Random Thoughts - 01

Very often I find my mind wandering and random thoughts just pop into my head. Most of these thoughts are just silly things meaning nothing at all but, sometimes I get a brainwave and feel the urge to share it with the world.
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A Level Results - Number 01

The 2016 A level results were published in Wales (UK) on Thursday 18th August and I saw that these results were slightly up on last year, with many students attaining grades of A* or Distinction.
I am a TOG (tough old geezer) and am confused!
What is the difference between those two grades, do you know the answer?

How do other countries grade their students?

Reply from Jordan West. (UK)
Subject: Random Thought Number 01

An A* is achieved through an A-Level examination where the student learns and then regurgitates the information in one or a series of exams.Through the A-Level route you can achieve anything from an A* down to an F grade, sometimes even a U grade which simply means unclassified. Whereas the grades of Distinction*, Distinction, Merit and Pass are only obtainable through the study of a BTEC which is a very different course.
With BTEC you do course work throughout a period of time and you cover lots of different units and, within these units, there are pieces of work that must be completed. Some of the work equates to a pass, some to a merit level and some to a distinction level.
To get a pass all the student has to do is complete the pass work, to get a merit the student has to complete the pass and the merit work and then, to get a distinction, the student has to complete pass, merit and distinction work and finally, to get a distinction* the student has to complete all the work to a distinction standard in every single unit that they cover.
As BTEC is an equivalent to A-Level, the grades can be paired up with that of A-Level grades. At BTEC Level 3, which is the level students in their A-Level year will be studying, a pass is equivalent to an E grade, a merit to C grade, a distinction to an A grade and a D* to an A* grade. Universities look upon BTEC's in the same light as they do A-Levels because they respect that it takes just as much effort and time to get the high grades as it would with an A-Level.