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    Hello, so, I'm a 16-year old from Estonia. However, I'm leaving to UK this year, which means my high school will remain unfinished.

    I did some research on the British education system, and it seems cool and all that, and I discovered you have things such as GCSEs and A-levels.

    Now, can I just take the exams, ace them, and be qualified to apply to universities? Or do I have to be enrolled in a school somewhere or have other proof that I've completed some sort of secondary school (a diploma)?

    What options do I have?

    Thanks.
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    (Original post by therobertdaniel)
    Hello, so, I'm a 16-year old from Estonia. However, I'm leaving to UK this year, which means my high school will remain unfinished.

    I did some research on the British education system, and it seems cool and all that, and I discovered you have things such as GCSEs and A-levels.

    Now, can I just take the exams, ace them, and be qualified to apply to universities? Or do I have to be enrolled in a school somewhere or have other proof that I've completed some sort of secondary school (a diploma)?

    What options do I have?

    Thanks.
    Most people start their A levels at 16, so they select (usually) four subjects that they then study for two years. Usually you would have to have some form of GCSEs or other secondary school qualification to get into a sixth form or college, but the exact requirements vary between them so you would be better emailing a couple in the area you will be moving to Good luck, hope that's sort of the answer you were looking for!


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    (Original post by therobertdaniel)
    Hello, so, I'm a 16-year old from Estonia. However, I'm leaving to UK this year, which means my high school will remain unfinished.

    I did some research on the British education system, and it seems cool and all that, and I discovered you have things such as GCSEs and A-levels.

    Now, can I just take the exams, ace them, and be qualified to apply to universities? Or do I have to be enrolled in a school somewhere or have other proof that I've completed some sort of secondary school (a diploma)?

    What options do I have?

    Thanks.
    You can take them privately if you can find somewhere that will let you sit the exams or enroll online with a distance learning provider, but you have to pay the costs of entering the exams & getting coursework marked. And then if you want to do Science subjects it can be difficult doing distance learning as you need to do practical experiments.
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    You can take them privately (without going to school), but the reality is that you can't ace them without either going to school or self teaching (the latter is the much harder option!).

    You can't just walk into the exam and expect to know what you're doing.

    I would strongly recommend going to school / sixth form college. A Levels are taken by 16-18 year olds, so you'll be with people of your own age.

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    Can you tell us about the Estonia educational system and if you have sat any exams? As has been said you can enter for GCSEs if you can find an examination centre to take you and you pay the fees yourself. You could also enter the uk system with other pupils doing GCSE and sit the exams a year or two later than other pupils and that is possibly your best option. You could possibly go straight into A levels but sixth form colleges are likely to want to see some evidence that you could cope with studying at that level. Studying science A levels that require practicals isn't really possible for self-teaching, but you could study Maths independently.
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    @Origami Bullets, my apologies for I should have been more specific. Of course I would not just walk into the exam. I would most certainly study well ahead, however, I know that most colleges go through the material very slowly and I don't want to wait forever and would like to go to university as soon as possible. And I am an excellent autodidact, and find it much easier to learn on my own as opposed to someone teaching, therefore it's not a problem. So I'll choose the option to do it privately and study on my own. But thank you for informing me about the option of doing it privately.

    @parentlurker, the education system in Estonia is fairly simple. It consists of three parts: Elementary School (grades 1-6), Middle School(6-9) and High School(10-12). I am in high school. And we don't have any exams like SAT/ACT or A-levels. But as I have not completed high school and am leaving my country before my graduation, then I will most likely have to take the GCSEs first before I'm allowed to take A-levels and most universities seem to require GCSEs as well apart from A-levels anyway. Fortunately I am not interested in science very much so I'm going to avoid that when it comes to A-levels, hence I won't have to do practicals so I can study independently. I will take the required Maths, English and then also Philosophy, Business Studies and Critical Thinking as it seems quite interesting. I will research about the examination centres and learn a little bit about the colleges too just in case. And thank you for answering.
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    (Original post by therobertdaniel)
    @Origami Bullets, my apologies for I should have been more specific. Of course I would not just walk into the exam. I would most certainly study well ahead, however, I know that most colleges go through the material very slowly and I don't want to wait forever and would like to go to university as soon as possible. And I am an excellent autodidact, and find it much easier to learn on my own as opposed to someone teaching, therefore it's not a problem. So I'll choose the option to do it privately and study on my own. But thank you for informing me about the option of doing it privately.

    @parentlurker, the education system in Estonia is fairly simple. It consists of three parts: Elementary School (grades 1-6), Middle School(6-9) and High School(10-12). I am in high school. And we don't have any exams like SAT/ACT or A-levels. But as I have not completed high school and am leaving my country before my graduation, then I will most likely have to take the GCSEs first before I'm allowed to take A-levels and most universities seem to require GCSEs as well apart from A-levels anyway. Fortunately I am not interested in science very much so I'm going to avoid that when it comes to A-levels, hence I won't have to do practicals so I can study independently. I will take the required Maths, English and then also Philosophy, Business Studies and Critical Thinking as it seems quite interesting. I will research about the examination centres and learn a little bit about the colleges too just in case. And thank you for answering.
    Colleges don't go through the material particularly slowly - you will find that there is a substantial workload that will keep you on your toes.

    Many universities will waive the requirements for GCSEs if you were studying in another country at the time. However, it would be beneficial to take English and Maths GCSEs, which are considered the two most important subjects - and English has the added bonus feature of proving your ability in the language (otherwise you'll probably have to take an IELTS test).
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    Well, it is said they take through the material in a year or two, whereas I'd prefer to take it through within 3-6 months. However, I am not aware of the options all colleges offer, perhaps some do go through it more quickly.

    However, I feel I have to take at least 5-6 GCSEs (instead of just English and Maths) like many others as I don't have any other certificates from my own country that would prove I qualify to take A-levels and still universities seem to require both GCSEs and A-levels?
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    Entry to Level 3 courses are free to EU residents who are under 19 years old. A friend of mine left school in Estonia at 17 ,moved to London, and continued her studying in a college. She is now applying for uni as well I am from Estonia by the way!
    good luck
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    (Original post by therobertdaniel)
    Well, it is said they take through the material in a year or two, whereas I'd prefer to take it through within 3-6 months. However, I am not aware of the options all colleges offer, perhaps some do go through it more quickly.

    However, I feel I have to take at least 5-6 GCSEs (instead of just English and Maths) like many others as I don't have any other certificates from my own country that would prove I qualify to take A-levels and still universities seem to require both GCSEs and A-levels?
    I m very concerned that you dont realise how difficult and how much work a levels are. the reason they are taken over 2 years is precisely because of that. I can see that anyone can do a full course in 3 months. I dont know what standard your education was in Estonia but I really think you need to look into a levels fully as your expectation is nothing like the reality you are about to encounter
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    @xenialesk, Wow, I am very happy to see another Estonian here! Do you live in Tallinn? And did your friend get accepted straight into college to study A-levels without having to do GCSEs?

    @swanseajack1, Well, I have not seen full exam examples yet, however, I've seen some sample questions which weren't difficult. But what I know is that it is supposed to take around 300 hours of studying/per course, which is not a lot. If I take 4 A-levels, then I could take it through within 8 months studying only 5 hours a day and have plenty of time to revise and learn extra, and if it should take more than 300 hours, then I would just do more hours every day.

    And the A-levels should be similar to SATs (from what I've heard), only perhaps more difficult. And the SAT test is most certainly not hard. If A-levels are anything like SATs then they're not difficult. I don't believe it's nearly as scary as you say.

    And besides, I love challenges, especially when they are deemed extremely difficult.
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    (Original post by therobertdaniel)
    @xenialesk, Wow, I am very happy to see another Estonian here! Do you live in Tallinn? And did your friend get accepted straight into college to study A-levels without having to do GCSEs?
    As far as I know they were okay with her estonian grades but she had to study one extra year. She studies in Hammersmith and west london college.
    I am from Tallinn but I've been living in London for 2 months now
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    (Original post by xenialesk)
    As far as I know they were okay with her estonian grades but she had to study one extra year. She studies in Hammersmith and west london college.
    I am from Tallinn but I've been living in London for 2 months now
    That's really cool. How is it there? Is it better than Estonia? Because I'm personally really excited to get away from here.
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    (Original post by therobertdaniel)
    That's really cool. How is it there? Is it better than Estonia? Because I'm personally really excited to get away from here.
    It's great, takes some time to get used to everything since London is so much bigger than our whole country I'm not even planning on visiting home any time soon but I feel that it will feel like taking a nap in a kindergarten haha, because life here is sooo differend compared to Estonia, so fast and busy, it even feels like the time goes faster. And you'll probably get scared by the number of people in the Tube. It's like laulupidu celebration everyday haha
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    best to use the quote facility if you want someone to realise you've replied.

    SATS are not like A levels. The time pressures are different and especially for non-science subjects there is less multiple choice and more essay style questions.

    Universities dont always require GCSEs but without them they would want to see something to show what you have achieved, I assume you'd normally have sat some sort of final exam. Taking GCSEs would increase your chances and give you experence of what is required in English exams before you sit A levels.

    If you got A*s in GCSE exams you might find a college prepared to let you sit A levels in a year but it would be better if you attended a college. There is quite a lot of exam technique to learn and although you can learn that by yourself it's easier to pick it up from someone with a lot of experience. You'd also be mixing with other students - learnng how to adapt to British society.and what you need to do to find work or to get a place at university. It would also be easier to get the necessary reference. If you dont find the course demanding you'd have opportunities to do sports or things like the Duke of Edinburgh award or to get a part time job.

    forgot to say - universities dont rate critical thinking very highly and the best universities prefer what they call hard academic subjects or facilitating subjects - look at this guide http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/informed-choices/
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    I've moved from Lithuania to UK when I was 17yo. I was told in my nearest college (Chichester college) that I MUST study A-levels. (It helps u get qualification and nearest step for university) but since I didn't want to go to university they didn't even tell me about BTEC. Btec is a course at college same as a levels, but a bit easier. In btec you get to choose 1 or 2 subjects instead of 3 as in a levels. And if you choose 1 subject you have to turn up for lessons twice a week. A-levels - everyday.
    All British people think btec is "bad" and only "losers" go there. No it is not true. A-levels are based on memory. If You are like me - having bad memory, it is impossible to go through a levels. And btec is skilled based.
    In the end I have wasted my one year for nothing, college made me so unmotivated with all this nonsence as - stage 1 - independent study and you have to stay in college for extra 3hours. stage 2 - you get a person who gives you work and also you have to stay in college for extra 3h almost everyday. And stage 3 meeting principal. In the end i stopped going to college because I realised A levels are all about their statistics - attendance and marks from exams.
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    Do I get the certificate of my own college? I have done A level from different country Ani I want to give A level exam of one additional subject.
 
 
 

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