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Charlie Orme
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Hi all, I am 15 years old and currently in between my sophomore and junior years of High School in
the US (1 year ahead of my age group). My family will be moving to the UK soon and I would like to
know how the system works there. (I am planning on attending university.) I have heard of GCSE,
A-levels, and AS-levels, but I don't know what they are. Any advice? Thanks, Charlie
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Martina
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Charlie,

[q1]> I am 15 years old and currently in between my sophomore and junior years of High School in the US[/q1]
[q1]> (1 year ahead of my age group). My family will be moving to the UK soon and I would like to know[/q1]
[q1]> how the system works there. (I am planning on attending university.) I have heard of GCSE,[/q1]
[q1]> A-levels, and AS-levels, but I don't know what they are. Any advice?[/q1]

you could start here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onelife/...on/index.shtml

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/education/default.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/edu...ms/default.stm

You take GCSEs at 16, AS at 17, and A-levels at 18 (normally).

Mind you, being a foreigner, you might not have to take GCSEs . I went straight to A-levels at 15
(I'm a foreigner too). You'd have to make sure you're able to deal with GCSE stuff if you decide to
skip GCSEs. Unis might not require GCSEs from you if you're a foreigner (the admissions tutors here
would know better than me though).

HTH a bit.

M.
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Josh Smith
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"Martina" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

[q1]> Mind you, being a foreigner, you might not have to take GCSEs . I went straight to A-levels at 15[/q1]
[q1]> (I'm a foreigner too). You'd have to make sure you're able to deal with GCSE stuff if you decide[/q1]
[q1]> to skip GCSEs.[/q1]

It's worth doing English Lang and Maths tho. Alot of jobs, if not Unis, stipulate them.

Josh
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K. Edgcombe
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In article <[email protected]>, Josh Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>"Martina" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]>> Mind you, being a foreigner, you might not have to take GCSEs . I went straight to A-levels at 15[/q2]
[q2]>> (I'm a foreigner too). You'd have to make sure you're able to deal with GCSE stuff if you decide[/q2]
[q2]>> to skip GCSEs.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>It's worth doing English Lang and Maths tho. Alot of jobs, if not Unis, stipulate them.[/q1]

It depends a bit what roughly-equivalent qualifications you have from your US schooling.
Universities in the UK won't necessarily expect foreigners to have GCSE (or A level, come to that),
but they might want some evidence of competence in, say, maths or English if these are subjects you
have not done at ha higher level. And so might employers, as Josj says.

Compared with the US you will find that the English specialise more and earlier. For AS/A level you
might well be doing only four subjects, which could be all sciences or all arts subjects, though
many do mixtures. And at University you will typically be concentrating on one subject.

It's been interesting in Cambridge having third-year MIT students over here on an exchange. Maths
majors are amazed (and either horrified or delighted depending on temperament) to find they have no
compulsory Humanities courses.

Katy
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Martina
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Btw, GCSEs and A-levels are not the only option: you might want to consider the International
Baccalaureate (IB). There aren't as many IB schools in the UK as there are 'normal' schools
following the British curriculum. I know about IB schools in London and Oxford at least though.

M.
0
Josh Smith
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"Martina" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Btw, GCSEs and A-levels are not the only option: you might want to[/q1]
consider
[q1]> the International Baccalaureate (IB). There aren't as many IB schools in[/q1]
the
[q1]> UK as there are 'normal' schools following the British curriculum. I know about IB schools in[/q1]
[q1]> London and Oxford at least though.[/q1]

There's also the EB (European Baccalaureate) which is similar to the IB in stipulating that you have
to study one subject from each of the major academic divisions (native language, foreign language,
maths, science, humanities) except that you study seven or eight (can't remember exactly) subjects
instead of five.

For those who prefer the broad American system, this may prove an easier transition.

Both are accepted by British universities and many in Europe.

Josh
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Martina
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#7
[q1]> There's also the EB (European Baccalaureate) which is similar to the IB in stipulating that you[/q1]
[q1]> have to study one subject from each of the major academic divisions (native language, foreign[/q1]
[q1]> language, maths, science, humanities) except that you study seven or eight (can't remember[/q1]
[q1]> exactly) subjects instead of five.[/q1]

I think in the IB you have to do 6 subjects + TOK (Theory Of Knowledge). You might be allowed to
bend the rules a bit and do 2 sciences or 2 languages. A friend of mine did Chemistry, Business
Studies, Maths, Russian, English and French. There isn't an exam for TOK but you can get a bonus
point for it.

M.
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