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A-Levels, O-levels and all that

 
#1 A-Levels, O-levels and all that
17/09/2006 22:26

Interested

Hi

What are your opinions on whether the following statements are true:

1. O-level grades should still be detailed on the CV of a 36 year old fresh MBA grad. They were harder than GCSEs and will be respected by recruiters as such.

2. A-Levels in 1988 were harder than A-Levels now. A-level grades of ABC in 1988 are sufficient to pass the screening of those companies that feel they are still important.

3. If there were extenuating circumstances for the C grade (eg the teacher taught the wrong paper and promptly resigned) it would only look stupid to mention them.

Many thanks for your opinions!

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#2 RE: A-Levels, O-levels and all that
17/09/2006 23:22

RG to Interested (#1)

1. i) False. ii) True but it was 20 years ago! Doesn't matter how good they were anymore. At *most* you could put something like "10 O-Levels at grades A-C".

2. i) True ii) Don't know - would hope so. But again it was 18 years ago. I would be surprised if the same screening conditions applied to such experienced candidates as fresh graduates. Surely the reason for such criteria is that academic records are all you really have to judge graduates against whilst experienced candidates have years of professional experience, on which to judge?

3. True. 18 years ago... 18 years..! You can explain in the unlikely event it comes up in interview.

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#3 RE: A-Levels, O-levels and all that
17/09/2006 23:36

Matt to RG (#2)

Don't even list them - it is completely superfluous. Use the space to detail career achievements and recent qualifications.

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#4 RE: A-Levels, O-levels and all that
18/09/2006 20:02

Interested to Matt (#3)

Thanks guys

Just to carry on from there...

If the first 2-3 years of my work experience are not particularly impressive/relevant, is it necessarily important to include them on the CV...especially considering there are another 12 or so good ones to come later?

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#5 RE: A-Levels, O-levels and all that
19/09/2006 11:04

anon to Interested (#4)

I am in a similar position. Just keep it to one or two lines. You don't want unexplained gaps.

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#6 RE: A-Levels, O-levels and all that
19/09/2006 11:13

bri500 to anon (#5)

Agree, don't list O levels with so much experience.

I think you're listening to too much media hype about exams getting easier though! I remember preparing for my exams in the 90s using exam papers from 10 years before for Physics - I got virtually everything right in the old paper but come the day I only got a B in the real thing.

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#7 RE: A-Levels, O-levels and all that
19/09/2006 11:46

RG to bri500 (#6)

The increased "easiness" is due to the exams being modular now, so if you stuff up a paper on the day you can re-do it. "Back in my day" (not actually so long ago) you messed up a paper and you dropped a grade (as I did), as you only got one shot at it.

Similarly, though, I remember doing 1980s Chemistry papers and they were no harder. The style was a bit different and seemed to favour the learning of facts rather than beijng apply to the learning and think for oneself.

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