I'm talking to a US Art College about studying over there.
During my phone interview we talked about the differences between UK High Schools and US High Schools. Upon me explaining that I completed my High School education, left School after getting 9 GCSEs (3 B's, 6 C's) at 16 and going straight into work, the interviewer explained that she didn't think I've done enough to gain a US High School diploma and that I'd have to take a GED Test in the US before I apply. The GED Test is effectively a test to prove you could pass the US High School diploma requirement. I think her opinion was based on me explaining I didn't take part in any A-Level education.
What I need to know is, does anyone feel this is correct, or are the college misunderstanding the UK Education system, and my 9 GCSE's are perfectly acceptable as the equivalent to a US High School diploma?
It's been over 10 years since I finished my GCSE's and the prospect of having to take a big test on subjects I've not touched in 10 years is slightly intimidating, especially since it's only two weeks until I'm due in the US to go see them.
Learning GCSE Maths all over again in two weeks is a little scary to say the least.
Thank you any one who may be able to offer some advice!!
I think it's a fair interpretation that GCSEs aren't of the same "standard" as a High School Diploma but at the same time if you're a mature student they are aware that it will have been a long time since you studied the subjects so I doubt they're looking for you to ace the test, most likely just to pass it.
It's kind of similar here in Ireland where we have two sets of exams, like GCSEs and A-Levels, except employers don't class you as having completed secondary school unless you've got the A-Level equivalents (i.e. the GCSE level exams aren't enough) so I was up the creek when I came back here having only sat GCSEs. I know in the UK you can leave after your GCSEs and no-one thinks any less of you....
In my opinion, GCSEs are/should be enough to satisfy a high school diploma requirement. When I applied to UK universities, many of them saw a high school diploma being worth GCSEs alone, which is why they wanted APs, which they considered to be A level equivilents. If it works one way it should work the other, if you see what I mean.
There's an International Database of equivalent qualifications called NARIC that most institutions use (it belongs to the British Council I think) and it says that: "GED Is considered comparable to GCSE (grades A*-C) / Credit Standard Grade standard
Provided an average of at least C is obtained in subjects which have counterparts in the GCSE syllabus and have been studied to grade 12 level" Now this is confusing because grade 12 is the first year of a levels isn't it? But otherwise it looks like it's GCSE. So the British Council are the best people to help.
Also GED is not really equivalent to a high school diploma...it will get you to the next level, but not with any distinction. GED is usually taken by people with more unusual circumstances- they dropped out of high school, etc.
Thanks for all the replies! I was in the US talking with an Art College and missed them all.
Jazzza: What you wrote is very interesting. If GED is comparable to GCSE (A* - C), then my 3 B's and 6 C's should be enough. Where did you see that quote?
I did talk with the College in question and they really need proof that I graduated High School. As far as I'm concerned, I did that. However, the confusion does seem to be in relation to education length and standards.
I did buy a huge GED prep book, but it would be fantastic if I could avoid the chore of having to go over to the US just to take the GED test in a couple of months time. If I can somehow have my 9 B-C grades accepted, then that will save me a major hurdle.
I'll email the British Council to see if they can help. If anyone has any suggestions, that would be fantastic. I'm also curious if it's possible to take the GED test within the UK. I doubt it is, but it's worth asking!