• Services
    • Services and prices
    • Immigration and citizenship
    • Scholarships
    • Tutoring and preparation for schools, universities abroad
  • Information
  • Partnership
    • Group travel
    • For teachers
    • Terms of partnership (for agents)
    • Instructions (for agents)
    • FAQ (for agents)
    • For schools
    • Educational fairs
    • Advertising
  • Contacts
2018-07-30 11:56:55

How do I enter the A-level, IB, High School?

How do I enter the A-level, IB, High School?

Education abroad is a great start for the future admission to a famous university or starting a career. Getting an education that meets all international standards becomes an excellent contribution to the future of your child.

To date, there are several recognized worldwide educational programs aimed at obtaining a complete secondary education abroad:

Each of the presented programs has its own peculiarities and methods of teaching, subtleties of income. Let's consider each of them in more detail.


A-level is a two-year program aimed at obtaining a certificate of full secondary education in England. The main goal of the course is to prepare students for admission to the university, as well as to receive education in it.

A-level was first introduced in 1951. To date, this educational program has become one of the most popular among students from all over the world. Its results are recognized all over the world and give the opportunity to enter the best universities around the world.

Traditionally, the A-level course includes up to 45 different disciplines, of which students choose 3-6 depending on their goals and ability to learn. The choice of studied subjects is an important step in obtaining an education, it must correspond to the future specialty. Usually the list of subjects offered for study includes the following subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Accounting
  • Higher Mathematics
  • English literature
  • Policy
  • Art and Design
  • Economy
  • Ecological management
  • Psychology and others.

A-level usually has 2 levels, the development of each of which is allocated to the academic year - AS-level and A-level. Students have the right to determine the number of subjects they study, but most often they are 4 academic disciplines in the first year of preparation and 3 in the second. For foreign students, English is another subject of study.

The academic year consists of 3 trimesters: autumn, spring and summer. At the end of each academic trimester, students take exams. After completing the education and obtaining a certificate of education, students can submit documents to the institutes. The higher the score for the A-level, the more likely it is to enter a prestigious university.

The requirements for foreign applicants may differ depending on the school:

  • Age - from 16-17 years 
  • A report card with grades for the last 2-3 years (for the successful receipt of an assessment of the main disciplines should be no less than 4)
  • The results of the IELTS test are not lower than 5.0 - 5.5 (may vary in different educational institutions), TOEFL 500

Some educational institutions may require additional letters of recommendation from teachers or other documents.

A feature of this program is the possibility of passing it in some schools at an accelerated pace for a year or a half. Many UK institutions also offer A-level educational courses designed to make it easier for a teenager to adapt to life in another country, improve his English language skills (expand vocabulary, study specialized vocabulary) and academic subjects, develop educational skills.

For admission to the A-level in Switzerland or Britain it is necessary to get acquainted with the list of necessary documents in the chosen educational institution and the rules of their submission in advance.

IB Diploma

The International Baccalaureate (International Baccalaureate) education program is a program aimed at obtaining a complete secondary education abroad. This course is taught in one of three languages ​​- English, Spanish or French. Education under the IB Diploma program can be completed in more than 120 countries. The IB Diploma course of study is becoming increasingly popular, since the certificate of its completion gives an opportunity to enter various famous universities in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Belgium, France, Sweden, Norway and some other countries.

Educational institutions offering education under the IB Diploma program are usually among the best, which reflects the level of mastering the disciplines. International Baccalaureate is known for its objectivity through the passing of a single exam by the student.

The IB Diploma program was developed in 1968 in Switzerland. IB is aimed at developing the student's personal potential, inculcating a desire for academic success, mastering the ability to think critically and skills of independent work. A special feature of the program was the use of various methods of analysis, the writing of a huge number of research papers, an emphasis on experimental activities.

Currently, the duration of the program is 2 years. During this time, students are required to master 6 compulsory disciplines, write an essay (scientific work). The study of basic subjects is conducted on 2 levels:

  • Higher level (240 hours). As a rule, it examines 3-4 disciplines that are necessary for admission to the institute
  • Standard level - 150 hours.

IB Diplom subjects are usually combined into 6 groups. A student must choose one subject to study in each class:

  • The first language, selective study of works of world literature
  • Foreign languages ​​and literature on them
  • Man and society (history, psychology, geography, economics, philosophy, business and management, information technology, etc.)
  • Natural sciences (biology, physics, chemistry, ecological systems, etc.)
  • Mathematics
  • Optional subjects of choice (design, music, theatrical art, some of the subjects of group 3 or 4, mathematics at the advanced level).

An obligatory part of the IB education is the passage of the Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Action and Service:

  • The theory of knowledge is a general course, which includes a number of disciplines and aimed at the practical application of theoretical knowledge obtained.

The duration of the course is a minimum of 100 hours. It helps develop students critical thinking, logic, the desire for self-education. Upon completion of the course, students write an essay, the volume of which is 4-5 pages of printed text. If the project is successfully presented, the student may be credited with up to 3 additional points.

  • CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) - an additional block of education. The goal of the course is to motivate students to engage in sports, creativity, and participate in socially significant projects. This allows you to go beyond the school curriculum, to learn how to interact with other people.

The duration of the course is at least 150 hours (50 hours for creativity, 50 for sports, 50 for public work). When a CAS passes, the student receives a diploma about completing the course.

Requirements for applicants (may vary depending on the educational institution and internal curriculum):

  • Age - from 16-17 years
  • A report card with grades for the last 2-3 years (for the successful receipt of an assessment of the main disciplines should be no less than 4)
  • Level of English - IELTS 5.5 / TOEFL 194 CBT / 71 IBT / SLEP 57
  • High level of academic achievement or certificate of passing 5 GCSE exams (including mathematics) with a score of C or equivalent.

After completing the program and passing the exams, the student receives a certificate of completion. The scores are awarded in points where 7 is the highest. The maximum possible result that a student can receive is 45 points. To obtain a diploma, the student must score at least 24 points.

Comparison of A-level and IB Diploma programs

The main difference in the A-level and IB Diploma programs is their different orientation.

  • A-level allows the student to focus on several basic subjects that are necessary for him to enter the university. Excellent for students who have decided on the choice of a specialty.
  • IB Diploma (International Baccalaureate) provides a broader horizon and provides an opportunity to determine the necessary subjects and future profession a little later.

High School

High School is an educational program that allows a student to spend an academic year or semester in another country. This course has become most widespread in the US. It allows a student to immerse himself in the culture of another country, significantly improve his English language skills, complete an academic program, adapt to living abroad and make friends.

The main goal of the education is acquaintance of the adolescent with the education system, its values, cultural features and the country's main ideals. High School can be an independent program aimed at developing the language skills of the student, as well as an excellent preparation for entering the A-level or IB Diploma programs.

The curriculum of the course is aimed at adapting foreign students to the philosophy and rules of international education, where the main value is critical thinking, independence and the disclosure of personal potential. During their studies, students improve their English, expand their vocabulary, improve their oral skills. Also, students learn to compose literate presentations, write interesting essays, analyze textbooks and build independent judgments.

Different schools offer different options for the duration of the program - from 3 months to a year. The most popular courses lasting 6 months or a year.

The basic requirements for the High School participant:

  • Age - 15-18 years
  • English:
  • For a course of 9-12 months: a minimum of IELTS 4.0 / TOEFEL 60 CBT / 19 IBT / SLEP 40 or an equivalent score for the free EF Academy test
  • For a course of 6 months: minimum IELTS 4.5 / TOEFEL 103 CBT / 34 IBT / SLEP 43
  • A report card with grades for the last 2-3 years (for a successful assessment, the main disciplines must be at least 4).

To the necessary personal qualities traditionally include independence, politeness, responsibility, sociability and others.

Successful completion of High School, A-Level or IB Diploma programs opens the doors to the best universities in the world. High School is perfect for students whose English level is lower than the required level for enrolling in A-level or IB Diploma programs, for those who are younger than the introductory age or who have insufficient academic education.

As we can see, each of the programs has its own peculiarities, pluses and minuses. That is why the choice of the educational course should be in accordance with the needs and capabilities of the student. Another factor in choosing an educational program may be its main goal - admission to a prestigious university, getting a wonderful education or revealing the personal potential of a teenager.

An unambiguous answer to the questions "what is better - to enter the program or give a year of preparation" or "what program to enter" is not. The year of preparation is a great opportunity for a student to get used to the new situation, improve his language skills and make friends. Also, it is ideally suited to catch up with the academic program in the chosen direction.

All articles
Your comment / review / question
There are no comments here yet
Your comment / review
If you have a question, write it, we will try to answer
* - Field is mandatory
Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
YouTube video playerD3EYRnozxps
YouTube video playeranZ4q63C4v0
YouTube video player8sNebkElChw
YouTube video player8LKj9MBnV7c
Chat with us, we are online!