A level changes

Key changes

New AS and A levels will be taught in schools in England from September 2015.

The first results for the new AS levels will be in 2016, and for the A levels in 2017.

Further subjects will be introduced over the following two years.

Fully linear
A levels will be fully linear, with students sitting their exams at the end of the two-year course. From January 2014, there is no longer a January assessment window. This change applies to current A levels as well as the new ones in development.

Stand-alone qualifications
AS levels will be stand-alone qualifications and will no longer contribute to an A level grade. Their purpose will be to encourage curriculum breadth and they will remain broadly at their current standard. The AS level may be designed to be co-taught with the first year of the A level.

Timeline for teaching and entries

Timeline for teaching and entries

Subjects not being redeveloped

Subjects not being redeveloped


Consultation outcome: Resits for legacy GCSE, AS and A levels

Following public consultation, Ofqual has confirmed there will be additional opportunities to resit the legacy qualifications.

Summary of the Ofqual decisions

1. Students taking legacy AS and A levels may have the opportunity to re-sit these qualifications after the final scheduled award, regardless of the subject. These resits will be in May or June of the following year.

2. At GCSE exam boards will provide:

  • two re-sit opportunities in relation to legacy GCSEs in English, English language and mathematics (including linked pair maths GCSEs – ‘applications of mathematics’ and ‘methods in mathematics’), one in November 2016 and one in summer 2017
  • a re-sit opportunity, no later than summer 2018, in all GCSE science and additional science qualifications they currently offer. Exam boards may decide to offer a re-sit opportunity in the extension units that make up GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics - this is not a requirement.

3. At GCSE Ofqual will also allow, but not require, exam boards to offer a single re-sit opportunity in the year following the last scheduled sitting in any other legacy GCSE subject.

4. There will be restrictions on who can take both the GCSE and AS and A level resits.

What does this mean for Pearson Edexcel qualifications?

We’ll be announcing our decisions shortly. To keep up to date with the latest news follow us on twitter @edexcel or sign up to receive email updates.

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Next steps

Next steps