I grew up not knowing A levels existed, till a month before actually studying A levels.

Date: 3/6/2022

By: Sachin Dangi

Journey of a student from alevels to S&P 100 company

When did you first hear about A levels?

I grew up not knowing A levels existed till a month before studying A levels. I came from outside of the valley and around my hometown, A level was unheard of. I can’t even think of anyone neither in my family nor my relative circle who had done A levels.

I came to Kathmandu after completing my SLC. There I joined in bridge course. The main goal till the moment I joined the bridge course was to get into a decent college that taught science. We had different sessions and orientations at the bridge course. One of them was about A levels. That was when I first heard about A levels. In the bridge course after completing my SLC.

Why did choose A levels instead of +2 Science?

After I heard about A levels, I started researching about A levels. I found it to be quite competitive on a global scale. The syllabus is updated regularly. The best part was the option to transfer credit to foreign universities. That was the deciding factor for me “Credit Transfer”.

During A levels experience?

I used to live in a hostel so I often compared the way I was taught in class with those of my roommates who studied +2. I could see that we at A level were being taught fewer topics but with deeper content, whereas my other friends were learning larger content on a surfacial level.  Both of these formats have their advantages and disadvantages, but I loved the way I was getting my education.

One of my eye-opening moments was when I first sat for an A levels exam. Never had I ever been in an exam hall that tensed. You are not even allowed the freedom to drop your pencil or sharper. However, a real shocker was that I had a book full of formulas and period tables right on my exam desk placed by the examiner. While it is a dream come true for someone who is studying +2, for A-levels students, the real pain is when having a book full of formulas and you still can solve the given problem on the question paper. This speaks of how well-written the questions are. They don’t need mugging off of formulas. They need a creative and informative brain that can make use of given formulas to find solutions to a given problem.

During two years of A levels, I loved how we were always encouraged to take part and organize Extra-Curricular Activities. We were always reminded that our competition is not with the person sitting next to us nor with someone studying in other parts of the country. It was with students all around the world who studied A levels. We learned to compete on a global scale.

Suggestions for those joining A levels

All risks come with rewards. While the risk of A levels is that it might get tough, fees might be a bit expensive, the rewards are way more overwhelming like deep knowledge base, global competitiveness, credit transfer, easy acceptance in Universities abroad, and many more.

Try to find the good subjects combination while studying A levels. Just because you find some subject harder don’t replace it with something simpler. Put in that little bit extra effort to excel in it.

I wanted to be an engineer and I knew I had to make a Physics-Chemistry-Biology-Maths combination. That combination opened ways for me to choose the engineering field but at the same time I did had the option to join the medical field due to Biology in the combination. Had I not taken Biology I would have missed that opportunity.

Finding the right combination of subjects is something new students who are entering A levels should pay extra attention to.

Post A levels: What are doing now?

After completing my A-Levels, I applied to come study in the United States. I joined engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. During my undergrad days, for the first couple of months what we were being taught at college was something that I had already studied during my A levels days. It helped me make a smooth start to my undergrad life. While other friends who had joined the same university and had done +2 in Nepal had a difficult time adjusting to a new system of education. That shift was relatively easier for me in terms of educational content and the way it was being taught.

After completing my undergrad and getting a degree as a mechanical engineer, I now work at a Fortune 100 company in R&D reliability. My work is to test the reliability of medical devices before they go out to the market.

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Prince Agrawal

Works in R&D reliability

For Fortune 100 company

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