What is Cambridge International AS & A Level?

Thousands of learners use Cambridge International AS & A Level every year to gain places at leading universities worldwide. Students develop a deep understanding of subjects, as well as independent learning and constructive thinking skills – abilities which universities value highly.

Cambridge International A Level is typically a two-year course, and Cambridge International AS Level is typically one year.

Learners have the freedom to take Cambridge International AS Levels as qualifications in their own right, or as part of a progression to Cambridge International A Level. Learners can study for Cambridge International AS Level alongside Cambridge International A Level subjects to increase breadth in the curriculum and to build further knowledge and understanding.


Cambridge International AS & A Level curricula are flexible. Learners can take almost any combination of 55 subjects. Learners can specialise or study a range of subjects, ensuring breadth.

Below are the 55 subjects being grouped into Subject Group:



University recognition and research

Learners use Cambridge International AS & A Levels to gain places at leading universities worldwide including in the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Egypt, Jordan, South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

Cambridge International AS &
A Levels are viewed as equivalent to the AS and A Levels taken by learners in the UK, and are accepted for entrance to all UK universities.

In places such as the United States and Canada, good grades in carefully chosen Cambridge International A Level subjects can result in up to one year of university course credit.

Over 500 US universities accept Cambridge International AS & A Levels, including all Ivy League and Ivy Plus universities. These universities include Brown, Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Yale.

Research carried out* looked at whether Cambridge International AS & A Levels prepared learners for continued studies in colleges and universities in the US, as well as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programmes. The findings suggest that Cambridge quali cations compare favourably with the other programmes.

<* Published in the Journal of College Admission (Number 213, Fall 2011)>


Each subject that a learner takes at Cambridge International AS & A Level receives a separate grade.

Cambridge International A Levels are graded from A* – E. Candidates who do not obtain enough marks for an E grade at A Level may be awarded a compensatory AS Level.

Cambridge International AS Levels are graded from a to e. Candidates who do not obtain enough marks for grade e at AS Level will be ungraded.

Group awards

The Cambridge AICE Diploma is a group certi cate which requires learners to study subjects drawn from three curriculum areas within Cambridge International AS and A Level: mathematics and science, languages, and arts and humanities.


Learners can choose from a range of assessment options:

Option one
Take the Cambridge International AS Level only. The Cambridge International AS Level syllabus content is half a Cambridge International A Level.

Option two**
Take a ‘staged’ assessment route – take the Cambridge International AS Level in one examination series and complete the nal Cambridge International A Level in a subsequent series.

(** The staged assessment route is not possible in all subjects. The outcomes awarded for Cambridge International AS Level language syllabuses cannot be carried forward to Cambridge International A Level.)

Option three
Take all papers of the Cambridge International A Level course in the same examination series, usually at the end of the course.

Note: All info taken from CIE.

34 Replies to “What is Cambridge International AS & A Level?”

  1. i did my AS business and got a E grade but passed and now studing for my A level business but i want to retake the Business AS level ,can i retake at the same time iam taking the A level of the same subject? answer ASAP please

    • Hi Eyad,

      There are two possible options for you:

      1. Take all the papers in the same examination session at the end of the course
      2. Sit for AS level first and take A2 exams at a subsequent series. Make sure that it is within the 13 month period.

      However, we strongly suggest that you discuss this with your school and your parents.

  2. Hello. May I know the consequences of writing the wrong centre number? I think I may have been writting my centre number wrong for the first half of my exams and I am worried if the papers may be graded U. My candidate number and name are correct, does that help in tracking my papers back to me?

    • Hi Julian,

      There are some cases if the name and candidate number is written on the paper then CIE can still manage to grant the grade to the candidate properly. It will just cause some minor manual handling… So next time please read the instructions and write properly.

      But you may contact CIE, http://www.cie.org.uk, directly regarding this matter.

  3. Hi there I am a mom we are in Qatar as expect teachers my son is in grade 12 now cambridfe cirriculumbut is very unhappy at school how can i vo about to homeschool his last year but Im unable to teach him though

  4. Hi,

    I will be entering A Level after completing IGCSE, and when i downloaded all the past paper’s I found that math’s 9707 has been divided into 3 parts: Pure Mathematics, Mechanics, Probability and Statistics. When I checked the sciences (Bio, Phy, Che) they were not.

    My teacher told me to check again but I didn’t find anything. So, I am asking you.


  5. Hello,
    I just wanted to know whether after remarking if your marks decrease, they let you choose between the original one and the remarked one or the final remarked one is your final score sheet. Thank you for your time.

  6. Hi ,I’m studying in an igcse school in India and I’m now in grade 9 . I’ve been told that grade 9 and 10 are a single course. We also have subject selection . Is this AS level or not.

  7. Hello, I’m a private candidate who will be taking the Mathematics, Biology and and Chemistry A levels this June. I would like to clarify if graphing calculator TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition can be used in examinations under these subjects? Thanks!

    • Hi Ali,

      AS level is the first part of an A level course. A2 exams and coursework are added on to an AS level, bringing it up to A level standard. AS level results can be used to count towards your final A level result if you are proceeding to A Level.

      As such you cannot take AS & A level Mathematics in the same examination series. You need to complete the AS level and A2 exams first before you take its A level counterpart. Consequently, you have to take AS level Further Mathematics before you can take A level Further Mathematics.

      Alternatively, you can start studying Further Mathematics during your AS Level year, while you sit for the Mathematics exam, then sit for the Further Mathematics exam in the following year.

  8. Helloo

    I have combined science, english and mathematics at O-level in Zimbabwe .which combination is best for me @ IGCSE A-level

  9. Greetings team members,
    I would like to know if it is possible to take an A level subject without taking its As level

    • Hi Mariyah,

      To answer your question – AS levels can be taken as a stand-alone qualification, or as the first part of an A level course. On the other hand, A2 exams and coursework are added on to an AS level, bringing it up to A level standard. You can refer to Assessment section in the article above for assessment options.

      Hope this clarifies 🙂

  10. Hi,
    i am IGCSE student, if i want to take A Level how many IGCSE subjects are usually required?
    how many minumin subject i need to take in IGCSE in order to apply for it?
    how about the Grade, minimum Grade that required? is it the courses i want to take in A level based on the subject that i take during my IGCSE?

    • Hello Sha,

      Yes, the subjects you take in IGCSE is affecting what subjects you could take in A Level. We strongly suggest you visit the colleges/school’s website to find out what are the minimum grades and subjects that you need in order to get an admission into their A Level courses.

    • Hello Abdallah,

      You need to check with your desired university which is better for you and that will help your target course.

  11. My son has passed IGCSE o levels with six subjects including maths and science , How many subjects does he need to do for AS levels to get an equivalent of 12th Grade of Indian Boards.
    Can he do them long distance without attending regular school if so what subjects can he opt for.
    Thanks in advance for the valuable information.

    • Hello Mangala,

      We do not know the requirement of Indian Boards. Please check with the exam boards for their requirements.

      If your son is looking for studying AS/A Level privately, he is free to do so. You will then register him with your local British Council to sit for the exam.

  12. I took english and accounts as my AS LEVEL and business,economics as A LEVEL and i did not do my 10th from cambridge… are 4 subjects are enough or do i have to take one more?

    • Hello Sanjana,
      You have to look at what is the university’s entry requirement for the course that you wish to apply. It is not about the number of subjects that you took, it is about taking the right subject and obtain the required grades to get an admission into the university.

      • Hey, I gave 6 subjects which were English, Urdu, Business studies, Pakistan studies, Islamiyat, Economics. Can it be attested from the foreign ministry since I wanted to apply for America and the university is ready to take me for the foundation?

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