You’re an 18-year-old fresh from high school wondering where your life should take you in the next step of your educational journey. Ali, your childhood friend, tells you to head straight for Form 6; most of your friends are headed there too. Your Physics teacher
however suggests you to take matriculation. ‘An easy one-way ticket to the public universities’.
But your dreams, however, were far bigger. You wish to explore the world in conjunction with your tertiary studies. Meet with international friends from all over the world. Access opportunities that aren’t available to your home country. Then, you thought about A
Levels. One of the more popular options with multiple colleges offering this avenue. With a plethora of institutions accepting A Levels as a perfect means of entering their schools, there’s no reason why not to go with this route. However, there’s more than meets the eye with A-Levels and you need to know what you’re truly signing up for. Today, I’ll be sharing with you the types of students who would best fit with the British A-Level system (from my experience).
You definitely should consider A-Levels if you:
1) Are comfortable with taking exams
A-Levels is 100% exam-based where you would be sitting for the exam board’s official papers (most probably in May/June or October/November) which will test you on all the syllabus and content you have studied for over a year. If you like this method of assessment compared to group works or continuous assessments (like SACE or International Baccalaureate), then A-Levels would fit right in your pocket
2) Can tolerate a stress-inducing environment
While it may be true that all pre-university courses possess their own respective levels of academic rigor/stress, there has been consensus made that A-Levels is one of the more challenging courses for a student to take. You must be willing to make all-nighters/spend long hours in the library if you are determined to achieve high grades.
3) Are keen on studying in countries overseas
A-Levels are not only the official British pre-university course (universities in the UK would definitely accept this qualification) but a large (an increasing number) of universities worldwide are keen to accept this qualification. Whether you dream of pursuing your studies in Harvard, Oxford, NUS, or even the University of Malaya, you would have no worries about whether A-Levels would be considered there (they most
4) Have the monetary means of doing so
A-Levels is no way cheap compared to the other offers on the table so be sure to take time to do your research into the rates offered by colleges. Some colleges also offer discounted rates and scholarships for high achieving students so be sure to look out for these if you fit the criteria. However, be sure to take note that while some colleges may be cheap, if the quality of education received is not up to par/standard it
is better to pursue your studies elsewhere. But I can safely attest that the investment of money into education will pay off greatly in the future (whether in the form of great career prospects, working experience, or any benefits derived from pursuing an international education), so don’t worry about not getting your money’s worth’. To conclude, take a hard look at yourself and decide on what you want to do in the future and from there, make your choice. No pre-university program is superior to the other as it all boils down to how you would want to do with this qualification. All the best and remember, always do your homework before making important decisions.
*This article is just a source / reference point for your decisions.