Making the right choice in RBIS Sixth Form
A Levels are internationally recognised qualifications to gain access to universities around the world.
Universities in different countries have their own admissions processes but passing 3 A levels will be the main requirement to gain entrance to a degree programme. Some universities may have their own entrance examinations, some will require an IELTS score, some may ask students to sit SAT examinations in addition to the A level; it all depends on the university and the course of study.
Universities like A Levels because they are advanced courses, which means students enter their degree course with advanced, specialised skills and knowledge. Some courses at some universities will allow students to miss the first year of a degree course as the A levels have prepared them so well.
How should students choose which subjects to take?
At RBIS students choose 4 AS level subjects to study in Year 12. An AS level is about half of a full A Level and is a standalone qualification. In Thailand a student must pass three AS levels to go to university, according to the new Ministry of Education ruling. Some US and Australian colleges accept AS levels as their entry requirement for a foundation course, which usually leads to a degree in 4 years. So choosing the right AS levels is important.
Students at RBIS are advised to choose AS subjects they enjoy and are really interested in. This will give them the best chance of being successful and allow them to go on to follow their three best subjects to A level in Year 13. Many university degree courses do not require students to have studied specific A Level subjects but some do, so researching the university and area of study is very important if students think they know what they want to do as a career.
For example, for a career in medicine students would be advised to study Chemistry and Biology at A level. Medicine is a very competitive field so top grades would be needed. There are other examples such as Engineering where students would need high A Level passes in Mathematics and Physics.
Many students do not know what degree they want to study as they begin Year 12 so choosing their AS levels can be difficult. Keeping their options open is therefore important and students should choose a balanced set of subjects, so a science, a humanities subject, a language and an arts subject would be a good foundation for the vast majority of university degrees. Including Mathematics at AS level is a good idea, unless students find the subject very difficult, as Maths is used in many careers and employers view high level Maths ability as a positive when recruiting.
At RBIS there is a good range of A level subjects which do not have overlapping content so students can be sure that a balanced Sixth Form curriculum will be available to them.
Students usually know their strengths and decide to follow either a scientific or arts route through A levels which is fine as long as their chosen subjects are not too similar. Having a polarised set of subjects could limit their future choices.
In general, students rarely have a career path planned so if they are truly interested and are good in certain subjects, then it is likely they will choose a related degree which could lead to a career in a related field. Someone who is great at Art and language but finds Maths and Science very difficult is unlikely to want to be an electronics engineer. Similarly a student who excels in Maths and Science but does not have any artistic flair is unlikely to pursue a career in fashion design.
There are many sources of information and advice to help students make the right choices and at RBIS we provide counselling and guidance throughout Years 10-13 to help students understand career choices, and A level options..
In addition we provides IELTS support and have experienced staff who understand the applications process for universities in Thailand and overseas to guide our students to the right choices.