The Advanced Level General Certificate of Education, commonly referred to as an A-level, is usually studied over a two year period and is widely recognised around the world, as well as being the standard entry qualification for assessing the suitability of applicants for academic courses in English, Welsh and Northern Irish universities.
Why Take A Level Chinese?
Although A Levels are traditionally taken between the ages of 16 and 18, they can be studied for by anybody, anywhere and of any age. An A level in Chinese is an internationally recognised qualification, and A level qualifications are accepted for entrance to all British higher education institutions.
The accepted expectations following A level Chinese study are as follows:
Students will learn how to use the language in a variety of situations. They will be expected to handle texts and other source materials, extracting information in order to respond to specific tasks. Through their studies, students can expect to achieve greater fluency, accuracy and confidence in the language. Students will also learn how to translate material from English into Mandarin.
A Level Structure
As with GCSE Chinese, A Level Chinese focuses on the four core components of language learning: speaking, reading, listening and writing. How the examinations are structured depends on the examining board and institution, but typically students undertake a number of different examinations after 1-2 years of study. You can find past papers and recent syllabuses for an international Chinese A Level at the Cambridge University site.
The passing grades for A-levels are A*, A, B, C, D and E. The A* grade was introduced in September 2008 for higher education entry in 2010, and is awarded to candidates who achieve an A in their overall A-level, with a score of at least 90% at A2.
A-level examinations are administered through a series of examination boards. These were originally based on the major UK universities but have over the last 50 years merged into six very large organisations, AQA, OCR, Edexcel, WJEC and CCEA.