Markha, A-Level student
After attending Russian school for just two years, Markha and her family moved to Dubai and then to England. Since returning to Russia a few years ago, Markha has completed her GCSEs and is now well on her way to graduating with A-levels in Mathematics, Biology and Economics.
In Dubai there are a lot of international schools, so I started the British programme there. I didn’t know English, so I had to learn it through an ESL programme. From there, we moved to England, where I went to different schools in Oxford. Because we had to move back to Russia around 2014-15, I couldn’t complete my GCSEs. However, I really liked studying in English, rather than in Russian, as I wasn’t used to it, so I decided to finish my GCSEs with an online school. I took my exams at Algorithm, as an exam centre. As for my A levels — I knew my sister studied them here a few years earlier, and she really liked the experience, so I thought I would do the same.
So far, I really like it here. I like the fact I have more control over my school life, which is not something I’m used to. I like how independent I get to be here. I also love the location in the centre of the city, because if I do get an hour break I can go for a walk. I find that the teachers are very focused on preparing us for exams, which is something that was lacking last year, when I was doing GCSE business studies. I knew all the information but I didn’t know how to apply it. Right now, I ‘m studying Economics, and it’s fairly similar to business in terms of the exam style. A lot of it is knowing with big essays, that are 10 or 14 marks , what goes into them. That you need application, knowledge and evaluation. Our Business Studies teacher at my old school never taught us that. I really like the fact that the teachers here give us constant practice and I feel a lot more secure in my exam knowledge.
I’ve spoken to a few students here, who wanted to do the IB programme but just couldn’t find it, because it’s so rare in Moscow. With A-level, I already knew that this option was available because my older sister did it, plus when I studied in England, I planned to take A-levels because you get to focus on 3 subjects which you choose. Whereas, for IB you have to choose subjects from each category. I knew that I didn’t want to study something that I didn’t enjoy for 2 more years. I really like my subjects, and although I never did Economics before, I knew that I would like it and I think it’s now my favourite. It’s a subject that I just understand and it makes me think a lot. I don’t find it a chore to go to lessons here.
This year, once I know my AS grades, I can estimate which grades I can aim for. I will have to spend the summer looking at universities. I know I want to go to a university abroad, not in Russia, perhaps in England . I want to do Law, or maybe, Psychology, but I’m leaning towards Law, which is very practical and doesn’t ask for required subjects, normally. They require that you have an A or a B for English GCSE, and I have an A* for English and literature, so I won’t have to sit a language examination. I think there are a lot of opportunities in law, so it won’t restrict me. I’m really optimistic about the future.
At the moment I’d like to be an entrepreneur, start my own business. Also, I’d like to be a lawyer. Before that, I liked the whole medical field, but it takes a lot of time to get a medical degree, and I didn’t chemistry and didn’t want to take it for a level. I guess I’ll have to observe the field from afar. But I am really interested in biology, it’s one of my favourite subjects.
My mother recommended that I connect my passion for law with business as well. In a lot of businesses they need lawyers, so I’d get to see a different side of business. You can mix and match.
Outside of school I got a diploma as a professional make up artist. So far I’ve just been practicing on my friends, for my own practice and to create a portfolio, in case I ever want to work in that field. If I do have spare time, which lately doesn’t happen often, I paint. I also write poetry sometimes, if I’m inspired enough to do it. I don’t like to write with rhyme, because I find that it sounds childish. I write poems about situations, or, if I’m inspired by a movie, I’ll try to project a characters feelings and write them into a poem. I actually have two published poems. When I lived in England my literature teacher asked me to publish them in the Great British Book of Poems, a big collection of student works, so technically I’m a published author.
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