A level reforms 2015: the new AS levels

A range of A level subjects

The AS level is quite different under the reformed A levels, so we’ve put together some of the most commonly asked questions about AS levels to help you.

Does an AS level still contribute to the overall A level?

No. Under the new specifications, the AS is a completely separate qualification and will not contribute toward an A level grade.

Have all subjects changed?

Not yet. The changes are being made in phases with the first subjects changing in September 2015. Of the courses offered by NEC, these subjects are Biology, Business, Economics, History, Psychology, English Language, English Literature and Sociology.

Is an AS level still half an A level?

No. The AS is a qualification independent of the A level. However, the content of an AS level is often the same as part of the A level.

Does an AS level carry UCAS points?

Yes. For an AS level you can receive between 6 and 20 UCAS points depending on your grade. This is based on the new UCAS tariff for university courses starting in 2017. This is approximately 40% of the points available for an A level.

If I sit AS exams, would I still need to sit all of the A level exams?

Yes, as they are now separate qualifications.

What happens if I sit the AS exams and the A level exams?

You will have both and A level and an AS in the same subject.

Will I get UCAS points for both the AS and the A level if I sit both of the exams?

No. UCAS points will only be awarded for the highest level of qualification in that subject. For example, if you sat the exams for AS Biology and A level Biology you would be awarded points for A level Biology as this is the highest level.

For further information about the new AS level, you can also visit the Direct.gov website.