I have friends in the UK studying 4 AS subjects in their lower sixth form (year 12), and studying 3 A levels in upper sixth form (year 13). Meanwhile here I am being told to study 5 AS (at a minimum) in year 12, and then 5 A Levels after that, or at the very least, 4 A Levels. My school won’t let me take less than 4 subjects in year 13, but they’re inconsistent in saying I can do AS subjects instead of A2 ones to fill up my year 13 timetable, if I don’t want to continue with the A levels I’ve already picked – or because I got Us in them. My UK buddies wouldn’t dream of doing AS subjects in year 13 – university offers are always conditional on just 3 A Levels, not 4 or 5 (or 10) – but nor would they ever do more than 3 A Levels.
Why are A Levels in the UK and NZ treated so differently? And why exactly do Kiwis get such a harder workload? Is it perhaps because the education-people have mistakenly equated the difficulty of A Levels to the difficulty of NCEA Level 3 subjects, thinking that they’re the same in difficulty, when really A Levels actually ARE more difficult, but the exam boards only expect us to do 3 of them, not 5?
It seems to me that things are quite out of order.