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whats the difference between AS, A2 and A level?

(19 Posts)
AllyAndEddy Wed 07-Mar-07 21:20:05

I am so confused. I have been told to consider doing AS in a science subject. It would either be human biology or physics.

How long do you think it would take me to complete with the open learning?

percypig Wed 07-Mar-07 21:25:45

A level courses are now spread across 2 years, with an AS consisting of 3 modules in the first year It usually takes one year to complete (for school/college pupils who usually do 4 at a time).

When you get the results you can either 'cash in' the AS and have it as a qualification in its own right, or do a further year's study with the A2 modules. These are then added to the AS results to make up one A level.

chestnutty Wed 07-Mar-07 21:27:44

A n E AS is year one of A levels and A2 is year 2.
Depending on how many hours a week it is (at least 4) you should be able to do a AS level in one year

chestnutty Wed 07-Mar-07 21:28:27


pretendmum Wed 07-Mar-07 21:29:04

AS level is in effect half of an A level course. Usually they have three modules and would take a year at college alongside 3 or 4 more subjects.
A2 level is the second year and brings the qualification up to an A level when six modules are complete.

AllyAndEddy Wed 07-Mar-07 21:36:57

Thanks. do you think I could complete the 2 subjects in 1 year? The problem is, my local college does AS human biology or the A2 in yr 2, but doesn't do the physics.

number1golfer Wed 04-Jun-08 23:13:56

Surely, then, the best way to think of "AS" levels are as "A1" levels (the 1 meaning they are done in year 1 of college) even though that is not their real name, then that way it makes it simpler to grasp the fact that "A2" levels are done in the second year grin

... "A1" (done in 1st year) + "A2" (done in 2nd year) = 1 A-Level

So in that case what does the S in "AS" stand for? hmm

Cheers! smile

RustyBear Wed 04-Jun-08 23:19:12

It's Advanced Subsidiary level.
But it is a qualification in its own right, whereas A2 isn't - you have to do AS before you can do A2, but you don't have to go on to do A2 to get a qualification in the subject.

ScienceTeacher Sat 07-Jun-08 17:01:08

The new A-levels are pretty much down to two modules a year.

The A2 grade encompasses AS work, but an AS can be awarded in its own right.

I'm really looking forward to starting AS Physics in September. I really like the look of the new course.

RustyBear Sat 07-Jun-08 17:09:05

Looking at DD's results on her college website, most of hers seem to be 3 modules a year - two exams & one coursework

Blandmum Sat 07-Jun-08 17:12:50

AS is the first year of A level. In school this would take you a year.

If you continue and do A2 (and pass smile) you get a 'full' A level

THis would take 2 years in school (in total)

ProfessorGrammaticus Sat 07-Jun-08 17:20:17

Right. So this is now what we say instead of lower and upper VIth? (light dawns)

Blandmum Sat 07-Jun-08 17:22:11

No we still say lower and upper sixth!

The AS and A2 are actual differnt pasts of the course, so theoretically people could be in the upper sixth and be doing some As and some A2 courses IYSWIM.

If you want to be 'modern' with the sixth form (heaven forfend IMHO wink) , you should call them years 12 and 13

ProfessorGrammaticus Sat 07-Jun-08 17:23:32

I'm trying, I'm trying!! (Struggling with anything past yr6 though!)

Blandmum Sat 07-Jun-08 17:29:05

It took be ages to get the hang of it

Year 7 sweet and keen

Year 8 a little norty and begining to smell of sweat

Year 9 a little more 'attitude' ,sweat and the great smell of lynx

Year 10, cleaning up their act but more attitude

Year 11 light at the end of the tunnel, almsot human again

ProfessorGrammaticus Sat 07-Jun-08 17:30:19

Yes I have two boys - am expecting lots of Lynx. Have two brothers too - think I am destined to spend my life with the ruddy stuff!

RustyBear Sat 07-Jun-08 17:31:29

Just to confuse the issue -DD is at a 6th form college and they refer to 'First year' and 'Second year' students!

alexbaileymarkit Wed 12-Oct-16 15:58:23

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Me2017 Thu 13-Oct-16 11:49:23

Also do remember this year some A levels are the old system - lower sixth public exams AS and upper sixth public exams A2 with the grades from both counting towards the A level resul t the A2 result and also some in the new system - you can do AS in lower sixth as my children did but it does not feed into your A2 upper sixth result so everything is on the exams in upper sixth at the end of the 2 year course. It is a very complicate year. 50% of the exams my children did this year were the new system and 50% the old system.

If you are an adult and been out of education for a while and do not need an A level for a university course then it is probably a good idea of your local college to suggest doing an AS in science subject to get you started with studies as that will be a lot easier than an A2. However if you specificlaly need A levels then you need to do a full A level which will be harder (and at school would take you two years not one)

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