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A level

Al Najah School offers The General Certificate of Education Advanced Level, more commonly known as the GCE A Level; it is a school leaving qualification. The General Certificate of Education (GCE) AS-level examinations and the International General Certificate of Education (GCE) A/AS-level Edexcel board.

Edexcel qualifications combine the rigour, traditions and quality associated with Pearson’s 150 year history as part of the British education system; with the methodology, content and support designed to enable your child to thrive in today’s global society. Qualifications standards prepare students and open doors at the world’s most prestigious universities.

A level qualifications are considered the gold standard for academic achievement. They equip students, generally aged 16-19, with the knowledge and skills to realize their ambitions and open doors to the most prestigious universities worldwide –including Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard. Edexcel GCE A levels inspire minds and are among the most widely known and respected qualifications in the world. They follow the UK syllabus and developed for the unique needs of the global learner,

Edexcel International Advanced Level (IAL)is offered at Al Najah School as well It has the same rigorous academic merit as the GCE A level and is currently available in 8 popular subjects including – Mathematics, Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

Entry to A Level – or Equivalent – Programs.

A levels are typically taken by students looking to continue on to higher studies. Earning six or more A*– B grades in IGCSE or GCSE examinations, including English and mathematics, is often a requirement for students wishing to continue their studies at the GCE Advanced Level. Additionally, many colleges require that students choosing a particular A level program have – at a minimum – a B grade or better (more commonly an A grade is required)

A & AS Level Structure & Assessment

The General Certificate of Education Advanced Level has undergone various rounds of revision, most recently with the introduction of a series of reforms designed to create a more flexible post-16 system allowing for a broader curriculum and greater choice without sacrificing the depth that A levels are known for, or reducing overall standards. In a bid to achieve these aims, the following changes were implemented:

  • The GCE Advanced Subsidiary (AS) was introduced, both as the first year of the full GCE A Level and as a substantive, standalone qualification.
  • The structure of the A level was revised and a modular system was introduced. A2 units were introduced as the second year of upper secondary to complement the first-year AS level and to make up the full A level.

Most A level qualifications were based on six roughly equal units, or modules, with three units constituting the first (AS) grade 11, and the second three units – known as A2 – making up the second and final year grade 12.

With regards to curriculum and assessment, students were given more open-ended questions requiring extensive essay responses, more questions requiring a synoptic overview of the content, the inclusion of an extended coursework project, and the introduction of an A* grade for very high achievement.

The Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level becomes a freestanding qualification if the units taken and examined are ‘cashed in’ after the first year of study; otherwise, the AS units constitute the first half of a full A level. It is also possible for students to take one or more AS subjects in the second year of upper secondary schooling as standalone qualifications. The A2 year leads to the award of the full A level only


Assessment during the two years of the A level occurs both externally and internally, with the conceptually more demanding A2 units assessed at the full A level standard and the less demanding material of the AS units assessed to a level expected from students in the first half of an advanced program of study.

In all subjects other than mathematics, students are assessed in such a manner that they must demonstrate competent written communication skills. Examinations take place in January and mid-May to the end of June. Students can take AS and A2 units in stages or all together at the end of the A level program

Awards are issued two times a year, following the June and January examinations. Students are able to retake AS units, if desired, and have the superior results count towards their overall A level score if they go on to complete the second year (A2) of upper secondary study.

While students can take as few or as many A levels as they choose, the standard full-time load is three to four subjects typically taken in fields relevant to intended study at the tertiary level..


A level examinations are graded on a scale of A* to E. Students that take the full A level in addition to the AS are awarded one grade for each subject, with the AS results being subsumed into the A level point score if not ‘cashed in’ as a terminal credential after the first year of study. For universities using the centralized Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) process for admission, grades are also attributed Tariff Points (see below for an explanation of Tariff Points) as follows for each A level grade:

For AS qualifications students are graded on a scale of A – E (no A*), with UCAS weighting as follows:

For both A and AS levels, a ‘U’ indicates an unclassified performance and is not certified.

The same grading system and UCAS Tariff Points are used in applied subjects as in other GCE AS and A level subjects. However, the AS and A double award is reported as follows:

For more information visit the Pearson website

Al Najah Private School

Mohammed Bin Zayed City-9
Tel: 02 5530935 Fax: 02-4474798
Fax: 02 5530934 / 02 5531950
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