Rising grades in UK A-Levels, but not so much computing
An article on the BBC news site describes a concern about grade inflation on the A-level exams (similar to the Advanced Placement tests in the US, but more important for college admissions). But what I found stunning was not the grade inflation, but how Computing was at the absolute bottom of the pack: In terms of tests taken, in terms of A’s given, and in terms of gender disparity. More students are taking A-levels in Music, Physical Education, and German than Computing! If Computing is so critical to society, shouldn’t we be concerned when essentially all the students in a developed country give up on it?
A-level entries and passes have both risen. A jump in passes in 2002 marks the launch of modular AS and A2 courses, which are assessed on coursework and examinations over two years, with less emphasis on the final exam. Some say they are dumbed down, but others argue that the increased pass rate is because the system helps identify weak students at AS level, who are more likely to pull out before taking the full A-level.