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University faculty staff in the UK have praised Cambridge International AS and A Level syllabuses, saying that they help produce students who can think critically, solve problems and construct arguments.
We have recently revised the syllabuses of seven of our most popular subjects (Accounting, Business, Economics, English Literature, Biology, Chemistry and Physics). These syllabuses now include key concepts, which emphasise the underlying principles that help learners make links between different topics to develop a deeper understanding of their subject.
An excellent preparation
Reviewing the new syllabuses, academics felt that they were an excellent preparation for higher education.
Dr Marcus Waithe, a Fellow in English and Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge’s Magdalene College, said he was impressed by the structure and emphasis of the new Cambridge International A Level English Literature syllabus. He said: “Higher education lecturers aim to recruit students who can construct arguments, think critically, and account for the aesthetic, as well as political, qualities of literary texts. This qualification should make that task easier.”
On the newly redeveloped Chemistry syllabus, Dr David Read, Principal Teaching Fellow, Head of Education Group and Director of Outreach (Chemistry) at the University of Southampton, said: “The qualification will provide those who progress to chemistry degrees with an advantage in their university studies over many of their peers."
“A good proportion of problem-solving in examination questions will ensure that students are genuinely applying their knowledge in ways which will facilitate progress in future studies.”
The Business syllabus has been revised so that topics can be easily linked to current real-world examples. Professor Laura Spira of Oxford Brookes University Business School said: “This is a good way of stimulating interest and enthusiasm. The breadth of the syllabus could be advantageous to students who need to make early choices about specialisation in business degree programmes. The use of case studies in assessment should also be useful experience as they are likely to encounter this form of assessment in a degree programme.”
Cambridge International A Levels not affected by UK A level reform
The current UK government reforms to A Levels – moving from ‘modular’ to a ‘linear’ assessment and discontinuing the use of AS Level as a step towards A Level – will not have an impact on Cambridge International AS and A Levels. We already follow a linear assessment model, and we shall retain the option of International AS Level counting towards A Level, as this route continues to be highly valued internationally and indeed by universities in the UK.