The transition from GCSE level to A Levels/IB is often a daunting experience for secondary school students. However, as most will be taking their A Levels or diploma in the same institution where they completed their GCSEs, there is always a certain level of comfort in being in a familiar environment, despite some of the difficulties experienced by most year 12 students when first starting their A Levels/diploma.


It is an almost completely different story to when one is moving from A Levels/IB to degree level. This is not necessarily because the subject matter becomes significantly more difficult for the student to comprehend, but is mostly due to the drastic change in environment, and the realisation that you are now moving swiftly into the world of adults. You are no longer treated like a teenager, you must now learn how to be responsible for yourself, and for your studies, without the aid and support of your parents and school. This is probably the most difficult leap for most students, especially those who choose to go to university straight from secondary school.

Many degree students also find one of the most significant changes between secondary school and university to be the lack of one-to-one time with personal tutors, as compared with the one-on-one time you get with teachers in high school. But, one should not find this aspect of coming to university intimidating. There are always staff available at university to talk to if a student needs any help or advice, regarding either their studies or personal matters.

University gives a student more freedom, which in turn involves taking on certain responsibilities that you may not have had during secondary school. Other than the changes academically from A level/IB to degree level, starting university is a student’s first step into the adult world, as well as one of the major steps into becoming the “you” who will push towards their future career choice. University is where you can physically touch upon your dreams, and explore places, ideas and people that may have once been untouchable to you in secondary school.

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