Lower grade boundaries 2019
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The grade boundaries need to be low this year for 2019. Many pupils have experienced stress and emotional breakdowns over the past few months studying for their A Level exams.
First of all, many schools finished teaching the specifications in Late April, Early May depending on the subject, with only a month to study, how could it be possible to cram two years worth of learning of three different subjects into a month?
Second, past papers have been of no use because although exam boards such as AQA have quote on quote said that there have been very little changes to the specification, students can still use past papers to revise" This has proved to be grossly untrue having sat the new 2019 AQA A level Biology paper 1 and Chemistry paper 1 last week. Any Biology student would agree that never ever in a past paper were they told to fill in heading on a table, fill in the missing word blanks, though seeming like something a primary school student can do, very little information was given and overall the exams were a mess.
Thirdly, A Level maths across the whole in different exam boards both AS and full A level were extremely difficult. The entire exam for Edexcel was an endless chaley of graphs. Many failed to finish the paper. A level grade boundaries need to stop representing the top 20% of the country and need to start representing the majority. With BREXIT on the table and right around the corner, would it really be sensible to have insanely high grade boundaries preventing half of the UK's chance of going to university?
I think that now in 2019, it has already been proven that University is no longer for only the most wealthy, so why should it only be for the top 20% of the country when in fact they only achieved higher grades than others because they knew how to apply exam techniques, afford tutors, went to a private or grammar school or maybe we're just exceptionally great at school. I want to be a doctor, the only thing stopping me is my A levels, I did my UKCAT, I did my interviews, I got my offers, I got 6 A*'s 3 A's and a C at GCSE, so why should a change in exam styles stop me from achieving my dreams. I would have to wait an entire year to resit, spend more money on the UKCAT exams, spend more money traveling to each city for new MMI interviews. It's no secret that the younger you are, the more receptive you are to learning new information and the more of your brain you use. Having to wait an entire year to start university whilst our brain cells are dying away and taking their sweet time to grow sets students back in the sense that they probably won't do as well as they could do in university if they start this year.
It has to be understood that in the old A levels, students were allowed to "cash in" as in if they did okay on an exam and got a B, they could cash in and only have to get maybe 10 marks on that exam to bump themselves up to an A or even an A*.
Not everybody received an unconditional offer for University and it's understandable with courses such as Medicine, Dentistry and other courses, but still, it's unforgivable for the new exams to be so different from any practice paper, or specimen paper.
In the past, some exam boards were easier than others in terms of their assessments greatly skewing the grades students achieved overall in the UK, because some schools picked the easier exam boards. Let us not also forget that in the past some schools and colleges cheated on their ISA's, telling the students how to sit them or what was going to be on them and how to answer the questions - the main reasons why ISA's have now been scrapped and replaced with 12-14 required practicals.
Students born in 2000 and 2001 were the first generation to sit the new 1-9 GCSE grade exams and now we are the first year to sit the COMPLETE A Level exams under the new spec at the end of two years rather than AS last year and A2 this year. Students who did their A levels in 2018 under the new spec were able to sit their exams in year 12 and year 13, so although not having any past papers - much like us- they did not have to cram 2 years worth of education into a month presumably.
Many of us have lost hope and need a way forward. A level exams are already a lottery for many students who cannot focus in their exams due to the emotional and physical pain brought on by Dysmenorrhea which may last 5 days and therefore compromise a weeks worth of exams since there are and have been some pupils in the UK who have had 4 exams over 4 consecutive days.
Education is the key forward and the doors cannot be closed on our generation. Exam boards and education overseers thinking that an A being 60% is low will not work this year, 60% should be an A*, because at this rate half of the UK will not be in university and by 2040 when we are all 40/39 years old, half of us will be still be working minimum wage jobs, if there will even be any left since most stores and businesses are closing down because of all the revised revenues and tariffs due to Brexit. I strongly advise the department of education to consider all the points made and how it will affect the UK.
Finally clearing is an option, but it is stressful and with a lower grade achieved, students will not be able to get onto courses they actually wanted for instance medicine in my case. A change needs to be made before August when students log onto UCAS and find out whether they will spend the next year in University, in college again studying for A levels or working.
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