UK University Entry Examinations (IGCSE/A levels)

UK University Entry Examinations (IGCSE/A levels)

The British IGCSE/A-level system is more specialised than the Swiss system

The English university entrance examinations (IGCSE/GCE A levels) are not only suitable for all-rounders (as is the Swiss Matura), but also for students whose talents lie in a smaller number of specific subjects. Students who are excellent at languages and humanities but struggle with the natural sciences or mathematics  – or the other way around – are more likely to succeed in the British system. By specialising in a narrower range of subjects at an earlier age they are also better prepared for their future studies at university. However, their general education will be less broad than that of Matura students in the final two years of their college programme.

Excellence and performance-based access to universities

The British university entrance examinations are based on performance. Access to universities depends upon the grades achieved. Students who attain good passes on the IGCSE/A levels will be able to study either in Switzerland or abroad. Students with top grades will have easier access to UK and US elite universities, while students with low passes will be able to continue at a Swiss University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule, after an internship), a College of Professional Education and Training (Höhere Fachschule), or a number of universities outside Switzerland.

What are the advantages of the British university entrance examinations?

  • They are the world's best-known university entrance qualification.
  • They afford access to universities and institutions of higher education in Switzerland and abroad, including the world-renowned ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology).
  • The British curriculum is the ideal preparation for studies in English. This applies both to institutions of higher education in Switzerland and in most countries of the world.
  • Students receive separate certificates in each subject they pass, and can repeat individual subjects as often as they wish.
  • They are ideal for students whose strengths are concentrated in specific subject areas (e.g. a good linguist who is weak in mathematics).
  • They allow for a high degree of specialisation.
  • They are suitable for students who have been educated at Swiss schools.
  • They are suitable for students educated at international schools or schools based on the UK curriculum.

IGCSE/GCE A-level examinations in Switzerland

The British Edexcel exams are held on site at Hull's School and marked in London.


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Hull's School

Hull’s School not only pushed my international career goals, but during this period of my life, I connected with many fascinating and inspiring colleagues, who became very close friends and helped me build my professional network.

Eva Pellegrini