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FAQs for Cambridge AS & A Levels

The Cambridge International Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced (A) Levels are part of the Cambridge Advanced stage. They are subject-based qualifications that lay down an outstanding base for university education across the world. Administered by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), University of Cambridge, London since 1951, they are usually taken in the final two years of high school and are equivalent to the Plus One and Plus Two programs of the Indian curriculum.

Students may take up some subjects as part of Cambridge International AS Level that generally spans a year and extend to Cambridge International A Level. The A Level is typically a two-year course, and is considered to be the ‘gold standard’ of Cambridge qualifications. Students typically study four subjects at AS Level and three subjects at A Level although there may be exceptions in the case of outstanding students. The AS and A Level examination is held twice a year in June and November. Results are given out in August and January.

Advantages of doing the AS & A

There is a choice of 55 subjects that gives the student broad room to either specialize in a particular subject or study a range of subjects. There are no compulsory subjects. The decision to choose subjects when left to the student helps to uniformly sustain his/her interest levels well into the course.

When a student is choosing subjects for A Level, it helps to have a smart mix of most commonly asked for subjects as part of university admission requirements. These are known as ‘facilitating subjects’. They are: Biology, Chemistry, English, Geography, History, Math, Modern & Classical Languages and physics. The more one picks, more options will be open to him/her at the university.

As regards the advantages of AS and A Levels, a learner’s knowledge, understanding and skills are enhanced in terms of:

  • In-depth subject content that translates to a solid background in the subject
  • Independent thinking
  • Applying knowledge and insight to new as well as well-known situations
  • Handling and analyzing different points of view
  • Looking at problems critically and making judgements and recommendations
  • Making connections across subjects and arriving at decisions
  • Thinking logically and communicating rational explanations effectively
  • Communicating in English
  • Smooth headway into university curriculum

Colleges you can apply to

With Cambridge International AS and A qualifications, the student gets to gain entry into leading universities worldwide including the United Kingdom, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Egypt, Jordan, South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. Simply put, one will be placed in the creamy layer of academia, all set to conquer the international universities of repute.

Why it has an edge over others

Students with straight A grades in AS and A levels are most welcomed by over 450 US universities, including all Ivy League universities, MIT and Stanford. Results from several research studies imply that the Cambridge program compares well with more established acceleration programs in the US including Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB). In countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, when a learner is armed with good grades in carefully chosen A Level subjects, he/she could earn up to one year of university course credit. Voila! That means skipping a year! Outstanding students may even be awarded full scholarships in some universities. One can be positive that the Cambridge AS and A Level qualifications are accepted as equivalent to UK AS and A Levels by top international universities. Not only universities, global employers recognize and value AS and A level qualifications for intake. Cambridge International A Level examination is at times taken as the national examination of countries such as Singapore and Mauritius. Not yet convinced of taking up AS and A Level examination? No worries. Seek answers to all your questions with qualified coaches at an online tutoring portal today.
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