A Parents’ Guide to A Levels

September 2, 2022

As your child approaches their final years at school, they will need to think about what they want to do when they grow up and the route that they will take. They will have the option to complete an apprenticeship, A levels and/or BTECs. For those interested in working with children, Childcare Courses & Apprenticeships are a good place to start.

Most students go on to study A Levels which are exam based in comparison. They offer a gateway to university and are usually two years long. If you would like to learn more about what A levels are, we have a brief guide for parents below.

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What Are A Levels?

A levels are a form of qualification that children can study at college/sixth form. They are a jump up from their GCSEs and are level 3 qualifications. Usually, it is advised for students to pick up 4 A levels as 3 are usually needed to get into university and an additional award offers a contingency if anything were to happen.

What Will My Child Need to Achieve at A Level to Get Into University?

This is completely dependent on their university of choice as universities and the courses that are offered by each differ in their criteria. Some courses are even selective with the A Level qualifications that they will accept. For example, for pharmacy and medicine courses 2 science A levels and a Maths A level are often compulsory.

How Do A Levels Differ to GCSEs?

A levels require more application from students and independent study. As there is a lot of content to cover to help prep students for university and the world of work, they must spend at least between 14 and 16 hours per week studying outside of lesson time. They will also have fewer scheduled study sessions in comparison to when they did their GCSEs. For a full time student this is 21 hours per week which gives them ample time to carry out further study.

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