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Confused about A Level 'sittings', 'final grades,' and 'final papers'

Hey there! I just finished my GCE Cambridge A Levels from Bangladesh and by God's grace I got a total of 4A*s in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Further Mathematics. I'm now looking to apply to universities, but I've stumbled upon an issue.

The issue is about 'sittings' and 'final grades'. Now, the usual structure of A Levels is one year of As and another year of A2 exams. However, our school had a weird exam structure for students with Further Mathematics. We sat for none of the Fmath components in our first year. Instead, we sat for all four components of Mathematics in our 'As year' and sat for all four components of Further Mathematics in our 'A2 year'. This does mean we finished all our A Levels in the span of two school years after our O Levels (like people usually do). However, due to the strange structuring of our exams, our final grades are distributed within 2 certificates instead of one (The Mathematics Final Grade of A* appears in our first year Statement of Results alongside my physics and chemistry As grades (a, a) while my second Statement of Results shows 3A*s in Fmath, Physics and Chemistry).

I wasn't really concerned about this as I had generally known all universities accepted separated results like these as long as all the exams were taken within 12 months of each other; but now the wording in the admission criteria of some unis has got me a bit scared. Some like NTU (UK A-Level certificates Cambridge Pre-U | NTU Singapore) say "4 Advanced Level subjects taken in the same sitting (i.e. the examination of the final paper taken in the same period of time), either from the same board or mixed boards. Advanced Level subjects with final paper taken in different period of time are unacceptable." It seems a bit unfair that this is the case and so I am not rejecting the fact that this could just be a problem of poor wording or miscommunication, but I'm not sure.

It'd be great if somebody could clarify the topic for me. I will be submitting an enquiry form to NTU about this but I wanted to post the question here too. Sorry for the rather long read. Thanks for your time.
(edited 11 months ago)
Original post by Marznhaki
Hey there! I just finished my GCE Cambridge A Levels from Bangladesh and by God's grace I got a total of 4A*s in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Further Mathematics. I'm now looking to apply to universities, but I've stumbled upon an issue.

The issue is about 'sittings' and 'final grades'. Now, the usual structure of A Levels is one year of As and another year of A2 exams. However, our school had a weird exam structure for students with Further Mathematics. We sat for none of the Fmath components in our first year. Instead, we sat for all four components of Mathematics in our 'As year' and sat for all four components of Further Mathematics in our 'A2 year'. This does mean we finished all our A Levels in the span of two school years after our O Levels (like people usually do). However, due to the strange structuring of our exams, our final grades are distributed within 2 certificates instead of one (The Mathematics Final Grade of A* appears in our first year Statement of Results alongside my physics and chemistry As grades (a, a) while my second Statement of Results shows 3A*s in Fmath, Physics and Chemistry).

I wasn't really concerned about this as I had generally known all universities accept separated results like these as long as all the exams were taken within 12 months of each other; but now the wording in the admission criteria of some unis has got me a bit scared. Some like NTU (UK A-Level certificates Cambridge Pre-U | NTU Singapore) say "4 Advanced Level subjects taken in the same sitting (i.e. the examination of the final paper taken in the same period of time), either from the same board or mixed boards. Advanced Level subjects with final paper taken in different period of time are unacceptable." It seems a bit unfair that this is the case and so I am not rejecting the fact that this could just be a problem of poor wording or miscommunication, but I'm not sure.

It'd be great if somebody could clarify the topic for me. I will be submitting an enquiry form to NTU about this but I wanted to post the question here too. Sorry for the rather long read. Thanks for your time.

If I am understanding correctly, you are asking whether it is the same for students in the UK to take Maths and Further Maths in 2 separate sittings?

if this is the question, then yes. When my friends took Maths and Fmaths, she did her maths a level in year 12- accordingly, at the end of year 12 she had a maths a level. She then took her further maths a level in year 13- thus separately. Therefore, her maths a level result was on a separate piece of paper so to speak. This was not an issue- she has got into Oxford.

Hope this helps? I am not an expert in this area!
Original post by Marznhaki
Hey there! I just finished my GCE Cambridge A Levels from Bangladesh and by God's grace I got a total of 4A*s in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Further Mathematics. I'm now looking to apply to universities, but I've stumbled upon an issue.

The issue is about 'sittings' and 'final grades'. Now, the usual structure of A Levels is one year of As and another year of A2 exams. However, our school had a weird exam structure for students with Further Mathematics. We sat for none of the Fmath components in our first year. Instead, we sat for all four components of Mathematics in our 'As year' and sat for all four components of Further Mathematics in our 'A2 year'. This does mean we finished all our A Levels in the span of two school years after our O Levels (like people usually do). However, due to the strange structuring of our exams, our final grades are distributed within 2 certificates instead of one (The Mathematics Final Grade of A* appears in our first year Statement of Results alongside my physics and chemistry As grades (a, a) while my second Statement of Results shows 3A*s in Fmath, Physics and Chemistry).

I wasn't really concerned about this as I had generally known all universities accept separated results like these as long as all the exams were taken within 12 months of each other; but now the wording in the admission criteria of some unis has got me a bit scared. Some like NTU (UK A-Level certificates Cambridge Pre-U | NTU Singapore) say "4 Advanced Level subjects taken in the same sitting (i.e. the examination of the final paper taken in the same period of time), either from the same board or mixed boards. Advanced Level subjects with final paper taken in different period of time are unacceptable." It seems a bit unfair that this is the case and so I am not rejecting the fact that this could just be a problem of poor wording or miscommunication, but I'm not sure.

It'd be great if somebody could clarify the topic for me. I will be submitting an enquiry form to NTU about this but I wanted to post the question here too. Sorry for the rather long read. Thanks for your time.

So the format of doing all of A-level Maths in one year and all of A-level Further Maths in the subsequent year is fairly common here in the UK. However, in the UK it's normally only expected for students to be taking 3 A-levels in a single sitting so your situation wouldn't make a difference within the UK.

Based on the wording from NTU I suspect they would not accept that method of sitting the exams as you've done 3 A-levels in one sitting and 1 A-level in an earlier one - which is not 4 A-levels in one sitting. Worth confirming with them to be sure though.
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 3
Original post by Lightningparrot
If I am understanding correctly, you are asking whether it is the same for students in the UK to take Maths and Further Maths in 2 separate sittings?

if this is the question, then yes. When my friends took Maths and Fmaths, she did her maths a level in year 12- accordingly, at the end of year 12 she had a maths a level. She then took her further maths a level in year 13- thus separately. Therefore, her maths a level result was on a separate piece of paper so to speak. This was not an issue- she has got into Oxford.

Hope this helps? I am not an expert in this area!


Yes, I too, logically, feel like there shouldn't be any problems but if there is, it's just going to be heartbreaking. Especially because my Math score was exceptional (98 PUM). If my Math score gets discarded because of a school policy I had no control over, I'll be mad :frown:. Thanks for the response 🙏.
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 4
Original post by artful_lounger
So the format of doing all of A-level Maths in one year and all of A-level Further Maths in the subsequent year is fairly common here in the UK. However, in the UK it's normally only expected for students to be taking 3 A-levels in a single sitting so your situation wouldn't make a difference within the UK.

Based on the wording from NTU I suspect they would not accept that method of sitting the exams as you've done 3 A-levels in one sitting and 1 A-level in an earlier one - which is not 4 A-levels in one sitting. Worth confirming with them to be sure though.


Their wording is genuinely scary man. I'll be enquiring with them about this, rn actually. Thanks for your response 🙏.
Hey, I have done Physics and Urdu A-level in one sitting, that was Oct/Nov 2022, got my results in January 2023. But Since then, I have not been feeling okay health wise and could not sit in my English Language Alevel (which is the 3rd Subject). I am planning on taking English Language A-level in May/June 2024 session, and I was confused whether universities will accept my 3 A-levels, since two of them have their own certificate for respective year, and English Language A-level in 2024 would have its own.

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