Choosing the Right Courses

The national surveys of thousands of Advanced Level students show that there is a pattern between their GCSE scores and the results they achieve on an A Level or BTEC course.

The College uses this information to help ensure students are placed on the right courses.

What does ‘average GCSE score’ mean?

A student’s average GCSE score, can be calculated using the values shown below.

It is this score that the College uses to recommend suitable courses to students.

GCSE Grade
A* A  B  C  D  E  F  G
 8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1

The average GCSE score is calculated by adding the total points obtained from all the GCSEs a student takes and dividing the total by the number of subjects.

Here is an example:

In his GCSEs, John is predicted to obtain one A grade (worth 7 points), three B grades (18 points), five C grades (25 points) and one D grade (4 points). So, his total point score is 54 points. John’s average GCSE score is worked out by dividing the total points (54) by the number of GCSEs (10) to give an average score of 5.4.

How does the College use the average GCSE score?

The ‘right’ course will both challenge students and provide them with a real possibility of success. General entrance requirements and average GCSE scores are taken into consideration when agreeing a student’s study programme. These requirements are shown in the table below.

Average GCSE Score
Recommended study programme
Above 5 points with at least 5 A to C grades Students may choose any combination of courses
Between 4 and 5 points with at least 5 A to C grades BTEC Level 3 should make up two units the first year’s study programme
Less than 4 points with at least 4 passes at grade D or above Include two BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificates in the first year’s study programme

Every student has different needs and applications will be treated on their merits within the broad guidelines given above. For example, if a student has an average point score of 7 or above, they should consider taking the equivalent of 5 AS Levels and dropping to 4 A Levels in their second year.

Students should consider their study programmes with care and do not need to make any final decisions until after they receive their GCSE results.

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