Advanced Level qualifications (known as A-Levels) are individual subject based qualifications. They are one option available to students who are looking to study at university. With A-Levels being standalone qualifications, there is no requirement on subject combinations and students’ only constraint is the combinations available within the school timetable. A-Levels are graded from A*-E.
Students will usually take 3 or 4 A-Levels and this would be what universities would be looking for as offers based mainly on 3 A-Level grades. If you are debating which subjects to choose, we recommend you start with 4 A-Levels so you can have a range to begin with which you can narrow down later. Students will receive 6 lessons per subject each week with most subjects being 100% examination-based. Subjects either fit into the category of modular A-Levels or linear A-Levels. In modular subjects, students will take up to three exams in Year 12 and up to three in Year 13 whereas, with linear A-Levels, students complete all exams at the end of Year 13.
A-Levels are internationally recognised qualifications which will give you access to the most competitive universities worldwide. While taking A-Levels would give you the necessary prerequisites with regards to subjects, you may need to take further tests in English in order to study at universities where courses are delivered in English. In addition, students wishing to study certain subjects worldwide need to review the Mathematics requirements for entry into the university of their choice. Students wishing to apply to particularly competitive universities should consider taking 4 A-Level subjects.
Taking a combination of A-Levels will allow you to specialise in a particular area post 16 as opposed to waiting until you begin university. With few subjects having coursework components, there is a lot of focus on exam skills. However, there is the option of taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in order to develop your academic writing and research skills. Competitive universities often place value on the completion of the EPQ as the skills developed through the EPQ translate well into university requirements.