Unis may have to set their own entrance exams as too many students are getting top grades

That’s the last thing you want after finishing your A-Levels

The last thing any A-Level student would want after finishing their intense exam season is to be hit with another test. Unfortunately, that nightmare scenario may be about to become a reality, according to expert analysis.

UK universities may be forced to set their own entrance exams, on top of A-Levels, as too many students are getting the top grades.

Last year, A-Levels had a 100 per cent pass rate. On top of that, 39 per cent of students received an A or A* grade, compared to 25.5 per cent the previous year, according to research conducted by Professor Alan Smithers at University of Buckingham.

If more students get the top grades, that makes it harder for universities to fairly differentiate between candidate,  and harder for them to select the best students for the places available.

This means that many capable students could miss out on getting into their university of choice.

A-Level students didn’t sit exams last year and instead their grades were calculated by their own teachers, causing massive grade inflation.

Teachers will be calculating their students’ grades again this year, leading to worries among the academic community that the percentage of students getting top grades could be set to rise further.

Professor Smithers told The Times: “The early signs are that it will be another bumper year for grades, justified as compensation for all the disruption suffered.

“The expansion of the A* and A grades means that a much wider range of abilities is bundled up in them.

“Some of those admitted may not be able to cope and will have wasted time and money, and some who are more able will miss out on their first choice — due to the over-marking of others — when they could have done really well.

“Awarding higher grades in compensation for lost learning can be killing with kindness. Leading universities could be forced to set their own tests to help them distinguish between the many prospective students awarded straight As.”

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