A LEVEL REFORM TIMETABLE
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A level reform –
a change for the better?
At London Tutorial College, we have been able to adapt swiftly to the
recent A level reforms thanks to the small size of groups and expertise
of experienced tutors. Key information for your reference in a nutshell:
Why did it happen?
• a response to the perceived grade inflation with more and more
pupils getting top grades, making it difficult for universities to
differentiate between candidates
• designed to make A levels tougher, moving away from coursework
towards end-of course examinations
What are the main reforms?
• a switch from a modular to end-of course linear exams
• AS levels are not being scrapped, but instead are being “decoupled”,
i.e. they no longer count towards a final A level
• students are free to take AS levels but as a standalone qualification
• no exams in January
What should students do: AS or A level?
AS and A level courses are designed to be co-teachable, so a student
taking an AS in their first year of sixth form can continue to do the A
level the following year, having covered the same ground as their A
level peers. Taking an AS is considered by some as an unnecessary
distraction and a loss of valuable teaching time. On the other hand,
should a student decide to discontinue a subject, it is useful to have
done an AS.
How will it affect universities?
• AS levels will attract fewer UCAS points
• Universities may put additional weight on GCSE grades and A level
predictions, as well as making greater use of their own aptitude tests
in their admissions process
When will this happen?
• a staggered introduction of the reforms (see the timetable) means
that over the next three years students will be simultaneously
grappling with two entirely different programmes, some with an
end-of-course exam and some assessed in modules
Is it a change for the better?
The jury is still out! Too soon to tell. The first few years
are definitely posing a challenge to students, tutors,
agents and universities alike.
For more information or help, please contact the Principal,
Grażyna Anna Sutherland at London Tutorial College on
+44 (0) 20 8390 8810, email: