A-Levels are a necessity for many university degree programs. Essentially, they are for anyone who wants to go to the UK for a degree program – such as Cambridge or Oxford. The main purpose that they serve is to bank sufficient UCAS points to be able to take all of the desired courses within a semester and choose the university that they want to attend.
The UCAS tariff system is used for point allocations. It compares post-16 qualifications that are used to enter higher education. The qualification can essentially allow a person to get into some of the more advanced programs without first having to take prerequisite courses.
The A-levels are typically taken in four parts with the fourth one dropped. These three levels are then going to tell a university a significant amount of information about a student. Students who do well and have scores of A and B will have a better chance of getting into some of the more competitive programs.
There is only so much room at the various colleges and universities. Looking at grades and community service of a student is one way to make a distinction. Another way is by looking at the A-levels to compare to other students. There are even some colleges and universities that put a basic requirement on a degree program in order to weed out certain students.
As a result, those who may score DDE on their A-levels may not be able to get into a degree program without working harder at the university level.
Once a person has gained acceptance into the university and degree program of their choice, A-Levels are usually forgotten. However, they can be used for a CV or curriculum vitae later on. A CV can be considered much like a resume, though the CV has more pertinent information inside of it and is longer. There are some employers that would rather see a CV because it includes grades – and this can tell an employer more about the applicant.
Otherwise, anyone can have a degree without having excelled in the courses.
Employers are going to use the A-levels to differentiate between two candidates that have the same score and degree from a university. If both have a 2:2 from the same university, then the A-levels are going to play an important role. Obviously, someone with a CV that has AAA on their A-levels is going to be a better candidate than someone with BBC.
Even those who have no intention of attending university should go to get their A-levels simply because it can help them with employment later on. It may also be needed should a person decide they want to enroll in a degree program at some point in a few years following high school graduation.
The A-levels need to be taken seriously and the best potential score needs to be achieved. While there are many groups who are trying to do away with the A-levels, they are still a very prominent part of the admission decision process at a university. Those who do not have a sufficient score on the testing may not be able to make it into the higher-education programs such as medical, dental and legal. This could cause a person to spend more time at the university level or be unable to follow their dreams in terms of getting an education for a particular career field.
The A-levels are needed to prove one’s ability to complete the coursework without problem. It is similar in nature to the SATs in the United States and therefore is a measure of learning and knowledge absorption.
Jessie Teh writes on topics of education spanning K-12 and high learning. She is currently studying British school systems in Malaysia.