Why choose AS, A levels and IAL?


Do you want qualifications that are accepted by universities and employers around the world?

A-levels are internationally recognised qualifications that are required for entry into many university courses and professional training opportunities. Students typically study A-levels between the ages of 17 and 18. A-levels can help you:

  • get a place at college or university at home or abroad 
  • start the career you want
  • explore the subjects you love.

Every year, the British Council helps more than two million people take international exams. We are here to help you at every stage of your education – from choosing subjects to registering for exams.

 **There are important changes to the Pearson Edexcel GCE A Level Qualifications. Candidates are strongly advised to read through the updates here prior to registration.

What to expect

The British Council makes it easy to study A-levels. We help more than two million people take international exams every year. 

Here are some things you should know about AS- and A-levels.

The course

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). 

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.

Exam boards

A-levels are offered by two main exam boards – Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) 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.

Grades and marking

Your exam results are graded on a scale from A* to E. 


Your exam results will be available for collection 14 days after the released date or post to you upon request.


Depending on local availability, you may be able to choose from more than 50 A Level subjects and 8 popular subjects from International A Levels. To find out which subjects are available for registration, download the application form below.

You can find out about the syllabuses from the Cambridge International Examinations and Pearson Edexcel websites.