Is it worth sitting CIE exams in year 13?

Hi all, thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope this finds you in good health. My question is whether it is worth self studying for CIE exams in my last of year of highschool in NZ if I am aiming for a top university. I would like to know how it would affect my overall academic evaluation. This is because my school only does NCEA, and due to certain circumstances I have not achieved at the level I believe I am capable of.

I did Cambridge math in year 11 and found it much more interesting and stimulating compared to the NCEA math curriculum and as a result will probably sit a couple A levels next year regardless. However it is always nice to know how much weight one’s formal education carries.

P. S. I would also appreciate if certain subjects of the A level curriculum could be recommended to me as physics and chemistry (my two most proficient subjects after math) are unavailable at the local examination center. I was thinking History, Economics and perhaps Classics.

P. P. S. What is an above average number of A levels to take.

Thank you sincerely for your consideration,

1 Replies


Taking on some CIE subjects which will show your strength in them will definitely boost your candidacy, especially if you plan to go for top universities. Considering your NCEAs didn’t go as well as you expected, doing well in several CIE subjects will help you stand out.

With regards to which specific CIE subjects to take, it depends on how well you can do on them and how related they are with your intended majors of study for university.

Crimson offers tutoring service across CIE subjects as well as advice for subject choices. Hit the team up if you’d like to know more about it!

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