A Levels or T Levels – which one should I choose?
T Levels, launched in 2020, are focussed on trade and industry skills to help students enter the workforce; they are considered less hands-on than Apprenticeships. In Sixth Form or College you will take one T-Level, rather than the three or four that is expected in A-Levels. This will be focussed on a specific industry, such as Childcare, Construction or Digital among many more, with the skills learned giving you key skills for your future career in this area.
The course is a combination of in-class study and work placement. T Level learners spend 80% of the course in the classroom, learning the essential skills that employees need. The other 20% is a meaningful industry placement helping young people develop the knowledge, attitude and practical skills to thrive in the workplace.
A-Levels are the traditional route for students to take after completing GCSEs. They are academically focussed and typically more theoretical than other qualifications, not creating a route into a specific industry or job. They do not involve study of a specific career or skills related to one, but instead on academic elements of a specific subject area.
How do T Levels differ to A Levels and which one is right for me?
The main difference between T-Levels and A-Levels is that T-Levels focus on one subject while A-Levels are focussed on multiple. You take both in a school/college setting after the age of 16 once you have completed GCSEs. T-Levels are more practical/vocational based, whereas A-Levels are more theoretical, but both demand academic rigour and hard work to complete and are accepted by universities and employers.
Because T -Levels focus on a specific sector, they are a great option for students who know what industry they wish to enter in the future but are not yet ready to enter the workforce.
A-Levels are a good option for students who want to continue subjects at a rigorous academic level, and do not have a specific trade or job in mind, or who want to keep doing a range of subjects. They are great for students that want to focus on theoretical study of subjects they want to pursue at a higher level such as university.
We know it is confusing deciding what route to take post 16, however, it is important that learners talk with careers advisers in their current place of education and find out what is right for them. Additionally, talk to staff about your options when you visit other education providers on an open day, taster day or personal tour. They can advise on the right course of action for you and your interests, subjects areas you love alongside any career aspirations you may have at this early stage.