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A/AS level

In addition to Ofqual regulated A Levels, arc exams also hosts International AS and A Level subjects offered by two Awarding Organisations; Cambridge Assessment International Education CAIE and Pearson Edexcel. The structure, assessment and availability of International A Levels is varied so please read our summaries below.

Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE)

CAIE specifications are broadly similar to A/AS Levels offered in England and Wales.  However, there are some clear differences between the two, both in terms of assessment and availability .For example:

CAIE Science ‘Practicals’ are a prescribed assessment requirement, counting towards the overall grade candidates receive.  This differs from Ofqual regulated A Levels where ‘Practicals’ are optional and do not count towards to the overall grade you receive but are recorded as an endorsement on your certificate (subject to achieving a ‘pass’)

Unlike UK A Levels, which are assessed annually each summer, CAIE International A/AS has two assessment ‘windows’ each academic year (Autumn and Summer) enabling candidates to sit their CAIE AS papers in Autumn and CAIE A Level papers in the Summer if they so chose.

Please note that all CAIE International A/AS qualifications are linearised ie all assessments are taken at the end of study.

 More detailed International A/AS Level information can be found here on CAIEs website.

Details of the CAIE International A/AS subjects arc exams offer, including entry fees, can be found here

Pearson Edexcel 

arc exams also has approval to host Edexcel International A/AS Level examinations, commonly referred to as IALs.  However, there are strict criteria governing who is eligible to sit IALs in the UK, namely:

  • A candidate must have studied / be studying IALs in the U.K through an International Learning Provider / Online School.
  • A candidate is studying, or has studied, IAL subjects internationally but wishes to take their examinations at a centre in the U.K. ie candidate has relocated to the UK.

arc exams will require evidence/assurance that candidates meet the above criteria prior to us making a formal examination entry with Pearson Edexcel.

Unlike Ofqual regulated A Levels (one annual assessment window) and CAIE International A Levels (two annual assessment windows), Pearson Edexcel IALs have three assessment windows for most subjects held in October, January and June each academic year.

The clear benefit of Pearson Edexcel IALs over their Ofqual/CAIE A Level counterparts, is their modular/unitised structure. This enables candidates studying the 21 subjects on offer, with the exception of Law (‘linearised’), the option to sit an exam at the end of each unit of study or, alternatively, sit all units together at the end of the course.  It also allows candidates the opportunity to re-sit a unit(s) they have sat in a previous examination series to see if they can improve individual unit grades to obtain a better overall final subject grade.

IAL subjects are either 1, 2 or 3 unit qualifications (AS Level) or 4, 5 or 6 unit qualifications (A2 Level). Please refer to the specification link, shown in our Fees List, detailing unit requirements for each subject/level.  Law is a ‘linearised’ subject.

More detailed IAL information can be found here on Pearson Edexcel’s website

Details of IAL subjects offered by arc exams, including entry fees, can be found here