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Advanced Level Curriculum

(Cambridge International AS/A Levels)

Cambridge International A Levels are taken throughout the world, sometimes as the national examinations of certain countries (such as Singapore and Mauritius), sometimes within international schools and sometimes in bi-lingual government schools alongside national exams.

There are six passing grades (A* – E). Typical UK university entrance requirements are above three passes at grade C for academic courses in established universities. Very popular courses will often require higher grades. For example, medical schools in the UK often require grades of ‘AAB’ and highly selective universities such as Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College usually ask for at least ‘AAA’. Good A Level grades can also be a key to admission for all the world’s major Anglophone universities. University course credit and advanced standing is often available in countries such as the USA and Canada, where entrance to university takes place after 12 years of education. Good grades in carefully chosen A Level subjects can result in up to one full year of credit.

The subject content of each of the CIE A Level syllabuses has been subdivided into two parts: the AS syllabus content which is expected to be covered in the first half of the course, and part two of the syllabus commonly referred to as ‘A2’. This flexible approach enables students to choose between three main options:

  • Take all A Level components in the same examination session at the end of a course of study, usually at the end of the second year
  • Follow a staged assessment to an A Level by taking the AS qualification in one examination session, and the A2 assessment in a subsequent session
  • Take the AS qualification only – either at the end of a one-year or two-year course.

NOTE: The A2 examination cannot be taken as a standalone qualification.


The General Certificate of Education Advanced Subsidiary Level, or AS Level, represents the first half of an A Level course but may also be taken as a freestanding qualification. AS Levels are accepted in all UK universities and carry half the weighting of an A Level. For example, students may be admitted with suitable grades in two A Levels and two AS Levels (in place of 3 A Levels). Institutions outside the UK which offer credit for A Levels can be expected to offer half that amount of credit for AS Levels.

Subjects available in Spectrum International School

Schools can offer any combination of subjects. Each subject is certificated separately. Over 60 subjects are available offering a variety of routes for learners of different abilities.

The following subjects are on offer for all students to choose for the examination:

  • 8693: English Language
  • 9695: English Literature
  • 9696: Geography
  • 9697: History
  • 9700: Biology
  • 9701: Chemistry
  • 9702: Physics
  • 9709: Mathematics
  • 9626: Information Technology
  • 9609: Business

Students can take exams for syllabuses different than the ones offered by the school provided they take off-campus courses with private teachers. 

Making entries

Grade 11 (12) students of Spectrum International School are required to choose four subjects for AS/A Level exam that is to be held in May/June series. It is totally up to students and their parents to make choices about these three subjects. When making decisions, they should decide if they are going to take the A Level exam as individual subjects (any 4 subjects you like) or as a group award (Cambridge AICE).