Choosing Your Courses
Course selection is an essential step to starting the journey in SCIE for both IGCSE and A-level students. Therefore, students need to carefully understand the details of each subject. A good understanding of that information can help them decide what courses to follow in the next few years. These decisions will affect the opportunities open to them in the future, so SCIE has a well-designed process involving course selections.
In our student handbook and optional booklets, you may find the following information that helps students to determine whether they should study those subjects or not:
Look at your level of interest in each subject: will it carry you through the 2-year length of the course?
Do you meet the entry requirements for the courses that you are considering?
Do you have the ability in the subject? Think how you have performed in the past. Do they feel you can manage the advanced work?
Are you choosing a mix of subjects that is so specialised that it leads in only one direction? If you are not yet certain of your career direction, it would be sensible to keep as many options open as possible.
If you know which subjects you wish to study at A level or University, check the subject requirements.
If you know your career direction, check out what you will need; but keep in mind that you may change your mind later, or find you have been over or under ambitious for your level of ability.
From IGCSE to A Level
A-levels are originally a UK qualification, now taught worldwide, aimed at students aged 17 and 18 in their last two years of schooling. A- levels provide a basis for selection of University entrants in UK as well as a qualification for students entering the job market.
The A level system is different from other pre-University qualifications, such as IB, in that it has no compulsory components; students are free to study whichever subjects they choose.
A-levels are split into two components: AS (comprising 50% of the A level and generally completed in the A1 year) and A2 (comprising the other 50% and generally completed in the A2 year).
Students may choose to continue with each subject for two years and gain a full A level or drop after A1 with an AS level. An AS level is a qualification in its own right and can be an important asset when applying to Universities.
Good students would be expected to leave the college with three or four A levels and one or two additional AS levels. Exceptional students may be able to gain 5 A levels and possibly another one or two additional AS levels.
For more information about A-levels, see the A level prospectus, ‘Studying A level at SCIE.’