THE government has announced that from 2015 A-level pupils will sit exams at the end of a two-year course and modular exams will be scrapped.

AS-level exams will remain, but will no longer be taken in the first year or contribute towards the final A-level grade. Alternatively, As-levels will become stand-alone qualifications, sat in conjunction with full A-levels after two years.

Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove said that currently A-levels do not help students to develop a deep understanding of their subjects. The alterations in A-levels will impede students from learning in bite size chunks, encourage further research and analysis into a subject, and most importantly, put teaching before testing.

Many universities currently offer places to student based on their As-level results. A-level changes will force universities to focus more on GCSE grades, optimistic predictions and subjective references, which are likely to put some A-level students at a disadvantage when competing for the few available university places. 

Joe Burnham, a year 12 student of The Misbourne School currently studying ICT, History, Geography and Photography at As-level, expressed his disbelieve in the A-level changes:

“I think it is a ridiculous idea; more students will be deterred from entering into the sixth form due to the massive work load.

Young adults are all ready under so much pressure, and without modular exams, many students will not be able to handle the pressure.

I think this is seriously going to damage the dreams of some students and cause a fall in the number of university applicants”.

Another student from The Misbourne School, Darcy Darilmaz who is currently studying English Literature, Psychology, Sociology and Art as As level, also conveyed frustration:

“I can’t see the benefits of changing the current A-level system. Students are going to be under immense pressure in year thirteen and are likely to feel unmotivated in year twelve as exams will seem so far away, students will have nothing to work towards.

I strongly believe that A-levels should remain the same.”

The government is also intending to eradicate GCSEs for core subjects and introduce English Baccalaureate certificates with only one exam board for each subject, from 2015.


Oli Clements