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For your consideration by Mackenzie Kirkman

A -LEV ELS A N D YO U

So w hat are the A-Levels?


So by now Im sure youve gleaned that A-levels are ostensibly a big test, by
certain
buzzwords, like exams, and study, and well it being obvious. But heres
a crash course that will hopefully give you a Brit level of understanding.

So the technical name of these tests is the General Certification of


Education Advanced Level, an important note here is that British people
have only had to attend school until the age of 18 since 2015! Up until 2013
they could quit school at 16, and for the brief period of 2013-15, they could
stop at 17.

On a side note that means some of these lovely studious people could have been
planning on quitting and the government screwed them over.

So basically, though students are now legally obligated to attend class until
theyre 18, these secondary schools (or sixth form colleges, or higher
education college, or tertiary college (no Im not going in to why there are
soooooo many institutions)) are sort of considered tester colleges. For
lack of a better word. And is a way are still culturally thought of as a choice.

It might help to think of these exams as the SAT. But the SAT. on steroids.
Actually, consider it the SATs child with the worst final exam youve ever
taken. WHILE ALSO applying for college. But also having no other way of
getting in to college if you do poorly.

Yeah. Its bad.

So w hat is England doing?

HA! Making money of course! Wellsort of. As the global consciousness


moves towards academia (even our countrys climate is proof of that)
theres always going to be a group that goes Hey.I can exploit this for
profit. And in the place of English schools, its the ISC (the Independent
Schools Council). (admittedly thats a pretty bleak out look)

Now, certainly England has a lot of facilities that offer education. If youre
going to require something you have to have a free (I use this word
tenuously even with the quotes) option. Englands problem is that the free
option, well. Its sort of like the Hunger Games.

W hys it like the H unger


G am es?

Impressing Dr. B with my use of her favorite movie aside. It really is a


dangerous gambit. If you dont have the money (hello stupid clothes
and silly names *cough*Chadwick*cough* of the inner districts) to go to the
ISC schools you get thrown into a name pool (I dont think I have to
explain that one) and get randomly assigned to a school. Now the
best of these state run schools is just as good as the ISC schools, but
the ones that arent as good are way wayyyy worse (you knowlike
wherever Katniss is from. I dont know, I didnt read those books.)

So that means that despite England just coming out of a recession


parents are scraping together the money to send their kids to these
ISC schools to guarantee that they get a good chance.

51% of ISC students get A+s or As!

7% of English students are in ISC schools!

BUT 14% of 6th formers are in ISCs!

The trend is clear!

W ant som e statistics?


Here are some statistics.
14% of students admit to drinking.

Technically Williams drink was missing an orange


twist and a splash of club soda, to be a real Campari
& Grapefruit.
50% of students admit to skipping meals.
Skittles anyone?
59% of students admit to feeling pressure from their

parents.
Her mom probably would kill her.

But William got to it first.

64% said they never felt like they got any support.
Well. Thats sort of clear.
And a WHOPPING 94% said they generally felt exam

stress.
Because this test really does decide their future!

So in conclusion.

Jobless 16-17 year olds has risen to its highest since


1992, most of those were due to these students opting
out of continuing their studies. And since 2011. those
numbers have continued to rise due to most sixth form
colleges not accepting students who work.

Students have started missing their university of


choice by tiny margins. Like, Olympic swimmer
margins. Tiny. Tiny. Increments.

Despite this, and anything else that they might be


doing (you know how the US considers extracurricular,
sports, charity work, ect.) these exams are the
considered the deciding factor in their further study.

So we have this play, depicting a school shooting in a


country thats only had one school shooting in its
entire written history (and that wasnt perpetrated by a
student but rather an adult man with dubious mental
health) to stress the need for change in a darkening
state before something very bad happens, calling back
to the punk mentality of frustration in the face of
neglect and a struggle to survive.

Rock on everyone!