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Guildford College Exam Tips: Alternatives To A Levels

4 minute read
Guildford College Exam Tips: Alternatives To A Levels

Published at 2:47pm 9th August 2019.

Advanced Apprenticeship

An Apprenticeship provides you with the opportunity to earn whilst you learn, whilst working towards a nationally recognised qualification. You will be employed by an employer, providing you with the opportunity to put into practice what you are being taught by a learning provider, such as the local College. This will help you succeed in your job and develop your career. You will have a mentor to support you at work and an assessor from the College who will guide you towards completing your qualifications.

You can become an apprentice once you are 16 years old and have completed your GCSEs at school. There is no upper age limit to becoming an apprentice. Many companies see an Apprenticeship as a real achievement as it shows you have balanced educations with employment.

Generally, you’ll need at least five GCSEs (grades A*-C) or equivalent; although there are some exceptions. If you haven’t got these grades, you might want to consider an Intermediate Apprenticeship. Completing an Advanced Apprenticeship is the equivalent to gaining at least two A Level passes.

Guildford College

An NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) is what’s commonly referred to as a ‘competence-based’ qualification. Students are assessed ‘on-the-job’, where an NVQ assessor measures an individual’s performance when undertaking a particular process or task. You might do an NVQ as part of an apprenticeship, alongside a part-time job or at college whilst doing a part-time work placement.

NVQs start out at Level 1 and go right up to Level 5. A NVQ at Level 3 is the equivalent to doing A Levels and from there you can go on to study for a higher qualification, such as a foundation degree, HND, HNC or undergraduate degree.

BTECs are work-related qualifications. There are three main types: BTEC Firsts (a Level 2 qualification), BTEC Nationals (a Level 3 qualification) and BTEC Higher Nationals (a Level 5 qualification). BTEC Nationals are the ones that are equivalent to A Levels, recommended for those who have achieved at least four A*-C grades at GCSE. There are over 250 qualifications to choose from covering a range of industries.

Unlike A Levels, BTEC Nationals are predominantly assessed through coursework rather than exams and focus on skills that are relevant to the workplace.

International Baccalaureate
On the other end of the spectrum is the International Baccalaureate (IB). Over 100 school and colleges offer it and it’s designed to provide wide-ranging education in a variety of subjects such as science, maths, the arts, languages, geography and history.

Unlike A Levels, it leads to a single qualification. There are core elements and six optional subjects. Points are awarded for each of these and added together. You need 24 points or more to get the full diploma, with 45 points being the maximum you can achieve.

Guildford College

Vocational Training at Guildford College

Guildford College is recognising this shift in the type of qualifications sought by employers and is providing high-quality technical and professional education and training for young people, adults and employers. In contrast to more traditional Sixth Forms, Guildford College prepares its students with valuable skills for the workplace, helping to develop their career opportunities and strengthen the local, regional and national economy.

Guildford College is an inspirational place to learn because training is delivered by expert teaching staff in industry-standard facilities. The majority of its teachers are sourced from their relevant industry, which means they have extensive experience, knowledge and skills in the workplace. Guildford College’s facilities include state-of-the-art kitchens, restaurant, TV studio, workshops and salons, many of which are open to the public, allowing students to experience working alongside paying customers.

You can drop in for advice and guidance throughout August and September, speak to tutors and advisors about the options available for you at college, have an interview for your preferred course, and complete your enrolment – all in one day. After visiting us, you will be ready to start your study programme or apprenticeship this September!