Aiming for a top university with the one-year A-level at Kings London
We recently spoke to Taisei Tsuruoka, from Japan, about his experience on the one-year A-level programme at Kings London, and his plans for future study.
Which course are you studying here at Kings London?
I’m doing the one-year A-level.
What made you decide to come to Kings?
Actually I used to go to a school in Suffolk, but I couldn’t get in to my desired university so I needed to retake my A-levels. The reason I came here is because they offer the one-year A-level, I didn’t want to spend another two years.
How are you finding the course and what subjects are you taking?
I have to say the one-year A-level is quite intense, but each lesson is well organised so it’s not a problem. I’m doing Maths, Further Maths and Chemistry.
What are your pans for university, and for your future career?
I’ve been interested in computing since I was young, so I have applied for Computer Science courses at university. I’ve actually had an offer from UCL, which is good. My career will be as a systems engineer or programmer.
Where are you staying here?
I’m staying with a host family. They are quite outgoing, so they take me to the Science Museum and other places I’ve never been to in Central London.
Do you do any enrichment activities here?
Yes, I go to Chess Club. I used to have a friend who is really good at chess and he has taught me quite a lot!
What do you think of the school’s location in Beckenham?
It’s quite close to Central London, but not right in the countryside, so it’s a good place. I go to Central London for shopping with my friends quite often.
What are the main difference between Kings London and the school you went to in Japan?
The big difference is that in this school there are less than 10 people in lessons – in Japan we had about 30 people. I guess this is good as the teachers can take care of every student.
What would you say to anyone considering coming to Kings to study A-levels?
I would say A-levels are quite hard, but every lesson is well organised and the teachers are friendly, so you’ll be fine – as long as you have a passion to go to university.
Other than your subject teachers, who else has helped you with your university applications?
Portia, she’s the UCAS advisor – she has helped me to choose universities that are good for the subject I’m interested in.
What area do you think you have improved the most?
I used to have IELTS lessons with Nick, and we focused on speaking. I used to get 6.5 but now I’m at 7.5…that’s where I’ve been helped most.
Taisei was one of the first students to take our one-year A-level programme and went on to achieve excellent grades, with A* in Maths and Further Maths and B in Chemistry. He will be starting at the University of Manchester this September to study Mathematics.