I am a year 11 and i am really confused on how A levels work

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Lewisicicle
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So I'm going to do A levels next year and i am so confused. Say you were to do Bio, would you take one paper at the end of year 12 than the other at year 13 or all of the papers at the end of year 13. If so do the tests at the end of year 12 only predict your grade? (sorry if i worded it badly)
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śilvers
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(Original post by Lewisicicle)
So I'm going to do A levels next year and i am so confused. Say you were to do Bio, would you take one paper at the end of year 12 than the other at year 13 or all of the papers at the end of year 13. If so do the tests at the end of year 12 only predict your grade? (sorry if i worded it badly)
Hey! I don’t know much either, but I’m on Year 13 and thought I could give you my experience.

I’m doing Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology as my A-Levels. On Year 12, we did our AS exams at the end of the school year, and it was two exams each subject. On Year 13, it would be 3 papers each subject. Some colleges don’t do AS exams, and the exams they do would help contribute to your predicted grades overall. Your AS exams though are like a qualification.

Idk if that made sense, but I hope it’s clear. Someone correct me if I’m wrong. I am unfamiliar with how A-Levels work myself
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Lewisicicle
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You're doing the exact subjects i want to do! So AS exams are a qualification at the end of year 12, yep. Then you finish the course in year 13, do the rest of the papers for that exam, then the grades from the year 12 AS levels and year 13 exams make your final grade?
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śilvers
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(Original post by Lewisicicle)
You're doing the exact subjects i want to do! So AS exams are a qualification at the end of year 12, yep. Then you finish the course in year 13, do the rest of the papers for that exam, then the grades from the year 12 AS levels and year 13 exams make your final grade?
No. The grades you get on Year 13 are your A-Level grades. The ones you did as AS exams are separate. My teachers told me that your AS and A Level grades used to be combined to make up your final grades, but now they’re separate
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Alina2019
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(Original post by śilvers)
Hey! I don’t know much either, but I’m on Year 13 and thought I could give you my experience.

I’m doing Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology as my A-Levels. On Year 12, we did our AS exams at the end of the school year, and it was two exams each subject. On Year 13, it would be 3 papers each subject. Some colleges don’t do AS exams, and the exams they do would help contribute to your predicted grades overall. Your AS exams though are like a qualification.

Idk if that made sense, but I hope it’s clear. Someone correct me if I’m wrong. I am unfamiliar with how A-Levels work myself
Sorry but idk if it was genuine mistakes but
‘On year 12’
‘On year 13’
Anyone correct me if I’m wrong it doesn’t sound right or does it 😭
Im confused, is it not ‘in’
Last edited by Alina2019; 1 year ago
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śilvers
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(Original post by Lewisicicle)
You're doing the exact subjects i want to do! So AS exams are a qualification at the end of year 12, yep. Then you finish the course in year 13, do the rest of the papers for that exam, then the grades from the year 12 AS levels and year 13 exams make your final grade?
And I absolutely advise you to take those subjects! I don’t have high grades but I really love those subjects. I regret picking Biology, tbh, but I still enjoy learning it.
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claudiaanness
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(Original post by Lewisicicle)
So I'm going to do A levels next year and i am so confused. Say you were to do Bio, would you take one paper at the end of year 12 than the other at year 13 or all of the papers at the end of year 13. If so do the tests at the end of year 12 only predict your grade? (sorry if i worded it badly)
Hiya, how it worked in my school and most others it’s normally something similar to this -

Year 12: you sit exams at the end of the year, these are internal and the test papers are based on previous test papers. It gives you an idea of what the real exam will be like. They are not anything to do with your final grade, however you predicted grades are often based on these. If you plan to apply to university you will use your predicted grades, before they confirm your place after results day. Even if it goes badly there is some leeway so don’t worry.

Year 13: these are the actual exams, some subjects have 2 papers, some have 3. These are important as this is what really matters if you want to apply to university, and will be your official grades.

Some subjects have coursework, this is a large percentage of your final grade and is often completed at the end of year 12 or beginning of year 13. Try your best in coursework as it could be the difference in a grade!

Hope this helped, feel free to ask anymore questions.
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Lewisicicle
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Ok so the exams at the end of year 13 are the only really important ones?

(Original post by śilvers)
And I absolutely advise you to take those subjects! I don’t have high grades but I really love those subjects. I regret picking Biology, tbh, but I still enjoy learning it.
(Original post by claudiaanness)
Hiya, how it worked in my school and most others it’s normally something similar to this -

Year 12: you sit exams at the end of the year, these are internal and the test papers are based on previous test papers. It gives you an idea of what the real exam will be like. They are not anything to do with your final grade, however you predicted grades are often based on these. If you plan to apply to university you will use your predicted grades, before they confirm your place after results day. Even if it goes badly there is some leeway so don’t worry.

Year 13: these are the actual exams, some subjects have 2 papers, some have 3. These are important as this is what really matters if you want to apply to university, and will be your official grades.

Some subjects have coursework, this is a large percentage of your final grade and is often completed at the end of year 12 or beginning of year 13. Try your best in coursework as it could be the difference in a grade!

Hope this helped, feel free to ask anymore questions.
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Lewisicicle
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Thanks guys, you have really helped!
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claudiaanness
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The exams at the end of year 13 are the only grades that you’re stuck with. Like I say your predictions do get you into university so bare that in mind.
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śilvers
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(Original post by Alina2019)
Sorry but idk if it was genuine mistakes but
‘On year 12’
‘On year 13’
Anyone correct me if I’m wrong it doesn’t sound right or does it 😭
Im confused, is it not ‘in’
I’m sorryyyyyy. English is not my first language so I’m struggling with words as well 😭😭
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Alina2019
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(Original post by śilvers)
I’m sorryyyyyy. English is not my first language so I’m struggling with words as well 😭😭
No I’m sorry 😭 but it was confusing me
If you need help with English tho PM me ✌🏻 would love to help out
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Compost
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Which country are you in? The answers to your question s will be different depending on whether you are in England, Wales, Northern ireland or somewhere else in the world.
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Lewisicicle
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England

(Original post by Compost)
Which country are you in? The answers to your question s will be different depending on whether you are in England, Wales, Northern ireland or somewhere else in the world.
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Compost
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(Original post by Lewisicicle)
England
The AS level content is the same as the first half of the A level content.

In England, A levels are examined by exams (generally 2-3 per subject) at the end of Year 13 and (for a minority of subjects - Art, DT, English, Geography, History..) some non examination assessment (coursework) undertaken in Year 13 and submitted in May of Y13.

A minority of schools will also enter you for AS levels in some/all subjects at the end of Year 12. The results you get in AS levels do not affect your A level grade (except in that if you know your stuff for AS levels you're also likely to know your stuff for A levels). Where you're not entered for the AS level in a subject you will almost certainly take an internal exam in the subject instead.

(Why are not all schools the same?
Pros of taking AS:
Taking AS exams as external end of year exams gives firm results to put on UCAS applications
If you drop a subject after a year you still come away with an AS qualification
People take them more seriously so learn and consolidate their knowledge at that point rather than waiting the full 2 years

Cons of taking AS in Year 12:
It disrupts teaching time more than internal exams - people work harder for them and then there's a 2.5 month delay before you get the results
It cots the school about £60 per AS subject per student which they can't afford.
As schools have decided AS are too expensive some exam boards have stopped offering AS in some subjects)
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