This is the International General Certificate of Secondary Education [IGCSE] which is taken in over 100 countries worldwide. It is internationally recognized as being equivalent to the GCSE in the United Kingdom.
IGCSE qualifications satisfy the entry requirement for university and are also widely used as a preparation for ‘A’ level, AS, US Advanced placement courses e.t.c.
Grading is on an eight-point scale [A*-G]. Grade C in IGCSE English [both first language and second language] satisfies the “English proficiency requirements” of many universities in the UK and other anglophone countries.
This is the General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level [GCE ‘O’ Level] that serves as a national school-leaving examination. An O level is standard UK qualification usually taken at the age of fifteen/sixteen. O levels are designed to prepare students for academic progression [such as A and AS level study] and to equip them with necessary skills for employment.
O Levels are normally taken in 7 to 9 subjects across the curriculum after 11 years of education. O Level grading is on a five-point scale [A-E]. Universities in many countries, including Canada and the U.S.A, will admit students based on their ‘O’Level performances. Grade C in O level English language satisfies the “English proficiency requirements” of many universities in the UK and other Anglophone countries.
This is the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE ‘A’ Level). GCE A Level qualification is used internationally as pre-University requirement. These exams are usually taken after 13 years of education and are based on approximately 360 hours of guided learning normally over a two year period. A levels are highly specialized and a student will normally take three subjects. Although, occasionally, exceptional students take four.
A levels was introduced in 1951 to replace the previous award, the Higher School Certificate (HSC). The most recent changes to A-levels began in 2001, when the government introduced curriculum 2000 which split the A-Level into two parts , viz; AS & A2 exams .The new GCE A-Level qualifications are based on the six units of which is divided into two equal life. Three of these units constitute the GCE ‘AS’ qualification representing the first half of the full A-level. The other three units constitute the second half of the GCE A-level and are known as A2.
Satisfactory achievement in ‘AS’ and ‘A2’ units results in the award of an A-level qualification. It is possible to sit only for ‘AS’ modules in which only an ‘AS’ grade would be gained. This is worth half the points a full A-level would be on the UCAS tariff / point system.
This is the General certificate of Education Advanced subsidiary levels. AS became available for the first time in 2001. The subsidiary is a new way of facilitating stage assessment.
The subject content of the new A level syllabuses has been subdivided into two parts; the AS syllabus content which is expected to be covered in the first half of the course, and the A2 which is normally taken at the end of the second year of study.
The Advanced Subsidiary is worth half the points of a GCE Advanced Level qualification in terms of the UCAS tariff.
Good A-level results can give you access to undergraduate studies at some of the best higher education learning / institution in the world.
A-level qualifications can also give you access to Professional and Vocational courses.