A-levels are internationally recognised qualifications that are required for entry into many university courses and professional training opportunities. Students typically study A-levels between the ages of 17 and 18. A-levels can help you:

  • get a place at college or university at home or abroad 
  • start the career you want
  • explore the subjects you love.

Every year, the British Council helps more than two million people take international exams. We are here to help you at every stage of your education – from choosing subjects to registering for exams.

Find out how to register for A-levels.

Course length and format

Students usually complete A-levels in two years. In the first year, you study the first half of the A-level, which is called the AS-level. In the second year, you study the A2-level. Your combined result from both years is your A-level grade. A-levels are assessed by a mixture of practical coursework and exams in both years (AS and A2).

Exam boards

A-levels are offered by two main exam boards – Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and Pearson Edexcel. If your school or college has a preferred exam board, you may not need to choose.

Choosing subjects

There are many different A-level subjects to choose from, although availability varies by country, exam board and school. 

University requirements

UK universities typically require students to pass three subjects at A-level, but you should check the entry requirements of the universities that you are considering.

See what grades you need to get a place at your chosen university.


We can help you to study and pass your exams via access to study guides, past exam papers and other helpful resources.

Get study tips and resources. 

Grades and marking

Your A-level coursework and exam results are graded on a scale from A* to E. 


Your exam results will be sent to your school or nearest British Council office several weeks  after your final exam or coursework submission.