New A-level Reforms

What does this mean for me?

If you have come to this page you are probably aware of the new A-level Reforms starting in September 2015, rolling out across the majority of subjects. If you are wondering how this will affect you, have a look through the questions and answers below. If you are still worried contact us to help answer any further worries or concerns that are still playing on your mind.

How does this affect me?
Do I now only get one chance to get the grade I need?
Am I at a disadvantage by only having exams at the end of the two years?
How will I know how well I am doing in each subject?
Should I still prepare at the end of my first year?
How can I prepare for this and what should I do now?

Q. How does this affect me?
A. Teaching from September 2015, for the majority of specifcations, will be subject to the new AS and A-level Reforms. Students will now be able to take AS levels to achieve a stand-alone qualification, with the grade no longer counting towards an A-level qualification. A-level content will be completely reformed with all new syllabus material moving away from the old modular style to a new linear approach with exams taking place at the end of the two years.

Q. Do I now only get one chance to get the grade I need?
A. With the reform there will no longer be the opportunity to gain an insight to your progress by undertaking an end of first year exam. Nor will there be the opportunity to achieve a grade following the first year that will impact among your overall grade. So the pressure is on for your end of second year exams and there should be a real focus on continuous learning and revision. Should you be unsuccessful in obtaining your desired grades, you will have the opportunity to resit the following year, however this will mean extending your A-levels from a two to a three year period.

Q. Am I at a disadvantage by only having exams at the end of the two years?
A. No. It may feel like that but as long as you plan, and organise yourself, you will be fine. Prepare throughout both years of study, test yourself with practice sample papers and do not leave it until the last minute to make sure you understand everything. Revision courses provide a good opportunity to brush up on any uncertain topics and build your confidence on subject matter.

Q. How will I know how well I am doing in each subject?
A. Your school may still set you mock exams to check your progress and this will be a good indication of how you are doing, so why not treat it like a real exam? If not, test yourself.

Q. Should I still prepare at the end of my first year?
A. Yes. With the need to focus on two full years of study it is imperative to keep ahead to ensure that you are confident with all topics of study. Prepare as though you have a mock exam, brush up on exam techniques and any topics you are unsure on. Giving yourself the opportunity to familiarise course content as frequently as possible will help you in retaining important details, essential for exam success. By revising throughout the year you can continually fill in the gaps of missing information at a gradual pace, avoiding the feeling of panic when the exams finally roll around. By keeping on top of your revision you will build on your confidence and feel more prepared, when you come to your final stretch of revision you will only have to recap the work, and not re-learn important topic content.

Q. How can I prepare for this and what should I do now?
A. Keep ahead of the game! Keep up to date with your learning, making your notes as concise and comprehendible as possible. Take the opportunity to revise, spreading out your learning over the year. Don’t leave all of your revision to the last minute, keep on track. Revise with friends in a social setting or even test out one of our revision courses offering small group or one to one tuition.

To find out more, please visit the government page here.

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