If you're planning on pursuing a career in higher education, you must familiarise yourself with the AS, A2, and A-Levels. This article will provide an overview of these qualifications and discuss how they are structured and what you can expect from them. We'll also look at the pros and cons of each qualification so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you. Here is everything you need to know about the AS, A2 and A levels. 

What are the AS, A2, and A-Level exams?

The AS, A2, and A-Level exams are academic qualifications taken by students in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. They are usually taken at the end of Year 12 (age 17) or Year 13 (age 18).


The AS-Level is the first part of the A-Level. It is usually taken at the end of Year 12 and is worth 50% of the full A-Level grade.


The A2-Level is the second part of the A-Level. It is usually taken at the end of Year 13 and is worth 50% of the full A-Level grade.


The A-Level is a single exam that covers both AS and A2 content. It is usually taken at the end of Year 13 and is worth 100% of the full A-Level grade.

Who can take these exams?

There are three types of A-levels: AS, A2, and A levels.

AS-level: This is a standalone qualification generally taken after one year of study. It can be used as a stepping stone to taking A-levels or progressing into employment.

A2-level: This is the second part of the A-level and is generally taken after two years of study.

A-level: This is the full A-level qualification and is generally taken after two years of study.

 Also read: Benefits of taking AP classes in high school.

How are the AS and A2 level exams scored?

Almost all AS and A2 courses now consist of two units, although some still have three. About 70% of your assessment is based on written exams and 30% on internal assessments. The assessment method will vary from subject to subject, with some subject assessments being entirely written.

The Difference Between AS and A2 Level

AS Level

The AS level is the first part of the A level. It is usually taken in the first year of the sixth form (the last two years of secondary school) and is worth 50% of the full A level. The AS Level can be taken as a standalone qualification, but it is more common for students to take the AS Level alongside the A2 Level to gain the full A Level.

A2 Level

The A2 Level is the second part of the A Level. It is usually taken in the second year of Sixth Form and is worth 50% of the full A-Level. The A2 Level builds on the knowledge and skills acquired at the AS Level, allowing students to develop their understanding and application of concepts learned at the AS Level.

Why choose AS and A levels?

There are many reasons to choose AS and A levels. Here are some of the key reasons:

AS Universities and employers around the world widely recognise levels. It means that you will have plenty of options after completing your studies.

AS and A levels are academically challenging and will help you develop important skills such as critical thinking, analysis, and essay writing. These skills will be useful in both university and your future career.

AS and A levels offer a broad curriculum, which means you can study various subjects that interest you. It can help you find your passion or develop a well-rounded skill set that will attract employers. 

Level studies typically take two years to complete, which gives you plenty of time to master the material. It contrasts with shorter courses such as GCSEs, which may leave you feeling less prepared for university-level study.

You may be also interested to read A guide to IB MYP program

How to prepare for these exams?

Preparation for any exam can be daunting, but it can be manageable with the right mindset and approach. Here are some tips on how to prepare for these exams:

  1. Start early: Don't leave your revision to the last minute. Start preparing as soon as possible, so you have plenty of time to cover all the material.

  2. Create a study plan: Sit down and determine what to revise and when. It will help you stay organised and on track.

  3. Use practise papers: Familiarise yourself with the exam format by doing some practise papers. It will help you understand what to expect on test day.

  4. Take breaks: Revision can be tough, so take regular breaks to avoid burning out. Get some fresh air, stretch your legs, and spend time between study sessions.

  5. Get plenty of rest: Make sure you're getting enough sleep so that you're able to focus on your studies. A tired mind is not conducive to effective learning!


The AS, A2, and A-Levels are important qualifications to obtain if you're planning on pursuing a career in higher education. These exams provide students with the skills and knowledge that employers look for when considering job applicants. It's important to start early and get a study plan tailored to your individual needs by Sage Education to ensure success. With dedication, hard work, and Sage Education's well-structured A-level tutoring in Dubai,, you can do your best on exam day!