A big thank you to all those parents who attended last night’s AS Level information evening – the huge turnout was really appreciated. There was a lot of information handed out and below is a summary. The accompanying slideshow can be accessed by clicking here.
We started with congratulations for an excellent set of IGCSE results before moving on to our expectations for the A-Level programme. The main theme of the evening was Interests and Passions and the importance of understanding what course at university is best suited to your child. We looked at how to discover their interests – these included looking at books and magazines they read, what TV they watched, what they do in their spare time, reading through prospectuses to find courses they would never have thought of. Friends and family are hugely helpful in this process as they tend to be honest about what your child is good at – and just as importantly what they are not good at!
We then went through good study habits – the most important habit was getting a solid 8 hours sleep every night! This ensures that best conditions for learning and well-being. Regular exercise was also highlighted as a must. A-Level students should be studying for around 2 hours a day at home. This study should:
- Be in the same place at the same time every day;
- Be free of wifi and other distractions;
- Include making revision notes from that day’s work;
- Listing questions and topics they are not sure about – and then asking their teachers about them the next day;
- Include regular breaks and rewards – it should not be two years of misery.
The importance of making good use of their teachers, both in the morning and in afternoon tutorials, was stressed. The changes to this year’s programme were noted – a maximum of 4 AS Levels and no Further Maths, along with the introduction of Period 7.
We continued by looking at university destinations and the main points:
Students need to get started now as applications open in April. If possible, they should attend the university open days, as it is rare to get them to visit Botswana. Students will need, in addition to the university’s requirements, a minimum of 4D’s at AS Level plus IGCSE English First Language at grade C or above to gain a Matric Exemption certificate in order to study in SA. NBT test dates in South Africa begin 26 May and are offered approximately fortnightly.
NBT Testing Dates in Botswana: Al-Nur usually offers one in June (recommended for students applying for certain select courses where they must do NBT’s before the end of June). MaP will run a test on 15 September.
For top colleges/universities A2 is usually required. Applications are long-winded and require a good all-round student, but the good thing is the flexibility of the course structure where usually you do not have to declare your major until the second year. Most Bachelor degrees will take 4 years. More info will come over the course of the next year. However, SAT dates are March 10 (register by Feb 9 – SAT I only) and June 2 (register by May 3 – Subject tests only). Register online here. For the US, there is a limited amount of Financial Aid available and this varies from university to university, but it is unlikely to cover the full fee. For financial aid, top grades and/or an interesting background story are a must.
A2 is required. Reasonably expensive, but applications are easier than those from US Universities and tend to depend mainly on grades. No full scholarships on offer and the limited deals that are available tend to cover less than 10% of the costs. Courses are almost impossible to change once you have selected but you will do your degree in 3 years (4 years if you include your Masters).
Do not rule out local options, they can be the best course (Law) or the cheapest (Medicine). Check them out.
Rest of the World
There are some good deals (notably in the Netherlands and Hong Kong) but not too many. If you are interested in somewhere ‘different’ you need to do some research and then make an appointment with MS Jobson.
If you have any academic questions you can email Mr Laverick (email@example.com) and for universities email Ms Jobson (firstname.lastname@example.org)