Cambridge International A and AS level

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Country
  • International
Purpose

To provide an advanced qualification recognised worldwide, which can support progression to higher education internationally.

Education context

The Cambridge International A and AS level have been available internationally for more than 50 years, and offered in their current format for over 15 years.

Taught by over 2,500 schools in 130 countries.

Awarding organisation
  • Cambridge International Examinations
Structure

The qualifications are not regulated by Ofqual, and do not appear on the Register of Regulated Qualifications.

There are two options for learners:

  1. Learners take the Cambridge International AS level in Year 1, and in Year 2 complete the Cambridge International A level.
  2. Learners take all papers of the Cambridge International A level course in the same examination series, usually at the end of the second year of study.
Subject areas
  • 9706 - Accounting
  • 9679 - Afrikaans
  • 9713 - Applied Information and Communication Technology
  • 9680 - Arabic
  • 9704 - Art and Design
  • 9700 - Biology
  • 9609 - Business
  • 9701 - Chemistry
  • 8681 - (AS level), 9715 (A level) - Chinese
  • 9274 - Classical Studies
  • 9608 - Computer Science
  • 9705 - Design and Technology
  • 9631 - Design and Textiles
  • 9011 - Divinity
  • 9708 - Economics
  • 9093 - English Language
  • 9695 - English Literature
  • 8291 - Environmental Management (AS level only)
  • 9336 - Food Studies
  • 8682 (AS level), 9716 (A level) – French Language
  • 8670 - French Literature (AS level only)
  • 8004 - General Paper (AS level only)
  • 9696 - Geography
  • 8683 - (AS level), 9717 (A level) - German
  • 9239 - Global Perspectives and Research
  • 8687 - (AS level), 9687 (A level) - Hindi Language
  • 8675 - Hindi Literature (AS level only
  • 9014 - Hinduism
  • 9389 - History
  • 9626 - Information Technology
  • 8053 - (AS level), 9013 (A level) - Islamic Studies
  • 8281 - Japanese Language (AS level only)
  • 9084 - Law
  • 9693 - Marine Science
  • 9709 - Mathematics
  • 9231 - Mathematics (Further)
  • 9607 - Media Studies
  • 9703 - Music
  • 8024 - Nepal Studies (AS level only)
  • 9396 - Physical Education
  • 8780 - Physical Science
  • 9702 - Physics
  • 8684 - (AS level), 9718 (A level) – Portuguese Language
  • 8672 - Portuguese Literature (AS level only)
  • 9698 - Psychology
  • 9699 - Sociology
  • 8685 - (AS level), 9719 (A level) - Spanish Language
  • 8673 - Spanish Literature (AS level only)
  • 9689 - Tamil
  • 9694 - Thinking Skills
  • 9395 - Travel and Tourism
  • 8686 - (AS level), 9676 (A level) - Urdu
  • 9686 - Urdu, Pakistan only
Levels
  • Level 3

Comparable to Level 3 of the Regulatory Frameworks in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Grading

Cambridge International AS level is graded A – E.

Cambridge International A level is graded  A* – E.

Assessment

Cambridge International A level is typically a two-year course, and Cambridge International AS level is typically one year.

Students can choose to:

  • take a ‘staged’ assessment route – take the Cambridge International AS level in one examination series and complete the final Cambridge International A level in a subsequent series; achievement in the AS level contributes to the final A level grade
  • take all assessments of the Cambridge International A level in the same examination session, usually at the end of the course
Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Subjects are externally assessed, using appropriate assessment methods.

Within the overall grade, the contribution of components varies between subjects. See the syllabus for details.

For example, for the Cambridge International AS level Sciences, candidates are required to carry out practical work in timed conditions. This assessment consists of two or three experiments drawn from different areas of the AS level syllabus. It comprises 11.5% of the overall grade. In addition, for the A2 candidates sit an examination based on the practical skills of planning, analysis and evaluation.

Resit arrangements

The full qualifications can be retaken at the next available opportunity.

Guided/notional learning hours notes

Number of hours:

Cambridge International AS level = 180 hours.

Cambridge International A level = 360 hours.

Key issues for UK HE admissions

Higher education providers can expect to receive applications from overseas students holding Cambridge International AS & A levels.

Higher education providers can also expect to receive applications from UK students holding Cambridge International AS & A levels, typically from the independent sector, some state schools, and crown dependency countries, e.g. the Isle of Man and Channel Islands.

UK NARIC has carried out an independent benchmarking of Cambridge International AS & A levels, and found them comparable to the standard of UK AS and A level.

Learners use Cambridge International AS & A levels to gain places at universities worldwide including:

  • UK
  • USA
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Germany
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Jordan
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Spain
Timing of assessments/results for learners

Results are released in mid-January for November sessions.

Results are released in mid-August for June sessions.

Results are released in June for the March session (India only).

Qualification dates notes

This qualification is current.

Reporting and certification information

Cambridge publishes annual certification information on its website at: www.cie.org.uk/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-advanced/cambridge-international-as-and-a-levels/results-statistics/

Cambridge also provides certification information to UCAS and individual institutions worldwide.

Progression information

Students can generally expect their grades to be accepted as comparable, grade for grade, to UK AS and A level grades by universities worldwide.

Further information