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Inspiring Young People


Course Overview

The Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subject in Mandarin Chinese is the equivalent of an A Level qualification. It equips students with the skills they need to make a success of their undergraduate studies. It is a two year programme of study. 

The structure of the syllabus is linear, so students take exams at the end of the whole course. They are fully compatible with A Levels and may be taken in combination with them. 

Entry Requirements

A grade 6 in GCSE Chinese is required to study the Pre-U Mandarin Chinese course.

A Level Topics and Assessment

Language Components 

  1. Family 
  2. Young people 
  3. Education 
  4. The media 
  5. Work and leisure 
  6. The environment

Culture Components 

(Students will be required to read and write both in English) 

  1. Chinese culture 
  2. Chinese literature and film

Cambridge Exam 

Paper 1: Speaking 

Paper 2: Listening, reading and translation

Paper 3: Writing and usage 

Paper 2: Chinese Culture


15 minutes Speaking Test 

Written Exam:

2 hours and 30 minutes 

Written Exam:

2 hours 

Written Exam:

2 hours and 30 minutes 


20% of qualification 

30% of qualification 

25% of qualification 

25% of qualification 

Beyond the Classroom and Future Prospects

Students of the Pre-U Mandarin Chinese course have the opportunity to attend the British Council Language Programme in China and take a gap year to teach English in a Chinese school. Students also can attend the Chinese Language and culture summer camp in China and to visit our linked school in Shanghai. This course enables students to continue with Mandarin studies in higher education.

Student Experience

I loved studying Mandarin. The course allowed me to study the culture of China as well as the language. It was a very interesting course and a great choice to take for your future