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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sixteen years old, and my father may be getting a job in the UK. A lot of this is purely speculation, but I really can't find anything on how people transition between the two school systems.

I'm currently in 11th grade, and I'm in the International Baccalaureate program. If I move to the UK, are there tests I need to take to get into the school system? I know the UK is different in the fact that tests are taken at the end of 10th grade in order to get into the next level of school, but I don't really know any details. If there are specific tests, what are the subjects? How different are the difficulty levels of the two school systems? If I moved to England after this school year, would I probably end up in the first year of the college program, or the second? Are the classes in the college programs very specific towards career tracks?

Thanks!
 

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I'm sixteen years old, and my father may be getting a job in the UK. A lot of this is purely speculation, but I really can't find anything on how people transition between the two school systems.

I'm currently in 11th grade, and I'm in the International Baccalaureate program. If I move to the UK, are there tests I need to take to get into the school system? I know the UK is different in the fact that tests are taken at the end of 10th grade in order to get into the next level of school, but I don't really know any details. If there are specific tests, what are the subjects? How different are the difficulty levels of the two school systems? If I moved to England after this school year, would I probably end up in the first year of the college program, or the second? Are the classes in the college programs very specific towards career tracks?

Thanks!
Hi at sixteen you would proabably go straight into the college system. Schools do have sixth forms but are usualy for students to stay on at there high school for two yaers to gain extra quilifications before going to university.

If you go straight to college basicaly you pick the subjects you wish to study. Some colleges concentrate more on work related courses otheres are more into academic subjects.
 

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I'm definitely not well versed in the UK system, as I have only been involved with it at the university level, but I would be very concerned about your ability to get the qualifications required to gain entrance to university if you would be placed directly into the further education college system.

Since you say you are involved with the International Baccalaureate program my impression is that, in the US, you would be considered "university bound". By moving to the UK at this point I would be worried that you would end up on the "vocational track".

I'm hoping that someone with first hand experience may be able to provide better news.

Best wishes,
Elizabeth
 

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Depending on where your father's job would be, you may want to look into continuing in the IB program on your move to the UK. There are "international schools" that follow the IB curriculum, and in some areas, even US curriculum programs.

One other thing to consider is where you are planning to attend university - the US or the UK? If you (and your parents) are planning for you to go back to the US for university, then you'll want to stick with an IB school. (And actually, an IB program will give you a pretty good degree of flexibility if you decide you want to go to university in the UK, or elsewhere in Europe.)

One thing to be careful of, though - in the UK and much of Europe "college" refers to a level of secondary school, roughly equivalent to either junior high or early high school. Only "university" refers to tertiary education, like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard or other places we Yanks call "college." It makes discussion of this stuff very tricky.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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In the UK, at 16 you would be expected to leave comprehensive school (high school?) with exams called GCSEs. These are taken in most sublects and you start the course off for these at 14. To get into the next level of education "College", you have to have 5 good grades of GCSEs (altho there maybe acceptions for the right candidate). The subjects dont really matter (maths and english are complusory), altho if you're planing to become a doctor you'd need the sciences, an accountaint and you'd need good maths grades, for art college, you'd need good art grades, and so on....

Once at college, you then study for "AS-levels", this again is a two year course, Now these narrow down your choices, you can only take AS-levels in the subjects you've taken GCSEs in. During the end of this course, you need to start applying to universities (Or be looking for a job??!). The universities will decide whether they'll take you depending on the grades of AS levels you achieve. So students then have a nailbiting period after they've sat their exams and get their results. If they dont achieve the grades requested by their chosen university, they may not get in!!!!!

As for where you'd fit in with - I dont know! I suspect your best course of action if you've already started your IBs, is to continue with those in the UK, as previously said, there are places that teach and sit IBs. Once you've completed them you need to approach whichever university you wish to go to. I suspect they'd be only too happy to take IBs instead of AS-levels!!??

Jo xxxx
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, guys! An IB school does sound like the way to go- but does anyone know the difference in cirriculum between US IB programs and UK ones? I know history is going to be different; the history class I'm taking now is American History, and I really doubt that that translates. But are science and math different? Right now I'm taking Physics and Calculus, but I have no idea what class you're expected to be in for UK IB programs.
 

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Oh, if I did end up moving to the UK, I would end up in either Portsmouth or Stevenage. Does anyone know of IB schools near those cities? I really would rather not end up at a boarding school.
 

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.......... BTW, if I were you, I would phone Portsmouth Grammar and ask them what the differences are between A levels, IB in the UK and in the USA and get a general feel for the differences and similarities and advise on your potential predicament


Jo xxx
 
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