This case study examines the impacts on student learning, achievement and satisfaction when year 13 (final year) students at a large UK sixth form college take a GCE A level in one year instead of the usual two years. Data relating to the entry qualifications and final A level grades achieved by 879 students on both accelerated and non-accelerated programmes were obtained over a four-year period. Inferential analysis was carried out using pairwise Z-tests to compare the proportion of students achieving grade C or better on each course. A sample of 89 students completed a written questionnaire, which was used to examine their attitudes and opinions of accelerated and non-accelerated teaching and learning. It was found that students on accelerated programmes who had taken Business Studies at GCSE or who achieved an A* or A grade in English or Maths at GCSE were more likely to get a grade of C or above at A level compared to students on the standard two-year programme. The results of this study suggest that further research is needed to assess whether more students could be successful on accelerated A level courses, or similar post-compulsory courses internationally.
Wilkins, S., Martin, S., & Walker, I. (2010). Exploring the impacts of accelerated delivery on student learning, achievement and satisfaction. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 15(4), 455-472. https://doi.org/10.1080/13596748.2010.526807