A-level changes face widespread criticism

THE changes to A-level examinations this year arguably placed more pressure on students than in previous years.

Friday, 17th August 2018, 11:59 am
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 10:08 pm
Students from Bay House School in Gosport, picked up their A-level results. Picture: Sarah Standing

The old AS exams, which provided students with a benchmark for their second year '“ as well as the opportunity to drop their weakest subject '“ have been scrapped, with much less emphasis on coursework as well.

This, students say, makes the final exams much more stressful '“ with some headteachers also raising concerns.

Tom Trott, 18 from Lee-on-the-Solent, said: '˜It's hard to say if the new system is actually any better.

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Students from Bay House School in Gosport, picked up their A-level results. Picture: Sarah Standing

'˜It puts a lot more pressure on students, especially close to exam season '“ and I think I would prefer to be tested at the end of both years.'

Edward Sawkins-Brown, 18 from Fareham said: '˜It was very stressful at times.

'˜There's pros and cons I suppose '“ there's no coursework anymore but people's feelings on it will depend on how they work.

'˜I didn't mind it all being exams too much, but it's a lot of content to learn in a short period of time, so I think having the exams spread out more would be much better.

'˜You just have to keep powering through it.'

Nigel Duncan, principal of Fareham College, said: '˜In light of the recent changes to A-levels in which there is no longer any coursework or modular approach then I think there becomes an ever increasing risk for students to pin performance on a final exam outcome.'

James Prior, headteacher at Portsmouth Grammar School, said: '˜We have performed stronger in our A* to A grades which is particularly pleasing in light of the new linear A-level courses.'

Jane Prescott, headteacher at Portsmouth High School, said: '˜We are really pleased to have achieved this year;s results particularly in light of the new A-level framework in which all examinations are linear.'