A Levels vs International A Levels – Does It Matter?

A Levels and International A Levels are both qualifications offered to students around the world. A Levels are offered by the British education system, while International A Levels are offered by Pearson Edexcel, a UK examination board. Both qualifications have pros and cons, but which one is the better option for you?

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of A Levels and International A Levels and help you decide which one is right for you, whether you complete at a conventional college or study A Levels online.

A Levels — What Are They And Pros & Cons

A Levels are a set of standardised academic exams taken in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and some Commonwealth countries, following IGCSE exams. A Levels are usually studied by students in their last two years of high school and are the main qualification for entrance into universities in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and many Commonwealth countries.

Pros:

  • A Levels are an internationally recognised qualification
  • Students have more control over their schedule and can choose to study subjects they are passionate about
  • A Levels can lead to a direct path into university
  • The curriculum is typically narrower than at the university level, so students have more time to focus on each subject

Cons:

  • A Levels may be too challenging for some students who prefer a less academic curriculum
  • Some universities prefer applicants with a more diverse range of A-Level subjects

International A Levels — What Are They And Pros & Cons

International A Levels (IALs) are a qualification offered by Cambridge Assessment International Education and Pearson Edexcel. It is an internationally recognised qualification that is equivalent to the British A Levels. IALs are offered in over 60 subjects, and students can choose to study three, four, or five subjects.

Pros:

  • They offer more flexibility than A Levels, as students can choose to study fewer subjects.
  • Students can retake individual modules if necessary.
  • There is no need to sit for final exams all at once – students can space them out over a period of time.
  • The qualification is recognised all over the world.

Cons:

  • The syllabus can be quite demanding, so it’s not suitable for everyone.
  • It can be more expensive than A Levels, as students may need to pay for additional exams such as the IB Diploma Programme.

The Main Differences Between A Levels and International A Levels

A Levels and International A Levels are both qualifications that students can take in order to further their education. However, there are some key differences between the two.

A Levels are only offered in United Kingdom, whilst International A Levels are offered in a range of languages. This is because A Levels are only offered in the UK, while International A Levels are offered internationally.

Additionally, A Levels are two years long, while International A Levels are one year long. This is because A Levels include AS levels, which are an additional year of study.

Overall, A Levels are more common in the UK, while International A Levels are spread over more than 130 countries worldwide. However, both qualifications are highly respected by universities and employers alike.

Final Thoughts

So, does it matter if you take A Levels or International A Levels? Well, that depends on your personal circumstances. If you’re studying in the UK and want to stay here to study or work after you finish school, then A Levels are probably the better option. On the other hand, if you’re planning on going to university outside of the UK, or if you want the flexibility to be able to work and study anywhere in the world, then International A Levels could be a better option.