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Will university applicants be disadvantaged if they did not take the Speaking and Listening component of English 0500 or 0990?

The Speaking and Listening component of syllabus 0500/0990 is optional and is separately endorsed on a scale of 1 (High) to 5 (Low) or Distinction (High) to Pass (Low) for 0990. Students can take the 0500/0990 English syllabus and proceed to A Levels. However, some Higher Education institutions may require evidence of all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) for certain courses – for example, in Health and Social Care.

Students wishing to study medicine at UK universities are strongly advised to sit the Speaking and Listening components as many medical schools will require evidence of all four skills. For candidates who have not been entered for the Speaking and Listening component as part of their GCSE, this may involve an additional evaluation at interview stage or a letter from the school declaring that the student meets the speaking and listening criteria.

With this in mind, we would advise that you consider entering some or all of your candidates - particularly those with medical school ambitions - for the speaking and listening assessment that we have in our IGCSE English Language syllabuses in order to minimise any future difficulties.

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