International A-Levels Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re an International student thinking of studying A-Levels, you may have a few questions about International A-Levels and what they entail. So we have constructed a frequently asked questions article for you to refer to before making your decision.

In no particular order, here are our International A-Levels Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Difference Between UK A-Levels and International A-Levels?

The main differences between UK A-Levels and International A-Levels are the way in which the courses are studied and what the courses entail. If you are studying a UK A-Level, then for certain courses such as Biology, Chemistry and Physics, you will have to carry out practicals. And for other courses such as English or History, you will have to complete a coursework element.

Usually, these additional components need to be carried out and assessed with your tutor as you progress through the course and then submitted to the examination centre where you will be sitting your examinations. Of course, if you are an international student, then that might prove harder to carry out if you’re located a long way from the UK.

There is also sometimes a difference in the course content and what areas the course syllabus cover and focus on. This is done by awarding bodies to make the courses more interesting and relevant to the students studying the courses.

What Subjects can I Study on International A-Levels?

The range and options of International A-Levels is the same as UK A-Levels, you can cover all the popular courses from Accounting through to Religious Studies and more.

Do I need Previous Qualifications to Study International A-Levels?

No. As A-Levels are classed as entry level qualifications, the only requirement to study them is that you have a good understanding of English and some experience of secondary education. Ideally, you will hold some form of school leavers qualification, but this is not mandatory for you to have in order to study the courses.

Are International A-Levels Recognised by University?

Yes. International A-Levels have the same standing and value as a UK A-Level. They receive the same UCAS points according to the grade you achieve and all universities recognise and accept International A-Levels.

It is important to note, that with International A-Levels relating to the sciences, you may be required by the university (you are applying to) to carry out additional practical testing to demonstrate your ability within a laboratory before you will be offered a place on a course.

Where Would I sit the Examinations for International A-Levels?

Once enrolled onto your chosen courses, you will need to find a local examination centre where you will be able to sit your examinations for the courses. The examination centres are usually the local secondary International school in your area.

When you are ready to book your examinations, if you check with your college, they will be able to provide you with suggestions of centres where you can sit your exams.

Do International A-Levels have Practicals or Coursework?

No. To help students who are remotely studying courses, International A-Levels do not have additional factors such as practicals or coursework. Instead of having to complete the additional factors, students are usually required to sit an additional examination paper to complete the qualification. So for example, with A-Level Biology, you would sit 4 written papers instead of 3 with practicals.

How long are International A-Levels?

Just like UK A-Levels, International A-Levels come with a recommended study time of approximately 350 hours. These study hours can be spread over a two year period or a one year period, depending on how quickly you wish to complete the qualification and also when the next available examination period is.

When are Examinations for International A-Levels?

Examination periods for International A-Levels depends on the Awarding Body that your A-Level is with. If you are studying a Pearson Edexcel A-Level, your examination period will be in the June of each year. If you are studying a Cambridge International A-Level, then you will have the option of two examination periods, one in the June of each year and one in the November of each year.

Which Awarding Bodies are International A-Levels Available with?

Currently, you have the options of either Cambridge International or Pearson Edexcel for International A-Level study.

If you wish to study an AQA or OCR A-Level, you are free to do this, but you would be required to travel to the UK to sit the examinations for the qualification.

Can you Study International A-Levels Online?

Yes. Due to the flexible nature of International A-Levels, it’s very easy and straight forward to study the courses online. As long as you keep in mind when you plan to sit your examinations, then it is very easy to enrol with a college like Open College and then work through their online learning portal to complete your studies.

How do I Apply to Study International A-Levels?

Once you have made the decision to study International A-Levels, the enrolment process is very straight forward and simple. First, you need to pick the subjects that you would like to study, usually students opt to study 3 or more A-Levels. Then from there, you simply select how you would like to pay for your courses and complete your personal details. With Open College, you can be enrolled and studying your chosen International A-Levels within just a few hours.