bangalore fellow
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I'm wondering how do the A Levels compare with the American AP Courses (Advanced Placement). I already prepared for the AP Exams, and have done quite well on the practice tests. However, AP is only considered for credit in the US and not for admission, whereas the A Levels are considered for admissions worldwide and credit in the US.

I've already gotten my books for the A Levels, please note I'm taking them privately. I'm taking Chemistry and Biology for certain, and haven't decided on the other subjects. So far, they look to be very similar, but I'm still very paranoid on A Levels. I'll be doing them in 1 year, taking the AS exam this November and A2 next May/June. But I've already prepared for AP, so I don't think there will be much of a problem, but I'm still very paranoid :p: Can you please compare both courses?
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LittleMissDramaQueen
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Well I have a friend who has lived in the US and England so I can only judge from her.

As far as she is concerned the SAT examinations are equal to that of our GCSEs and in some cases AS levels.
The AP classes however can differ. Traditionally they are equavilant to the first year of college in the US...however the first year of college in the US, is in some circumstances (particularly sciences...although depends on the college) is actually considered relatively close to A2.

A2 is certainly harder than SATs regardless. AP on the other hand can vary. But in most cases A levels are generally considered harder. This is normally as AP courses do and will vary...yet A levels don't. Also as you mentioned AP is merely for credit yet A levels are generally considered for admissions world wide. A levels also will cover more topics and go into more depth...you must take this into consideration. Also according british university requirements...3 AP courses is= 1 A level. You need at least 3 alevels (or equivalent)are needed to get you into any British Uni.

I have heard as well Chemistry is in particular a lot harder a level than AP...but good luck all the same. If you work hard I'm sure you can do it.
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bangalore fellow
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^ Thanks for the information.

I forgot to mention, I'm doing them with the CIE board, are they in any ways considerably much harder or anything, or should I not worry about it?
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LittleMissDramaQueen
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Well CIE are an international board. From my own experience (albeit only on GCSEs) international boards tend to be slightly harder. Nevertheless only for an British student...they will benefit Americans,as they won't be entirely based on just the British curriculum.

Nevertheless I have started part CIE A level biology, already along side my iGCSE biology as well...and it doesn't seem that hard.

I found these on the CIE website... past papers...always a god send. I recommend you try them out. http://www.cie.org.uk/qualifications...?assdef_id=734

Have you also considered the Cambridge Pre U? I personally think these are much more in depth courses...particularly for international students??

Also, out of interest...are you taking a levels merely as credit...or are you considering enrolling in a british university? As there are alternative routes you can take...
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bangalore fellow
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Actually A Levels are my plan B, which's most likely what's going to happen since Indian Pre-University has proven useless (I'm in India currently, came from the US recently) I'm used to the conceptual, reasoning, and analytical type of learning I used to get in the US, unlike the ancient rote system in India. Universities all over the world require an 85% average for admission, which's nearly impossible (only 1.7% of students who write the Pre-University exams get above 85, and only about 40% of them pass). The AP curriculum was about half of the Indian Pre-University curriculum, its a joke in comparison.

I've already seen the CIE syllabus and past papers, they look quite similar to the way AP question are asked. But looking at those alone won't tell what the experience will be like.

I'm still not taking this easy, and I'm quite paranoid. Some of my friends say that they study only about 6 hours a week, they are quite bright and get A*'s, and say that I am easily capable to doing so too. But on the other hand, some people say the A Levels are a lot of work. I don't know, that cold be the people who are average, those who don't grasp and understand things easily and quickly. When I was in the US, I never studied and was an honors student with a GPA of about 3.8.
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bangalore fellow
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Anyone else know anything to compare the 2 please?
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jkoo18
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you are drunk if you think ap chem is harder than a level, many US students have clarified this
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Gerry-Atricks
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(Original post by jkoo18)
you are drunk if you think ap chem is harder than a level, many US students have clarified this
really? 7 years later you post
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jkoo18
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Stay mad
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Williamchen77
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I want to know as well. I have four AP 5's and I am going to take 2 more next school year. I have achieved the minimum requirement, but I don't fell like being competitive at all.
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qw1234
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Really depends on subject. AP physics harder than A level physics. AP chem easier than A level chem. So on. They are generally equivalent.
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MarcoThePhoenix
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AP physics harder than A level physics? AP Chem harder than Alevel CHem? Are you drunk?I have done CIE Fmaths so when I saw calculus used in AP physics, I could comprehend easily. AP Physics and Alevel Physics are different. However, Alevel Physics includes dynamics,electricity,magnetism, quantum physics ,and majority of chapters that the AP Physics divides into(like Physics:C, Physics:1,etc) In no way I feel AP physics is harder. I would say if you take all AP Physics modules and compare to CIE Physics, CIE Physics surpasses the AP; it's just the calculus used in AP that creates confusion.)AP Chem is a joke. Is it even Chem? AP Calc AB and Calc BC seem to be harder than A-level maths. But A-level maths is not just calculus......
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deanpappademos
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AP physics i personally found to be more difficult than it's A-level equivalent, but you also MUST take in to account when we take that exam. I took ap physics my 3rd year, when I had just turned 17. Most English people are taking GSCEs at that point and those tests are a joke. I then took AP physics 2, E
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Ioniccopperflame
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Actually a 17 year old usually would be doing A level physics not GCSE physics...
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Filthy Communist
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(Original post by deanpappademos)
AP physics i personally found to be more difficult than it's A-level equivalent, but you also MUST take in to account when we take that exam. I took ap physics my 3rd year, when I had just turned 17. Most English people are taking GSCEs at that point and those tests are a joke. I then took AP physics 2, E
Um... 16/17 is your first year of A levels and 17/18 is your second year. You do your GCSEs at 15/16. The new spec isn't exactly a joke, but the content is definitely less challenging than AP and A level, hence you do them earlier and generally take at least 9 of them.
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anagha.g
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(Original post by deanpappademos)
AP physics i personally found to be more difficult than it's A-level equivalent, but you also MUST take in to account when we take that exam. I took ap physics my 3rd year, when I had just turned 17. Most English people are taking GSCEs at that point and those tests are a joke. I then took AP physics 2, E
GCSE's are taken when your 15-16 and you do your AS levels at 16-17 and A levels at 17-18. GCSEs are meant to be a test that everyone can do, it's a requirement for all students in education and we take 10-13 GCSEs in total.I agree GCSE's are definitely much easier than APs but you have to bear in mind APs are not done by all students. Instead of APs, most students do A-levels (which are not really optional, they are a requirement for uni) and A levels are generally considered more in depth. The only thing remotely close to the idea of AP in the UK, where it is optional, is further maths and that is quite difficult in comparison to the AP Math.
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IQuitTSR
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this thread revived several times although OP would have already finished university by now.
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Sjsjshsh
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GCE-A level is the hardest of alevel.
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SheAimstraightAs
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in some countries, students who take IGCSEs in school are typically 17 years old due to the national secondary education exam being taken by students at 17 years old. the English int. schools who have students taking it at age 15/16 are not alot here, theyre the pretigious schools and the most expensive international schools. Fortunately it's increasing gradually, so I hope every English international school here would change the age range for each year to match with UK students. It's like that in Malaysia, because they put you in year 6 when you're 12, not 11, and stuff at an early age bec it matched with the national public schools system. so it kinda determines ur fate for the time u take ur IGCSEs unless if you decide to move to one of the top private, expensive schools halfway through school or you skipped a grade at an earlier age. homeschool centres with a self paced system and weak foundations in learning/teaching have students taking it at age 17, 18, 19, and rarely (but I know afew), age 20-21.. A Levels/pre-u are typically taken from age 18-19 or more.
Last edited by SheAimstraightAs; 6 months ago
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petermzc
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actually, that is not true. Most British universities require 3 a level or 3 aps. You definitely do not need to take 9 aps to be able to be eligible for admission for British universities.
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