A levels were originally introduced to facilitate entry to higher education.
Whilst this remains a primary purpose, over time A levels have also established a role in recognising achievements from purely academic to more applied skills and knowledge that are valued within employment.
A* - E
Assessment opportunities for AS and A levels are available in May/June and candidates may take the opportunity to be assessed in units or at the end of the course.
Assessment is generally by written external examination except where this is not appropriate.
Additionally, non-examination assessments, practical examination, portfolio assessment and coursework are used to assess those aspects of the course which are not suitable for assessment via a timed written examination.
Whilst both the AS and A level are Level 3 qualifications, assessment within the AS is regarded as less demanding than that taken during the second year of A level studies (known as the A2).
The 2017 and 2018 admissions cycle will see large numbers of applicants applying to HE with a mixture of new and current AS and A levels due to the staggered reform timetable.
AS and A levels accredited in England, Northern Ireland and Wales will differ in terms of structure, content and assessment arrangements. Grading will remain the same.
A levels approved by Qualifications Wales have been designed so as to be equivalent in demand to those accredited by Ofqual.
For Qualifications Wales approved A levels, science practical assessment will continue to contribute towards the learner’s final grade.
Link to Qualifications Wales website which hosts qualification and subject level principles and rules published by the Welsh Government/ Qualifications Wales: http://www.qualificationswales.org/
Link to WJEC website and specifications: www.wjec.co.uk