Talk:GCE Advanced Level

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  • As it now stands, this disambiguation page is misleading. If I came here looking for information about Advanced Levels in any country in the world other than the UK or Hong Kong, I would be led to believe that there is no Wikipedia article relevant to my search. In fact, however, the Advanced Level (UK) article does discuss the systems used in other Commonwealth countries, although perhaps not yet in sufficient detail. It would be better to be sent to that article than to suggest that there is no article available at all. --Russ (talk) 17:34, 15 April 2007 (UTC)


Just made a fairly major edit to the first few introduction paragraphs as the previous section was a bit all over the place. I've tried to group related information, remove repeated info, and improve the flow and language. The last paragraph could probably do with some work as well. It's an improvement on the previous intro but feel free to comment/discuss/edit. Speedy McG (talk) 18:36, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Not a UK Standard[edit]

A levels are taken on England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland has it's own education system which does not make use of the A level. It is therefore not a UK certificate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:26, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Higher standards?[edit]

I'm new here but this doesn't seem very objective: "However, it is significantly harder to achieve a good grade in the Hong Kong A-levels(HKAL) than in the British GCE A-levels, as the bar is raised for the Asian students due to their higher standards." Anyone know? Valicore (talk) 04:52, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

University Admissions[edit]

What sorts of scores do various programs in various universities require? Presumably the best require a bunch of 'A's. Will any good universities take students with 'E's, etc.? As someone unfamiliar with the UK secondary education system, I think it would be important to include some sort of guidance on this. (talk) 22:01, 17 May 2008 (UTC) R.E.D.

Er, no. In the old days you could get into Cambridge or Oxford with two E's at A-Level, that is the minimal requirement, honest. (talk) 23:02, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Foreign Countries[edit]

Since the A level is common throughout the Commonwealth, shouldn't they receive something approaching as thorough a treatment as the type awarded in England, Wales and NI? What about noting that many students all over the world, especially in private education, actually take the British A-level? --VivaEmilyDavies 23:56, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yup... but often countries like Singapore, although doing the 'A' Levels offered by UCLES, have different syllabus. The Ministry of Education of Sinagpore has more control over the content, while Cambridge sets and marks the papers. Wonder if anyone can wrap that up nicely... Richardlu yy 15:10, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

University Offers[edit]

"While many universities do not consider an A-level in General Studies to be a stand-alone subject (and thus is not accepted as part of an offer), it may affect the offer which a student receives exclusive of it. For example, a student of maths, physics and computing might receive an offer "BBC" for a physics degree, whereas one also taking General Studies would receive "BCC". That said, if the student gets a C in General Studies, and B-C-D in their other three, regardless of the second C, they would have failed to reach the conditions of their offer, and thus lose that place." - is there any evidence for this? It is not part of the stated policies of any university that I am aware of. And it does need some rephrasing - it isn't that most universities don't accept that it's a valid A-level subject, just that it's not the type of qualification that they want to base offers on. Many would encourage students to take it anyway for knowledge-broadening purposes. I have heard anecdotes of GS being taken into account at the Clearing stage of university admissions. --VivaEmilyDavies 23:49, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I feel that this section has become too unwieldly. As the subject is A level, not university admission, perhaps it should be spun off onto a more relevant or new article? There seems to be an assumption that A levels are only taken as a means to entry to a under graduate university course, which is clearly false. Markb 09:48, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Most UK universities nowadays are commercial businesses and would take on anyone able to pay. So the best thing to do if you drop a grade or two or three in the results is to phone the university's admission office and see whether they'll still take you. The chances are, short of subject like Medicine and Dentistry, they will. (talk) 23:08, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I do not think the meaning of phrase "an offer of B-B-C" is clear. It isn't to me, at least. For those outside the Commonwealth (such as I), perhaps clarification that this is an offer (for exactly what!?) conditional on final grades of X-Y-Z on three A-levels. (I'm guessing) I shouldn't have to guess. (talk) 01:59, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that section is nearly incomprehensible to someone outside such a system. So is a good chunk of the rest of the article. It's far too British centric in assuming anyone reading is at least moderately familiar with their education system, and thus leaves out quite a bit of needed explanation. (talk) 09:09, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

AS and A2[edit]

I have removed links to AS and A2 levels (pages which don't currently exist). The reason is to discourage people creating pages on these topics as I don't think they could lead to anything more than dictionary definitions. There isn't much that can be said about either that wouldn't appear on this A-levels page. Angela 16:40, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

In that case, you should make AS-level and A2-level redirects to A-level. Otherwise, people have no impediment to creating new pages on those topics. Pages that talk about AS-levels or A2-levels specifically should link to whichever one they are talking about (we don't know where the content on AS-levels and A2-levels will end up eventually), but the redirect will take them to this article. I'll make the redirects now. -- Oliver P. 20:02, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

S level[edit]

I've just added a "see also" link to Advanced Extension Award, and it made me wonder what happened to "S levels" which if (I remember correctly) were properly called Advanced Level GCE Special Papers. I was aware of them existing in 1986 when I did my A levels, though nobody at my bog-standard comp did them. I had a quick google and it seems fromUCAS's uk qualifications 05 (PDF; 800k; see page 86 of the PDF, but numbered 85 at the bottom) that they did exist until the introduction of AEAs in 2002. --rbrwr± 20:05, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

they still existed as least as late as 1999 when I did them but they we not widely taken

They still exist in Singapore, but only until November 2006 (I am taking Chem and Bio this week :( ). After that the 'A' Level system in Singapore will be revamped. I wonder how come there's no history on it and I just see the AEA popping up from nowhere? Richardlu yy 15:15, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I remember they were almost a requirement for Oxbridge candidates. There were 3 grades in the 'older' days, Distinction, Merit and Credit, or 1, 2 and 3. Credit was then dropped, so the 'S' paper grades were Distinction (1) and Merit (2). (talk) 00:52, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

I couldn't find a Wikipedia entry for S Levels or S Papers. Surely there should be one? I remember considering taking one myself, and my brother took one in (I think) 1998. (talk) 15:43, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

^ Searching for 'S level' in Wikipedia? go here --> Scholarship Level <-- Johannjs (talk) 20:41, 16 May 2011 (UTC)


This pages has been moved to WIKIBOOKS, where you can add to it if you want see Wikibooks:A_level, good luck. is a full list of GCE subjects, for anyone that is interested.--rbrwr± 22:58, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

A general moan at a-levels[edit]

"A third view is that, as schools come under increasing pressure to improve their examination results, pupils are being coached to pass specific examinations, at the expense of a general understanding of their subjects. "

Bloody right. As a student just finishing my alevels now it infuriates me how little some of my class mates actually understand the subject yet manage to get the top grades. On the other hand there as some other guys with a clear talent for a subject and much more practical ability, yet they always seem to miss top marks. Doesnt seem very fair to me. Life isnt about passing exams its about putting your best into practical tasks with teams to achieve the best possible solution. Arg

 Absolutely right! (talk) 15:58, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Harry Potter reference[edit]

A reference to Harry Potter's Wizarding World examinations doesn't really have anything to do with this topic, does it? -x42bn6 08:01, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Since nobody has protested, I'll go ahead and remove the reference to Harry Potter. -x42bn6 08:02, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

US/UK education?[edit]

The paragraph appended to the end of this page...

Breadth of knowledge has already been satisfied, following 10-years of education (6-16 years of age), the taking of, on average 7 GCSE's (6-8). By this time, people should know how to read and write, have extensively completed english language and literature and other subjects. A-levels are a specialization (hence the depth) in preparation for a further specialization at University. Unlike the US University system, that repeats 70+% of prior learning from high school, of which, a major that accounts for only 40-50% of the degree, the remainder 50-60% has absolutely nothing to do with the degree title and is just a repeat of high school, the UK degree is 4-years at 90-100% of in depth education in the specialization. This is more like the US masters.

...seems a bit inflammatory, isn't sourced (70%+?), and doesn't necessarily add anything to the page. A bit about (or a link to) the GCSE's and breadth might be okay, but the paragraph as a whole is inappropriate IMO. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

--Zamfi 21:11, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Is also self defeating, 7 GSCEs is a joke in itself.


I have heard that people who correct and grade the A-Levels don't know the names of the pupils so bias regarding ethnicity or gender can't influence the grading. As I'm not sure whether this is true or not, I did not change the entry, so please do so if you know this to be correct.

Candidates write their names on the scripts which the examiners see, so this is not possible. However, systems for marking scanned scripts electronically are in development (/practice?) for some subjects.

Actually the above answer is incorrect. While candidates do write their names on the scripts, that part of the page is folded over and sealed shut - it is only opened if there is subsequent problem. Unless special circumstances force the opening of this part of the script, the student's candidate number is the only identification used. Marthiemoo (talk) 16:21, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

University Applications[edit]

Most of the information in this paragraph, whilst well written and accurate, doesn't seem to be relevant to the subject of the article. Any reason not to remove/brutally trim it? 17:15, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

And Another Thing...[edit]

"or multiple Sciences and Mathematics courses, which can have overlapping content" Can anyone find a reference for this? I cannot speak certainly for science A-levels, but certainly my experience of learning two mathematics A-levels is that the content does not overlap significantly (althought the second a-level does build on the first one) and that doing the second a-level takes at least the same amount of work as the first if not more. 17:21, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

I think that your comment about it building on the content is fair - it's not the same work repeated, but twice as much work at the same level if you do Maths and Further Maths for example. There is a choice of 17 modules, you would take 3 to do an AS level and another three to complete the A Level. In Further Maths you do another three or six.

There are some cases in which they do overlap, and not just science and mathematics. Also, I believe that the article is referring to an overlap in mathematics and science rather than Maths and Further Maths (which, really, wouldn't, by definition, overlap) - I know that physics and mechanics overlap (although as I am doing a statistics module and every core science except physics ... take with a pinch of salt) - and I'd imagine there're other overlaps in other subjects. English Literature would likely overlap with Drama (I only do English Lit, so I can't say for sure), Lit and Lang would probably overlap, biology and geography - maybe, I know that IT overlaps with Law (again, I don't do law, but as there's a section of the IT course dedicated specifically to laws on computers...) - in short, there are a lot of overlaps. Not that that's a particularly bad thing. LupusCanis17:39, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I am dubious about the relevance of the whole overlapping / fluent langusages bit, which might equally apply to any exams system and not just A-levels. However I have confined myself to making it into a separate sentence to the 5 A-levels issue, which simply sounded like sour grapes against people taking 5 or more A-levels. Even if it is true that subjects may overlap, or that people may take an A-level in a language they are already fluent in, it will be as true for someone taking 2 A-levels as for 5 (or even for one A-level in the case of languages). Samatarou 04:36, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

I will just comment here too that I deleted a whole para which did not discuss A-levels at all, but rather summarised (wrongly) a referenced BBC article on plans to extend compulsory education to age 18 and went on to refer to how a specific college was planning to deal with these plans. It appeared to be an ad hoc insertion which broke the natural flow between the paragraph 2 (re. UK) and the subsequent para (re. Overseas) which clearly belong together. Samatarou 04:27, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

'A' Level Examinations Boards[edit]

Article looks like an advertisement for CIE examinations, which is the smallest of the UK 'A' level examination boards. Added references to the other boards with links

List of A-Levels[edit]

Is this section really required? , as this is ever changing, and thus has the potential to be difficult to keep up to date. Also, where is the source for this?

  • And also, you may want to mention that SPU (Sci. for Public Understanding), European Studies, and Citizenship are only availiable to AS-Level (at least at the AQA board [1])

DannyM 19:33, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Done that. Skinnyweed 23:16, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

class schedules[edit]

About how many hours per week would a student taking 4-3 AS or AS course have of classtime? Is there just one class for each subject or is each subject broken into several classes? (Alphaboi867 06:19, 29 May 2006 (UTC))

I have 4 and a half hours a week for each subject (I take four AS). 3 an hour long, with one lesson being half an hour more. That makes 18 hours a week, plus 2 more for IT/General Studies and also for Tutorial. This is near enough standard across the country I believe. -- Boothman /tɔːk/. 13:56, 29 May 2006 (UTC).
Yes, it is, I do the same. 4.5hrs per lesson (in 2x1hr, 1x1hr15, 1x1h30 (reduced to 1hr15 except in cases of practical lab sessions). Plus 1hr15 worth of tutorials (1x45mins, 1x30mins). Just proof that it's standard, as for A2 it changes I think, think you get one double block per subject/per week. So in principal ive got 18hrs of lessons, with the possibility of an extra 15mins per block (College's name for periods), 1hr15 of tutor (though it rarely comes to that) and 14hrs15mins free blocks. Some of my circle of friends also do another 4hr30 per block, losing 4hrs45 of free blocks. Just from my prespective. DannyM 20:25, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

This really varies across schools - I did 5 hours per subject per week, split into one 3-hour lesson and one 2-hour. I don't think there's any standard or minimum amount. Marthiemoo (talk) 22:19, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Original research/unreferenced[edit]

It has no references whatsoever, seems like somebody just decided to write about their view on A-levels.Skinnyweed 19:24, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Pages on individual A Levels[edit]

Should there be pages on individual A Levels? Or is that not encyclopedish enough?

Plenty of things here aren't encyclopedic. It wouldn't be a bad idea in my opinion. Skinnyweed 14:37, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Recent edits. June 2006[edit]

I have made a Demographics section that has results and things like that, it's quite a mess of statistics. I've also changed the name of "questions of academic rigour" to "criticisms and reformation" as it covers it better, and added some stuff there.Skinnyweed 15:45, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Concerning the subjects list, every single subject must have a source to an exam board otherwise it may be removed. I have started this process by adding the AQA Specifications document which sources the most common ones. Skinnyweed 22:20, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
This article needs a thorough copyedit, for instance, the first paragraph says qualification, usually taken by students, only a few words later it repeats itself with qualification taken by students. Skinnyweed 22:29, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I've looked at all the major exam boards but there's still a few unsourced which probably won't get done by me.Skinnyweed 22:49, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
CIE was a major coup and added loads of bizarre ones like Tamil. Skinnyweed 23:07, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Political Mistake!![edit]

What does the following mean?? in some Commonwealth countries, including ... Hong Kong

Everybody knows HK is a part of China and it's not a country. 08:07, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

But it does still have the influence of the Commonwealth in it's culture, as shown by the fact that HK has A-Levels. I agree it should be reworded and made more clear. -- Boothman /tɔːk/ 10:08, 24 June 2006 (UTC).

NPOV - "easy subjects"[edit]

I have removed references to named "easy" subjects as this is clearly NPOV. Although there are clearly some soft subjects out there it is NPOV to name them.

Who is to say whether media is more challenging than art or vice-versa? 16:09, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup tag[edit]

This article requires some refractoring, some graphs (for the grades like on the GCSEarticle), and just general cleanup, because it's not very clear. Hence, added the tag. (Bjorn Tipling 18:57, 21 August 2006 (UTC))

Gorseinnon College[edit]

Could someone provide a citation for the alleged fact that Gorseinnon College is one of the highest ranked colleges in the UK. I live in the local area and have compared their results with other local sixth forms and colleges and they do not seem to excel above the rest. The part of the text that should remain is the statement that some sixth forms are expanding for compulsory A-levels in the near future.

What does college mean in this context?[edit]

To a German-American such as myself the following sentence is quite confusing: in the final two years of secondary education (commonly called the Sixth Form), or in College (not to be mistaken with the "college" term some countries such as the United States use for University)" - So what does college mean in this context? As I understand it this exam is taken by students in a secondary institution -are such institutions refered to as colleges in the UK? Signaturebrendel 22:10, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

It goes 11-16 years = secondary, 16-18 years = college, 18+ years = university. Sometimes the college part carries on at the same school as the secondary part, this is when college is commonly called sixth form. -- Boothman /tɔːk/ 22:18, 18 June 2007 (UTC).

Yes, most schools that have a sixth form continue to call it the sixth form. However, there are some sixth form-only colleges. and further education colleges that allow study of A levels and voactional courses. Higher education (meaning higher than A levels) in the UK takes place almost entirely at institutions called universities these days since all the polytechnics were rename about 15 years ago.

Most British degrees are still three years long though many are of four years nowadays - and many of those are called MEng or MPhys but are not actually masters degrees.Cliff 17:25, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Would you care to name an MEng that is not a masters? Skittle (talk) 22:46, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

They are masters - they are called an undergraduate masters degree. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Most Masters degree (of one year duration) from the UK are not recognised as advance degrees in other parts of the world. They are regarded more like postgraduate diplomas. Oxbridge MAs are ceremonial and are gifted to BAs a set number of years after graduation. To know the level of a UK Masters, you need to check each one and find the level it is pitched at. In general, there is no rule of what is considered Masters level. For example, an LLB will allow you to begin professional training in becoming a practising lawyer; whereas an LLM without an LLB does not. An LLM is often taken by practising lawyers who want to take time in academia to study an area of law in deeper detail. But having said that, the content of a UK Bachelor's degree from a good UK university is already at a Master level course from many other universities from around the world. (talk) 01:10, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

International Equivalence[edit]

How do A-levels compare with school leaving exams in other countries? It used to be said that they were at the level of second or third year studies at an American undergraduate college, so do they correspond to an Associate degree and allow a student to skip a year or two? It used to be (and perhaps still is) possible for A-level holders to go straight into second year courses for four-year degrees at the Scottish universities, and cut out the first year entirely if they had the right combination of passes. On the other hand, the French baccalaureate sounds more rigorous. NRPanikker 19:41, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

The 'Scottish question' remains true. Often if a student gets low grades they enter the first year (of a 4 year Bsc), if not they enter the second year. (talk) 23:30, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

I think you should remember A Levels are much more in-depth than many overseas qualifications. The content of second year A Levels is equivalent to the first year of university in many countries. I don't think the French system is more rigorous, in particular the French seem to spend a very long time at school to complete their qualifications. —Precedingunsigned comment added by (talk) 23:25, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

A-Levels are not that hard, but the UK curriculum is such that students only take 3 or perhaps 4 subjects, whereas in many non-UK university courses the first and second year could offer a much wider combination of subjects and courses. When I did A-Levels, my fee-paying school refused to allow me to take more than 3 subjects, even when the time-table permitted, as it was their view that the school fee only covered 3 subjects. So I just bought a text-book and studied on my own for my 4th subject in just one year, took the exam, and passed with a good grade, thus proving that A-Levels are not that difficult. I am told that in Singapore, students did 5 A-level subjects as a rule. (talk) 02:51, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Read these recent articles in the Guardian:

Results day[edit]

Should there be some mention of the typical date on which students get their results?, at the moment i cant see it in the article. (talk) 15:55, 1 June 2008 (UTC)


Gibraltar is not a Commonwealth Country. It's a British Overseas Territory I have corrected the sentence to reflect the facts.

AP exams[edit]

I don't have enough knowledge to say this with certainty, but I'm not sure how good the correlation is between A-level, as described here, and AP exams: AP exams are voluntary tests, that, so far as I know, are not required for admission by any college in the U.S. They are taken during high school, not separately, and are designed to give well-qualified students—as its name suggests—placement out of introductory classes. [For example, I took AP Chemistry in high school, and was thus able to skip the normal introductory chemistry course, and go straight to organic chemistry.] Samer (talk) 03:25, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

The statement in the article is a comparison to the end result of taking APs or A-Levels. Considering APs as "voluntary" doesn't help understand the nature of APs or A-Levels. A-Levels are not compulsory in the UK either and they are also taken during high school. Seems a fair statement to me. --Candy (talk) 07:04, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I should have been clearer about my issue here: the article goes on to say:

While an A-level is a qualification in its own right, A-levels are often the prerequisite for university-level study as well,[7] making them a de facto university entrance examination, though some universities also require applicants to take separate entrance examinations and the International Baccalaureate and European Baccalaureate are also accepted.

That is the part that makes me question how close they are; no school in the U.S. requires AP exams (or the IB or EB) for admission. Samer (talk) 15:51, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Then the answer is simple. In the vast, vast majority of cases, to get into a British University for a 3 year honours degree course you need A levels, APs or IB Diploma or equivalent. Does that help? --Candy (talk) 17:18, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Critical fact[edit]

What percentage of British young people do A-level? 30 %? Everybody? The article should make that clear. Jacob Lundberg (talk) 21:21, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

It started at around 10%, rising to 15% in 1966, 33% in 1990, 40% in 2001, now nearly half of 16- to 18-year-olds take at least one A-level. I can't find the current figure, but was surprised to see that only 17% take a Science A-level. [2] Dbfirs 06:58, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

A level, not A-level or A Level[edit]

It's very clear from all the government and QCA material that the correct way of spelling/punctuating is A level, not A-level or A-Level or A Level. If nobody objects, I'll be standardising all mentions to A level. Marthiemoo (talk) 16:24, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Although the government site misses out the hyphen, almost everyone else includes it in general discussion to avoid ambiguity. I object. Dbfirs 12:28, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
Support. We should go with the officially written form, A level. How everyone else writes it is their business. mezzaninelounge (talk) 18:56, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
The examination boards, who are responsible for setting and marking the papers often use "A-level" (e.g. [3]). Who is "official"? Dbfirs 07:04, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
What does AQA do exactly? Do they just administer the exams or do they grade them as well? My understanding is that institutions such as Cambridge University are the ones that provide, administer, and grade A levels examinations [4]. Granted, my understanding of these exams is limited to the international A level examinations, which may not be applicable to the rest of the UK. mezzaninelounge (talk) 16:52, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, AQA is one of the examination boards for examinations in England. They set, administer and grade about a quarter of papers in England, just as Cambridge International set international papers. They seem to use a capital L for Level, as do OCR, another board for A-levels in England that Cambridge University is part of. There does seem to be a lot of variation between the official bodies. Most newspapers include the hyphen to improve legibility. I notice that there is still a wide variation within Wikipedia articles. My objection was partly "tongue-in-cheek" because the proposal was made two years ago and very little seems to have been done to implement it. We ought to standardise, and I decided to hyphenate for legibility in documents that I wrote many years ago, but I'm not going to fight over my preference if others think that one of the many alternatives is better. Dbfirs 17:39, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
LoL. I didn't realize that post by Marthiemoo was two years old. I have no strong preference. I just tend to lean to the "official standard," which as we both discovered is quite variable. mezzaninelounge (talk) 20:59, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Page name[edit]

Shouldn't this page be at "A level (UK)" because of WP:COMMONNAME and normal disambiguation (if it needs that)? I think we can all agree in normal business it is not called a "GCE Advanced Level in the United Kingdom". Honestly, I can't see why the page goes with a title no-one uses - and I'm not seeing any ambiguity (given the UK part) or anything else titled an "A level" or similar; it may exist. I'll pull it off if there is no opposition. - Jarry1250 [ humourousdiscuss ] 18:46, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually, this page covers fairly well every country that takes "A levels", I reckon this page should be merged into GCE Advanced Level. Then that could be moved. But the disambig is completely unneccessary given the coverage of this article. -Jarry1250 [ humourousdiscuss ] 09:07, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I've removed the to merge this article with GCE Advanced Level as there are different versions of the qualification in different countries (such as Sri Lanka and Hong Kong). IMHO GCE Advanced Level should act as a disambiguation page to these other articles. TheRetroGuy (talk) 11:27, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

I've reinstated it again. Most A Levels are based on the UK system, and the majority of the other articles are small anyway and could easily be merged and redirected. TheRetroGuy (talk) 11:50, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I suppose that rather than merge this with GCE Advanced Level, as it is much shorter that article could be incorporated into this one, then this page moved to there. TheRetroGuy (talk) 11:52, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Well the main article, GCE Advanced Level, is primarily about the UK A level and the other country's A level pages linked seem to be based on it, so a merger is not unreasonable. However, I do think each country's A level is probably notable enough for its own page in the longterm so those other country A level pages should probably be kept, with perhaps a summary and link from GCE Advanced Level. Camaron · Christopher · talk 08:31, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

It's true that the A level programmes of other countries are largely based on that of the UK. However, there can be significant differences between them - such as examination boards, standards and requirements, subjects offered, and structure and content. A level pages for other countries' qualifications should definitely be kept, and perhaps a lot of the UK-centric information can be moved to another dedicated page for the UK A level. The page can be more than a disambiguation if that is desirable, perhaps giving a brief summary or explanation of the different A levels available, but that would be preferable to retaining the existing merger. --Shruti14 talksign 03:04, 27 February 2014 (UTC)


For some reason the entire article had become duplicated - a version with no page breaks coming before the subtitled version. I have deleted the first occurrence and attempted to neaten up the layout slightly, but have not yet checked thoroughly for any changes between the two versions of each paragraph. Sorry if any edits have been lost - feel free to revert if anything important is missing. ALexL33 (talk) 10:33, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

The references in the second paragraph in the "In The UK" section are not done correctly but I do not have time to work out how to fix them at the moment - I believe they were like that before my edit however. No offense intended to whoever wrote that paragraph originally, its just a formality. ALexL33 (talk) 10:39, 27 June 2010 (UTC)


Hi, on this page i didn't see any external links for people who are confused about what to choose to study with a need for careers advice. Do you know any websites you could possible add? I'm a bit stuck with what to study for a-levels myself so any websites directing to careers advisors would be good. Someone65 (talk) 19:12, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Under the heading "Growing Controversy", second paragraph, last sentence there is a reference to UMS. What does this stand for? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:24, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

In The UK[edit]

The citation numbers are all messed up in the second paragraph and the citations don't seem to be relevant to the facts they're attached to.

This second paragraph is also a bit of a messy list of figures, could do with a bit of tidying up. Reketrebn (talk) 21:29, 14 July 2010 (UTC)


As I understand it, A-levels are pre-university qualifications and are therefore not equivalent to say, an American High School, but rather to the first year of an American University Education. That said, the reason why I am bringing this up is because there is a Wikipedia article on pre-university education but the article only deals pre-university education in India. I would like to expand the scope of that article, or at least create a new one that includes A-levels, Cambridge Pre-U, etc. But before I do that, is there a general consensus that pre-university is a generic term that can refers to A-level type qualifications? Any thoughts? mezzaninelounge (talk) 19:45, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

More history required re: Coursework[edit]

When did A Levels introduce coursework as part of the exam?

Up until the 80s, at least, coursework didn't count towards the final mark in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Faulty links[edit]

Reference 36 should have split in its "title", rather than in the link itself. I don't know how to fix this myself so I thought I'd bring it to your attention here. (talk) 16:32, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

(Now reference number 37) (talk) 22:27, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
And now number 38. (talk) 18:52, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

The History of A Level 1951-2000[edit]

In the section of the article with this heading, the figures for the proportion of each cohort awarded a particular grade do not tally with the figures given in the source referred to in footnote 1. The figures given in the source (p. 10) are A 10% B 15% C 10% D 15% E 20% O-F 30% — Preceding unsigned comment added by Graham Gould (talkcontribs) 22:10, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Subjects offered[edit]

I have reinstated the list of subjects offered which I originally added with no sources leading to it being removed. It is in a new table showing the exam boards each subject is offered by. I'd just like to mention that there may be some errors in the OCR column as I had difficulty navigating the exam boards website properly. Fhah4 (talk) 18:53, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Grades table[edit]

The table under "Grade inflation" lists various percentages to one decimal place (e.g., 12.7) but others with no decimal places (e.g., 13). If these figures are meant to represent the exact percentage to one decimal place, then the decimal place should be included (e.g., 13.0). Omitting the decimal place implies imprecision (i.e., 13 could be anywhere from 12.500 to 13.499 but 13.0 could only be from 12.950 to 13.049). If these figures are accurate to one decimal place, can someone please put back the missing .0 in each case? sroc 💬 03:47, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

 Done sroc 💬 08:00, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Requested move 10 May 2014[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved to alternative suggestion A-level. See also closing comment. Andrewa (talk) 13:07, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

GCE Advanced LevelA level – Per WP:CommonName. The article itself makes it clear that "A level" is overwhelmingly the name people actually use for these qualifications, with the official name being used so infrequently it makes a good quiz question ("What is the official name for A levels?"). Wikipedia naming policy is, in these cases, to use the common name rather than the official name, unless the common name is ambiguous or misleading. Given that A level and A-level are straightforward redirects to this page, I think it's fair to say that we haven't found them ambiguous or misleading names. (talk) 10:27, 10 May 2014 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.


Any additional comments:

Closing comment: Note that the record of a previous move from this name 18:56, 28 August 2006‎ J Di (talk | contribs | block)‎ . . (28 bytes) (+28)‎ . . (moved A-level to Advanced Level: the article about GCSEs is at General Certificate of Secondary Education, not GCSE) has been overwritten by this move. Andrewa (talk) 13:07, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The Hong Kong section is an opinion, backed by some information[edit]

This does not seem to be NPOV, but a response to another claim somewhere else. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:49, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Agree. It is also not written in an encyclopedic tone. Djagr (talk) 12:21, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

Requested move 23 October 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved per consensus here, and evaluating the 2014 proposal between A Level and A-level also support keeping the page with it's current name. (non-admin closure) Tiggerjay (talk) 21:16, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

A-levelA Level – The hyphenated form is presumed to be adjectival. The proposed capitalised noun form is more encyclopedic and is consistent with the terms used in the article. Bjenks (talk) 01:02, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

  • Weak oppose it looks like both are equally acceptable, and it probably was adjectival at first, as it's a qualification, not a level, but in the plural form (as used by BBC news) is clearly a noun. Peter James (talk) 10:22, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

New A-Levels[edit]

I propose to add information about the new A-Levels introduced from 2017 onwards. (see here for details). (I do not know enough about this and am probably not experienced enough to add it myself and format it in the the right way but I think it would be important to mention it). Edward1612 (talk) 19:23, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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