of their final exam. These techniques weren’t available in the past. Students only really studied for the two weeks before the final paper in the past, and no-one was ever told what to expect in the exam at the end. Often teachers would try and throw them off the scent by covering areas they knew wouldn’t feature in the paper and it wasn’t uncommon to see a lot of shocked faces opening those papers when we were invigilating on the exams. Nowadays that’s all changed as the tutors are confined to teaching solely the subjects that will definitely feature in the exams each year.”

Another head of sixth-form from the East Midlands says the reason for such high pass rates is down to knowing what to study: “The standard nowadays is pathetic. Who could fail an exam they’re 100% prepared for? We need to get back to the days where the paper at the end of the course is so unrelated to the syllabus that the student thinks they’ve gone to the wrong exam. The problem is that no-one is scared anymore – students of today know that they can pass an A-level by studying what they’ve been taught over two years, whereas fifteen years ago they’d have to learn several additional subject areas in anticipation of a few curve balls thrown in on the final paper. The fear back then among everyone taking A-levels was that no-one had any idea quite which subject areas to crib up on and the ensuing panic would be enough to hamper most students’ exam performance.”

The timing of the survey has been widely criticised, but with an expected pass rate of 105% few students are expected to be worried. In fact nowadays, many students know they’ve passed the moment they walk into the exam room. The aim for most people studying A-levels today appears to be achieving straight A grades, as 92% of students did last year.

An overall pass rate of 105% may not sound possible, but with many of today’s students completing their papers earlier than ever before, many of them are now industriously using the remaining time to form their own questions and then answer them. The marks for these questions are then added on to the overall percentage afterwards, thereby making it possible to score more than 100%.

Results are due to be announced at the end of this week.


2 Responses to “‘Any idiot could take A-levels’ claim teachers”

  1. chadoates Says:

    Sounds interesting, but personally I believe that tests should stay as they are. Of many of my friends, we may defy the studies, but a good portion don’t do so well on tests… Personally, I don’t care much, I never study and always pull through with an A or B, but that’s just me I guess!

  2. chadoates Says:

    Haha sorry, forgot to check the notify me of follow up so two comments for the price of one!

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