Introduction to Cambridge AS and A level Exam 2016

Cambridge International AS and A Levels are internationally benchmarked qualifications providing excellent preparation for university education. They are part of the Cambridge Advanced stage.

They are taken in over 125 countries and offer a choice of 60 different subjects. Cambridge International AS and A Level qualifications are widely recognised and valued by universities and employers alike. Some US universities give up to a year's credit as a result. Every year, thousands of Cambridge International A Level students gain places at good universities worldwide-including the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Schools and learners find Cambridge International AS and A Levels very flexible. Schools can offer almost any combination of the wide choice of subjects available. Learners have the freedom to select the subjects that are right for them-they either follow a broad course of study, or specialise in a particular area.

Cambridge International AS Level

Cambridge International AS Levels have half the content of the corresponding Cambridge International A Level and may be completed in one year. Schools can offer Cambridge International AS Level as a qualification in its own right or as a stage on the way to Cambridge International A Level. Learners can study Cambridge International AS Level alongside other subjects to increase breadth in the curriculum and build further knowledge and understanding to other subjects they are studying at Cambridge International A Level.

Schools and learners find Cambridge International AS and A Levels very flexible. Schools can offer almost any combination of the wide choice of subjects available. Learners have the freedom to select the subjects that are right for them-they either follow a broad course of study, or specialise in a particular area.

Assessment options

Option 1

Take all papers of the Cambridge International A Level course in the same examination session, usually at the end of the second year of study

Option 2

Take a ‘staged’ assessment route-take the Cambridge International AS Level in one examination session and complete the final Cambridge International A Level at a subsequent session. The staged assessment route is not possible in all subjects. The outcomes awarded for Cambridge International AS Level language syllabuses cannot be carried forward to Cambridge International A Level.

Option 3

Take the Cambridge International AS Level only. The Cambridge International AS Level syllabus content is half an Cambridge International A Level programme.

International relevance

Cambridge International AS and A Level syllabuses have been created specifically for an international audience. The content of International AS and A Levels is carefully devised to suit the wide variety of Cambridge schools worldwide and avoid any cultural bias. The structure and administration of Cambridge International AS and A Levels are also designed to meet the needs of our schools and learners around the world.

Assessment

Cambridge International AS and A Level examination sessions occur twice a year (Some subjects are only available in June or November), in June and November, with results issued in August and January respectively.

Cambridge International AS and A Levels use a wide range of assessment processes and techniques to supplement formal written examinations-orals, practicals, projects and coursework of differing types are all used in various subjects where they are the most effective and appropriate means of measuring attainment.

Reporting of achievement

Each subject that a Cambridge international student takes at AS and A Level receives a separately certificated grade. From 2010, the Cambridge International A Level will be reported on a grade scale from A grade, awarded for the highest level of achievement, to E, indicating the minimum required performance. Cambridge International Centres should note there is no A × grading in the certification of Cambridge International AS Levels, which will continue to run from Grade A to Grade E.

Performance feedback

Cambridge International AS Level provides valuable feedback on performance, identifying strengths and weaknesses prior to any final assessment. Taking the Cambridge International AS Level examination part-way through the international A Level course provides feedback that learners can use to set learning goals for the second half of the course. It can also provide learners with the motivation and momentum to complete their programme of study.

International recognition

Cambridge International AS and A Levels have widespread international recognition as educational qualifications. This recognition is because:

  • Cambridge International AS and A Level qualifications are recognised by universities as equivalent in value to UK AS and A Levels
  • good grades at AS and A Level can result in one full year of advanced standing or credit at universities in the USA and Canada
  • it is accepted as an entry qualification by universities of the European Union, on a par with the French Baccalaureate, the German Abitur, etc
  • good AS and A Level grades are vital for admission to all the world's major English-speaking universities and many non-English-speaking universities
  • AS and A Levels are rigorous programmes that encourage high academic standards
  • AS and A Levels have a high profile amongst English-medium international schools around the world.

University courses for which there is not strong demand might accept students with grades between A-E, but typical UK university entrance requirements are three passes at Advanced Level for academic courses in established universities. Student should check the university's website for specific entry requirements before applying. Minimum matriculation requirements are at least two pass grades. Very popular courses will often require higher grades. For example, medical schools in the UK often require grades of AAA and the highly selective universities of Cambridge and Oxford ask for at least A × AA.

Cambridge International A Levels are taken throughout the world, sometimes as the national examinations of certain Commonwealth countries (such as Singapore and Mauritius), sometimes within international schools and sometimes in bilingual government schools alongside the national exams.

Share