There are several possibilities here. Either:
- People look at the A-level questions and find them easier because they have more maturity and experience, whereas in fact they are the same; or
- The exams actually are getting easier; or
- Teaching and resources are better, so the results are better; or
- The culture of using past papers as revision is what is making papers easier to pass; or
- We are experiencing the annual festival of moaning about educational standards (after all, the English do enjoy a good moan).
It follows that if GCSEs are easier, then A-levels have to be easier to cope with the intake. University lecturers have been complaining for years that they are having to dumb down their courses to cope with the reduced knowledge of the intake.
The only way to ascertain if papers are easier now is to get pupils to sit past papers as well as current ones.
As a recent test I set a question from an 8-year-old paper on a particular core topic and even my best students only achieved a C grade. - James, Cheltenham
Worrying. And it is not right-wing to say that the exams are being dumbed down. Socialism doesn't mean forcing everyone to be the same, it means giving everyone an equal opportunity to develop.