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A level stamp © chrisdorney – fotolia.com
© chrisdorney – fotolia.com
Follow our guide to choosing your A levels

Choosing A Levels

By Alison Utley

What are A levels?

A levels (Advanced Levels) and AS levels (Advanced Subsidiary) are courses that students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland take after GCSEs. They are the most common qualification for admission to university.

  • They can be taken in schools, sixth form centres and further education colleges and are very well regarded by both universities and by employers. The majority of entrants to UK universities have A levels.

Making the right subject choices can seem bewildering. But if you follow our straightforward guidelines you will be well on the way to making smart, well-informed decisions about the next steps.

  • This is the time in your life to consider which subjects you enjoy and do well in and, just as importantly, which ones to leave behind!

A levels are two-year qualifications which give students a chance to study an existing GCSE subject in greater depth, or perhaps to try a completely new subject like law, drama or economics for example.

  • Be prepared for a jump in the level of difficulty when you move from GCSE to A or AS level (or any other advanced level qualification for that matter).
  • You’ll see differences in the way you’re taught and what is expected of you – but schools and colleges are experienced in supporting students with the transition.