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Changes to A-levels

The new linear courses explained

In order to raise overall standards, the government has introduced changes to A-levels. These changes are still happening, so we've broken down the points you need to know below.


What are the changes?

  • A-levels are becoming linear two-year courses, meaning that you will need to study for two full years to gain the qualification.
  • You will only take exams at the end of your second year. In almost all cases, these exams will count for 100% of your overall mark (see point below).
  • Coursework is being removed and will only be considered in exceptional cases. In science-based subjects, practical work will not count towards your final grade, but will be awarded with a separate certificate of endorsement.
  • The content that you are taught in the new linear A-levels will also change slightly.

When are the changes happening?

The new two-year style A-levels are being introduced over a three year period. This started in 2015, so some students will already be studying the new format for certain subjects. The final subjects are to be introduced in September 2017. This is the final phase. All students starting their studies from September 2017 will study the new two-year style linear A-levels for all subjects.