University freshers struggle to remember basic concepts from their A-level studies according to new research from the University of East Anglia.
A new report published today shows that even grade-A students could only remember 40 per cent of their A-Level syllabus by the first week of term at university.
Researchers tested nearly 600 students in their first week of term at five universities – three of which were in the prestigious Russell Group.
It is hoped that the findings will assist the re-design of A-Levels to make them more relevant to higher education. The results could also prove useful for designing undergraduate courses which are more student-focused.
Lead researcher Dr Harriet Jones, from UEA’s School of Biological Sciences, said: “This is the first research carried out in collaboration with an exam board to investigate how much information is lost between students sitting their A-Levels and arriving at university three months later. We found that students had forgotten around 60 per cent of everything they learned for their A-Levels.
“Universities expect their students to arrive with a high level of knowledge. What our research shows is that students are arriving at university with fantastic A-Level grades, but having forgotten much of what they actually learned for their exams.
“This is undoubtedly a problem caused by secondary schools gearing all of their teaching towards students doing well in exams, in order to achieve league-table success. But cramming facts for an exam doesn’t give students a lasting knowledge of their subject.”
Researchers tested 594 first year bioscience students in their first week of term at five universities – the University of Birmingham, the University of Bristol, Cardiff University, the University of Leicester and UEA. Almost all of the students had achieved a grade A at A-Level.
They were given 50 minutes to answer 38 multiple choice questions on cells, genetics, biochemistry and physiology – all of which had been part of their A-Level core syllabus.
The students managed to answer an average of 40 per cent of questions correctly. The longer the amount of time between sitting A-Levels and starting university also correlated with poorer results. Students who scored lower than an A grade at A-Level retained the least knowledge.
“School and university have very different demands. In higher education, students cannot rely solely on memorising information so it is important that students can adapt to a more in-depth approach to learning.”
‘Indications of knowledge retention in the transition to Higher Education’ is published in the journal Journal of Biological Education on June 25.
Lisa Horton | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences