2017 A level results day: The impact of A level reforms

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Today's blog is from NEC’s exams and assessment expert, Louise where she reflects on the first exams for the new linear A levels.

Up and down the country A level students are receiving their exam results today. They’ll find out whether or not their hard work has paid off and for more than half a million students, whether they have secured their place at university (Source: BBC News).

Among these will be students who have studied through NEC, perhaps entering for exams at one of our 13 partnership exams centres. NEC students are as diverse as the range of courses they choose, from young people being home educated, to adults looking for a mid-life career change. One’s thing is for certain though, we’re inspired by each and every one of them and want to see them succeed.

This year is a results day with a difference. It’s the first time that the new linear A levels for 13 subjects  have been examined. What this means is that students will be relying entirely on the results they get today to determine their future, where previously the AS would have contributed to the final grade.

It’s also the first time the science subjects have had the practical elements of the course decoupled and reported separately.

These changes were brought about in order to make A levels more ‘fit for purpose’ (or as this has been interpreted by many, more difficult). It has been widely reported that this change has been stressful for students and educators alike. As NEC’s exams and assessment expert I have seen a lot of concern from our exam centres, from students and from teachers. Today we’ll start to see what the results of these changes have been.

The Guardian have reported this morning that overall, for the first time in six years, there has been an increase in top grades. The same cannot be said for the new-style A levels however, where they are reporting a drop in top grades.

It’s still too early to tell what the impact of the A level reforms has been, but we’ll all be watching this space closely.

To any NEC student getting their results today, do get in touch and share your #examsuccess with us on Twitter at @nec_home_study or send us an email. If you have any questions about your results, either call us or send an email and we’ll be happy to help you.

Louise Tolhurst
NEC Exams and Assessment
 

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