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RGS Worcester

Into The Sixth 2013

An RGS Guide to Examinations and University Entry [a] Exams The system introduced in 2000 modified all Advanced Level subjects in two main ways; the first was to make them modular, that is the content and skills necessary in each subject were divided into four (Maths, Science and Music have six) modular specifications (‘specification’ is the new word for syllabus). The second change concerned exams; the logical consequence of having four orsix modules was to examine them individually. The first two or three modules would be AS modules, the second two or three would be A2 modules. Thus two qualifications were now available: an AS Level (marks gained from AS modules), graded A-E and U [unclassified; it means fail] and an A Level (comprising marks gained from AS modules plus A2 modules) and graded A*-E and U. A2 has no standing on its own. It was always planned that AS would be easier than A2 but that both would count 50% towards an A Level. This change made the system more flexible for students: •

Modular exams held in January and in the Summer would enable students to sit them shortly after finishing that particular course of study. However, not all A2 modules are examined in January.

The system also allows students to re-sit particular modules in order to improve the overall result; if a modular exam is retaken, the higher result always counts.

A student wishing to discontinue a subject after one year’s study could now gain a recognised qualification (an AS Level)

A student could study four subjects to AS Level in year one (Lower Sixth here at RGS) and then drop one to concentrate on three subjects in the second year (Upper Sixth) in order to focus on three good grades.

A student could add one AS subject to his or her three ‘core’ subjects in the Lower Sixth, bank that and then take up another in the Upper Sixth.

Four subjects in the Lower Sixth encouraged some balance, typically either three sciences plus a language, or a humanity like Economics, Politics or Religious Studies or three arts/humanities plus Maths or a science.

The marks system was made uniform (it’s called UMS, uniform marks system). Each module would be awarded a mark and a grade (A-E + U). In every module, in every subject, the following applies: 80%+ = A 70%+ = B 60%+ = C 50%+ = D 40%+ = E 39% - = U 33

Into the Sixth  
Into the Sixth