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A-level reforms to ‘revive the art of thought’

Education Secretary Michael Gove wants to replace modular A-levels with traditional exams at the end of two year courses, so that students “can hit the ground running”.

The radical proposal comes after universities complained that students were not sufficiently prepared after their A-Levels

In an interview with a Sunday newspaper, Mr Gove said: “We need to ensure that the knowledge expected of A-level students is such that they can hit the ground running (at university) and they don’t need, as some have suggested, four-year courses or catch-up tuition.”

The Education Secretary wants the exams to be more academically rigorous than the current format of sitting them in four or six units.

“We will see fewer modules and more exams at the end of two years of sixth form, and as a result, a revival of the art of deep thought,” he added.

Many universities believe that the current system fails to prepare students for the demands of higher education.

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Currently, students take four or five subjects at AS-level, before choosing three for their second A-level year.

This was introduced in 2001 by Labour to allow students to study a broader range of subjects.

A spokesman for the Department of Education has said that the reforms could be introduced over the next three to five years.

Mark Astley

(Pictured: Education Secretary Michael Gove)
 

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