A-Levels is it necessary?
The simple answer is “Yes”. Advanced Levels are the final part of your Secondary Education. It is a subject based qualification that can lead to further study at a Tertiary level or work.
What to look for in choosing A-level streams?
Look at what you enjoy doing and are good at. If you enjoy a subject or are good at it, you will be more likely to do well in it. After all, you will be doing what you like for the next 40-50 years in your life.
Are there any particular subjects or grades you require at o-levels to do a certain subject at A-levels?
Do you have a particular career or further study in mind?
You may need to choose specific A-level subjects to meet entry level qualifications required for further study at Universities.
If you have not decided on a career of your choice, look at keeping further study and career choices open with the subjects you choose.
It is good to get advice especially if you are not sure of what you want to do after A-levels. However, at the end of the day, keep in mind, you will be working on studying in that particular field, and you need to be passionate about what you want. Pleasing your teachers, parents or peers today by doing something your heart is not set on, maybe a cause for regret later in life.
If you are unsure of what you want as a career, investigate and research. Today, there are loads of articles, websites etc. on Google, talk to your teachers and career counselors, if you have the opportunity talk to Industry Experts.
Find out what the entry qualifications are for university degrees you have in mind so that you select the right subject mix at A-Levels but also work towards getting the required results so you will not be left behind.
Do I need A-Levels?
Today, there are options for students to start off their degrees after O-Levels. Keep the below in mind if you are looking at this option:
- Most foundation programs require certain grades at O-Levels including Math and English
- This may not be an option depending on the course you want to study. For example, degrees in health care and engineering require A-Levels with certain subjects and grades.
- Do you have the maturity to handle a degree after O-Levels? After all, university life is different from school life.
Look at the university course, career, licenses you may need, in order to join the workforce after completion of tertiary education before deciding on not doing A-Levels. Some universities and jobs require 12 years of Secondary Education.
This said, certain programs can be started off after O-levels and it would save time.
Are A-Levels tough?
A-Levels are definitely not a cakewalk, as with anything in life comes its own set of challenges. The styles of teaching may differ from what you have been doing.
However, it is a time period to investigate and reflect upon where your true potential and strengths lie, what areas of study you enjoy, and build your transferable skills such as leadership and teamwork. This will help you in your tertiary education and later in your career.
Sri Lankan students sit for their A-levels and O-levels at a much older age than their counterparts in South Asia and more or less the world.
Most Sri Lankan students are already 20+ when they enter university, which is very late.
If you do not get the desired grades at the first attempt, before attempting the second time, get a psychometric test done to see if you have the correct subject mix depending on your interests and aptitudes. If you go ahead with the same mindset, subjects, and study strategies you will not get any better than the first attempt.
Problems of repeating A-levels
- Most universities have a cut off age limit to Bachelor Degree programs, which you may miss out on.
- You will have less experience when you join the workforce. There will be others already in the workforce with more experience than you.
- You will feel demotivated when you get into university as you be competing with students 3-4 years younger than you.
- After sitting your A-levels, 3 or 4 times, you may still not get the required entry level to the program of your choice. This will dampen your spirits regarding tertiary education overall and you will eventually join the workforce demotivated and without passion for what you do.
After all, tertiary education has a wide range of subjects and career opportunities to choose from. It is not just studying medicine or engineering. There are loads of subjects and fields to choose from: Bio Technology, Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence, Management Information Systems, Hospital Management, Food Technology, Fashion Design, Mass Media Communication, Gaming, Forensics and Criminology, Architecture and Town Planning, Agriculture Technology and Psychology – the list just goes on.