When the system works properly…

This is an amusing example of when agents of the state completely bugger something up, yet it unintentionally has a desirable outcome.

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Thousands of pupils in the UK are being given scant or wrong advice about the best A-level subjects to study to gain a degree place, a survey has found.

The study by the Student Room online forum suggests many students have poor guidance on what to take at A level.

Of more than 6,000 students in the study, hundreds said they found they had taken the wrong subjects to access a chosen university course or career.

Almost a third (32%) of those who took part in the study rated their school’s careers advice as "weak".

About a quarter (23%) said they did not have enough information to make informed choices about their future careers or the subjects they should study to achieve their ambitions

Well this sounds bad. And yet so so typical. But here comes the good news:

"My school didn’t tell me that maths was a requirement for the majority of chemistry and natural sciences courses, which means I am now very limited," one student commented.

Maths is required for a Chemistry degree? Orly? Ho ho ho.

Yet another lost out on a place to study medicine at one university after being wrongly told A-level biology was not needed for this particular course.

LOL. May I be so bold as to suggest that if you didn’t realise you’d need a Biology A Level to do a medicine degree, you are too stupid to pursue a career in medicine?

One student said: "You’re told to pick subjects which you enjoy and are good at. So I took a total mismatch of subjects with no real end goal and nobody said to me that I might struggle to find a university course because of my mixed set of A-levels."

When I was growing up, I’d realised by the age of about 13 that with some distinguished exceptions, most teachers were clueless about pretty much everything. in some cases, even the topic they were supposed to be teaching. The careers advisors made the teachers look good!

This is why I made damned sure I had other sources of information about these things. And all this was possible before the Internet was ever heard of. I know!

What’s most worrying is that in this information age, kids can get to the age where they’re choosing their A-Levels and not only are they being still spoon-fed by teachers, but they seem to think that teachers & careers advisors can be relied upon to provide  such competent and comprehensive advice that there’s no need to go online and read about the university courses your hoping to access with your A-Level choices. I mean, isn’t it obvious that someone who did an arts degree then went straight into teaching or “careers advice” knows nothing about what a chemistry degree may entail? They may not know what working in the private sector entails either, for that matter.

Perhaps the teaching of critical thinking isn’t as good as it ought to be.

The mind boggles, and yet, haphazardly, the state has saved us from at least one unlikely candidate for medical school.

AJ

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About Al Jahom
Anti-social malcontent, misanthrope and miserable git.

4 Responses to When the system works properly…

  1. FAR be it from a “Careers advisor” to have the UCAS handbook at the ready!

    MY worst “Careersadvisor” was my “Father.”

    I wanted to go into Paharmacy. So, He advised me, quite rightly, maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics as a fourth.

    THEN, after the first year taking these subjects at “O” level, and having taken my “A” level mocks, it came to school “Careers night.”

    Teacher; “Oh… mock exam results appear good…. get them in the main exams, and you should have NO problems getting into uni for your 3 to 5 years course.”

    Father; ” WTF!!! UNI!??? All you have to do is go to a local chemist and ask to be an apprentice! What is all this crap about uni!? I am not paying for THAT!”

    So, although I got the passes needed, they were a TOTAL waste of time.

    • Al Jahom says:

      Harsh!

      Still, I didn’t got to uni either, in spite (or because of) of 4 decent A levels and enthusiastic parents.

      Never a regret!

      • I DID go, eventualy, but “under my own steam,” so to speak. And NOT in the subjects that used anything that I had gained at “A” Level. (Which, and not many people know this, are dead after five years any way! Same with a degree, IF within that five years, you have not worked in research, or a job, such as teaching, that USES that degree knowledge, or have not written/Published papers on the subject, then the “shelf life” runs out.)

  2. Andrew S. Mooney says:

    “Maths is required for a Chemistry degree? Orly? Ho ho ho.”

    Not true. I got onto a Chemistry degree course at King’s College London in the late 1990’s without Maths at A-Level. I had an A-Level in Computing that the admissions staff felt was good enough, because back then it actually had content above what I’m told it has now. Any additional mathematical skills we needed were taught in a couple of make-up classes.

    That contrasts with nowadays, where additional classes like this have been spun up into lucrative “foundation” years, where they can now charge an additional year’s tuition fees.

    “LOL. May I be so bold as to suggest that if you didn’t realise you’d need a Biology A Level to do a medicine degree, you are too stupid to pursue a career in medicine?”

    Not true again. It is you who needs to do some reading. Medical school is the acme of this bollocks if you know where to look and have one of two critical criteria. Ethnic minority parents with a sob story, or a uterus.

    Have a look at this bollocks. No A-Levels *at all* if we are talking about years 9-13 of school, just ethnic kids whose parents are flashed with the idea of their going to medical school in order to stop them marrying them off.
    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/medicine/prospective_ug/applying/wideningaccess

    As for everyone else, one reason why Maths has been worked up into the one subject that everyone wants is because most of the others have been dumbed down to the square root of fuck all. Since it is August we shall have hundreds of shots of white girls hugging in a few days.

    “When I was growing up, I’d realised by the age of about 13 that with some distinguished exceptions, most teachers were clueless about pretty much everything. in some cases, even the topic they were supposed to be teaching. The careers advisors made the teachers look good!”

    You sound like you were an utterly obnoxious little shit. Did you consider at the time that one reason why your teachers were not massively interested in helping you selve your way to your rightful position as Boss Of The Universe is because there were potentially thirty other equally obnoxious little shits to manage in your class alone?

    “This is why I made damned sure I had other sources of information about these things. And all this was possible before the Internet was ever heard of. I know!”

    Did you do anything to help other people in your class by sharing with them your sources of advice? If not and with an adult’s hindsight, what did that make you? Sharp elbowed? Canny? Or just someone who fucked his classmates over?

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