A-Level alternative used by private schools are being scrapped

Pre-U exams that private schools use as an A-Level alternatives are being SCRAPPED over claims they are ‘too easy and give wealthy children a leg up‘

An A-level alternative favoured by private schools is to be scrapped amid claims the exams are easier and give wealthy children a leg up.

The last Pre-U exams will be held in June 2023, barring resits.

Only 38 per cent of schools offering Pre-U exams in 2018 were state schools, and there were just 7,700 entries last year, according to Michael O‘Sullivan, chief executive of the exam board Cambridge Assessment International Education.

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It said offering Pre-U exams had become ‘unsustainable‘ due to the small number of schools opting to offer them. 

However, the qualification has also been criticised for helping privately educated pupils.

Data obtained by the newspaper found that Pre-U students were three times more likely to get the equivalent of A/A* grades compared with A-level students.

Mr O‘Sullivan defended the exams, saying: ‘It is obviously incorrect to conclude that differences in pass rates between A-level and Cambridge Pre-U mean one exam is easier than the other.

‘The differences simply reflect the different levels of attainment of the candidates.‘


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