New report suggests freshers struggle to remember basic A-level concepts

Posted by ap507 at Jun 25, 2014 11:04 AM |
Professor Jon Scott involved in developing and implementing national study

A new report shows that even grade-A students can 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.

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.

Academic Registrar at the University of Leicester Professor Jon Scott (pictured) said: “At Leicester’s School of Biological Sciences, we have been very committed to improving student retention and the student experience of transition into higher education. I have co-authored a number of papers in this area from both the academic and the social aspects of the student experience.

“This study fitted directly into this work and I was very pleased to be involved in the development and implementation of the study. Looking ahead, we will be able to use the results to re-evaluate our approach to first year teaching.  In addition, we want to engage in the current debate about the design of A levels so that the approach can be more tailored for the purpose of preparing students for higher education.

“The work is ongoing and the team is on the process of preparing some more material for publication.”

‘Indications of knowledge retention in the transition to Higher Education’ is published in the journal Journal of Biological Education.