The British education system confuses many students. The British education system is different from most others in many ways. In addition, the modern and functional British education system has contributed to the good results that British educational institutions have consistently achieved. This has led to several countries now adopting the same approach or significantly modifying their national education policies.
The clear transition between high school and university is one of the most important features of the British education system. Most international students are baffled at this point about schooling in the UK. In most countries around the world, students move on to universities after graduating from high school.
In contrast, students in the UK must complete an intermediate level called “Further Education” and take national exams to measure their progress (A-Levels). The purpose of these is to bring their intellectual abilities up to university level and help them figure out which courses of study would match their intellectual abilities.
How do the A-Levels work?
British students who are 16 or older must take Advanced Levels (also called A-Levels) in order to be accepted into a university or to expand their knowledge in a particular field of study or profession.
Sixth Form Colleges and Further Education Colleges offer A-level programmes. These two institutions are essentially identical, except that Further Education Colleges operate independently of high schools, offer a wider range of programmes and degrees, and guarantee a different learning environment than high schools.
A-levels consist of two phases:
- Students in grades 16 to 17 study for the AS level, while students in grades 17 to 18 study for the A2 level.
- After each level, you will take a special exam. Passing these exams is essential to advance to subsequent levels.
Essentially, AS -Level is the first year of A-Levels, which allows students to study an “extra” subject. Most students complete their AS requirements in the first year so they can focus entirely on their A-Levels in the second year.
You can take all of your A-level subjects. However, under the current rules of the English education system, the grades you achieve at AS level are not included in your final grade for your full A level.
Subjects that can be studied for a levels
You can choose as many subjects as you like, but
A-Levels are much more demanding academically than high school education. In addition, gaining A-levels is not a guarantee of success, as your grades also count.
That’s why we advise you to focus on three (or maybe even five if you think you can do it), although you can choose as many as you like. If you already plan to apply to a particular university, contact them to find out how many A levels and what grades they require.
Always remember that admission to UK universities is demanding and your A-Levels are crucial. They often look for applicants with at least three A-Levels and good grades in subjects relevant to the course you want to study. If you take more than three A-levels, you risk limiting your academic ability and receiving lower grades.
Selecting subjects for A levels can be difficult for some students. This is a typical concern for people who do not yet know what they want to do with their lives. Once you are clear about your academic goals, research the courses you need and give them your full attention. For example, you can take biology, chemistry, and math as honours courses if you want to major in biology in university.
If you have not decided what you want to study, do not give up, because the baccalaureate degree is a great way to keep your options open. Ask your high school teachers for help if needed; they may be able to give you some insight into the disciplines in which you seem to have a particular aptitude.
Continuing education institutions set different admission requirements for prospective students. As a result, admission criteria vary depending on the programme you want to pursue and the institution you plan to enrol in after high school.
If you are applying for your A-level studies, you should normally have completed 5 GCSEs with grades ranging from A* to C. Note that you should aim for higher GCSE grades to have a chance of admission to competitive courses.
Which subjects are the most difficult?
Always remember that levels are challenging and you need to do your best to achieve. Even though every A-level subject is challenging, success ultimately depends on your study habits and effort. However, for most students, science subjects, such as math and chemistry, come first. Foreign languages and psychology are also challenging.
A-levels, which are most commonly required by UK universities, fall under a specific list. These are referred to in common parlance as “facilitating subjects.” Some of these facilitating subjects are as follows:
Specific A-level subjects are not included in this list because they are rarely required by colleges.
Can I attend university without a high school diploma?
This is one of the most common requests from students.
Yes, you can enrol in a UK university without having completed your A-levels. However, keep in mind that admission to UK institutions is difficult. Therefore, a comparable academic degree is required. Fortunately, many of these degrees are recognised by institutions.
You must have taken Highers equivalent to A-Levels if you studied in Scotland; this qualifies you to apply to a university in the UK. The Overseas Baccalaureate is a typical example of how many UK universities take into account recognised international qualifications.
Some universities may also consider professional qualifications such as BTEC in certain cases. Another option is to apply for a four-year integrated degree programme at a university, where the first year serves as a kind of orientation course for your regular studies.
But even if you have not gone back to school since you graduated, you can still pursue higher education as an adult. Many institutions in the UK offer certificates of entry to higher education to help those who have been out of school for a while prepare for university study.
Remember that the university you apply to will decide whether or not you are allowed to study in the UK without A levels. We advise you to contact the university before you decide to apply.
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