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What's the difference between a BTEC National and A-Levels watch

    • Thread Starter

    I've got a little problem. It's the summer holidays and I'm going to be starting college.
    The thing is, I've got two choices to choose from. I've got BTEC National Diploma in ICT or I can do A Levels.
    Everyone expects me to do A Levels cos I'm expecting 10 GCSE's.
    I can't do exams, but everyone says it's gonna be worthwhile in the long run.
    In BTEC, there's no exams and all course assignments. I prefer BTEC but I don't know what to do.

    I'm doing a BTEC National Diploma in public services and its the equivalent to 3 A levels, at the end of the 2 year course its graded by Pass, Merit or Distinction (C, B, or A) although I think it can differ e.g. someone might get a DDD (Distinction as overall grade) or an DMP or something I think the main difference is it is just easier and you cover alot more subjects which helps you to decide on a degree for example I do 18 subjects all together so it helps me decide the best subject

    another difference is A levels are more indepth whereas I do 18 subjects all together and we only spend so many weeks on each subject so you only learn the basics really but I'm not sure how a Diploma in ICT is structured so your probably better off speaking to someone at college about it, assignments are easier though but having said that I had to do an exam as part of an assignment so it doesn't necceasrily mean you won't get any exams, you will probably have to do alot of presentations though

    My sister did one in multimedia and my brother is doing one in enginering. The reason you do 18 units is I think because you'd do 18 units in 3 A Levels. My sister's was entirely coursework based, no exams in the two years- I was so jealous! You can use them to get into university, my sister got 4 out of 6 offers I think, and you seem to learn quite a variety of different skills. If you prefer to do a BTEC, then go for that- there's no point doing something you don't want to do.

    A-levels are the gold standard. People will always hold them in higher regard than vocational 'equivalents'.
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by hornblower)
    A-levels are the gold standard. People will always hold them in higher regard than vocational 'equivalents'.
    That might be true, but let's say you had an A Level Exam in IT. You would have to revise everything that you did in A Level IT and put what you learnt in the exam (if you actually revised!) But if I did an assignment for BTEC National in IT and failed it, it would hardly mean a lot, because you could work harder on the next assignment and try and get a good grade on that. If you did, you would not only bring that assignment higher, but also the assignment that you failed on. But if you did an A Level and failed, you'd be done over because in A Levels you don't get a second chance. So if you screw up in A Levels YOU'RE SCREWED!

    P.S Thanks all you guys and gals for making up my mind. I'm gonna do a BTEC course in IT and not A Levels.
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