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Could someone explain how a-levels work

i dont understand the difference between as and A levels does everyone do as levels first orrr and how do exams work are yr12 exams acutally important for anything or just like mocks
Reply 1
Original post by phob17
i dont understand the difference between as and A levels does everyone do as levels first orrr and how do exams work are yr12 exams acutally important for anything or just like mocks

After 1 year of a level you can drop or change a subject and it will be a AS cuz you done only half an a level
Reply 2
Original post by phob17
i dont understand the difference between as and A levels does everyone do as levels first orrr and how do exams work are yr12 exams acutally important for anything or just like mocks

AS levels are taken in Year 12 and typically will include the majority of first year content for an A level. Some AS levels will have more content and some will have less. Not everyone does AS levels. I personally did not do AS levels in my school, instead we learnt the A level content for the first two papers for politics and psychology. We learnt a mix of paper 1 and 2 topics for philosophy since there is only two papers. Whether you do AS levels as your final end of year exam or general mocks, your Year 12 exams do matter. Some schools will require you to achieve a certain grade to secure your place in Year 13 (in my school we need DDD), but for most schools, your predicted grade will be based heavily on your performance in these exams. If you don't perform well in them, it could negatively impact the grade you are predicted for university and limit your options in terms of universities you want to apply to. Say you want to apply to study psychological and behavioural sciences at Cambridge and need A*A*A for your predicted grades, if you get BCC in your mocks, your teachers may only predict you AAB, which would make getting into Cambridge an unrealistic goal (not impossible, just incredibly challenging). Bad performance isn't the end of the world, as some schools may give you more chances to boost your predicted grade in September - October of Year 13, however, if you plan to apply for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or Oxbridge, you'll have to apply in October, so your time will be limited.

A levels are sat at the end of Year 13 and your performance in these exams will determine where you go to university, or if you go at all. You apply for university in Year 13 with your predicted grades and personal through UCAS and you will be able to apply for five courses. Your personal statement will be seen by all of your university choices, so you really should only be applying to the same course or similar courses with different title names, as your personal statement needs to focus in on your intended area of study. You can apply to 3 courses for biology and 2 for marine biology, but if you were to apply to 3 law courses, a maths course and medicine, your personal statement would be confusing to say the least and you'll likely face many rejections. Once a university gives you your offer in Year 13, there will usually be conditions attached to it and those conditions are getting the required grades for the course. You get a firm choice and an insurance choice on UCAS, with your insurance choice usually being a university that requires slightly lower grades than your firm choice, in the event you don't get the required grades for your firm. Your firm is where you want to go and your insurance is your backup basically. Once you sit your A level exams in Year 13, you'll get your results in August and if you meet the conditions of your offer, then you get to go to your firm choice. Some universities will accept people with lower grades than their requirement depending on how many people meet their offer that year. If you miss both your offer grades, you can go through something called clearing, where universities will essentially advertise courses with spaces and you can apply to them if your grades are accepted. For example, if your firm choice required A*AA and your insurance required ABB, but you got BBB and were not accepted to either, you could apply to a university that will accept those grades through clearing.

But in short, no your AS levels are not the same as your A levels and yes, they are important.
Reply 3
Original post by bibachu
AS levels are taken in Year 12 and typically will include the majority of first year content for an A level. Some AS levels will have more content and some will have less. Not everyone does AS levels. I personally did not do AS levels in my school, instead we learnt the A level content for the first two papers for politics and psychology. We learnt a mix of paper 1 and 2 topics for philosophy since there is only two papers. Whether you do AS levels as your final end of year exam or general mocks, your Year 12 exams do matter. Some schools will require you to achieve a certain grade to secure your place in Year 13 (in my school we need DDD), but for most schools, your predicted grade will be based heavily on your performance in these exams. If you don't perform well in them, it could negatively impact the grade you are predicted for university and limit your options in terms of universities you want to apply to. Say you want to apply to study psychological and behavioural sciences at Cambridge and need A*A*A for your predicted grades, if you get BCC in your mocks, your teachers may only predict you AAB, which would make getting into Cambridge an unrealistic goal (not impossible, just incredibly challenging). Bad performance isn't the end of the world, as some schools may give you more chances to boost your predicted grade in September - October of Year 13, however, if you plan to apply for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or Oxbridge, you'll have to apply in October, so your time will be limited.
A levels are sat at the end of Year 13 and your performance in these exams will determine where you go to university, or if you go at all. You apply for university in Year 13 with your predicted grades and personal through UCAS and you will be able to apply for five courses. Your personal statement will be seen by all of your university choices, so you really should only be applying to the same course or similar courses with different title names, as your personal statement needs to focus in on your intended area of study. You can apply to 3 courses for biology and 2 for marine biology, but if you were to apply to 3 law courses, a maths course and medicine, your personal statement would be confusing to say the least and you'll likely face many rejections. Once a university gives you your offer in Year 13, there will usually be conditions attached to it and those conditions are getting the required grades for the course. You get a firm choice and an insurance choice on UCAS, with your insurance choice usually being a university that requires slightly lower grades than your firm choice, in the event you don't get the required grades for your firm. Your firm is where you want to go and your insurance is your backup basically. Once you sit your A level exams in Year 13, you'll get your results in August and if you meet the conditions of your offer, then you get to go to your firm choice. Some universities will accept people with lower grades than their requirement depending on how many people meet their offer that year. If you miss both your offer grades, you can go through something called clearing, where universities will essentially advertise courses with spaces and you can apply to them if your grades are accepted. For example, if your firm choice required A*AA and your insurance required ABB, but you got BBB and were not accepted to either, you could apply to a university that will accept those grades through clearing.
But in short, no your AS levels are not the same as your A levels and yes, they are important.

danggg thank you so much seriously i feel like i understand the whole thing a lot better now, i didnt know the stuff about uni courses and personal statement so really thank you i truly appreciate it!!!!!!
Original post by bibachu
AS levels are taken in Year 12 and typically will include the majority of first year content for an A level. Some AS levels will have more content and some will have less. Not everyone does AS levels. I personally did not do AS levels in my school, instead we learnt the A level content for the first two papers for politics and psychology. We learnt a mix of paper 1 and 2 topics for philosophy since there is only two papers. Whether you do AS levels as your final end of year exam or general mocks, your Year 12 exams do matter. Some schools will require you to achieve a certain grade to secure your place in Year 13 (in my school we need DDD), but for most schools, your predicted grade will be based heavily on your performance in these exams. If you don't perform well in them, it could negatively impact the grade you are predicted for university and limit your options in terms of universities you want to apply to. Say you want to apply to study psychological and behavioural sciences at Cambridge and need A*A*A for your predicted grades, if you get BCC in your mocks, your teachers may only predict you AAB, which would make getting into Cambridge an unrealistic goal (not impossible, just incredibly challenging). Bad performance isn't the end of the world, as some schools may give you more chances to boost your predicted grade in September - October of Year 13, however, if you plan to apply for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or Oxbridge, you'll have to apply in October, so your time will be limited.
A levels are sat at the end of Year 13 and your performance in these exams will determine where you go to university, or if you go at all. You apply for university in Year 13 with your predicted grades and personal through UCAS and you will be able to apply for five courses. Your personal statement will be seen by all of your university choices, so you really should only be applying to the same course or similar courses with different title names, as your personal statement needs to focus in on your intended area of study. You can apply to 3 courses for biology and 2 for marine biology, but if you were to apply to 3 law courses, a maths course and medicine, your personal statement would be confusing to say the least and you'll likely face many rejections. Once a university gives you your offer in Year 13, there will usually be conditions attached to it and those conditions are getting the required grades for the course. You get a firm choice and an insurance choice on UCAS, with your insurance choice usually being a university that requires slightly lower grades than your firm choice, in the event you don't get the required grades for your firm. Your firm is where you want to go and your insurance is your backup basically. Once you sit your A level exams in Year 13, you'll get your results in August and if you meet the conditions of your offer, then you get to go to your firm choice. Some universities will accept people with lower grades than their requirement depending on how many people meet their offer that year. If you miss both your offer grades, you can go through something called clearing, where universities will essentially advertise courses with spaces and you can apply to them if your grades are accepted. For example, if your firm choice required A*AA and your insurance required ABB, but you got BBB and were not accepted to either, you could apply to a university that will accept those grades through clearing.
But in short, no your AS levels are not the same as your A levels and yes, they are important.

I also found this really helpful, thanks!!
Original post by phob17
i dont understand the difference between as and A levels does everyone do as levels first orrr and how do exams work are yr12 exams acutally important for anything or just like mocks

It depends which country you are in.

In England most people do linear A levels over two years, few sit AS levels
Original post by bibachu
AS levels are taken in Year 12 and typically will include the majority of first year content for an A level. Some AS levels will have more content and some will have less. Not everyone does AS levels. I personally did not do AS levels in my school, instead we learnt the A level content for the first two papers for politics and psychology. We learnt a mix of paper 1 and 2 topics for philosophy since there is only two papers. Whether you do AS levels as your final end of year exam or general mocks, your Year 12 exams do matter. Some schools will require you to achieve a certain grade to secure your place in Year 13 (in my school we need DDD), but for most schools, your predicted grade will be based heavily on your performance in these exams. If you don't perform well in them, it could negatively impact the grade you are predicted for university and limit your options in terms of universities you want to apply to. Say you want to apply to study psychological and behavioural sciences at Cambridge and need A*A*A for your predicted grades, if you get BCC in your mocks, your teachers may only predict you AAB, which would make getting into Cambridge an unrealistic goal (not impossible, just incredibly challenging). Bad performance isn't the end of the world, as some schools may give you more chances to boost your predicted grade in September - October of Year 13, however, if you plan to apply for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or Oxbridge, you'll have to apply in October, so your time will be limited.
A levels are sat at the end of Year 13 and your performance in these exams will determine where you go to university, or if you go at all. You apply for university in Year 13 with your predicted grades and personal through UCAS and you will be able to apply for five courses. Your personal statement will be seen by all of your university choices, so you really should only be applying to the same course or similar courses with different title names, as your personal statement needs to focus in on your intended area of study. You can apply to 3 courses for biology and 2 for marine biology, but if you were to apply to 3 law courses, a maths course and medicine, your personal statement would be confusing to say the least and you'll likely face many rejections. Once a university gives you your offer in Year 13, there will usually be conditions attached to it and those conditions are getting the required grades for the course. You get a firm choice and an insurance choice on UCAS, with your insurance choice usually being a university that requires slightly lower grades than your firm choice, in the event you don't get the required grades for your firm. Your firm is where you want to go and your insurance is your backup basically. Once you sit your A level exams in Year 13, you'll get your results in August and if you meet the conditions of your offer, then you get to go to your firm choice. Some universities will accept people with lower grades than their requirement depending on how many people meet their offer that year. If you miss both your offer grades, you can go through something called clearing, where universities will essentially advertise courses with spaces and you can apply to them if your grades are accepted. For example, if your firm choice required A*AA and your insurance required ABB, but you got BBB and were not accepted to either, you could apply to a university that will accept those grades through clearing.
But in short, no your AS levels are not the same as your A levels and yes, they are important.

It's illegal to require certain grades in Year 12 to progress to Year 13.
Reply 7
Original post by Muttley79
It's illegal to require certain grades in Year 12 to progress to Year 13.

That's quite strange. Most schools in my area that I applied to required at least DDD to continue on to Year 13 for the same course. In my school specifically, because it is a big college, if you fail to achieve DDD in your mocks, they will often help you transfer onto a BTEC course instead, but I know other schools who don't offer BTECs at all and will not accept students with lower grades than DDD to progress onto Year 13. I thought that was a normal requirement.
Original post by bibachu
That's quite strange. Most schools in my area that I applied to required at least DDD to continue on to Year 13 for the same course. In my school specifically, because it is a big college, if you fail to achieve DDD in your mocks, they will often help you transfer onto a BTEC course instead, but I know other schools who don't offer BTECs at all and will not accept students with lower grades than DDD to progress onto Year 13. I thought that was a normal requirement.

Nope - it is illegal -
Reply 10
Original post by Muttley79
It's illegal to require certain grades in Year 12 to progress to Year 13.

glad to know that i just got confused with vids on yt cuz they said that ur yr12 exams will count towards ur end of a levels grade but ig they meant predicted tysm!
Original post by phob17
glad to know that i just got confused with vids on yt cuz they said that ur yr12 exams will count towards ur end of a levels grade but ig they meant predicted tysm!

The old AS grades did but since A levels changed to linear most schools don't bother with AS external exams.

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