Do you need help deciding whether to take A Levels or an Access Course? This is a common dilemma many people face when deciding on their next academic step.
However, fret not!
In this blog, we'll delve deeper into each option, so you can make an informed decision about your future education.
So, sit back, relax, and get ready to discover which route is best suited for you!
What are A Levels?
A Levels are academic qualifications taken by students aged 16 to 18.
A typical A Level course consists of two years of study, with exams at the end of each year. A student must pass both the first- and second-year exams to be awarded an A Level.
There is a wide range of subjects available at A Level, allowing students to tailor their studies to their individual interests and needs.
What is an Access Course?
Access Courses are typically taken by students who do not have the traditional qualifications or grades required to enter university.
Access to Higher Education Courses are designed for people older than 19, who want to study for an undergraduate degree, but without the right qualifications. These courses usually take 1 year to complete full-time or 2 years part-time.
Is an Access Course equal to A Level?
No, an Access Course is not equivalent to an A Level. Access Courses are designed to provide an alternative route into higher education for those who may not have the necessary qualifications or experience. On the other hand, A Level qualifications are gained during high school years, recognised by universities and employers.
Access to Higher Education Courses are equivalent to 3 A Levels.
Is an Access Course easier than A Levels?
No, they are not. Access Courses Online are typically shorter, more flexible, and more skill-focussed than A Levels; they rely more on assessments than exams to test learning. For this reason, people sometimes incorrectly assume Access Courses are easier than A Levels.
That is not the case.
To complete an Access Course, you must commit to pass testing well to gain the qualification.
Can I join a university without A Levels?
Yes, it is possible. Many universities offer Access Courses as an alternative option into higher education.
Just remember that all universities and higher education institutions are different, so check if your preferred online Access Course is accepted. A quick way to find this is by reading the frequently asked questions (FAQs).
A Levels vs Access Courses
A Levels and Access Courses both provide a route into higher education and can improve employment prospects and skills.
However, A Levels are more academically focussed qualifications and will require more in-depth theory. Access courses, on the other hand, are more practical and skill focussed.
A Levels also tend to have more structured assessment methods, such as exams. In contrast, Access Courses may have more varied assessment methods, such as written assignments and presentations.
Access courses are only open to people older than 19, while A Levels are typically completed while at school.
Finally, A Levels are generally accepted by more universities than Access Courses.
Should I do A Levels or an Access Course?
If you're not sure whether an Access Course or A Levels is right for you, there are a few things you can consider.
Think about your goals.
What do you want to achieve by taking a course? If you're unsure what to do after school, an Access Course can enable you to try out different subjects and find out what interests you.
Consider your learning style.
Do you prefer working at your own pace or being in a structured environment? An Access Course might be a good fit if you want more flexibility in how and when you learn.
How much time do you have?
An Access Course can be completed in as little as one year, whereas A Levels usually take two years. An Access Course might be the better option if limited time is a factor.
What are your daily commitments?
A Levels are very intense, strict, and time-consuming, while online Access Courses are more flexible and aimed at people with a full-time workload.
What's your next step?
If you are looking for an alternative route into higher education, Access Courses Online from Cambridge Online Education is a great option.
The courses are delivered online, providing an accessible and convenient way to gain the skills and qualifications needed to progress onto higher education.
The courses also cover a range of topics, from business and finance to health and social care.
Access Courses Online is perfect for those who may not have the qualifications or experience to enter university.