The Jump from A Levels to Admission Season | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 20, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 20, 2018

OPINION

The Jump from A Levels to Admission Season

Remember the good old days after O levels when everyone used to tell you about A levels being the hardest obstacle you'll need to go through in life? I can almost hear you laughing in pain, fellow university admission candidates.

I'm not going to lie, A levels were a tough cookie. It felt never-ending and all you wanted to do was go back to the easy and cosy days of O levels. But now that A levels are over, do you want to go back to A levels? I don't think so. Do you want to be part of the admission season? I don't think the answer to that is “yes” either.

So we have reached a point of no return. And we can't really dwell over bygones and what could have been because there's barely enough time to even breathe during admission season. Honestly, I commend you for taking the time to read this while you could be getting some sleep or something. Or maybe you've already forgotten what sleep is.

I knew admission exam preparations were going to be daunting because I had heard of stories from the veterans. Yes, veterans, because your mental, emotional, and physical abilities are all put to test in a matter of a few months. One question that I can't get out of my head is, “Why is an admission exam required when I've already done A levels and that's enough for universities overseas?” But then that begs for another question: “Can exams ever actually determine my potential?” I think the answer to that is heck no, but our education system seems to think otherwise.

A huge contrast from A levels is the time for preparation. A levels takes two years or more, but admission exam prep time is only a few months. Cramming was discouraged heavily during A levels whereas now, cramming is the only choice. Almost everyone has a unique method of studying, or at least I do, but this season requires a completely different method.

Don't you think the admission exams are asking for a little too much? I mean, I know the top universities of Bangladesh want the best of the best but these same universities don't score all that high up in international rankings. Why is it that I have to work harder here if something better is already out there?

That's where the financial aspect comes in. We've already spent a fortune on A levels exams that will soon mean next to nothing to us. We're spending thousands of taka on coaching for admission exams of universities that we might not get into. But still, we'd have to spend even more to study abroad. In my opinion, it's mostly all about money, and that's the most disheartening thing when you're working so hard to get an education that might not even be that beneficial.

The only thing in common between A levels and admission exam preparation is that there is no shortcut. It's do or die, or more like study or die, and I can't wait for it all to be over so I can scare my juniors with horrifying prep stories.

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