What are A-levels in education? Apart from being the highest qualification, a student can take; these examinations have an element of academic pressure which can be stressful. But what are they, exactly? Criteria for passing the A-level, first taken in the UK in 1947, include “demonstrating the ability and willingness to learn in a controlled and demanding environment.”
As the name suggests, A-Levels are the top standard of education in England and Wales. A-level is a term used by schools in the UK and other countries to refer to the final examination at the end of secondary education (or ninth form). A-levels are considered to be the best way to prepare students for their future careers. Students generally take three subjects, with the fourth being an optional ‘career related’ subject.
Just like GCSEs and AS-Levels, there are exams taken at the end of a course of study. But unlike GCSEs and AS-Levels, A-Levels also include time out for vocational training. Studying for A-level exams is a huge commitment for everyone, but students will have to dedicate more time to studying this year than in previous years. This is because of a new A-level exam, which was introduced in 2009. The A-level will combine three existing exams into one, and it will be taken once a year in April. That means that students will have to take exams this year for their A-level English Literature, Mathematics and Science, and a foreign language.
It seems that the A-level is an increasingly harsh exam, with an increase in the number of students taking it since 2010. Parents and students are very confused as to what the A-level is really for. Is it to get into higher education? A simple way to do this? A way of earning money to buy things for school, rather than, for example, taking part in physical education. A-Levels are a lot like the SAT exam in that they’re a gateway into higher education. The exams are meant to assess a student’s knowledge in a variety of subjects, ranging from History and English to Math and Sciences. A-Levels are taken by thousands of students from all over the world and are now required by most high schools, sixth forms, and universities.
As the exam season begins, we are once again asking the question, “What are A-levels for?” The purpose of A-level qualifications is far from clear. They exist in order to ensure the best pupils go on to higher education, although they are not a requirement for entry into courses at many universities. Their purpose is increasingly complicated by the fact that more and more pupils take them as a way of getting into an advanced course in the first place. The number of A-level pupils at Oxford University alone has jumped from 25.1% of all entrants in 2003 to 37.9% in 2013.
Every year, the government introduces A-level reforms that are expected to take the exams easier. Last year, there was a great deal of debate and controversy over whether these reforms really were a good idea. Many argued that the A-levels were fine as they were, while others argued that A-level reform was essential to ensuring that young people were properly prepared for the higher education they were likely to get after their exams.
The debate over whether A-levels are fair has been raging for years, with many people claiming that they are not fit for purpose. In a bid to make A-levels more appealing, they are now graded with three As and two Bs. This may sound like an improvement, but many people feel it isn’t enough. A-levels are supposed to be a rigorous test of knowledge, but a lot of the questions ask about things that have already been studied or have been proven untrue by empirical research. They also tend to ask questions that will lead to the engineer in the test-taker.
Also, the debate about whether A-levels are sufficiently challenging has become a bit of a cliché. However, the importance of this question cannot be denied. It is as much about how much of it is enough as it is about whether the current system is the correct one.