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GED and SATs route

(6 Posts)
wordsmithsforever Fri 04-Apr-14 07:25:09

I was wondering if anyone on MN has by any chance gone the GED and SATs route with their DCs as an alternative to IGCSEs and A/AS levels?

I'm not in the UK (in southern hemisphere) but a friend has just facilitated her son through his GED and I gather he will write SATs for university entrance next. My friend said he completed the online course is around 6 weeks!

I have another friend who also went this route with her son and he is now in final year at university doing Engineering.

The GED/SAT route seems so much less demanding than the IGCSE/A/AS level route.

Has anyone does this? Are there any advantages/disadvantages?

Does anyone know if the GED/SAT route would be acceptable to British universities? (This last question is on behalf of a friend who has just taken her DD out of school here and is considering a UK university later on.)

So many questions - thanks in advance for any advice anyone might have!

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Fri 04-Apr-14 21:15:14

I'm guessing you mean the GED and SATs based on the US system?

You'll have to check with the particular Universities on their requirement but most UK Universities require more than just the basic SATs alongside a high school diploma equivalent, most will want a SAT subject test in the area you're going for (Writing II used to also be required by pretty much everyone, but it is now part of the main SAT) or AP tests alongside. Less academic courses, you may be able to interview in without it (I did for a joint humanities course), but that's getting less common from what I've heard unless applying as a mature student (as I did) and not really at all if they want want to go for something like medicine or engineering. I would not say the SATs are the easy option - I did them, they are as difficult as the media and any google search say, there are tons of SAT prep programmes and tutors for a reason - the goalpost on them shifts quickly and their meant to be a test of ones ability to handle University rather than knowledge of a subject and so are at that level of University maths and English (though research shows that while they are accurate for young men, they underestimate young women, but that's a different rant). Sure, it's just one test, but it covers a lot and is a lot more abstract and with more Universities requiring AP tests alongside, I wouldn't give them as a sure bet to anything in the UK. It really seems like the SATs are holding less weight here than before, likely because they're so abstract.

GEDs are simply general education diploma, most people take the test without having taken a course (at least one of my siblings did, took it and got it though he never finished 10th grade), and sure it's likely less demanding, but for many it also carries less weight because it can be done in such a short space of time and is aimed more practically than academically. Not sure how UK Universities view them as most just say they want a 'pass' on a high school diploma and focus more on the other tests, but - I would never recommend it for my own kids.

wordsmithsforever Sat 05-Apr-14 06:27:40

Thanks v much TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy. Yes, I was referring to the US system. So it seems that maybe I've conflated SATs and the GED when in fact they are v different?

Interesting about the gender bias of the SATs - I hadn't heard of that before but it's intriguing. I don't know what the AP tests are - better go off and consult Google! Thanks again for the advice.

bochead Sat 05-Apr-14 12:37:50

There are lots of online and correspondance schools that offer the american high school diploma. This can be an option if you want to avoid exams but do check they are properly accredited - generally the ones linked to good Unis like Miami or Stanford seem to go down well with UK unis. They like to see some AP courses on the transcript. I have cousins who grew up in Saudi that took this route.

Over here the GED is looked upon as what you do if you got pregnant at 14 or were too thick to complete a regular high school programme. (sorry if that sounds prejudiced).

They also accept OU level 1 courses, in place of A levels (aim for a minimum of 120 points) but the cost of these has just soared.

In the UK I wouldn't risk NOT doing English and maths GCSE as they are baseline requirements for so many things nowadays. Even if a Uni didn't require them, most employers do.

bochead Sat 05-Apr-14 18:11:34

Was just thinking - Australia and Canada pioneered distance learning and correspondance and online high schools due to the geography of these nations. It was meeting young people from Canada now at Uni in the Uk that solidified my choice to give online school a go for DS.

If you are in the Southern hemisphere why not take a look at the Australian High school offerings for distance and online learning?

wordsmithsforever Sat 05-Apr-14 19:36:36

That's actually a brilliant idea bochead! I mean thinking about it, it shouldn't matter whether you're in the Outback or in Africa ... will definitely take a look. Do your dc use an online school bochead?

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