A lot of high school students dream of continuing their education at university abroad. There are several reasons for that. University years are generally a period when people have more free time than when they start working. This can be a great opportunity to travel, meet people and discover new things. And what can be a better place to do that than a foreign country where, in fact, almost everything is new?
Another reason to apply for entry to a foreign university is purely academic. If you are interested in a particular area of science or art, it may turn out that the best specialists are in another country.
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For example, a lot of international students are attracted by Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, MIT, Stanford and other top universities for the high-quality education they offer.
Finally, having international experience can be a huge advantage when looking for a job. A lot of companies are interested in doing business abroad and would be keen on employing people who are familiar with external markets. What's more, while studying outside New Zealand, students can build their own network in the host country and use it afterwards.
So, doing a degree program or even studying for a year abroad can be very beneficial, but what country should students choose? There are a lot of excellent destinations for those looking for higher education, but one of the most popular ones is the UK.
In this article, we will find out why the UK can be so advantageous and discover how the British GCSE and A-levels that are required to enter university in the country work and what they equivalent to in New Zealand.
The connection between the UK and New Zealand
As you may know, the UK and New Zealand have a lot of ties at different levels, including politics, economy, history and even language. The two countries invest a lot of effort into developing their relationship and this can't go without cooperation in education.
Learn about what NCEA is equivalent to in other countries to select the best destination for your university studies and learn a lot of new things.
Even though there are a lot of differences in how secondary education is organised in New Zealand and the UK, both countries generally recognise each other's qualifications. This means that students from New Zealand can apply for entry to British universities with NCEA and the GCSE and A-levels are recognised in the same way here.
Another argument for studying in the UK for New Zealanders is that its main language of education is English. As a result, students from New Zealand will not need to spend time getting used to a new tongue but can focus on their courses from the first year of their higher education onwards.
In addition to that, the UK has some of the best universities in the world. For instance, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford often get into the top-10 institutions in international rankings and, aside from them, there are many other amazing places.
Getting a British higher education diploma can help you find a good position in almost any country all over the world and the knowledge and skills you will learn will serve you throughout your life.
All these benefits attract to the UK lots of students from all around the world every year. You will certainly meet incredible people there and achieve outstanding results. So, let's find out what British school qualifications like GCSE and A-levels are and what you'll need to focus on to apply for entry to the university of your dreams.
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What qualifications do British students need for entry to university
The qualification that most British school students obtain at the end of year 11 of their secondary education is GCSE. The acronym stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education.
Students are supposed to complete it in year 11 of their studies at school and it offers coincides with their reaching the age of 16, after which education is not mandatory anymore.
To get the GCSE, students need to follow several GCSE courses, the number of which can go from 5 to 12 or even more, if they are very motivated. They can be chosen from a vast range of subjects and often include an exam at the end of the year.
In each subject, students are graded out of 9, where 9 is the highest note and 1 is the lowest one. If the student has got 4 or more, the exam is considered as passed.
Now, why is the GCSE important? First of all, the student's results will be taken into account by colleges where they will go to continue their studies before university. Second, universities can also have a look at these results when it comes to selecting students. So, it can be important that your GCSE subjects relate to what you want to study later and it's better to get the highest grades possible.
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A qualification that is even more important for universities than the GCSE is A-levels. These are undertaken by students after year 11 and their preparation generally takes 2 years.
Students can normally choose up to 5 A-levels to study, but as most universities require only 3 of them for entrance, numerous are those who prefer not to spread themselves.
At the end of the year, A-level students are evaluated through a series of examinations and then gets one of the following grades: A*, A, B, C, D, E, from highest to lowest.
If you want to get an idea, top universities in the UK, like Cambridge, require students to have three A grades or higher in their three A-level subjects. This is a very high entry requirement, so A-level students usually take their courses really seriously.
How do GCSE and A-levels compare to NCEA?
Now that we have seen how high-school qualifications work in the UK, we can have a look at their equivalents in New Zealand.
As it happens, the GCSE and A-levels span the last three years of students' secondary education and these are exactly the NCEA years in New Zealand. Except that in New Zealand they lead to a single qualification, NCEA, consisting of three levels, whereas in the UK, there are two of them.
So, we can say that NCEA level 1 is roughly equivalent to the GCSE and NCEA level 3 corresponds to A-levels.
In both systems, several subjects need to be chosen and the student can specialise more in a given area, such as science or language, as they advance from one level to another.
On the other hand, the evaluation systems are organised quite differently in the UK and New Zealand, so your grades can hardly be converted. Still, if you study for NCEA and would like to continue to study in the UK, getting as many excellence and merit credits as you can will definitely help you.
For instance, if you want to study in Oxford, you will be required to get the NCEA Level 3 endorsed with Excellence. In other words, you will need to gain 50 credits or more at excellence.
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Improve your knowledge of a school course with a personal tutor
If you are aiming at a good university but don't feel comfortable with some subject, a good solution for you can be to take lessons with a personal tutor. A lot of private teachers offer assistance in NCEA courses and can help you boost your results quickly.
What makes private tutoring different from school lessons is that you will study face-to-face with the teacher and they will focus on your exact needs and difficulties. They will choose the best exercises for you and explain complex concepts the way that you understand.
However, you may ask where to find such a good teacher? A simple answer to this question is Superprof, an online platform where thousands of tutors from all across New Zealand offer support in English, Maths, Science and many other NCEA subjects.
You can search for them by location, price, discipline or other criteria and we provide you with all the necessary information about their course. Picking the right tutor will be easier and you will start working together without losing any time.
With Superprof, you will soon feel much more confident about your NCEA standards and meet all the requirements of the institution you want to study in later.
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