Qualifications that are accepted by universities and employers around the world

A-levels are both nationally and internationally recognised qualifications that are required for entry into many university courses and professional training opportunities. It offers the flexibility to explore the subjects you love and helps to get a place at college or university at home or abroad. Students typically study A-levels between the ages of 17 and 18 after completion of Secondary Education (Grade 10).

A-levels can help acquire skills such as:

  • Analytical Thinking
  • Critical Thinking
  • Knowledge Management
  • Persuasion and Developing an Argument
  • Case Study Development
  • Research Skills
  • Drawing Conclusions

Course length and format

Students usually complete A-levels in two years. In the first year, you study the first half of the A-level, which is called the AS-level. In the second year, you study the A2-level. Your combined result from both years is your A-level grade. A-levels are assessed by a mixture of practical coursework and exams in both years (AS and A2).

Exam boards

A-levels are offered by two main exam boards – Cambridge Assessment International Education and Pearson Edexcel. If your school or college has a preferred exam board, you may not need to choose.

Find out which exam board is right for you.

Choosing subjects

There are many different A-level subjects to choose from, although availability varies by country, exam board and school.

University requirements

UK universities typically require students to pass three subjects at A-level, but you should check the entry requirements of the universities that you are considering.

See what grades you need to get a place at your chosen university


We can help you to study and pass your exams via access to study guides, past exam papers and other helpful resources.

Cambridge Assessment International Education - Past Papers

Get study tips and resources.


Grades and marking

Your A-level coursework and exam results are graded on a scale from A* to E. 


Your exam results will be sent to your school or nearest British Council office several weeks  after your final exam or coursework submission.

See also

External links