February 22, 2019, 12:02:41 PM


Author Topic: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?  (Read 532 times)

Online SPQR

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Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« on: February 02, 2019, 10:31:37 AM »
I have Googled it, but the definition is nebulous.  Is an A level
the same as grade 12 in North America?  Also, what is sixth
form?  Are the grades divided in two, 1-6, 6-12?  Does everyone
take A levels or only students who want to go to uni?  WTF is
GCE?

Online eggieguffer

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2019, 12:18:35 PM »
I have Googled it, but the definition is nebulous.  Is an A level
the same as grade 12 in North America?  Also, what is sixth
form?  Are the grades divided in two, 1-6, 6-12?  Does everyone
take A levels or only students who want to go to uni?  WTF is
GCE?

WTF is grade 12? People in the UK do A (advanced)'levels when they're 18 and they generally decide what university you can get into. Less academic people leave school at 16 after their GCSEs (General certificate of secondary Education) Oxford and Cambridge used to have their own exams but I think they scrapped them. Most people do 3 or 4 A'levels specialising in subjects they want to study at uni. Some secondary schools (11-18) have their own 6th forms - classes teaching A'level subjects, whereas other schools finish at 16 and people go to 6th form colleges to study for A'levels.

Online alexisalex

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2019, 12:34:39 PM »
Lol yeah explaining the UK grades equivalent is very confusing.  I don't even bother trying to explain it to my Korean coworkers any more.  It's not worth it lol.

It's called the 6th form because our "secondary" schools have five "years" that go from year 7 to year 11 (roughly age 11 to 16).  Also referred to as first year, second year etc.  This is compulsory schooling. 

Then from age 16 to 18 you can enter "sixth" form which is where you study your A levels.  Alternatively you can go to a college (which isn't university...so confusing haha) and do your A levels there.  Then on to university.

Online oglop

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2019, 01:38:36 PM »
4 or 5-11 = primary school

11-16 = secondary school. take GCSEs at 16 (final exams for all subjects before you leave school)

16-18 = 6th form (optional- can leave school at 16). study A-levels here. you pick 3 subjects you are interested in and study those for 2 years. you do A-levels if you want to go to university. which university you can apply for depends on your A-level results

or

16-18 = go to a college (this is vocational e.g. to learn to become a mechanic)

Online SPQR

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2019, 02:58:52 PM »
OK, although the three of you gave somewhat different answers, I think
a definition is starting to coalesce.

Then the English school system is roughly like this:

Grades 1-6:  Primary or elementary education. Mandatory.
Grades 7-10: Secondary education. Mandatory.
Grades 11-12: Combined into something called an "A level". Optional.
                      However, taking three of these two-year-long courses
                      is mandatory for uni entrance.

Is this correct?

Questions:

1/
How are A levels subdivided.  You don't have some super exam
covering two years of work, do you?
2/
Is "high school diploma" a synonym for GCE?
3/
Why is there no adequate explanation online for this system?
4/
What are the most common A-levels for a BA? A BSc?


Offline JNM

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2019, 03:12:07 PM »
This wiki article on GCSEs what made sense of it for me.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Certificate_of_Secondary_Education
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 06:57:14 PM by JNM »

Online oglop

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2019, 04:27:24 PM »
Grades 1-6:  Primary or elementary education. Mandatory.
Grades 7-11: Secondary education. Mandatory.
Grades 12-13: Combined into something called an "A level". Optional.
                     
basically for A-levels it's 2 years.

you choose 4 subjects you are interested in. after 1 year, you take an exam/do coursework for all 4 subjects. you then drop one subject (mandatory) and that leaves you with 3. then you study for another year and do coursework/exams to receive your final grades. i think it was divided into 70% coursework, 30% exams (when i did mine, anyway)

i would say most people take whatever subjects they like/are good at, unless you specifically know what you want to study at university

for example, i studied things i liked, without any idea what i wanted to study at uni.

universities will require minimum grades to get accepted. some will require two As and one B, others only three Bs. oxford, you'd need three As

unless you want to go to a top university, i don't think it really matters what A-levels you took, as long as you get the required grades (this was the case when i was at school, anyway)

i don't know what GCE is, but GCSEs are the most basic qualifications you leave with when you finish school.

Online zola

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2019, 04:32:29 PM »
What about O-levels?
Kpip! - Martin 2018

Online eggieguffer

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2019, 04:38:08 PM »
What about O-levels?

Abolished back in the 80s I think

Offline JNM

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2019, 06:58:54 PM »
What about O-levels?

Abolished back in the 80s I think
That is, from my understanding, what the GCSE replaced.

"Ordinary" level graduation, compared to "Advanced" or "Academic" level graduation.

Offline pkjh

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2019, 07:54:31 PM »
WTF is grade 12?
Generally the last year of secondary education in many places like in Canada, USA, Korea, Japan, India, Germany, Thailand... sometimes called year 12, or 12th grade, or senior year, go-sam...

Online SPQR

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2019, 07:59:28 PM »
Grades 1-6:  Primary or elementary education. Mandatory.
Grades 7-11: Secondary education. Mandatory.
Grades 12-13: Combined into something called an "A level". Optional.
                     
basically for A-levels it's 2 years.

you choose 4 subjects you are interested in. after 1 year, you take an exam/do coursework for all 4 subjects. you then drop one subject (mandatory) and that leaves you with 3. then you study for another year and do coursework/exams to receive your final grades. i think it was divided into 70% coursework, 30% exams (when i did mine, anyway)

i would say most people take whatever subjects they like/are good at, unless you specifically know what you want to study at university

for example, i studied things i liked, without any idea what i wanted to study at uni.

universities will require minimum grades to get accepted. some will require two As and one B, others only three Bs. oxford, you'd need three As

unless you want to go to a top university, i don't think it really matters what A-levels you took, as long as you get the required grades (this was the case when i was at school, anyway)

i don't know what GCE is, but GCSEs are the most basic qualifications you leave with when you finish school.

OK, this I understand.

Online thunderlips

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2019, 09:11:27 PM »
So what level do you start quidditch??



:P

Offline Allpointseast

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2019, 10:25:28 PM »
  GCSE's are the exams that English kids take at age 16. People start studying for them at age 14. The results can then be presented to an employer, because even NOW the official school leaving age is 16. People are strongly encouraged to stay at school until they are 18, or go to a technical college (what in the USA is called a community college); for useful qualifications. Many people stay on in education of some sort.
  "A" Levels start at age 16 and finish at 18 ("A" stands for ADVANCED). The exact shape the "A" Level course takes has changed according to the whims of different governments: for example, should there be mid-terms and finals, or just one all-important exam at age 18? Or should we have continuous assessment, where each week you have to turn in an essay, and the essay counts towards your final grade?
  In England, "A" Levels are pretty intense and deep. The tendency is to do 3 or 4 subjects maximum for 2 years. So, if you do "A" Level English, History and Latin, you will study NOTHING but these 3 subjects for 2 years. "A" Levels are seen as a gold standard in education by some. But over the past few decades, the complaint was that that system encouraged students to avoid the STEM subjects, especially maths and also to avoid modern languages, which teenagers may deem too difficult at "A" Level. I studied Modern Languages at university, so obviously, I didn't think French and Spanish were that difficult!
   The major complaint about "A" Levels is that they encourage specialisation too early.
   In Scotland, we have the "Higher" exams which last one year, and you may take more than 3 or 4highers over 2 years. That said, you can also convert one or more of these subjects into an "A" Level.

Online oglop

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2019, 12:49:14 AM »
  GCSE's are the exams that English kids take at age 16. People start studying for them at age 14. The results can then be presented to an employer, because even NOW the official school leaving age is 16. People are strongly encouraged to stay at school until they are 18, or go to a technical college (what in the USA is called a community college); for useful qualifications. Many people stay on in education of some sort.
  "A" Levels start at age 16 and finish at 18 ("A" stands for ADVANCED). The exact shape the "A" Level course takes has changed according to the whims of different governments: for example, should there be mid-terms and finals, or just one all-important exam at age 18? Or should we have continuous assessment, where each week you have to turn in an essay, and the essay counts towards your final grade?
  In England, "A" Levels are pretty intense and deep. The tendency is to do 3 or 4 subjects maximum for 2 years. So, if you do "A" Level English, History and Latin, you will study NOTHING but these 3 subjects for 2 years. "A" Levels are seen as a gold standard in education by some. But over the past few decades, the complaint was that that system encouraged students to avoid the STEM subjects, especially maths and also to avoid modern languages, which teenagers may deem too difficult at "A" Level. I studied Modern Languages at university, so obviously, I didn't think French and Spanish were that difficult!
   The major complaint about "A" Levels is that they encourage specialisation too early.
   In Scotland, we have the "Higher" exams which last one year, and you may take more than 3 or 4highers over 2 years. That said, you can also convert one or more of these subjects into an "A" Level.
you forgot to answer thunderlips' question, m8

Online eggieguffer

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2019, 07:42:52 AM »
So what level do you start quidditch??



:P

Assuming Hagwarts mirrored the ofificial muggle system of secondary education age-wise, students in year one (11 years old) would start learning Quidditch. Even though first years were banned from competing in house matches,  Harry Potter got an exemption from this due to his exceptional skill as a seeker and became the youngest Griifindor player for 100 years.

In the Tri-Wizard tournament, entry was restricted to the 6th form, due to the increased danger from dragons, though Potter managed to get round this rule too as far as I remember.

Offline CDW

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2019, 10:41:57 AM »
It can also mean something very different depending on the context.

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term="A"%20levels

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2019, 10:46:07 AM »
Contents-wise, They’re equivalent to AP Level (Advanced Placement) in the American system.

The difference being you need A-Levels (or equivalent) before you can enter most university courses in the UK, whereas AP is not a requirement in the US. 

In some cases outside the UK, someone with A-levels will be allowed to skip the first year of uni and move directly to second year, because it’s basically the same material.

Offline JNM

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2019, 04:12:06 PM »
Ontario, Canada used to have a similar system to A-levels.
“Grade 13” or “Ontario Academic Credits” were widely accepted as first year university courses outside of Ontario.

Note that every province is different.
At one time, Ontario went to grade 13, and Newfoundland to 11.
Quebec had (has?) a completely different system, similar to England, with a CEGEP (forget what it stands for) college before university.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 09:59:25 PM by JNM »

Online Cyanea

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Re: Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2019, 08:24:35 PM »
Can someone explain what "A Levels" are?

A levels are taken in 125 countries around the world but you don't know what they are?

« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 08:43:07 PM by Cyanea »
Catch my drift?