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Confused about GCSE v BTec

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Misty30, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Hi, i am working in primary but would be grateful for any help. My daughter has done exceptionally well in her gcse's and throughout secondary was in set one, a friend of hers was in set 4 and so was given the chane to do a few btec's, my query is, her friend has come out with 14 gcse's (presumably some btecs were worth more than one grade) my daughter was told as she was bright she couldnt do btecs! When applying for a college place, are gcse's and btec's worth the same points, it seems unfair that my daughter does a gcse in , say science nd only gets one grade, and her friend gets 4!
     
  2. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy New commenter

    I would echo Phlogiston's point; 10 GCSEs are a lot more valuable than 14 BTEC equivalents
     
  3. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Occasional commenter

    Don't worry, no-one who knows anything about qualifications really believes them to be equivalent. When I worked in FE we would only allow one BTEC grade to count towards the points total for A-Level admission, though obviously the vocational departments looked on them a little more favourably, but not to the full equivalence they are supposed to be afforded.
     
  4. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    I'm just concuring with what everything else has said.
    Your daughter's friend hasn't got 14 GCSEs, she's got some GCSEs and some GCSE 'equivalents'. Some BTECs are worth up to four GCSEs.
    My local college has already adopted the league-table-reform-view of BTECs. Each is considered equivalent to one GCSE and they will only count two.
    Your daughter is far better off with GCSEs. And anyone ever involved with assessing your daughter's qualifications will know that too.
     
  5. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    Frankly, it's your duaghter's friend I feel sorry for. The decision to enter her for BTECs may well have been more driven by league table scores than what was good for her. I wonder if she would have been better off doing GCSEs and passing them, albeit at lower grades than your daughter.
     
  6. Sorry folks but i am in the know and an awful lot of points you are spouting are opinionated out of touch out of date nonsense. BTEC's assess what you can do rather than what you know or can recall and are massively important in the world of work. Look at the main skills looked for both in the workplace and in higher education (collaboration, independant enquiry etc) and see how many of these are delivered by GCSE courses rather than BTEC. Few, if any.
    However, there is the point about number of GCSE equivalences but one BTEC distinction is definitely worth 1 GCSE grade A. No doubt.
     
  7. We're talking about 2 different students here with different pathways (note the buzzword, or is this last year's?). I'd guess the one with the good GCSEs won't be looking at a college place, unless it's 6th form college to study A levels. The one with the BTECs is probably looking for continuing this type of vocational education, where their qualifications will have the value for the course.
    Rapster, you are 'in the know'. Does this mean you are an employer who prefers BTEC qualifications? Anecdotally, this doesn't seem to be the case, so it would be good to have some evidence.


     
  8. Rubbish, you might think that, but anecdotal evidence speaks differently. I've talked to friends within industry and they would ALWAYS rather see a GCSE grade C that what is presumed the BTEC equivalent. Furthermore, you will struggle to get a course at a Russell Group university with a BTEC level 3s and even with a string of BTEC level 2s.
    Schools have pushed borderline C/D pupils onto BTEC courses under the false pretence of GCSE equivalence in order to secure league table positions.
     
  9. My son has just finished Grammar School with his three A levels and numerous GSCEs. When converting these qualifications to UCAS points he got 300 points and failed to get into his first choice uni place which required 320 points. These A levels all required external examinations with no course work element. My son's friend went to a secondary modern school and studied BTEC national diploma in sixth form gaining 400 ucas points. This was, to my understanding, purely course work, with plenty of 'teacher support'. My point is though, yes my son and his friend have both worked very hard, but it seems easier to gain ucas points taking BTEC. And as long as both have passes in Maths and English with a GCSE or equivalent then the universities convert all examinations to ucas points without much consideration whether they are A levels or BTEC. For my son to have achieved 400 points he would have requires A*A*A. My son,s friend is now applying through adjustment for one of the top universities. So, it seems that for university entrance and post 16 study, BTEC is the way forward!
     
  10. My son has just finished Grammar School with his three A levels and numerous GSCEs. When converting these qualifications to UCAS points he got 300 points and failed to get into his first choice uni place which required 320 points. These A levels all required external examinations with no course work element.

    My son's friend went to a secondary modern school and studied BTEC national diploma in sixth form gaining 400 ucas points. This was, to my understanding, purely course work, with plenty of 'teacher support'. My point is though, yes my son and his friend have both worked very hard, but it seems easier to gain ucas points taking BTEC. And as long as both have passes in Maths and English with a GCSE or equivalent then the universities convert all examinations to ucas points without much consideration whether they are A levels or BTEC. For my son to have achieved 400 points he would have requires A*A*A. My son,s friend is now applying through adjustment for one of the top universities. So, it seems that for university entrance and post 16 study, BTEC is the way forward!
     
  11. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Occasional commenter

    Not really, because most universities either don't use points at all or don't accept BTECs as part of them, and certainly not for academic courses. I have seen a student get into Biology at Manchester with a top grade BTEC extended diploma, but only following an interview and glowing supporting information. In general, and certainly for the top universities, A-Levels are still a no-brainer.
     
  12. FolkFan

    FolkFan Lead commenter

    Or IB/Pre-U...
     
  13. @11 Please let us know when your son's friend has got the university place of his dreams. It won't be one of the traditional universities for sure. Points and places are two completely different things. I wish them both luck, but your son has the better chance and certainly long-term. Please be reassured. By the way, has your son definitely had confirmation that his first choice have rejected him? I don't want to raise your hopes, but occasionally, depending on the course, they will accept a 'near miss'. I hope by now things have moved forward.
     
  14. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    "Most" - citation needed.
     
  15. bps5

    bps5 New commenter

    I worked as a lecturer in HE for a while. Most academics at the university had a disparaging enough view of GCSE/A Levels as it was, and probably would treat BTECs with similar disdain.

    A Levels are generally the accepted currency for entrance to most universities (not just Oxbridge/Russell Group). The IB/Pre-U is slightly more attractive, to some of the Oxbridge type institutions.

    As a measure of academic success, the IB/Pre-U is preferred. They are seen, rightly or wrongly, as giving better grounding in independent study and are less 'spoon-fed'. For example, I will never forget the look on the face of a distinguished professor when a student asked him if he could obtain a 'CGP Equivalent' of his subject!

    The inability to think, and work, independently is seen as the real issue with many undergraduates. A Levels get students in, but are not really valued beyond that.
     
  16. My son has just graduated from an RG uni and is continuing to post grad. He has no A levels and very indifferent AS levels. He was accepted on the basis of 3 Open University courses that he did after a year away from studying. Presumably because they valued the evidence that he could work independently. Some universities can be flexible and just demonstrate some common sense.
     
  17. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Occasional commenter

    That's totally untrue. Many parts of the country schools don't teach A-Levels at all, colleges are the only institutions that do. Even where schools do have 6th forms, many colleges still offer A-Levels. I taught A-Level in a FE college last year, and half the class were over 19. The difficulty that adults face is that evening classes in academic subjects are much rarer than they once were.
     

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