O-Levels are the part of Cambridge secondary 2nd stage and are one of the equivalents to the UK General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). The main purpose and objective of designing such education pattern is to enrich the students with the international market and are being varied according to the different cultures of various countries. The respective qualification although being on international standards that are on British standards still is being designed for those candidates who do not have English as their first language. In many countries including Pakistan O-levels is being carried out in 3 years while in abroad it is being conducted in 2 years only. Now the initiative of accomplishing the program in 2 years is also being carried on in Pakistan.
The O-Levels is being specifically designed on the international standards and is generally for 14 to 16 years of students. No basic criteria of eligibility is being set for this specific program but the only requirement is your accomplishment of primary schooling till the 8th standard form where you opt for either matriculation or O-Levels.
Requirement for O-Levels:
Generally the O-Levels examination is taken in minimum seven to nine (7-9) subjects and maximum there is no restriction, one can appear in all the courses which are being offered in the program according to his or her own will. The specific courses which are being opted required 150 hours of teaching.
The main focus of Cambridge O level curriculum is to impart wide and balanced study ranging across of several subjects according to the interest and the requirement. The critical emphasis is on both the practical as well as the theoretical knowledge which enables the students to develop their conceptual learning, skills, creativity and solving of problem structured enquirers.
Major Subjects offered by O-Levels in Pakistan:
- Additional Mathematics:
- Business Studies
- Computer Studies
- English Literature
- Food & Nutrition
- Human & Social Biology
- Principles of Accounts
- English Language
- Pakistan Studies
- Urdu (First Language)
- Urdu (Second Language)
Major Schools offering O-Levels in Lahore:
- Beacon House Systems
- Lahore Grammar School
- Defense Public School
- Crescent model School
- The City School
- University college of Lahore
After completing the course the examinations are being taken for the O-Level program. There are several methods of assessment which includes written, practical, Alternative to practical and oral as per prescribed conditions and policies. The grading system which is being allocated to the student appearing in exams is a six-point scale system station from “A*” till the “E”, where grade A* is the highest while the grade E is the lowest.
In a single calendar year a student can appear only times for their respective O-Level exams as per the conditions of British Council in Pakistan as well as in the entire world. The two sessions of examination takes place in May/June and October/November, although there are several courses which are being offered either in May/June or in Oct/Nov only.
After the accomplishment of the O-Levels students have various prospects where they can apply for their continual academic career. The two basic paths which are being followed generally in Pakistan are that either the student continue the British and international pattern by opting for Cambridge A-Levels which is the second stage after O-Levels, or the other option can be that the respective student follow the national academic structure by selecting inter which includes FSC, ICS, ICOM as per their field, interest and selected courses.
Benefits of O-Level:
- O-Levels provide the basic knowledge and the confident in a student at the initial level of their academic career.
- It improves the communication skills by imparting the knowledge in English language.
- It enhances the grip over the English language in the developing countries like Pakistan where there is a deficiency of such skills and calibers.