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A Level & IB

Advanced Level qualifications, better known as A Levels, help students enter universities or colleges or careers related to the subjects they choose to study. Originally introduced in the UK in 1951, they are also offered in a range of Commonwealth countries, and are normally studied over the course of a 2 year period. Most students will study either 3 or 4 A Levels between the ages of 16 and 19.

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With A level Results day almost upon us, here is a helpful guide to ensure you are appropriately prepared. This is an exceptional year, what with the cancellation of examinations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is therefore very important that students are aware of what options are available to them.

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Ed Richardson, our Director of Education and Harriet Blomefield, our lead consultant answer key questions relating to this year's GCSEs and A Levels. The recording took place on 17th April and was correct at time of recording.

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As an avid Podcast listener, the More or Less Podcast has long been a weekly essential. The Podcast looks to explain the numbers and statistics used in political debate, the news and everyday life. I was particularly captivated by a recent episode, in which the Podcast investigated the truth behind claims made by The Times that “48% of A level results are wrong”.

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Maybe you’ve just finished your GCSEs and have decided to enter the brave new world of Philosophy at A Level. It might feel both exciting and a little daunting to be beginning a brand-new subject in Year 12, rather than continuing one, such as Physics or English, that you’ve studied for some years.

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What is it and why have many schools adopted it? The Cambridge Pre-U was launched in 2008 and is an equivalent course to the A Level studied in the final two years of school. It aims to offer more depth than the A Level and prepare students more appropriately for university.

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Many parents are often stuck between choosing A-Levels or IB for their child. Here is a nifty table that clarifies the key differences.

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‘What did you get?’ is a simple enough question but it is often loaded with anxiety and uncomfortable to answer. I remember my own A Level Results day well: My closest friends and I decided we’d meet at school to collect our results and then open them together.

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The internet has been abuzz with a Maths problem that has everyone stumped. It was set by the Singapore and Asian School Math Olympiads. The question (and solution) are below.

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The International Baccalaureate is now on offer at 194 schools across the UK, educating over 5000 students. The UK has happily ambled through the last half of a century with dreams that the A-Levels are the best assessment for eighteen year olds. Whilst most of us would have agreed, clearly others have been left wondering if there is a better option.

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In the press

Knight Frank
Ed Richardson
Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal