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Old 03-31-2010, 12:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tsloper View Post
How do "A Level" classes fit in, how can Americans understand what "A Level" means?
An A Level (Advanced Level General Certificate of Education) is a pre-university qualification. They are usually taken from the age of 16 at secondary school or college (not be confused with colleges in the USA). Typically, students will choose three or more subjects which are studied in-classroom for 6+ hours a week (depending on school/college) for 2 years (usually). This is usually supplimented with a mandatory A level in "General Studies" and/or "Critical Thinking".

I'm not very familiar with the US Education System so it is hard to draw a parallel; but, Wikipedia asserts that the closest equivilent in the US are Advanced Placements (AP). To my knowledge, this makes them roughly equivilent to freshman classes at American universities. They are, however, potentially more in-depth given the duration of the programme.

Originally Posted by kenshee
They are something like the NEWT's.
Yes, I believe so. Although, for certain subjects you don't neccessarily need a GCSE (General Certificate of Education) to study a particular subject at A Level.

Originally Posted by kenshee
[...] As most university degree programs are only 3 years in the UK or 3 + 1 including co-op, the A'levels can be considered as the first year (sophomore) of an American University
Most UK universities will use A levels when making entry offers to applicants (or equivilent qualifications such as the International Baccaleurate supported by the UCAS Points System).

For example, when I applied for a place on a Computer Science degree, I was offered:

280 UCAS Points
Including: Grade B in A Level Mathematics & Grade B in A Level Computing.

For students who do not perform well in their A Levels, many modern institutions offer Foundation Degrees.
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Last edited by Adrir : 04-20-2010 at 04:50 PM.
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