I'm an IB student and I'm really curious about how A-levels work. Legit all I know is that you take up to 4 subjects (or something) at the equivalent level of HL subjects in IB. How are your assessments and exams structured and just, how does it work in general?
(Also to see if I regret choosing an international school over a British one lol)
IB student here- How do A-levels work? Watch
- Thread Starter
- 18-07-2017 02:17
- Community Assistant
- 18-07-2017 02:56
Well I'm a former IB student, rather than an A-leveller, but from looking into it for various reasons:
As of the new specs this year, there is a lot less difference than before. Students typically take 3 subjects, and after two years will have written exams in those subjects. Science subjects also have a practical endorsement, which is separate from the A-level itself and not required to take the A-level (or even necessarily to pursue those subjects at university, although most do want students to take and pass them). From what I understand, these require a specific number of experiments to be carried out and written up in controlled conditions. These write ups are externally assessed as I can determine.
Some subjects (normally humanities/social sciences) have externally assessed coursework - usually a 3-4k word essay, or a couple of 2k~ ones sometimes. Languages will presumably have oral and listening exams although I've no interest in that area personally so I'm not too sure. The exams in the new spec are, by and large, cross sectional - i.e. most, if not all of the syllabus is present on each one. They generally more closely align to the IB style "general exams+ option paper(s)". However there are multiple exam boards for each subject and each has slightly different formats and requirements for exams, options available etc, etc. As a result it's hard to make sweeping generalisations about assessment formats