American Student - Education Section Trouble Watch

sharpelc
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As some background information, I was originally a student in the USA and completed all of my education up until halfway through high school (up until Grade 10, which is the equivalent to the UK's Year 11) there. I then moved to England where I began my A-levels, and I'm now a Year 13 student applying to University in the UK.

In the education section of the UCAS application, UK students will normally put down their secondary school education qualifications prior to their A-levels, but I'm not entirely sure what to put down since I was in the USA at the time, and consequently I hadn't done any GCSEs. In the US they don't have two sets of qualifications like they do in the UK, they instead just have the High School Diploma, which is essentially the GCSEs and A-levels combined. This has put me in a tricky situation because I'm not entirely sure what to put down for my secondary education, since I had only spent two years there and therefore hadn't achieved a Diploma.

Should I just put down my GPA (overall grade average) and grades I received during the two years I spent in the American high school, or does that not count as a qualification? They are all I have to show, and it's part of what US Universities would look at, but those results weren't from standardised tests. And if these do count as qualifications, then should I put these qualifications under "USA - High School Graduation Diploma" or "Other (International Non-EU Qualifications)"? I'm hesitant to put them down as a Diploma because I hadn't actually achieved this, and had only worked towards gaining it, since I moved to the UK halfway through the process of achieving one.

Ultimately I just don't want to have my secondary school education (prior to A-levels) empty on my UCAS application, since that might make it seem like I didn't get an education before starting my A-levels in England.

Thanks in advance, any help really would be appreciated.
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Snufkin
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(Original post by sharpelc)
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In the education section of the UCAS application, UK students will normally put down their secondary school education qualifications prior to their A-levels, but I'm not entirely sure what to put down since I was in the USA at the time, and consequently I hadn't done any GCSEs. In the US

Should I just put down my GPA (overall grade average) and grades I received during the two years I spent in the American high school, or does that not count as a qualification? They are all I have to show, and it's part of what US Universities would look at, but those results weren't from standardised tests. And if these do count as qualifications, then should I put these qualifications under "USA - High School Graduation Diploma" or "Other (International Non-EU Qualifications)"? I'm hesitant to put them down as a Diploma because I hadn't actually achieved this, and had only worked towards gaining it, since I moved to the UK halfway through the process of achieving one.


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Whether you want to or not, you do need to leave your secondary school education (prior to A-levels) empty because you haven't achieved an American high school diploma. As you say, one's GPA is not a standardised test therefore it's irrelevant.

The good news is that GCSEs (other than English and Maths) count for very little, A levels are the important qualification, and you will have them. The less good news is that most universities require GCSEs (or their international equivalent) in English language and Maths. I suggest you email the admission officers at the unis you're applying to, explain your situation and ask if you'd be expected to do GCSEs in English and Maths. If they say yes, speak to your school, it may be possible to take them at the same time as your A level exams (you have the time, one could fairly easily cover the GCSE syllabus in 6 months if you give up some of your evenings).
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PQ
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Just to add to Snufkin's excellent advice above - talk to your school/college. Your school background would normally be explained in your reference in cases like yours - and that can include adding in your GPA from high school if you want it included in your application.
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