A-Levels, otherwise known as Advanced Level qualifications, is a subject-based qualification organized by the UK for students from the ages of 16 and above. Normally, they are studied for a period of 2 years, after which they get qualified to attend any institution in the UK or whatever country they feel like attending.
Although the A-Levels are UK qualifications, other varieties across the world also offer A-Levels, and they mainly require a minimum of 3 subjects. It is worthy to note that almost all universities and higher institutions see the A-Level as an acceptable entry qualification.
Since WAEC is globally accepted across countries, people now think that the A-Levels examination can be equivalent to WAEC, but it is important to note that although they might have similar obligations, they are two entirely different examination bodies on their own. This simply means that A level is in no way equivalent to WAEC.
WAEC and other O’level examinations are written after secondary school, and while some students might not want to further their education, it is important that you have this certificate in order to be able to further and get into a university through JAMB UTME, or for candidates who want to go for programs like Nursing, pre-degree, college of health technology, and so on.
A’level although was established by the UK, Nigeria has been able to adopt this method to improve and increase its educational value. Candidates who undertake the A’level examination is expected to have finished some advanced courses which include OND, HND, and other JAMB Direct Entry form in other to acquire the 200 level admissions.
How do A-levels work?
Students are allowed to pick which A-level courses they would want to study while writing their WAEC examinations, and gaining admissions are solely dependent on your WAEC scores. Oftentimes, you will need at least 6 WAEC at grades A-C, in order to be able to forge ahead to take the A-level subjects.
Sometimes, depending on the university a student might want to attend, he/she might need up to 5 B’s or above in specific subjects related to what you want to take at A level. But note that it differs, depending on the university or college you want to attend as earlier stated.
WAEC examinations are undergone to indicate the end of an academic journey, and also the beginning of another journey for a lot of people. When leaving primary education, there are exams that individuals are needed to write before they are allowed to upgrade to secondary school.
This is exactly what happens in secondary school. WAEC, otherwise referred to as O’level exams are slated to be written at the end of the secondary school education, showing a landmark of academic success immediately after the senior secondary level.
A student is expected to sit for the WAEC examination after he/she might have gotten to the final class of the second level of secondary school education. That is from Senior Secondary School 1 – Senior Secondary School 3.
The Advanced level examinations on the other hand show the end of junior college. Students that end up not attending junior college is most likely going to write another important examination dinner later, but not the A-Level examination.
After you must get your O’level / WAEC certificate, you as a student is expected to take some advanced secondary school courses, and the results would be used to measure your academic success in the subject or courses in which you must have written.
After secondary school, a lot of study centers and schools provide an opportunity for students to pick up these forms in preparation for the university.
In Nigeria, candidates who seat for the A level examination in order to seek admission into the preferred university of their choice gains admission directly into 200 level to student any course of their choice. And this is unlike other students with just WAEC results because they can only gain admissions to 100 levels.
Unlike WAEC and other O-level examinations, the grades and performance for the A-level examinations are not in any way associated with points. Rather, there a total score out of 100 would be added up for students that make use of a distribution curve of the various marks of the public.
The final score would be used to apply for universities everywhere in the world. Therefore, it is important that a student performs exceedingly well in their A-level examinations because it has a big influence when making career-related decisions when furthering your education.
Some well known A-Level programs include
- University of Cambridge A’level
- Joint Universities Preliminary Examination Board (JUPEB)
- General Certificate of Education (GCE A’level)
- Interim Joint Matriculation Board (IJMB)
- National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) A’level
What subjects do A-Level students take?
One good thing about the A’levels examination is that there is no compulsory subject that must be undertaken. Instead, candidates are allowed to pick the topics that will be beneficial for their future studies, careers, or whatever might interest them.
Candidates normally study 3 subjects, which include English Language, Literature, Maths, French, Physics, Biology, History, Economics, Chemistry, and other subjects. It is very important that a candidate checks which subject combination the University in which they are considering offers, prior to when they take the exams because this offer varies from school to school.
How are A-Levels Evaluated?
The examinations that are written at the end of the 2-year course of study, are the primary form of assessment. Following the reformations mentioned above, the project workload is now less. However, some coursework might contribute to the final grading.
This depends solely on the subject. The grading hierarchy runs from A – E. Students who do not meet these required minimum standards are given the grade U. In order for a candidate to get an E, then they need to score up to 40%, 50% for a D, 60% for a C, 70% for a B, while students who have the average of 80% in all subjects are awarded an A.
In a situation whereby a student fails a particular subject, then they are expected to sit for the entire exams again. This is because a candidate or student cannot re-sit for just one subject. However, it is relieving to know that candidates are allowed to retake their A-level examinations as many times as needed.
Which exam boards do A levels use?
Various different examination board evaluate and assesses A-level examinations. But oftentimes, international schools make use of the CIA that is Cambridge International Assessment, or Edexcel.
Why choose A levels?
A levels examinations are a perfect choice for candidates who has a good idea of which subjects they are very good in. Or better still, it is a perfect choice for candidates who are one-sided in areas of their strength. For instance, a student who is good in Mathematics, but weak in the English language should focus on mathematics, and drop the English language.
Basically, A level helps you focus very well on specific subjects you are good at. But in the case of WAEC, this is not possible because mathematics and the English language are important subjects that must be written by the entire school in order to have a good result.
The significance of the final examination simply means that A levels are more favorable for students that are really good in written examinations, students who have the ability to revise very well, and also perform perfectly in a timed examination are the ones that are more suitable for the A levels.
Also, students collect separate certificates in every subject they pass, instead of collecting one certificate for all.
What you can do after A levels
A lot of people ask daily what can I do with my A levels certificate? Since it is not equivalent to WAEC, what can I do with it after passing the exams?
We all know that you can get certain jobs as a WAEC certificate holder and you can also decide to further with your education. Well, this is also possible as an A-level certificate holder. You can decide to continue with your education, and further into University.
The A levels are the most general qualifications that are studied in order to get into the university, it helps to keep your options open in a situation whereby you are unsure of what to do in the future. The certificates are also valued by most employers because they prove to be a perfect level of education.
You can also proceed to go make use of the certificate for vocational or work-based qualifications, this is referred to as a higher apprenticeship.
The newly formulated A level will be linear and not modular. This means that the exams will be taken at the end of your 2-year course, rather than being evaluated and assessed after every module.
There might lose likely be a little coursework to be done within the time frame, but the main assessment will be via the exams conducted at the end of the program. If you are always nervous because of work, then you shouldn’t bother much because there are now revision guides for A-level examinations.
Are A-levels the perfect choice?
If you are an individual that loves learning, has always wanted to study in another country, and loves a wide range of subject options, then this could be the perfect choice for you.
Candidates that want to go to the university then it is definitely worth considering. The A-level certificates are valued by higher institutions, and also companies. In some universities, A levels are a compulsory requirement for certain courses, and vocational qualifications may not be accepted.
If you do not have an idea of what to study in the university then this is a perfect choice. Because it leaves you with lots of options.
Students are expected to be aware that they will be asked to fulfill and meet the requirements of not just the university’s general entrance, but also the requirements of the faculty in which to choose to enter, and these requirements differ considerably.
The details of the entrance requirement can be gotten from the universities or other professional bodies that are involved.
Students who decide to study in a Nigerian university will be asked to sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). This is an examination conducted by the state-owned Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for students who must have excelled in their WAEC examination and have decided to take their education to the next level.
Whereas when you have an A-level certificate, you will not be asked to sit for the above examination because your certificate can help push you in via direct entry to study your choice of course.
In the United Kingdom, the universities there might require that candidates go for a compulsory one-year foundation course in addition to their A-level certificate, and also provide proof of English mastery. These are necessary requirements in order to continue your education.
In conclusion, both WAEC and A-level certificates are important and required in cases where a student might want to forge ahead into the higher institution. And although the A levels are more preferred, you will still need to sit for a WAEC examination in order to have proof that you attended a secondary school in West Africa.
This WAEC certificate can be used to apply for admission in specific countries across the world.
A specific amount of Commonwealth countries have improved qualifications with almost the same name and similar structure to that of the British A levels.
Getting an A level, or a qualification that is equivalent to it is widely required in various universities in order to gain admission because these universities grant offers based on a student’s grades.
In a country like Singapore, its A-level exams is been regarded as more difficult and challenging even more than the A levels in the UK, while some universities that offer low access qualifications with respect to grades that is been achieved by a Singaporean A level result/ certificate.