What is A-levels: Definition and 13 Discussions

The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualification offered by the educational bodies in the United Kingdom and the educational authorities of British Crown dependencies to students completing secondary or pre-university education. They were introduced in England and Wales in 1951 to replace the Higher School Certificate. A number of countries, including Singapore, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritius and Zimbabwe have developed qualifications with the same name as and a similar format to the British A Levels. Obtaining an A Level, or equivalent qualifications, is generally required for university entrance, with universities granting offers based on grades achieved.A Levels are generally worked towards over two years. Normally, students take three or four A Level courses in their first year of sixth form, and most taking four cut back to three in their second year. This is because university offers are normally based on three A Level grades, and taking a fourth can have an impact on grades. Unlike other level-3 qualifications, such as the International Baccalaureate, A Levels have no specific subject requirements, so students have the opportunity to combine any subjects they wish to take. However, students normally pick their courses based on the degree they wish to pursue at university: most degrees require specific A Levels for entry.In legacy modular courses (last assessment Summer 2019), A Levels are split into two parts, with students within their first year of study pursuing an Advanced Subsidiary qualification, commonly referred to as an AS or AS Level, which can either serve as an independent qualification or contribute 50% of the marks towards a full A Level award. The second part is known as an A2 or A2 Level, which is generally more in-depth and academically rigorous than the AS. The AS and A2 marks are combined for a full A Level award. The A2 Level is not a qualification on its own, and must be accompanied with an AS Level in the same subject for certification. Due to the fact that AS Levels are considered less academically rigorous, the A* grade is reserved for those taking the subject to A2 standard, so only A2 units contribute to this grade. Additionally, students who are displeased with results from their AS units have the ability to resit. However, this has been criticised as nurturing a 'resit culture' and causing perceived 'grade inflation'.

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  1. blaire

    Other Can I Study Physics? A-Levels, GCSEs & University

    I'm starting a college course in a month and I'll be studying the following A-levels: chemistry, maths, biology and psychology. When I applied for my course I was under the impression that A-level physics would be a part of it, but I found out during my interview that it is not. My issue is...
  2. M

    B Self learn calculus for UK A-levels?

    Hi, I am currently about to begin self studying for UK maths a-levels, however I am also wanting to gain a solid understanding of calculus. I know that calculus is covered in a-levels, but, the books for a-levels seem to be not as dense or as good as the US books I believe. My question is...
  3. M

    Studying Self teaching Gcse and A-Level maths

    Hi, I have recently embarked on the journey to do a mathematics degree. I am 16 and homeschooled, although, I self teach myself as I find it easier to read from textbooks and teach myself the material from resources online and the likes. I have taken a math Gcse a few months ago and was going...
  4. VNN

    Courses Are these A-level options suitable for pursuing medicine at Cambridge?

    Hello,I'm in Y11 And 5 Days away from deciding on my A-level Options... I would like to do medicine at Cambridge when i am older... I am academically v.strong... I was going to choose: 1)Physics 2)Biology 3)Chemistry 4)Mathematics 5)Further mathematics Are these good options? Hard? Thanks.
  5. P

    Can Physics Be Made Easy? Join Our Community of Science Enthusiasts!

    Hi there, I crossed the path of this website, and definitely thought I should hang out there and meet like-minded girls and guys who enjoy physical sciences. My name is Edouard Reny, I am a full time private Physics Tutor. My goal in life is to put back on the right path students that get lost...
  6. M

    What does GCE (UK) involve (A-levels)?

    Hi! What does the General Certificate of Education (?) in the UK involve? Is it the same as A-levels? Edit: It says I need the GCE with two A-levels, what does this mean?
  7. L = K - U

    An olympiad student interested in Cambridge

    Hi to everyone, this is my first post in this forum. I am really stressed and confused at the moment. I really need help from a Cambridge student/teacher/alumni. (This is going to be a long post, so bear with me) I am a Thai student, who was in the top finals of Thailand's Physics Olympiad...
  8. L

    Messed up A-levels very badly, what to do now?

    Hey, So, I want to go into something science/technology related but I'm not sure whether it's viable for me with my a-levels. I do physics, maths (mechanics) and history, and I will probably have quite bad A-level results in August. Not only have I retaken the year (frowned upon), I've...
  9. M

    Testing Preparing for Ireland's A-Levels & SAT Equivalents: Tips & Sample Papers

    Exams which are the Irish equivalent of SAT and A-Levels are starting next week. The samples below illustrate the differences. Does anyone have any advice how you should prepare mentally for these exams? Like how should you get yourself into the correct frame of mind? Here are sample papers...
  10. J

    Physics Physics careers with only A-Levels

    I'm 17 and currently studying Maths, Physics and Chemistry A2's at college. I keep feeling like going to university is being pushed upon me and I am looking for alternatives. Does anybody know any apprenticeship style paths that I could follow relating to physics or possibly even chemistry...
  11. U

    Calling all British and US students: A-levels vs AP

    Are A-levels or AP exam(s) is/are more difficult? Would someone do a honest comparison A-levels and AP courses. Is there a differnce in what covered in the Physics, other sciences, Maths, English, Forgein Language, History, Geography,Psychology, and...
  12. S

    Mechanics ( one easy Questionw hich i cant solve ) A-Levels Sylabbus

    1 a) A particle P of mass m is placed on a rough plane inclined at an angle tan-1 (5/12) to the horizontal.The coefficient of friction between the plane and P is 0.5. Prove that P will remain stationary. 1b ) A light inextensible string is fastened to P, passes up a line of greatest slope...
  13. jimmy p

    How did you do on your A-Levels

    How did everyone do?? I was a muchos grande failure... :frown: :frown: Biology: D Physics: E Chemistry: E Maths: U - I didnt get a grade in a single module! I'm completely gutted. I've failed myself cos I'm sure I did better in Biology and Physics. I wasnt planning too much on...