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    About AS & A level

    AS (Advanced Subsidiary) and A (Advanced) level is a qualification offered across a range of subjects. It is a UK subject-based qualification for students aged 16 and above. They are usually studied over two years, leading to qualifications recognised for entrance to higher education institutes in the UK and many others worldwide.

    Advised Subsidiary (AS) LEVEL – 1st Year

    Advanced (A/A2) LEVEL – 2nd Year

    Entry Requirements

    • Need at least five GCSEs at grades A*-C
    • Grade B or above at GCSE in a particular subject to take it at AS or A level
    • Some schools and FE colleges also ask that you have GCSE grade C or above in English and maths.

    How do A-levels work?

    • 80 AS and A level subjects available – can continue with subjects taken in Years 11 and 12 and/or take new ones.
    • Choose three or four subjects
    • Can take more subjects depending on college requirement
    • At the end of the first year, take exams in all subjects. If subjects taken as an AS-level, this exam determines final grade. 
    • If full A-level course taken, AS level results won’t have any impact on final grade

    Resources for AS and A2 Levels

    • Cambridge publishes a set of textbooks geared towards the curriculum of each subjects – offer comprehensive cover for both the AS and A2 courses.
    • Study guides and textbooks produced by other companies that target A Level students.
    • Past papers from Cambridge site (English 8021 – Paper 1 – Essay (30 marks 1 hr 15 mins), Paper 2 – Comprehension (50 marks) – 1 hr 45 mins)

    Cambridge International AS & A Level:


    • Exam twice each year. The first is in May/June, and the second is in October/November.
    • 70 per cent written exams
    • 30 per cent internal assessment
    • Average of two scores is taken to produce overall A Level score
    • Assessment can vary from subject to subject with some being completely assessed through written exams
    • Practical skills considered in subjects like science or art.
    • All A levels include some ‘synoptic assessment’ as part of the A2 – testing understanding of the whole subject, and contribute 20 per cent to the full A level.
    • The grading scale runs from A* – E.

    The Difference Between AS and A2 Level

    1. Minor differences in exam structure eg AS science papers have a multiple-choice component but A2 science papers do not
    2. Both one-year courses.
    3. Both require a year-long study that culminates in a series of exams.
    4. Both count for 50% of your final A Level mark.
    5. A2 Levels are generally harder than AS Levels. They build on the knowledge you learn by taking your AS papers.

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