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IB and A-level: which program is better?


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IB and A-level: which program is better?


The British education system allows for instruction in high school in one of two recognized programs. The choice between them can be very difficult, especially for parents of foreign students who are not familiar with the educational specifics of the country. Programs have similarities and differences. We present to your attention a comparative reviewIB and A-level .

The similarity of programs

Educational programs are effective. A certificate (diploma), obtained for any of them, gives the right to enter the British University . The higher the average score, the more chances to enter a priority university for the chosen faculty. Both programs provide high-quality preparation for continuing education inBritain . Courses for 2 years are calculated. Both assume the final exam. Extra-curricular activities in the framework of training courses allow students to physically and creatively develop. The similarity of programs ends here.

Differences between programs

Educational programs differ from each other quite strongly. This is due, among other things, historically. A-level was developed in Britain. The birthplace of IB is Switzerland . The national program involves studying 3-4 basic subjects. The curriculum for the international (IB) is much larger. Universal IV was designed to ensure that the education received in one country could be considered equivalent to the national one in another. With a diploma of IV entrants can enter the universities of the EU, Canada,United States .

The main difference between the programs is the set of subjects offered for study. According to the national program, each student chooses 3-4 disciplines from the calculation of the requirements of the faculty in the university chosen for continuing education. The intensity of the classes is 20-25 hours / week. 5 - 8 hours are reserved for language training, 16 - for academic subject. Extra-curricular activities (creativity, sports) are offered beyond the curriculum. At the end of the training, the student can conduct research work, the results of which are formalized in the form of an essay.

According to IB, students choose 6 subjects for study (1 from the academic group). The disciplines are studied in the standard and in-depth mode (3: 3). Mandatory for mastering are mathematics, the course of natural sciences, native and foreign languages. Two subjects the student chooses in accordance with personal preferences. Final control involves passing tests on the theory of knowledge and creativity, sports, social work. It is mandatory to write an expanded essay.

The difference between programs is their orientation. The national is designed for students who have decided on the direction of future activities. It involves an informed choice of subjects and excludes the possibility of subsequent training not by specialty. IB gives an opportunity to those who doubt the future aspirations, to postpone the choice of the direction of activity.

Universities of the EU, in particular Britain, perceive points in different ways, and evaluate according to the programs. Previously it was believed that the national course provides a deeper subject knowledge. The international program expands the horizons of students, but does not imply an in-depth study of specific academic disciplines. Practice has shown that things are somewhat different. Preparation for IB is at a very high level. And the maximum score for the program is more difficult to obtain than the national one. Accordingly, to study easier on the A-level, and to prove the level of their academic training and knowledge of the admissions committee of the university - with a certificate of IВ.

How to make a choice?

British universities recognize both programs, national and international. That is, both are suitable for entry. But the choice still has to be done. Parents of adolescents entering high school can be recommended:

  • to evaluate the interests of the child, his progress in the subjects;
  • determine the future direction of the activity;
  • take into account the intensity and specifics of training suitable for the child (for example, IB is an integrated course with a large number of research activities and limited time for additional studies, the national program offers greater freedom of extracurricular development);
  • assess the child's personal qualities, in particular the ability to self-organize, time management.

If the goals and priorities are clear, you can choose a national program. For international students in creative and academic search, the international program is ideally suited. The final choice is always for the student.

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