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New Look A Levels

For students starting at CGS in Autumn 2016 they will be taught a new A level specificiation in most subjects.  These courses will be examined at the end of the two year programme of study.  Most A levels in 2016 will be taught in a linear fashion without an external examination at the end of Year 12.

The subjects offered at CGS that will be linear are as follows:

2015 Reform

2016 Reform

2017 Reform

Art & Design Geography Further Mathematics
Biology Modern Foreign Languages Government & Politics
Business Music History of Art
Chemistry PRE Mathematics
Computer Science   Philosophy
Economics   Statistics
English Language    
English Literature    

Why has the Government decided to change A levels?

A levels have to change in order to stay relevant.  The demands of the courses are as challenging as the ever were.  However the courses have changed because the needs of students, universities and employers change.  In recent years there have been concerns that having AS and A2 exams have resultsed in a system based on too much testing.  Therefore from 2015, Linear A levels will be examined externally at the end of the two year programme of study.


In preparation for this different method of examination students must learn advanced skills for each subject such as:

  • the ability to study independenty
  • to write clearly and at length
  • to solve unstructured problems

It is also essential that students are organised throughout the course in order that they have all their notes and materials from which to revise in the final lead up to the examinations.

What are the key changes in the new A level programmes?


External examinations will only be taken at the end of a two year A level course.


AS levels

A key difference is that AS levels now no longer form part of the A level as they did prior to 2015.  The AS is now de-coupled from the A2 and students may, if they choose to do so, take an AS as a stand-alone, independent qualification at the end of their first year.