Skip to content ↓
Worthing High School

Worthing High School

A Levels - What are they?

What are A Levels?

An ‘advanced level’ or A-level is a qualification offered across a range of subjects to school-leavers (usually aged 16-18 years old), graded A*-E.

  • A-levels are studied across two years – the first year is an AS year (Year 12) and the second year, an A2 year (Year 13). You may sometimes hear A-levels being described as 'linear' – this phrase is used to describe the fact that A-level grades are determined by your final exam results at the end of Year 13.
  • Well-known level 3 qualification that is offered as an option by colleges & 6th Forms for students after Year 11.
  • They are a two-year course.
  • You can study either 3 or 4 subjects. Most students would study 3.
  • There are around 80 different A Level subjects and each college offers its own choice of subjects.
  • You will normally require a minimum of 5 grade 4’s at GCSE including English & Maths. Each college will have different entry requirements and so will each subject. (eg to study Biology A Level at Worthing College you will need 5 GCSE’s at Grade 4 & above, including a 5 in Maths & a double 6 in Science).
  • Some subjects at A level can be a Double or Triple subject, which means that they are 2 or 3 A Level equivalent.
  • You don’t always need to have studied the subject at GCSE to take it at A Level, so this maybe a great opportunity to try something new.
  • Most A Level subjects will involve academic work with final exams at the end of the second year of study to assess the grade that you achieve. (similar to GCSE’S)
  • There can be quite a big leap in difficulty level between a GCSE and A-level.
  • You’ll be studying things in more detail, and you’ll probably find that your teacher or tutor expects a lot more independent study and engagement from you than they did at GCSE level.
  • They are a recognised pathway to Universities.
  • Colleges offer other Level 3 subjects which are equivalent to A Levels, but these can be named as WJEC, CAMTEC or BTEC & can usually be combined with A Levels. These can be determined by a combination of coursework & exams.