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A Levels in one year

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As we said on the previous page, it is theoretically possible to complete A levels in one year. However, public (state) schools do not offer this possibility. A small number of private (independent) schools do allow it. The exam system is flexible, anyone can enter for any subject whenever they want. To make it entirely clear: You do not need to have ever taken a single lesson in a subject to be allowed to enter for the exam.

We believe in aiming high, we know A levels can be taken successfully in a year, but we need to be realistic. The recommended number of lessons for each A level is 360 hours. For each taught hour, a student should work at least one hour independently. With three subjects, you would have 2160 hours over a 9 month period. That is 60 hours a week and you probably can’t do it.

Graduation in the UK means passing 3 subjects. That might surprise you, but you have read it correctly. Even Oxford and Cambridge only expect 3 A levels. Most educators recommend not trying to take more because it would have a negative effect on what you can achieve. Fewer subjects doesn’t mean less work, it means each subject is studied in more depth. You can choose your subjects freely, they don’t need to be connected to each other. If your country doesn’t specify which subjects you need, you would look at what helps you, what you like and what you are good at. The most important question is which subjects motivate you enough to make you study really hard. If you want to take A Levels in just one year, you don’t have time to change subjects, you have to commit and work through it in good times and bad.

Let’s talk about grades. Your country might not specify which grades you need, you just have to pass. That means C grades. If you want to study in the UK, grades matter a lot. Top universities will not consider applicants who do not have three A* graded A levels. Your grades determine where you can study, that is not the case in many other countries. This partly explains why state schools don’t allow students to take A Levels in one year: They are concerned that students will not get the A grades they need within the standard structures.

If you want to find out more, get in touch

We’d be happy to discuss any questions you may have or if you need any further information.