A Parents’ Guide to A Levels

AS and A Levels (Advanced Level) are somewhat different to GCSEs because they’re an opportunity for students to specialise in the subjects which interest them most. This is a welcome change for many young people and the challenge of choosing can be an enjoyable process.

Let’s look at what AS and A Levels actually are


Most students complete A Levels between the age of 16 and 18. A level results are what decide if your child will go to university, or indeed, which university they may attend.

A Levels became GCE A Levels in 2000 and were then divided into two different units which introduced AS and A2 levels. These were spread over two years and these changes were made so pupils could enjoy a broader knowledge of their subjects. Students have the choice to study for A Levels at school, sixth form or at a college.

Many students choose four AS Levels to study during their first year and usually leave one behind in year two when A Levels are completed.

AS Levels may be considered as a qualification in their own right or can be carried over to A2 the following year and that will result in the full A Level.

How Do Assessments Work?


Mainly through exams and coursework combined. Both of these aspects are looked at separately and graded individually, then
 the results are added up and this produces the grade.

Coursework is only part of some subjects and is normally completed outside of school time. Examinations are undertaken between May and June, each school varies.

If you have any questions or worries about A Levels, speak to your child’s teacher. Most schools like this private school in Bath, are happy to keep parents informed of any changes to the system and to help them understand what their child needs to do to prepare.

*Collaborative post

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