Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A-Level Pupils 'Need Fewer Marks to Get an A'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A-Level Pupils 'Need Fewer Marks to Get an A'

Article excerpt

Byline: TIM ROSS Education Correspondent

TEENAGERS taking first-year A-level exams this summer will need fewer marks to score top grades than last year under government reforms, a watchdog predicted today.

Ministers ordered tougher questions and a new A* grade to be introduced to the so-called "gold standard" exams amid concern too many pupils were scoring As.

But the qualifications regulator,

Ofqual, said pupils must not be penalised with lower results because they are taking more challenging courses.

The regulator said it was crucial to maintain standards of difficulty from one year to the next. So grade boundaries may need to be lowered if this year's candidates struggle with the new AS-levels, Ofqual said.

The decision is likely to provoke criticism from those who believe A-levels have become too easy. Highly academic universities complain that it has become impossible to select the brightest candidates on the basis of their A-levels when one in four exams is awarded an A. …

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