In our city, we have a plethora of international (A Levels / IB), national (ISC/CBSE) and state (HSC) curriculum/board options that students can pursue after Class 10.
Each program/board has its own USPs and for parents/students it is often difficult to determine which board/program is the right one for their child. This article entry is to demystify the Cambridge A Levels Program.
The Cambridge AS & A Levels is a high school program offered by Cambridge Assessment International Education (part of University of Cambridge). The A Levels is often regarded as the ‘Gold’ Standard Qualification on account of the in-depth academic syllabus in each subject area that prepares students for university studies ahead.
A big advantage of the Cambridge AS & A Levels Program is that there are a variety of subjects offered at Cambridge AS & levels schools, ranging from Physics to English Literature to Business Studies to Sociology. This allows students to select subjects as per their aptitude / university requirements / career aspiration.
Students have flexibility to do subjects from multiple groups or a single group (Cambridge AS/A Levels School offers subjects spread across four groups). Thus, no subject (except English) is mandatory. This flexibility is the single biggest advantage of this program. Other boards have mandatory subjects such as Math / English Literature / Social Studies etc. With the AS/A Levels, that’s not the case and thus the program is well suited for students across the spectrum for someone who wants to major in Science to Business to Accountancy to Economics to Engineering (to name a few areas).
The content and assessment in each A Level subject ensures that students develop their knowledge and skills in
- independent thinking
- applying knowledge and understanding to new as well as familiar situations
- handling and evaluating different types of information sources
- thinking logically and presenting ordered and coherent arguments
- making judgements, recommendations and decisions
- presenting reasoned explanations, understanding implications and communicating them logically and clearly
One of the greatest scientific minds of all time, Albert Einstein once remarked that “Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind” and the Cambridge AS & A Levels encourages this very aspect.
Cambridge AS & A Levels is also the only high school program that offers staged assessment option to students – this implies that students could appear for 1 board exam at the end of Class 11 and another at the end of Class 12. Thus, they split the examination into 2 which helps reduce stress for students and also ensures better scores overall (the grades students secure in both board exams are collated and a single marksheet is issued at the end of Class 12).
Another big factor that drew us at MBIS towards this program is the fact that students in Grade 12 have an option of appearing for their final board exams in either March or May. Thus, students who are looking at pursuing further studies in India can opt for exams in March and ones looking at going overseas can look at May exam series.
Finally, the A Levels Program is well accepted and recognised for further study in both India and overseas.
Overall the flexibility the program offers – be it in terms of subject choices, multiple exam windows/sessions or staged assessment is unlike any other board in the world and this works really well for all kinds of learners.
The Cambridge AS & A Levels Program is an excellent choice for anyone who wishes to attend university, no matter where they are located!
Mainadevi Bajaj International School (MBIS) is one of the top international schools in Mumbai that offers AS and A levels programs.
– MBIS Team.