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Cambridge University re-introduces entrance exams

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Cambridge Univ Replaces AS-level Grades
Cambridge University re-introducing the universal and generalized entrance exam to replace AS-level grades for all the candidates in wake of government call.

The entrance exams look set make a comeback after 27 years in order to provide evidence of prospective students academic abilities. As Cambridge depend on AS-level grades when deciding whether to offer pupils a place, professors at the university have expressed their concern at the destruction.

Director of Cambridge admissions Mike Sewell told to the Daily Telegraph that, "We are already discussion ways forward. What we are concerned about is that any of the alternatives run the risk of putting good students off, doing the opposite to what AS levels do, which is encourage people who secure good grades half way through their A-levels to apply,"

He added the exam would be "very different" from the one abolished on 1986 and would have to be "carefully thought through".

"In the light of the (Michael Gove's) announcement, the university has of course begun the process of considering all the options available to us, so that we mat continue of admitting the best and brightest students from all the background to reach our goals," Sewell said. "However, we are clear that the best way of achieving this is for the government to retain public examination at the end of the year 12,"

Last week Michael Gove revealed A-level reforms to bring back traditional two-year long A-levels, which were heavily criticised for consolidation pupils choices.

Gove concerns over how students are being prepared for higher education, saying there is "clear dissatisfaction" among leading university academics. The education secretary said the new A-levels are to be introduced in 2015.

Initially, Both Oxford and Cambridge used entrance exam to test all their students, While Oxford doesn't shows any sign of re-introducing the testing process.

Mainly Cambridge depended heavily on the AS-levels as part of its admission process. In contrast, Oxford has subject specific aptitude test in most subject, around 85% of prospective Oxford are required to take the exams.

A spokesperson of Oxford University told the Huffington Post UK the institution did not use AS-levels in a "mechanistic way" as part of the selection process. But, still we believed the exams served a useful purpose, "particularly for candidates from backgrounds with little progression into higher education".

Extensive changes to A-levels introduced in 2008 are still being developed and it would be important to ensure that future major change did not have an unintended effect on access by disadvantaging schools with fewer resources to make the requires adaptation.

Source: huffingtonpost

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