2 years ago
Admissions Advice

A-level or IB as an international UK student?

In a few months time I have to make the decision of whether I choose to do the more common A-level or IB. As I want to apply to a USA college, I'm torn on what option to choose and I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about my situation, thanks !!! :)

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

It honestly kind of depends on how set you are on pursuing a given subject. If you're certain that you'll want to study something in university, you may be better off taking the A levels, as it covers content in great breadth and depth across three (probably strongly related) subjects. If you are not set on studying a given subject yet, I'd recommend the IB, as it allows (in fact, forces) you to explore content across 6 subjects in 5 to 6 different domains.

Whichever option you choose to go with, I can say pretty confidently that they're both highly esteemed in the US, as they're both (mostly) externally assessed, which is not the standard in the US. The sentiment expressed in this thread that A-levels are like honours courses in the US couldn't be further from the truth, as honours curricula and assessments are developed individually by schools and districts.

I would personally say that pursuing 4 A-levels is essentially equivalent to pursuing the full IB Diploma or 12 APs, but there's not really an objective way of converting between these systems.

Anyways, I don't think going with either option will be disastrous, just pick whatever suits your interests and academic profile better. Hope this helps and good luck.

2 years ago

People usually take AP Classes or IB classes in the U.S. and these courses are considered to be very rigorous as well might give you college credit. A-level classes are just "advanced/honors" courses in the U.S. which are pretty common. (According to my research, A-level classes are basically honors classes but this system is used in England, Wales and Northern Ireland).

I would recommend taking IB Classes as they carry more weight than A-level classes in terms of rigor and GPA weight for USA Colleges. Hope this helps and good luck!!

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