GCSE is a two-ear programme. Students study GCSE in Year 10 to 11 to prepare for the exam, which is similar Form 4 and 5 students studying for HKCEE in the old education system in Hong Kong. Students who results have 5Cs or above are eligible for taking A-Level. With the certificate, they can also apply the foundation programme in the UK.
Many overseas students see Year 10 as the beginning of their overseas study, without considering their needs to adapt the new environment and education system while trying hard to meet the requirement of the first year programme. This may causes negative influence on their academic results. Instead, if students start in Year 9, they can spend a year to adapt the environment and at the same time improving their language skills, which help them to perform better throughout the programme.
Most of the students in UK enter universities after completing A-Level. It is a two-year programme similar to the curriculum in Form 6 and 7 in Hong Kong’s old education system. They can choose subjects according to their future study preferences as there is no restriction on the choice of liberal arts or science subjects. In general, students take 3 to 4 subjects and they can eligible to enter UK universities with qualifications in three subjects.
Some UI private colleges, sixth form colleges and international boarding schools provide A-Level programme with higher flexibility. It is designed for international students with better English language skills and academic performances to complete their studies in shorter period of time, i.e. three to five semesters. Students in one-year programme generally study 3 subjects while students in five-semester programme can study 3 to 4 subjects depending on their abilities.
International Baccalaureate(IB) is a curriculum recognised globally by international universities. The two-year IB Diploma programme is another option besides A-Level. Some international and private schools in Hong Kong also adapt this curriculum.
Compare to A-Level, IB provides more extensive knowledge. Apart from studying major subjects from six categories, students must complete other compulsory courses such as Extended Essay. In addition to the knowledge provided in textbooks, this programme aim to equip students with better writing skills, logical thinking and the time management.
Extended Essay -EE Theory of knowledge – ToK Creativity, activity and Service – CAS
6 Subject Groups:
BTEC National Diploma contains 7 levels. Equivalent to A-Level, the third level of the diploma is a two-year programme, one subject of high level BTEC is even equivalent to three A-Level subjects.
BTEC is approved by more than 200 universities globally including most of the universities in Hong Kong. This curriculum focuses on imparting practical knowledge and skills. Different from traditional disciplines, it contains subjects including business, design, tourism. Its assessment method mainly based on coursework and projects, with less focus on examination. After completing the diploma, students will receive UCAS score for applying for universities or work.
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