What is A Levels?
A Levels is a pre-university program based in the UK education system that is pursued after concluding the Secondary Education Examination (SEE). The GCE (General Certificate of Education) AS & A Levels is administered by the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) which is the international exam board of the University of Cambridge.
Just like the Nepali +2 system is comprised of grade 11 and grade 12. A-Levels is comprised of ‘AS Level (Advanced Subsidiary Level) and A-Level (Advanced Level). The AS Level is the first half of the course and the A Level is the second half of the course and together they are called A Levels. The AS and A Levels are better known as A1 and A2 in Nepal. The A Level qualification is equivalent to the higher secondary level (I.e.+2) qualification.
General facts & statistics:
Cambridge curriculum consists of four levels. They are Primary, Lower Secondary, Upper Secondary & (Advanced or A Levels). These four curriculums are taught in over 10,000 Cambridge schools in more than 160 countries throughout the world. Every year, the Cambridge International A Levels is pursued by over 175000 students from over 125 countries. The Cambridge International AS & A Levels are aimed at 16–19-year-old students before university studies this doesn’t mean that you have to be below 19 years old to be eligible for A Levels.
Is A Levels a passport to get into foreign universities?
Every year, A Levels credential helps thousands of students to get into elite colleges/universities around the world like Harvard, Stanford, Yale, MIT, McGill, etc. This is why A Levels is the most prevalent higher secondary level education qualification pursued all across the world by students who want to go abroad for higher studies.
A Levels is a globally recognized higher secondary school degree in the world in comparison to HSEB. This is why in comparison to students graduating from Nepali Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB), you will have a higher chance of getting selected into foreign universities.
Although, having an A Levels credential gives students a better chance to get into top colleges/universities around the world. This doesn’t necessarily mean that A Levels is your passport for foreign universities. You still have to put in the effort. Also, you don’t join A Levels to flee abroad. Studying A Levels has myriads of benefits which I will discuss later.
Students who want to take the A Level program do not need a specific degree. The only prerequisite is that students must have concluded their SEE examination or qualification equivalent to the SEE at the time of admission.
Students who completed the GCE O-Level or IGCSE in a different school are also eligible to apply.
A level intake takes place in May/June and October/November every year. Please click on the following link for more information regarding intakes:
A Levels Courses:
This is one of the dominant reasons why A Levels is popular globally. Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level schools provide students with a wide range of stream/course selections. There are over 55 subjects that are separated into science and non-science categories.
- Cambridge GCE A level Non-Science:
The Non-Science category consists of subjects like English, Psychology, Accounting, Mathematics, Business, Sociology, Economics, Computer Science, etc.
2. Cambridge GCE A level- Science:
The Science category consists of subjects like English, Physic, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, etc.
Students generally select 3 to 5 subjects in A1 Level and 3 subjects in A2 Level.
Students have the liberty to customize their courses according to their convenience. Also, Additional subjects from any of the other categories are available to students in both categories (I.e. students from Non-Science can add a subject from Science Category and Viceversa)
Following are some examples of additional subjects that students generally choose. They are Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Art and Design, etc. However, CAIE doesn’t encourage students to take more than five subjects areas.
Every college has different fee structures this is why it is best if you google the website of your preferred A Level college. Generally, the fees for Science is higher in comparison to Non-Science. You will have to invest around 6 to 9 lakhs total for the completion of your A Levels in Nepal. Following is a general overview of the A Levels fee structure:
It is different in every college. It ranges from Rs.30,000 up to Rs. 80,000
The monthly fees charged by most A Level colleges in Nepal for Both Science & Non-Science is Rs.15,000 per month. (I.e. 1,80,000 per year). However, Some colleges charge higher. Generally, monthly fees for the Science stream are higher in comparison to the Non-Science stream. So it is best if you research about it according to your targeted college.
Other types of fees that you will encounter are Exam Fees, Books fees, Lab fees, Annual Fees, Security deposits, etc. among all of these you will pay the most for exam fees.
Exam Fees: Exam fees are very expensive since you are playing that to Cambridge University. Generally, students give their exams after completion of both A1 and A2 Levels since it is comparatively cheaper to give you exams after finishing both A1 and A2 Levels. Failing in these expensive exams is a nightmare for ALevel students so make sure that you work relentlessly to make sure you get good grades and pass with flying colors.
Click on the following link to have some idea about the fee structure.
Ace A level: https://acealevel.edu.np/fee-structure/
Click on the following link to check the list of CIAE exam fees for November 2021
Scholarships are available for the full AS/A Level programs. Generally, Scholarship ranges from discounts of 25%, 50%, 75%, up to 100%. There any many types of scholarships colleges provide in A Level colleges for deserving students. However, the following 4 types of scholarships are available.
- Entrance Mark Scholarship
- SEE Grade Scholarship
- Exam Merit Scholarship
- Scholarships for athletics (This may not be available everywhere)
Click on the following links to access the Scholarship policies of some A Level colleges:
Comparison between A Levels and +2:
- Just like the +2 board exam is conducted by the Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) and the A-Level examination is conducted by CAIE which is the international exam board of Cambridge University.
- The total duration for the compilation of both (+2) and A Levels is the same, (I.e. 2 years).
- HSEB has a fixed curriculum. (I.e you have to study every subject based on your faculty) AS and A Level courses are not fixed like HSEB courses. It allows students to choose from a variety of disciplines.
- In the +2 system, you cannot add and drop subjects from your faculty. (For example, if you are a science student, you can neither say, I don’t want to study chemistry nor I want to include a Management course in my Science faculty. Fortunately, such liberty is available in A Levels where students can choose from varieties of academic disciplines.
- There is no room for errors while checking answer papers in A Levels. In +2 every year students file applications for (recheck) because of poor marking. In A levels You will be marked accurately. Your exams’ answer papers are sent abroad and it is marked by various neutral examiners. There are around 10,000 highly qualified examiners who mark Cambridge tests.
- In comparison to the +2 course books and syllabus, A Level books and syllabus are topnotch and up-to-date.
- There is a fixed exam date in the +2 system but in A Levels exam dates are flexible. Students can choose when to give their exams. Also, there is no Option for re-exam in +2. A re-exam in +2 happens only when you fail but in A Levels you can give a re-exam if you are not satisfied with your marks (I.e even if you score above 90 you can give a re-exam to score higher)
Every student’s major goal is to obtain a world-class educational qualification that is recognized and accepted globally. This is why many students pursue A Levels. I hope this article has covered everything there is to know about A Levels. If you’re thinking about getting enrolled in A level colleges in Nepal the only thing that matters is that you were accepted into a top A level college in Nepal, regardless of which one it is. You’re probably curious to know which are the top A Level colleges in Nepal as well. The following is a list of the best colleges in Nepal for the ‘A’ level:
St. Xaviers College
Ace Institute of Management
Rato Bangala School
Little Angels College of Higher Studies
The British College (TBC)
Chelsea International Academy
Global College International
While this top list is vital to keep in mind, you should base your ultimate decision on many variables determined by your judgment. Tap on the following link for the full list of A Level Schools and Colleges operating in Nepal.