How many A-levels

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International001
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#1
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#1
Hi, I'm an international student applying through UCAS to several universities. This is also why I'm interested in the UK higher education system, particularly that of the A-levels and GCSEs. How many GCSEs does one normally take? Do they differ from the courses you can take for your last year of A-levels? How many A-levels does one usually take? Are A-levels taking place during the last year or last two years of somebody's higher education? (unless they have to redo a year lol)

Thanks!
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Isabellejenkins0
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(Original post by International001)
Hi, I'm an international student applying through UCAS to several universities. This is also why I'm interested in the UK higher education system, particularly that of the A-levels and GCSEs. How many GCSEs does one normally take? Do they differ from the courses you can take for your last year of A-levels? How many A-levels does one usually take? Are A-levels taking place during the last year or last two years of somebody's higher education? (unless they have to redo a year lol)

Thanks!
You usually take 7 subjects at gcse well that is what my class did anyway and you get 9 GCSE’s out of it because you get 2 for English and science. Some of the subjects at gcse differ from a level choices but you can mainly take the same in both there is just a wider choice at a level. You usually take 3 or 4 a levels for 2 years for some subjects you have an exam at the end of the first year and again at the end of the second year.
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Unelunetrange
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Hello!

Okay so let's start with GCSEs. On average people will take 10 GCSEs. Out of these 10 you will have to take: Mathematics, English Literature, English Language, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, a language of your choice (the choice selection depends on the school you attend), a humanity of your choice (usually between History, Geography, Religious Studies), option no.1 (again the optional subjects you take are your choice but are dependent on what school you go to), and option no.2.

In terms of A-Levels, people on average will take 3 but you can also apply to take 4 if you have high enough grades within your GCSEs. A-Level choice is dependent on both your choice and what GCSEs you have taken, some subjects may not be available to you if you do not have the relevant GCSE.

In the UK A-Level study takes place in both Year 12 and Year 13 (these years are what we call Sixth form, Year 12 being 'lower sixth' and Year 13 being 'upper sixth'). The actual A-Level exams take place at the very end of Year 13, meaning you would have been studying 2 years before you take the exam.

I hope this has helped you and wish you luck in what your goals ~
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International001
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Does that mean you only take 3-4 courses during the last two years of high school, but just more intensively?
Last edited by International001; 2 years ago
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klywi03
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(Original post by International001)
Does that mean you only take 3-4 courses during the last two years of high school, but just more intensively?
Yes true, however, if you're out of the world smart then you can take 5 A-levels
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Unelunetrange
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(Original post by International001)
Does that mean you only take 3-4 courses during the last two years of high school, but just more intensively?
Yes, that's exactly it, the workload becomes much greater and you begin to study the subject in more depth. A lot of people see this as a good way to transition from secondary education into higher education (University).
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International001
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In The Netherlands you usually take the same 8 subjects during your last 3 years on high school. For this reason, I am only able to submit predicted grades in UCAS, as the examination date of the courses lies in the future. The universities therefore won’t be able to access the grades I got in the past year. Do you think this will be a problem for the success of my application?
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by International001)
In The Netherlands you usually take the same 8 subjects during your last 3 years on high school. For this reason, I am only able to submit predicted grades in UCAS, as the examination date of the courses lies in the future. The universities therefore won’t be able to access the grades I got in the past year. Do you think this will be a problem for the success of my application?
No, they'll be used to receiving predicted grades - in the UK we normally send predicted grades with our application and then the offer made is conditional on us achieving certain grades
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International001
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Thanks
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International001
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
No, they'll be used to receiving predicted grades - in the UK we normally send predicted grades with our application and then the offer made is conditional on us achieving certain grades
But your application consists out of predicted and achieved grades (for the courses taken during GCSEs but not for A-levels). That’s how they can already tell something about your capabilities. For me that’s not the case. Or does it also consist solely out of predicted grades for some UK students?
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Sinnoh
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(Original post by International001)
But your application consists out of predicted and achieved grades (for the courses taken during GCSEs but not for A-levels). That’s how they can already tell something about your capabilities. For me that’s not the case. Or does it also consist solely out of predicted grades for some UK students?
Oh yeah I guess it does, but GCSEs aren't a very good indicator of future performance - not as good as A-levels anyway. They don't matter much when it comes to applying, normally if you have good enough predicted grades you'll get an offer
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