A parent’s guide to A Levels

Published by Sarah Hughes on

Year 12 marks the beginning of the final stage of your child’s school experience. A levels are usually the route most students take to finish off this stage in their life, before they move onto university or the workforce. It is important to understand that A levels are not the same as GCSEs and require a lot more time and effort.

Buckle up as the next two years could be an emotional rollercoaster for both you and your child. This is because it will be their first-time experiencing adulthood and responsibility. With the heavy workloads and long study periods, they will need to learn to prioritise, become self-reliant and independent. This can come across as a lot at first, so it is important you stay prepared. Below is a parent’s guide to A levels, as advised by this independent college in Somerset.

A levels vs GCSEs

In some ways, A levels and GCSEs are quite similar. Both require lessons to be taught by teachers with the addition of independent study sessions outside school hours. They are both exam based with tests being taken at the end of the course. However, they differ in quite a few ways too. A levels go much farther into a subject than GCSEs ever do. This is the reason why the majority of students only choose 3 subjects. These are studied over a period of 2 years, with examination taking part at the very end. Students are expected to put a hefty number of study hours in outside lessons too. This is the only way they will be able to keep up with the content taught.

What is on offer?

A level subjects vary based on the college or sixth form attended. If your child has a certain subject in mind, it’s a good idea to look around at different establishments that can offer it to your child. Given that there are no compulsory subjects to study, students have a much better approach to learning given that they have full control over what they study. At this stage in life, teachers choose to treat students like young adults to prepare them for their future in study or work.

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