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UK weekly edition, Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Aside from the standard litany of things to be full of angst about, many English teenagers are biting their nails this month over the results of their Advanced Level, or A level, test results.

Like the SAT and ACT in the States, the A level exam is a big piece of a student getting admitted to a university.

But unlike the American system, the road to college is a bit bumpier here in England.

When students reach their last year of compulsory education around the age of 15, they take the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exam, according to the Web site for Bellerbys College, www.bellerbys.com.

The grades on those tests help students to be placed on a vocational path or one that leads to university, if they’re going to continue their education at all, according to the Web site.

If students are on the university path, they can then choose to study for two years for their A levels at what is known as a sixth-form college.

The course leading up to the A level exams includes a variety of class categories to help mimic just what full-blown university will be like.

But it’s not over when the test results come in. According to Bellerbys, some companies will want to see exam grades before hiring someone, to ensure they’re proficient in certain things.

Got a question about something you’ve seen or heard around the United Kingdom? E-mail us at: uknews@estripes.osd.mil

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