About GCE A-levels
When the General Certificate of Education Advanced levels, or GCE A-levels, were first introduced in 1951, they were hailed as the “golden standard” in British education. And indeed today they still enjoy wide recognition and respect as benchmarks in a student’s secondary education. More than 850, 000 students around the world (according the most recent available statistics from 2015) sit the GCE A-levels every year, all vying for grades to secure a place at a university.
The GCE A-levels are the standard entry requirements for a student who is applying for a place at a UK university and generally most students sit for at least 3 A-levels, while the high-flyers typically do 4 A-levels to secure places at the most competitive universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge, as well as some of the more competitive degrees, such as Medicine and Architecture.
GCE A-levels are also highly regarded at US universities. In fact, there has been a distinctive trend over the last 5 years or so with US universities giving increasing credibility and recognition to GCE A-levels – normally in the form of college credits, saving both time and money for the prospective student. This may be explained, in part, by the significant increase in the number of UK students applying to US universities, especially to the Ivy League universities and very high ranked Liberal Arts Colleges, as an alternative to the UK universities. There are many cogent arguments for this rather major change: the US universities proffer a better value-for-money proposition and, more importantly, a better and more-rounded education, leading to ameliorated employment opportunities.
We at the Tree Foundation Tutorial College encourage all students to take at least one A-level in conjunction with the ACT or SAT Reasoning Test, and at least 2 SAT Subject Tests. In doing so, the student has a very strong application for the very best US universities and simultaneously very strong chances of attaining a place at a Russell League university in the UK, assuming, of course, the respective student’s performance at high school – the last three years of schooling – has been good as well. There are many former students from the Tree Foundation Tutorial College who can corroborate the above. In short, we strongly urge all students to seriously consider sitting A-levels, the ideal time being from 9th or 10th grade.
For a preliminary overview of the GCE A-level process please contact us.
GCE A-levels offered
At the Tree Foundation Tutorial College we offer GCE A-levels in the following subjects:
There are many different examination boards. We prefer using Edexcel, and more specifically the International A-Level (IAL), which one can sit in January, May/June and October/November (3 sessions per year). We are not responsible for booking the A-level examinations though we will happily guide you through the process. We would recommend that you use the nearest British Council, where you can both book and sit the GCE A-level examinations. For further more specific information such as which combinations of A-levels you should prepare for please kindly contact us.
When and where can sit the modules for the IAL?
The examinations for the IAL are held 3 times a year: in January, May/June and October. If your school is not an official test center then you can definitely make the necessary bookings at your nearest British Council.
How often can I sit the IALs?
Theoretically you can take them as often as you wish though most students prepare themselves properly so that they succeed on their first attempt. Most students sit two AS level papers, and perhaps one more paper, in one sitting and then six months later they sit the remaining 3 modules. There are many though who do not succeed on their first attempt, or they do not attain the grade that they desired or deserved and therefore elect to re-sit the specific examination. A prospective test taker ought to be careful, however, not to sit the same examination on too many occasions as the universities may take this into account when assessing the candidate’s application.
How long will it take me to complete a whole IAL?
With the correct preparation and timing a whole IAL can be comfortably managed in one year. Generally, the maximum amount of time a student will take is two years.
How many hours per week of tutoring would be ideal?
Generally, we recommend that a serious student does 2 hours per week. The tutorials can be organized so that the tutee has a whole week to prepare the relevant homework for the next relevant tutorial. This system maximizes the progress and performance.
How many hours will I have to study every week?
As a general guideline, we reckon that for every one-hour tutorial you, the tutee, will need to do approximately 5 hours of homework.
How many hours of tutorials will I need to cover a whole IAL?
This is a difficult question to answer accurately. The strong student can manage a whole IAL with 30 hours of tutoring. The maximum that someone should need is 60 hours.