A-level revamp hits 14 subjects

Significant changes to as many as 14 A-levels are to be announced this month, with maths facing such a substantial overhaul that its introduction is expected to be delayed by a year. This is from the Sunday Times

“Maths requires almost a complete rewrite,” said a source, who admitted there were concerns that making it too difficult would deter pupils from choosing the subject.

History, which has been criticised for being “bitty” and “sensationalist” by some academics, will be redrawn to require students to study much longer periods “of at least 200 years”.

Other subjects facing reform include physics, English, geography, business studies and psychology. Exam questions in several subjects will be more difficult to force students to “apply their knowledge in an unusual context”.

The changes are outlined in a report compiled after consultation between the four exam boards and hundreds of university lecturers. Ofqual, the exams regulator, is due to publish its final recommendations this month.

Teaching unions have warned that the timetable for bringing in the new A-levels, which are expected to be taught from September 2015, is already tight. The new maths A-level is now unlikely to be ready before September 2016.

AS levels are likely to be a casualty of the changes and may disappear altogether. “Early signs are that few schools want to pay fees for sitting a fourth exam which is no longer linked to A-levels,” said a source.

The reforms follow criticism of A-levels by academics who say many pupils are ill-prepared for degree-level study when they arrive at university.

More at:  A-level revamp hits 14 subjects (subscription required)

What changes you would like to see in your subject at A levels? And what do you make of this review that is underway and the suggested likelihood of AS levels disappearing completely? Please share in the comments or on twitter… 

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