Why choose A-Levels or T-Levels?

If you’re thinking of heading to college or sixth form after completing your GCSEs, you’ll most likely be considering a more academic Level 3 study option like A-Levels or T-Levels (although there are vocational options available too).

So, what do you need to know about choosing this route? As well as understanding what the differences are between the qualifications (from entry requirements to assessment methods), you’ll need to start thinking about what subjects to choose, where to study them and what else is on offer that could impact on your college experience (like extra curricular activities, work experience and preparing for what happens at 18+).

To help you weigh up your options, it’s important to have all the facts, do your research and have conversations early. There’s a lot to consider as this is likely to be the first time you’ve had a choice over what and where to study.

Choosing to study A-Levels

A-Levels are a Level 3 qualification (one up from GCSEs which are a Level 2) that take 2 years to complete and usually involve sitting an exam at the end. They’re the ideal choice if you know what subjects you enjoy, need A-Levels to get into University and prefer a structured, exam-based way of learning and being assessed.

We asked recent A-Level students about their experience of studying A-Levels and why they chose this particular FE option. Here’s what they had to say.

Choosing to study T-Levels

T-Levels are a Level 3 qualification too. You choose to study one T-Level (like Engineering or Accountancy) over 2 years and it’s equivalent to studying 3 A-Level subjects. They’re linked to business areas so are popular with employers and, as well as studying in a classroom and taking an exam at the end, you’ll also need to complete 45 days of a work placement and some coursework or practical assessments depending on the course you choose.

T-Levels are a great way to gain an insight into a particular sector, getting a recognised qualification and some practical experience at the same time. They can lead on to University or a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship. You can find out more about the subjects on offer here.

Useful resources for Teachers and Schools

As part of 16+ Careers Week, we’ve produced some useful resources for teachers, careers advisors, schools and colleges, to help provide young people with a greater understanding of the key things to consider when studying A-Levels or T-Levels at sixth form or college.

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