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AS Levels - pressure?!

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm at the end of year 12 now, so I've just finished my AS level exams. Lately there has been quite alot of coverage in the press about students being under loads of stress and pressure due to the new AS level system at the expense of their social lives and everything.

I was just wondering how many of you agree with this? Personally I don't think it has put me under too much pressure. Yeah everyone hates exams and all the revision is a pain but surely it is better than having to revise the whole course at the end of two years? I can see why the government think it is beneficial ie. the idea that year 12 students will work harder throughout the year if they know important exams are at the end of year 12....cos I remember year 10 was a doss because there weren't any proper exams or coursework.

I don't think it has cut out my social life at all...yeah I've had homework and the odd bit of coursework that might have prevented me from going out one night but it hasn't proven to be much of a problem. I've still been able to see my friends and do just as much stuff.
I'm hoping the AS levels will relieve a bit of pressure from year 13, although I'm not sure as obviously I haven't been through year 13 yet! The school I go to hates the AS level system, probably becuase it forces the teachers to get through their syllabuses quicker and it is less relaxed.

So what do any of you think about it? :confused:

-x
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have done year 12 twice. The first year was a bit hectic because the system was brand new and under scrutiny and key skills didn't help things, but I still managed to do exams and things despite being ill.

    Year 12 again..... not bad at all. There was added pressure towards the exams, but AS is nothing compared to A2.

    I'm glad I can take more subjects, because although I want to do medicine, the system has enabled me to do subjects like Politics and Philosophy which I wouldn't have been able to take under the old system. Plus the exams are modular and can be retaken in Jan.

    As for social life, it didn't disrupt it at all :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    to be honest, I don't think it's changed anything in the Science based subjects at least. I did year 12 just before this new system came in but we still had modules in Maths, Physics and Chemistry at the end of year 12 which counted towards our A-levels. Everyone seems to be going on about it likes it's a big deal and i guess it is if you do Arts subjects but noone seems to have noticed that half the courses haven't changed at all - you just get a "qualification" out of doing the modules you'd be doing anyway!
    But I guess what you say about being able to take more subjects could be true although AS's did exist beforehand too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I never did AS, they started the year I was doing my A levels. However, from what I have seen, pupils have a greater chance of doing better because they have less to revise for unit tests.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I woule have preferred to do AS Levels, I don't mind exams (sorry), and did not like the fact that at the age of 15 I stopped studying a range of subjects and had to choose just 3- hence I am now 19 and know very little science and very little about other subjects which I would like to.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by PussyKatty
    I woule have preferred to do AS Levels, I don't mind exams (sorry), and did not like the fact that at the age of 15 I stopped studying a range of subjects and had to choose just 3- hence I am now 19 and know very little science and very little about other subjects which I would like to.

    I quite agree! I wish I'd have had the chance to do AS level too
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i found them very stressing, i really cant work out how i didnt have a brake down during GCSE's!

    However i wouldnt like to have to revise the whole two years then do the exam for the whole sylabus next year.

    i dont know why but i have just found the whole thing very stressful yet GCSE i didnt at all - maybe its the fear of resitting with the yr below
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did AS levels last year and although they were basically OK, it was very stressful being the first year to do them as we had no practice papers except specimens which were usually v different to the actual things.

    I am glad that I got half of the course out of the way before my exams this year, because i've only got 7 exams this year (3 to go!!) which is really very little.

    The good thing is that you get to do resits, don't be afraid to do themeven if you really wanted a b, but say got a c and you're OK with that. It all adds onto points in the A2 year. For thos of you who've done AS levels this year, I would reccomend that the day before results day you work out what grade you would be happy with in each subject so you can decide easily if you want to do resits as soon as you get ur results.

    Just don't worry - with AS levels you get a 2nd chance!
    xxx
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    50 Oxbridge entrants a year!!!?
    Private school by any chance?!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    we have 30/40 ;)

    I just want to clarify that 'Mentionitis' is my ultimate pet hate! Was being ironic :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well private in the sense that it's a fee-paying school but it's called a public school. It's one of the great British traditions.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    "we" as in my college had less than 10 people actually go to uni, never mind Cambridge. It's not a competition.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by jwf26
    It's one of the great British traditions.

    Nope, it's shameless elitism and oppression of the proletariat by the wealthy by introduction of a wealth-based two-track education system.

    State education for all. Abolish the private schools.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yes, clearly a great British tradition that 50% of the students at the "best" universities come from fee paying school, yet only 4% of the population attends such schools. That may be a tradition, but its certainly not a great one. :mad:

    I'm sure the AS system is fantastic in schools that were able to afford all the new materials and extra teaching hours required. quel suprise that it was suggested by the head of a fee paying school.

    The Oxbridge entrance does seem to me to be entirely elitist, I think it is the colleges rather than actual academic schools who operate like this, and they are entirely non-meritocratic.

    I'd better stop here.....I could easily get into a great big rant. Interesting topic though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I see where you're coming from but then again, it isn't really my fault that I go to public school. Talking with some of the dons at Cambridge, I asked them why they now deliberately favour state sector people and they said that they don't. They merely accept the best applicants for whatever subject and if all of the best come from public school or all from state school then so be it. Some of the best schools in the country are state schools like Manchester Gramman which apparently is a brilliant school. I'm just lucky that I don't go to one of those crap public schools like Eton or Harrow.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by jwf26
    it isn't really my fault that I go to public school

    Whose is it then?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well it's my parent's fault if it's a fault but I don't really think it is. I'm just lucky enough that I've had the opportunity to go to public school because it's a magnificent experience and it was well worth it.
    Voice of the People, VOice of God -nice name
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ummmmm i think AS and A2 is a nightmare. I just seem to do exam afetr exam and just can't be bothered now!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did AS last year and had an awful time. I got 1E and 3U's!!!!!!! My gran even disowned me. Luckily I was given a second chance by college and I am just completing 2 AS and 2 A2 courses and I am more confident of passing this time around. Only need 120 points for Greenwich Uni.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Good luck then. Hope you do it but your family should never disown you, thats what family is for. I get worked up over my exams and my brothers diagnoised me with some psychological problem (nothing serious just anxiety) see hes a psychologist and well tells me to get councelling. Only reason i do is coz i keep it to myself!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    right, forgive me if I misunderstood your new system, but if I'm right and both the english new system and the scottish one are similar, I'd like to voice my opinion!
    right, our Higher Still, the same as your AS, as far as I can gather, is split into modules and there is an exam at the end. so even if you fail the exam, as long as you passed all the coursework bits, you can resit the exam at a future date.
    Well, I did find this very advantageous as it means you don't have to resit a whole course.
    Now, our CSYS (certificate of sixth year studies) is basically a more specicfic course in the subject, more depth. Unlike you guys though I think, these are not modular, just one year, exams at the end types, as these were not changed when higher stills were brought in.
    I know these may be slightly different, but the point I was gonna ask about was the organisation? I did these the first year the changed, when i was in 6th year (2000) and the organisation was appalling. teachers didn't know how to mark the module course tests, people were allowed to resit the same course test papers if they failed, and the materials were not available in time for the start of the course, and quite honestly, students were confused! Fair enough, this was probably just down to teething problems, but I do believe they are changing the system again! (so Kiezo was telling me :))
    I was just curious about how your system was running? Maybe I should have just asked that straight off! Is it effective enough to keep in place?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    anyone more interested in the whole private school debate thing - see me and DJP and various other people rant at each other in the post "Uni stuff"!!!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do we have to?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    oh grow up
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by jwf26
    Talking with some of the dons at Cambridge, I asked them why they now deliberately favour state sector people and they said that they don't. They merely accept the best applicants for whatever subject and if all of the best come from public school or all from state school then so be it.

    That's a blatant lie. A friend of mine, much cleverer than me obviously.. :D who got mostly a*'s and a's at GCSE level and then 4 a's at AS level was rejected by Durham and Manchester without so much of as interview. Needless to say that the fact that he came from Teesside had nothing to do with it.. Yeah right.:mad:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm afraid you're cowering behind your own misconceptions. Have you considered the fact that maybe the personal statement may not have been very good? Or the fact that the course was oversubscribed?
    Everyone kicked up a huge fuss when Laura Spence got rejected from Magdalen Oxford. I know someone who beat her to one of the places to read medecine at that college and he said that one of the things that NONE of the papers even paid any attention to was the fact that she may not have interviewed very well. It is the policy of just about all of the Oxbridge colleges to give everyone who applies an interview and so the interview is the basis for an offer or not.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As many Oxford colleges refuse people who have been accepted in to their academic school, surely there must be some degree of subjectivity in the selection?

    I know a few really nice, animated, interesting people from a state school who got 5 As at AS level who were turned down by the colleges. I also know of some people from a private school who got 4 As at AS and have the personality of dead ants who have been accepted.

    I think state schools work much harder on trying to get people accepted to Oxbridge. In my experience private schools do not provide individuals who are as well rounded, and they place less emphasis on personal development, yet they still get more people past the interview stage.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    this is just such a pile of shite. Naturally there are a few exceptions both ways, but in general they don't give a fuck where you come from: they're interested in your academic potential which isn't necessarily indicated by your a-level grades. Sure, it's part of it, but it ain't the whole thing. The vast majority of people who apply have good grades so naturally not everyone who does will get in. The idea that they're biased against state school pupils when a degree of government funding comes on the basis of meeting quotas is just really silly: similarly, plenty of private school pupils have a ridiculous chip on their shoulder about less intelligent people getting in than them: To a degree it's true that someone with lesser grades from a shit school will get precedent, but that's entirely fair enough given the lack of opportunity and how much harder they will have had to have worked to get there.
    I don't think, furry friend, that on the basis of a few people you know you can safely say that the system stinks, and I think your generalisations are just plain stupid.
    What is bad is the number of people who apply from state schools: there should be more done by govt to enocurage applications from good people at crap schools, and more done to prepare them for the interview process: it's unfair that, for example, at my school we got interview guidance and help preparing personal statements which you might not get elsewhere. But in general that isn't something you cna blame the universities for, and given the applicants they get the proportiosn of people who get in are about right. So can everyone just grow up and stop looking for discrimination one way or the other when basically almost none exists?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i think it's slightly naive to say that no discrimination exists whatsoever but in general i agree with you that it's more about the preparation you get - yes, such as interview preparation, help with personal statements, etiquette lessons etc, and often the people from state schools who get in are the ones who have through some means gained access to this kind of help, e.g. through "summer schools" or whatever. so i propose that it's not necessarily what school you come from but how much time/money etc your school or parents have to put into to preparaing your interview and personal statement. which, it must be said, probably does correspond to the public/private sectors but there you go. 'ts the way life is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    'etiquette lessons'? do you seriously think we have them? I mean, we don't sit around in tailcoats discussing the queen all day, you know. We aren't complete freaks...
    'tis the way life is indeed, and 'tis unfair too... but I do think good people will get in regardless of preparation etc. and I do think tey make some allowances.
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