Thursday, 20 August 2009

Newspapers complain of dumbing down of A-Levels for 27th year in a row

A-Level students were warned not to be too pleased with themselves today, as bitter old people told them they only passed because exams are too easy these days and life after University is shit anyway.

Pass rates hit a record high of 90-something per cent this year, following exactly the same thing happening over the past two or three decades [we're no good with numbers -ed.]. Inexplicably, nearly all major news sources considered this fact newsworthy, with most agreeing that the steady increase in passes indicated that standards were falling, not that kids are getting cleverer.

A source said: 'Conversely, I believe this news suggests journalism is getting worse, while education is in fact improving. If pass rates were to fall, no doubt it would be the students getting blamed for getting dumber, not exams becoming harder.'

Fair and balanced Daily Mail education correspondant Laura Clark, who believes A-Levels are so easy that that they could be taken by chimps, pretended that the entirely expected rise in passes was related to something topical.

'A surge in applications, fuelled by the recession, means that there are expected to be just 22,000 places available in clearing this year', she blathered glumly, ignoring the fact that the situation has been broadly similar since the University of Constaninople opened its doors in 424AD.

Clark added another 1,000 or so more words of turgidly formulaic prose explaining how it all means students are thick, teaching is poor, subjects are dumbed down, and the state of Britain is rapidly worsening because some people take Media Studies.

Other newspapers just saw it as an excuse to publish pictures of pretty young girls.

Surprisingly, a number of commenters disagreed with the almighty Mail, teller of news and bringer of darkness. Martin from the UK said:

Hey, that is a good headline!


  1. I was pictured on the front page of the Indy when I got my A-level results in 2003.

    Not pretty enough, though, as it was the back of my head... some prettier girls got their mugs on the front page instead. I am sad about this.

  2. I remember being virtually pushed aside by a local news reporter so he could talk to the girls I was standing with as we opened our results.

    It may have had something to do with the fact I don't have breasts or blonde hair.

  3. Girls? Getting good exam results?

    You couldn't make it up!

  4. Speaking as a Year 12 student, I hate this time of year because you just know that some bitter college drop out is going to whine about how the exams are getting easier. The rise could equally mean we're just getting smarter. Plus, have you guys seen the rise? It's something like 0.3% up from last year. I know you should just laugh it off but seeing as I just found out I got 3 Cs and a B instead of the Bs and As I was predicted, I'm a tad bit sensitive.

  5. Yep, a monumental 0.3% rise. Hardly significant. How people can whine that stable or slightly rising standards in education are a bad thing, I don't know - but that's the tabloids for you.

    Sorry you didn't get the grades you were expecting Victoria. I know loads of bright, successful people whose A-Levels didn't reflect their ability though, so don't let it get you down too much!

  6. Victoria, if it helps (which it won't at the moment, but will at some point probably), the grades you get at A Level matter for the short period of time between school and job/uni. After that, they are never mentioned ever again. I got lower than expected results too and was really cut up about it, and found this out quite quickly! As Jamie says, A-levels are not reflective of ability in many cases.

  7. That picture has given me a hard-on.

    Please help.

  8. On a serious note: females do better because they have to.

  9. I was so cross at 'Martin UK's comment getting -1 rating that I wanted to go back and give him green but his comment has mysteriously gone AWOL.

    I get really angry when they say these exams are getting easier. What an insult to the hard work and dedication young people put into them.

  10. Oh, my mistake I located the comment and gave it a + but it's still on -4.

  11. -3 now. Despite stealing his headline I'd forgotten to vote him up.

  12. Dear Young People,

    We, your Daily Mail reading elders, solemnly believe your GCSEs are worthless, your A-levels are worthless, your teachers are all workshy marxists, your University courses are waste-of-time soft non-subjects, and when you leave 'Uni' you'll end up in some public-sector non-job where you do more harm than good, assuming the said non-job hasn't already been moved to India by the time you graduate.


    Your Daily Mail reading elders

    PS: Why do you hate us?

  13. don't worry victoria: i got 3 B's when i was predicted straight A's-i thought that was a bit shit at the time. i was told that there was no point me doing biology as none of those B's belonged to chemistry or maths. now in final year of a biology degree, averaging a high 2.1 with a good chance of getting a first, whilst the boy who bragged about getting 6 A's at a level and getting interviewed by Oxford went back to do his second year resits just yesterday. the girl who went to some prestigious toff school (and who almost had a nervous breakdown over her solitary B at a-level) is hovering around the 2.2 mark. so its true, A-levels are really just a means to an end. if you want to do well in your degree, nobody can stop you and you'll outshine all the idiots who only got sparkling grades at a-level because they were spoon-fed the syllabus.