Doing AS levels? Not doing AS levels? It's all a bit confusing. Here's a simple guide to AS results.
If you're picking up results on AS results day, you might be feeling a bit uncertain about what comes next. What do they actually mean? And does it matter if you don’t have any at all?
Here are some answers.
What exactly are AS levels?
AS levels are one-year courses pitched at a level slightly below A-level. They are targeted at students in the first year of two-year A-level courses.
AS levels in England are in the process of changing as part of wider A-level reform. Previously they represented the first part of an A-level and contributed towards the final grade. Now they are becoming separate qualifications. However, most are designed to be taught alongside the first year of the full A-level. In Northern Ireland and Wales, AS levels will still be a part of A-level courses – contributing 40% of the final A-level grade.
Is the process of A-level and AS level reform in England complete?
Almost. All the larger courses have now changed and students sat the first fully linear A-level exams in these subjects in either summer 2017, 2018 or 2019.
It’s quite possible that someone in their first year of A-level study might be doing AS levels in some subjects but not in others. This is probably because some departments have decided not to enter students for AS exams while others have decided that AS entries are still a good idea.
When is AS results day 2019?
AS results are released on the same day as A-level results: Thursday 15 August 2019. You might be able to view your results online if your school or college is set up to provide this service - but most people will travel into school or college to collect their results in person.
How important are my AS results?
AS levels are graded in the same way as A levels (A*, A, B, C, D, E, U) but are only worth 40% of a full A level in terms of UCAS points.
AS results will appear on your UCAS form and teachers will almost certainly use them when making A-level grade predictions.
Does it matter if I'm not doing any AS levels?
No need to be concerned. More and more schools and colleges are deciding to skip AS exams completely so the number of AS-level entries has been dropping very quickly. Instead most schools and colleges have internal or mock exams at the end of year 12.
Universities know that only some schools and colleges will enter students for AS level so their offers won't be more generous to students who have AS levels.
Studying AS levels does mean that if you leave school or college before sitting A-levels, you will have some post-GCSE qualifications.
But then again, those who do take the new AS levels end up being assessed on the AS material twice – once in the AS exams and then again at the end of the course as part of the A level. You could see this as an advantage or a disadvantage!
I’m still confused – what should I do?
Talk to your teachers – they should be able to help. Or you can ask a question in the A-level forum on TSR.
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