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Old 10.10.2018, 20:53
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AQA A-Level exams in Switzerland

I went to school in England and am currently taking a gap year in Switzerland. I would like to retake my AQA A-Level german. For me to do that I need to find a school first that offer it in Switzerland. I have looked all around Zurich and cannot find a single one that does. Does anyone know of schools that offer AQA exams in Switzerland? Thank you
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Old 10.10.2018, 21:40
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Re: AQA A-Level exams in Switzerland

There are none as far as I know. Are there any large differences between the boards? I didn't even know which board I was taking my AS-Level Spanish for, I just did the preparation at home using a computer programme and got an A (this was for the Edexcel board that Hull's School uses). I have an AQA German A-Level too, again, I did almost no preparation (because I am an idiot and assumed that simply speaking fluent German was enough, did not do any of the prescribed reading, attended zero classes at sixth form - do not follow this example, could have gone very wrong) but still got an A there too, simply because I am fluent in German (it was a German-speaking high school here that kicked me out for being too thick to math).

This is not to show off, just to say that if you have a good command of the language, it shouldn't really matter which examination board you are tested by. This is probably different for other subjects but for languages, they should be testing for the same thing: your ability to understand, speak and write German as well as a rough knowledge of important German literature, at least it was back in the day . And if this is no longer the case, then I doubt it would take you very long to read up on the requirements of the different exam board. You get your certificates on separate papers anyway, I three different ones for my six A-Levels because I took two in the first year, three at one school and another at a different place (the local sixth form did not offer that course, so I did evening classes at a local college) in the second year.

Seize the enthusiasm and go for it as soon as possible, the longer you put this stuff off, the less likely you are to do it
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Old 11.10.2018, 10:23
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Re: AQA A-Level exams in Switzerland

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...This is not to show off, just to say that if you have a good command of the language, it shouldn't really matter which examination board you are tested by...
It shouldn't matter anyway. A levels are supposed to be consistent across the boards.
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Old 11.10.2018, 11:00
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Re: AQA A-Level exams in Switzerland

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It shouldn't matter anyway. A levels are supposed to be consistent across the boards.
That makes sense; I just wonder if they have different workbooks with different examples to prepare, such as having vectors being covered using boats in one case and planes in another. Of course, it should be a transferable skill but I remember A-levels as being something that caused severe anguish to many of my fellow students and that can throw off the less confident ones completely. Or maybe the previous suggestion of "just read as widely as possible" for the language A-Levels has been replaced by a specific reading list. Still, those things are easy to find out and should not take too long to adjust for.
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Old 11.10.2018, 11:42
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Re: AQA A-Level exams in Switzerland

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It shouldn't matter anyway. A levels are supposed to be consistent across the boards.
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That makes sense; I just wonder if they have different workbooks with different examples to prepare, such as having vectors being covered using boats in one case and planes in another. Of course, it should be a transferable skill but I remember A-levels as being something that caused severe anguish to many of my fellow students and that can throw off the less confident ones completely. Or maybe the previous suggestion of "just read as widely as possible" for the language A-Levels has been replaced by a specific reading list. Still, those things are easy to find out and should not take too long to adjust for.
Consistent in terms of standards, yes, but content and coursework requirements (and also exam requirements) can vary quite a bit between boards so you do need to know the specification and exam paper requirements for specific exam boards.

OP try contacting the Hull school in Zurich. I know they're connected to Academia College in Basel and Academia offers international A levels in various subjects. If they can't at least point you in the right direction I'd be very suprised. Failing that, you may need to contact AQA direct, and ask if they can help you with a list of international centres (if they exist). There should be contact numbers for subjects on their website (or at least a starting point email address).

Good luck.

Last edited by RufusB; 11.10.2018 at 12:07. Reason: Clarification
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Old 12.10.2018, 09:11
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Re: AQA A-Level exams in Switzerland

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I went to school in England and am currently taking a gap year in Switzerland. I would like to retake my AQA A-Level german. For me to do that I need to find a school first that offer it in Switzerland. I have looked all around Zurich and cannot find a single one that does. Does anyone know of schools that offer AQA exams in Switzerland? Thank you
Yes Academia in Basel, they offer A Levels, my son studied there. Teachers were excellent and its small and friendly, good luck.
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Old 28.10.2018, 13:31
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A-Level AQA subjects

I came back from England to Switzerland to do my national service. I have finished my A-Levels but would like to retake two of them to improve my grade. I was wondering if there is anywhere in Switzerland which offers AQA board A-Level exams so I won't have to fly all the way to England to retake them. Thank you
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Old 28.10.2018, 16:49
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Re: A-Level AQA subjects

Didn't you already ask a variation of this? I'm pretty sure I was one of the respondents... try Academia (college, not language school) in Basel or Hull in Zurich. You probably won't be able to specify AQA ( why the insistence on this particular board, out of interest?) And they may be International A-levels but they will be equivalent.

Or, do as I think I suggested last time and contact AQA directly. If you are dead set on AQA then they are the best ones to advise you. If you did retake in the UK you'd have to register at an approved centre well in advance. You can't just rock up and sit the exams.
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Old 28.10.2018, 16:55
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Re: A-Level AQA subjects

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I came back from England to Switzerland to do my national service. I have finished my A-Levels but would like to retake two of them to improve my grade. I was wondering if there is anywhere in Switzerland which offers AQA board A-Level exams so I won't have to fly all the way to England to retake them. Thank you
Sorry this doesn't answer your question but do you know what the equilvant of A levels are here? I've recently moved here and looking for a job and didn't know if they are irrelevant or not! What did you want to improve them for?
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Old 28.10.2018, 17:28
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Re: A-Level AQA subjects

Yeah I have posted this before, sorry, I probably didn't see your reply from last time... I did my A-Levels in England and did it under the AQA exam board, and as I want to retake them it would be much easier for me to do it under the same exam board as I know the structure of the papers and topics already. I have contacted AQA to ask, and they said I can do AQA A-Level exams in Switzerland as long as I can find a school that offers it, and for some obscure reason they aren't allowed to give me the information on which schools in Switzerland offer AQA exams... I have to tell AQA before Christmas if I'm taking the exams this summer. I can fly to England to do them, but it would save me a lot of time, money and hassle if I could just do them here. Thank you for your reply
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Old 28.10.2018, 17:31
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Re: A-Level AQA subjects

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Yeah I have posted this before, sorry, I probably didn't see your reply from last time... I did my A-Levels in England and did it under the AQA exam board, and as I want to retake them it would be much easier for me to do it under the same exam board as I know the structure of the papers and topics already. I have contacted AQA to ask, and they said I can do AQA A-Level exams in Switzerland as long as I can find a school that offers it, and for some obscure reason they aren't allowed to give me the information on which schools in Switzerland offer AQA exams... I have to tell AQA before Christmas if I'm taking the exams this summer. I can fly to England to do them, but it would save me a lot of time, money and hassle if I could just do them here. Thank you for your reply
Sounds weird. Ring them back and speak to someone else. If there is a list... and as they make money by people sitting their exams... makes no sense they wouldn't share.

I wouldn't be too hung up on the board though particularly as most specs have changed or are changing. When did you last take an exam? Which subjects?
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Old 28.10.2018, 17:36
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Re: A-Level AQA subjects

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Sounds weird. Ring them back and speak to someone else. If there is a list... and as they make money by people sitting their exams... makes no sense they wouldn't share.

I wouldn't be too hung up on the board though particularly as most specs have changed or are changing. When did you last take an exam? Which subjects?
Yeah, I will thanks.

I last took them in June 2018. I did German, Geography and Accounting, but want to retake Geography and German. I will have look at the spec of the other exam boards and see how similar it is.

Thanks for your reply
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Old 28.10.2018, 17:39
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Re: A-Level AQA subjects

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Yeah, I will thanks.

I last took them in June 2018. I did German, Geography and Accounting, but want to retake Geography and German. I will have look at the spec of the other exam boards and see how similar it is.

Thanks for your reply
So did you do the "outgoing " specs? I'm assuming a 2 year course so you began in 2016? Most, if not all, are transitioning to new specifications so you might find you have to go back to the drawing board even with a familiar exam board.

I would contact Swiss schools that definitely teach international A levels and then see how you might best be accomodated.


Edit: I've had a quick look at the dates on the specs. You'll likely be ok. Looks like german and geography had their first "new" exams in June 2018. I don't think any coursework /oral aspects will be transferable though. You'll have to redo those if any required.
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Old 28.10.2018, 18:30
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Re: A-Level AQA subjects

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So did you do the "outgoing " specs? I'm assuming a 2 year course so you began in 2016? Most, if not all, are transitioning to new specifications so you might find you have to go back to the drawing board even with a familiar exam board.

I would contact Swiss schools that definitely teach international A levels and then see how you might best be accomodated.


Edit: I've had a quick look at the dates on the specs. You'll likely be ok. Looks like german and geography had their first "new" exams in June 2018. I don't think any coursework /oral aspects will be transferable though. You'll have to redo those if any required.
Yeah, I'm familiar with the change. That's why I'm not going to be retaking my accounting because it is a new specification, but German and Geography will be the same.

I have emailed a few international schools in Switzerland to see what they can do or advise. I'm not sure about Geography coursework, but my German-speaking coursework is transferable. I assume Geography will be the similar case, but I will double check to make sure. Thank you
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Old 28.10.2018, 18:54
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Re: A-Level AQA subjects

Just fly to the UK, book well in advance, it's as cheap as chips, certainly less than Chf 100.-- return if you look properly
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Old 29.10.2018, 10:41
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Re: A-Level AQA subjects

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Yeah, I'm familiar with the change. That's why I'm not going to be retaking my accounting because it is a new specification, but German and Geography will be the same.

I have emailed a few international schools in Switzerland to see what they can do or advise. I'm not sure about Geography coursework, but my German-speaking coursework is transferable. I assume Geography will be the similar case, but I will double check to make sure. Thank you
Are you 100% sure about the German c/work?

Are you on friendly terms with your UK school or college? Maybe contact them, speak to or email your last teacher and check. They may also be best placed to let you resit.... but you'll need to pay the exam fee. And there are no guarantees.

Is it a substantial grade hike you're hoping for? If so, and your coursework is not as good as it could be, redoing that would not be a waste of your time. Trust me on this.

These are rhetorical qus, btw, no need to answer on here!
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Old 29.10.2018, 12:41
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Re: A-Level AQA subjects

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Didn't you already ask a variation of this? I'm pretty sure I was one of the respondents...
Excellent memory. Threads merged.
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Old 29.10.2018, 21:30
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Re: AQA A-Level exams in Switzerland

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There are none as far as I know. Are there any large differences between the boards? I didn't even know which board I was taking my AS-Level Spanish for, I just did the preparation at home using a computer programme and got an A (this was for the Edexcel board that Hull's School uses). I have an AQA German A-Level too, again, I did almost no preparation (because I am an idiot and assumed that simply speaking fluent German was enough, did not do any of the prescribed reading, attended zero classes at sixth form - do not follow this example, could have gone very wrong) but still got an A there too, simply because I am fluent in German (it was a German-speaking high school here that kicked me out for being too thick to math).

This is not to show off, just to say that if you have a good command of the language, it shouldn't really matter which examination board you are tested by. This is probably different for other subjects but for languages, they should be testing for the same thing: your ability to understand, speak and write German as well as a rough knowledge of important German literature, at least it was back in the day . And if this is no longer the case, then I doubt it would take you very long to read up on the requirements of the different exam board. You get your certificates on separate papers anyway, I three different ones for my six A-Levels because I took two in the first year, three at one school and another at a different place (the local sixth form did not offer that course, so I did evening classes at a local college) in the second year.

Seize the enthusiasm and go for it as soon as possible, the longer you put this stuff off, the less likely you are to do it
I hadn't looked at it that way. I might do Edexcel for German then. But that still doesn't really resolve my geography problem. It would be A LOT of work to change exam boards for geography to say the least. I know the ins and outs of AQA Geography and if I got another shot at it I'm sure I will get an A, maybe even A*. But thank you for the tip, much appreciated
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Old 29.10.2018, 21:36
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Re: A-Level AQA subjects

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Just fly to the UK, book well in advance, it's as cheap as chips, certainly less than Chf 100.-- return if you look properly
The problem is that I will have to stay somewhere in between exam dates, and I'm currently doing my national service, and they don't seem to like giving people time off, even if it is quite important. But yeah the flights are dirt cheap
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Old 29.10.2018, 22:35
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Re: AQA A-Level exams in Switzerland

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I hadn't looked at it that way. I might do Edexcel for German then. But that still doesn't really resolve my geography problem. It would be A LOT of work to change exam boards for geography to say the least. I know the ins and outs of AQA Geography and if I got another shot at it I'm sure I will get an A, maybe even A*. But thank you for the tip, much appreciated
Really really make sure your previously moderated and marked coursework is transferable. It may not be. It can't always be "banked" for a resit. Not trying to be a doom and gloom merchant but tasks do change.

At the very least you will need your Unique Candidate Identifier (UCI) from last time so that any eligible components can be located and "applied " to your new exams. If you don't have this you'll need to contact the exams officer from where you sat your exams last summer.

Best of luck in your continuing studies.
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