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Final-year A-level courses at CIFE colleges

CIFE colleges welcome students joining for the final-year A-level courses and can provide new subjects as well as building on what you've learned in lower sixth.

Each year many students join CIFE colleges for final-year A-level courses, to build on a sixth-form course that they have started at another school. Their reasons for making the change vary. In some cases it is because they've lost momentum through illness or social distraction. It may be that they need to change one or more A-level subjects which they've been struggling with or simply not enjoyed learning about.

However, students often tell us that they simply feel it is time to move on. CIFE colleges are particularly good at providing a safe bridge between a child-based school environment, and more adult learning styles. Final-year A-level courses at a CIFE college can make all the difference and change half-way through the sixth form often has a very positive effect on a student's morale and achievement.

Moving to final-year courses is usually easy

If your first year A-level course  followed one or more of the new 'linear' A levels, you should find moving easy. At interview you'll be asked about the topics you've covered, just to check that your upper sixth course will not miss out topics you need to learn.

If your first year included the 'old' modular exams, you'll find that the AS / A2 exam structure works in your favour. In most cases you go straight into upper-sixth A2 courses at your new college, carrying forward AS marks from your previous school. This is usually possible even if moving involves a change of exam boards. There are a few restrictions but most changes are allowed by exam boards. CIFE colleges can give you expert advice on all of this.

Options if your first year didn't go well

What if you have just finished lower sixth and ended up with disappointing results? Unless you have had a complete disaster you should be able to carry on into upper sixth, and (if you're taking any old modular subjects) you can still resit any necessary AS units. This is not an easy option because you will be busy with final-year A levels, but CIFE colleges have considerable expertise and flexibility in supporting this sort of programme. We won't leave you to struggle with AS unit resits on your own.

If you've have come down badly across the board you might be better off considering changing into one-year A-level courses (see link to right). That way you will get taught for both parts of the syllabus. You even have the option of continuing upper-sixth courses in the subjects you like and taking up one or two completely new subjects as one-year A levels.

We're happy to advise you

It's not always easy to work out what went wrong if you had a bad year in lower sixth. And finding the best course combination to get back on track can be really confusing. CIFE colleges will be happy to meet you to talk things through and they'll certainly give you an expert and independent perspective. Do contact us if you need help.


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