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The A LEVEL (ADVANCED LEVEL) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education , as well as a school leaving qualification offered by the educational bodies in the United Kingdom and the educational authorities of British Crown dependencies to students completing secondary or pre-university education. A number of countries, including Singapore , Kenya , Mauritius and Zimbabwe have developed qualifications with the same name as and a similar format to the British A Levels. Obtaining A Level or equivalent qualifications is generally required for university entrance.

A Levels are generally worked towards over two years and split into two parts, with one part studied in each year. The first part is known as the ADVANCED SUBSIDIARY LEVEL, A1 LEVEL or AS LEVEL (the AS LEVEL acronym was previously used for the separate ADVANCED SUPPLEMENTARY LEVEL qualification). The second part is known as the A2 LEVEL and is more in depth and academically rigorous than the A1 Level. The AS Level is a qualification in its own right and the AS Level combined with the A2 Level forms the complete A Level qualification, with the exception of linear qualifications in which all of the A Level marks are obtained from exams taken in the second year. Up to June 2009 a third Special / Advanced Extension Award level was available for the brightest candidates.

CONTENTS

* 1 Current usage

* 1.1 United Kingdom * 1.2 Nepal * 1.3 Pakistan * 1.4 Brunei * 1.5 Cameroon * 1.6 Malaysia * 1.7 Mauritius * 1.8 Seychelles * 1.9 Singapore * 1.10 Sri Lanka * 1.11 India * 1.12 Zimbabwe

* 2 Former usage

* 2.1 Caribbean * 2.2 Hong Kong

* 3 See also * 4 References * 5 External links

CURRENT USAGE

A number of countries use A Levels as a school-leaving qualification. The A Levels taken by students in some countries often differ significantly from the A Levels taken in the United Kingdom.

UNITED KINGDOM

Main article: GCE Advanced Level (United Kingdom)

A Levels are a college or sixth form leaving qualification offered in England , Wales , and Northern Ireland . These are not compulsory, unlike GCSEs. In Scotland , A Levels are also offered by selected schools as an alternative school-leaving qualification in place of the Scottish Advanced Higher . The five main examination boards which administer British A Levels in the UK are:

* Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) * Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR) * Edexcel ( Edexcel Pearson - London Examinations) * Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) * Council for the Curriculum, Examinations "> within the Caribbean there has been a move away from the GCE Advanced Level to the CXC CAPE examinations, making them a de facto university entrance examination. Some universities also require applicants to take separate entrance examination. The International Baccalaureate and European Baccalaureate are also accepted.

HONG KONG

In Hong Kong, the British A Level was once accused of grade inflation many years ago, and thus over time both the GCE A Level (GCEAL) and HKAL have become more strictly graded, as shown by NARIC research. Compared to the usual 25–30% rate of achieving an A-grade in the UK AS/A2, there could be statistically fewer than 0.05% candidates scoring an "A" in a single examination in the Hong Kong Advanced Supplementary Level Examination and less than 1% rate of achieving an A-grade every year in an A Level subject. However, this comparison is seen by many as being meaningless and misleading because in the first place, grade A is not the top distinction level and so comparing the second best grade in the GCE A Level to the top grade in HKAL is not very useful and objective. Moreover, it is important to note that because of the significantly different measurement methodologies, these examinations are not directly comparable in terms of the skills and knowledge demonstrated at each grade and that distinction rates alone cannot serve as a fair indicator of one's absolute academic performance. In that NARIC research, only the cumulative percentages were taken into account to reach the huge generalisations, on the very unsafe assumption that two scales are exactly identical and standardised. The wide recognition for both qualifications in many local universities and companies all attests to this. For example, many prestigious overseas universities regard the HK qualifications (HKCEE and HKALE) as being equivalent to the UK ones (IGCSE and GCEAL) on a grade-by-grade basis.

SEE ALSO

* GCSE - General Certificate of Secondary Education (An entry qualification) * GCE - Ordinary (O) Level (An entry qualification that has been phased out in the United Kingdom)

* Further / Special

* GCE - Special (S) level (last offered 2001) * Advanced Extension Award (AEA - 2002-2009, 2015 mathematics) * Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP – _used by the University of Cambridge and the University of Warwick for admissions to study mathematics at undergraduate level_)

* International A-Levels

* Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE) * Singapore-Cambridge GCE Advanced Level (_equivalent examination in Singapore_) * Sri Lankan Advanced Level

* Scotland

* Higher (Scottish) (_Scottish university entrance qualification_) * Advanced Higher (Scottish) (_Scottish equivalent to A Level_)

* Vocational

* BTEC Extended Diploma (Is the highest level of the BTEC structure and is taken by people aged 16 or over (Equal to A Levels).) * NVQ (level 3) * Advanced Vocational Certificate of Education (AVCE)

* Europe

* Abitur (_similar qualification in Germany and Finland_) * Eindexamen (_similar qualification in the Netherlands_) * Matura or Maturità (_similar qualification in some European countries_)

* Baccalaureate

* Baccalauréat (_similar qualification in France_) * European Baccalaureate (_examination used mainly in the European School system_) * International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma (_alternative examination found across the world_)

* International alternates

* Advanced Placement Program (_similar qualification in the United States_) * Bagrut (_similar qualification in Israel_) * Leaving Certificate * Malaysian Higher School Certificate (_better known as "STPM", an equivalent examination in Malaysia_) * Matriculation Certificate * Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Australia)

REFERENCES

* ^ "JAIN INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL, BANGALORE, INDIA". _jirs.ac.in_. * ^ "Modern Indian School". _misktm.edu.np_. * ^ " Zimbabwe School Examinations Council About". Zimbabwe School Examinations Council . Retrieved 2014-07-25. * ^ _ Caribbean Examinations Council Report_. Reforming the Examination System. House of Commons, 26 March 2003. Retrieved 12 June 2006. * ^ "A research study into comparison of grades achieved in the Hong Kong HKCEE and HKALE with the GCSE and British GCE A Levels", conducted by NARIC UK * ^ "". External link in title= (help ); Missing or empty url= (help

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