A Parents' Guide to A Levels


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After their GCSEs, your child will have a whole new set of choices to make about what they want to pursue at college. That might be purely A Levels, vocational courses, or a mix of both. To help you support your child with their choices, we have teamed up with a private college in Somerset to create a parents’ guide to A levels.


What are A-Levels?

A-level courses are in-depth courses designed to help and prepare children for the next stage in their careers. That includes both formal employment and further education. Unlike GCSEs, they require more commitment. Your child will have fewer scheduled study sessions but will be required to carry out more independent study by reading around their subject to enrich their learning. 

How Are A-Levels Graded?

A levels follow the old grading style that GCSEs once had and are awarded grades between an E and an A*. 


Free Periods

As briefly touched on earlier, there are fewer contact hours with A levels. Instead, your child may have “free periods” or study sessions where they are advised to spend time in the library revising and going over their notes. By spending their time wisely in this way, your child will have less work to do when at home which will make it more manageable and easier to remember. This is especially key as A-Levels cover much more content than GCSEs.


How Are A-Levels Examined? 

Most A levels have an exam element and others are complimented by coursework. 


When Do A-Level Exams Take Place? 

Exams usually take place in May which makes Easter the ideal time to revise, although it’s better to start sooner.


How Can I Help My Child Pick the Right A-Levels?

As A-Levels are huge commitments, it's important for your child to pick the subjects that they feel comfortable with and are genuinely interested by. Your child’s teachers will also be able to tell you whether they’re capable of continuing on to an A level.

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