In 2015, Ofqual decided to change the system so that students now sit all of their examinations at the end of the second year.
Most students study three or four A level subjects simultaneously during the two post-16 years (ages 16–18) in a secondary school, in a sixth form college, in a further and higher education college, or in a tertiary college, as part of their further education.
A Levels are recognised by many universities as the standard for assessing the suitability of applicants for admission in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and many such universities partly base their admissions offers on a student's predicted A-level grades, with the majority of these offers conditional on achieving a minimum set of final grades. Y is ungraded and therefore a fail - whereas any grade above that is still an AS level at that grade, for example an AS level at Grade D or Grade U.
The General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level, or A Level, is a main school leaving qualification in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
It is available as an alternative qualification in other countries.