A parents’ guide to A Levels*

A Levels are an important part of the education system in the UK and play a big role in determining a student's future academic and professional opportunities. For parents, it can be both a stressful and confusing time as they may be trying to navigate their child through this crucial stage in their education, whilst not having much knowledge of the process themselves to begin with. For students who are looking to go to university, A levels are usually the most direct way to get there, with the expectation of at least 3 subjects. Below is a parents’ guide to A levels, as advised by this independent school in Cambridge.

What are A levels?
A levels are a 2-year qualification, available to students from the age of 16 and above. They are typically studied in colleges and Sixth forms and are well known for helping students prepare and enter university. Although they are a UK qualification, there are many schools across the world that offer them too. Most universities recognise A levels as a suitable qualification for entry which is why they are popular amongst students wanting to advance with their learning.

What A levels are on offer?
Unlike GCSEs, there are no compulsory subjects to study, with the freedom of what a student would like to learn falling completely on their shoulders. Whilst this may be a dream to some, it can be difficult for others who are unsure on what they would like to progress onto. For those who have a particular career path in mind, it is best for them to choose the subjects that they will need for entry into university. However, for the students that are unsure, it is best to choose subjects they show strength in and are most suited to them. The subjects on offer vary between different schools with the basics such as Maths, English, Science, Business, Art and Media being common subjects offered in most colleges and sixth forms. If there is a particular subject your child has in mind, it would be best to contact different establishments to see if they have it on offer.

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