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A Levels

The A Level is a subject-based qualification also known as the General Certificate of Education.

A Levels were introduced in England and Wales in 1951 to replace the Higher School Certificate.

A Levels are typically worked towards over two years, however learners can complete them within one year.

Normally, students take three or four A Level courses in their first year of sixth form, and most taking four cut back to three in their second year.

This is because university offers are normally based on three A Level grades, and taking a fourth can have an impact on grades. Unlike other level-3 qualifications, such as the International Baccalaureate, A Levels have no specific subject requirements, so students have the opportunity to combine any subjects they wish to take.

However, students normally pick their courses based on the degree they wish to pursue at university: most degrees require specific A Levels for entry.