Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research shows freshers struggle to remember basic A-level concepts

25.06.2014

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.

... more about:
»A-Levels »Education »higher education

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
Further information:
https://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2014/June/a-level-freshers

Further reports about: A-Levels Education higher education

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gecko adhesion technology moves closer to industrial uses

13.12.2017 | Information Technology

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Research reveals how diabetes in pregnancy affects baby's heart

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>