Over the course of the next 3 years, the UK will be in the process of changing its A-level examination process. The changes will make A-levels more challenging and demanding for students. This may make the IB (International Baccalaureate), traditionally perceived as the tougher qualification, an increasingly attractive alternative.
While A-levels remain an excellent and world renowned qualification, especially for students who want to specialise early or want to drop certain subjects, the IB does have many advantages.
Since September 2015 students taking particular A level subjects will sit their final examinations at the end of their 2 year course. The final grade awarded being determined solely by these end of course, terminal examinations. This change will gradually be introduced for all subjects. The AS level examinations that were sat at the end of the first year of the two-year A-level programme do no longer contribute to the final A level grade. To this end, A-levels have become linear rather than modular. However, it will still be possible to take just an AS level qualification in its own right at the end of year 1.
The final grade is an accumulation of points and is not based entirely on the final examinations. This can take pressure off students.
Examinations can be re-sat within the same academic year, thereby increasing a student’s chances of success.
The IB is internationally recognised and comparable across schools and countries.
With the correct subject combination, the IB is recognised as an equivalent to the Hochschulreife, but this only applies in Germany.
The IB is an excellent forerunner and preparation for academic study and life at university.
The IB allows for a broad subject choice and conveys more breadth and general knowledge.
In the following video Mr Shields from Plymouth College explains the key aspects of the A-level reform. If you have further questions regarding A-levels or the IB we are very happy to help you.
Video of The advantages of the International Baccalaureate Diploma