UK A Levels versus International A Levels

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EXETER, U.K. - eTradeWire -- Students often ask us what the difference is between UK A Levels and International A Levels and which one would suit their circumstances better.

Advanced level qualifications (known as A Levels) are accepted by many universities globally; they are well respected and offer greater freedom to students when considering future career moves. A Levels are subject based qualifications and serve several purposes, such as training for a specific career, general study or university placement.

Many would argue that academic qualifications are not the be all and end all but for students considering university placements, they are certainly high on the agenda.

For the purpose of this discussion, Learn Now will be looking at the awarding bodies AQA and Cambridge Assessment International Education (previously CIE) whilst exploring the purpose of each.

UK A Levels (AQA)

In 2015, UK A Levels changed dramatically and the transitional phase started, whereby a number of subjects transferred to the new linear structure of examinations, with final subjects transferring in 2018.

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What did the changes mean to UK A Level students?

AS Levels became decoupled from A Levels, which meant that they both become entirely separate qualifications.  Students were no longer able to carry forward the AS to the A Level qualification and would have the option of sitting either AS or A Level examinations.

International A Levels

For students wishing to take their examinations outside of the UK, the main awarding bodies are Pearson Edexcel or CAIE. Whilst Edexcel examinations can only be sat outside of the UK, Cambridge exams can be sat in 130 countries worldwide including the UK; giving students more options with regards to choices they make and greater flexibility.

Do the changes to UK A-Levels affect Cambridge examinations?

CAIE believe that the government's changes affirm the strong position of Cambridge International AS & A Levels. CAIE state: "The changes move the UK AS and A Level model closer to the structure of Cambridge international AS and A Level".

Are International A Level qualifications equivalent to UK A Level qualifications?

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Many believe that  UK A Levels (https://www.learnnow.org.uk/a-level-home-study-distance-learning-courses-online.html) and International A Levels (https://www.learnnow.org.uk/international-a-level-online-course-distance-learning.html) are not equivalent. It is a myth that International A Level qualifications do not match that of their UK counterpart. An independent report by UK NARIC, the national agency in the UK for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills, has concluded in it's investigations that the current changes to UK A Levels will not affect its comparability with Cambridge International AS & A Levels.

It would seem that whether you choose to undertake International A Levels or UK based A Levels, both serve a purpose and consideration should be given to your specific circumstances and which will work best for you.

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