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An A level course in the UK. Rarely a taught course in the traditional sense, but nevertheless an exam sat by roughly 12% of candidates each year. The system in my college was that everyone sat a mock exam, and those that passed were allowed to take the full A-level.

The exam consists of several sections, some multiple choice questions, short answer questions and short essay questions. Subjects covered (at roughly GCSE standard) include Art, Literature, Mathematics and a Language (chosen weeks before entering the exam). The essays are generally a chance to demonstrate knowledge of current issues in science, ethics, politics etc.

Since it is not usually taught, General Studies is not an indication of hard work, dedication or ability to study and hence it is not accepted by many universities. However, it is accepted by several institutions on a level footing with more traditional subjects because it represents an ability to take in all kinds of information and demonstrates a more well rounded knowledge base.

In the sixth form, we often said that General Studies should be renamed Pub Quiz A-level.

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