What is an A2 and AS level

The school leaving certificates in Great Britain

The school system in the UK is different from the German one.

The school enrollment takes place at the age of five years. In Germany, the starting age is included 6 years. Another difference can be found in the number of School years. This is how students graduate in England 13 years of school until graduation. In Germany, the Abitur is already in 12 years filed.

To get an impression of the English school system, offer yourself our exclusive student exchange programsat. With a student exchange, your child has the chance to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of a typical English school lesson at low cost.

It would be possible to place your child in a selected premium school from as little as 6,000 euros. Our host families are handpicked, warm and experienced. They often have children of the same age.

There are still a few places available for 2020. Just talk to us and express your wishes. We are happy to help!

About our student exchange England program:


1. The intermediate level: GCSE and IGCSE

a) GCSE (secondary school leaving certificate)

The English GCSE degree "General Certificate of Secondary Education" corresponds to in Germany Middle maturity.

Within two years - from the 10th to the 11th grade (9th and 10th grade in Germany) - the pupils take eight to fifteen subjects.

The overall offer usually includes more than 50 subjects. Up to six of the selected subjects are so-called Core subjects - These include English, a foreign language, mathematics, a natural science and a humanities. To be added Electives like art, design, theater or music. The individual schools often bid here individual subjects at.

Particularly gifted students can take some GCSE exams earlier. This enables them to attend an advanced course in the respective subject.


The IGCSE is the international version of the GCSE and tailored to the needs of students whose first language is not English. It is possible to take the IGCSE exams in over 120 countries to graduate - also in the UK. The IGCSE offers a diverse school program for which more than 70 subjects are offered.

2. The advanced level

There are several ways to get your degree in senior high school in the UK.

a) A-Levels (Abitur)

The A level(General Certificate of Education Advanced Level) is next to theInternational Baccalaureate (IB)the highest school leaving certificate in Great Britain (high school diploma). Overall, the A-Level lasts two years - from 12th to 13th grade.

Important: In contrast to the IB degree, the A-Levels in Germany are not classified as a general higher education entrance qualification, but as a subject-specific higher education entrance qualification accepted. Admission to a university therefore depends on the choice of subject. For example, if you intend to study mathematics or physics, you should also complete your A-Level degree in these subjects.


During upper school, students choose three, and many also four, subjects. The The choice of subjects is optional. However, it is recommended that you choose subjects that meet the Reflect your study or career aspirations. Often times up to 70 subjects offered - including the classic core subjects, but also subjects such as geology, sports science, photography or media studies. The A-level degree takes place in two steps: After the first year, students graduate "Advanced Subsidiary (AS)". In the second year, the students then choose three AS-level subjects and thus achieve the A2 degree. Both - AS and A2 - form the A-Level qualification. The aim of the A-Level is to teach the students to teach scientific work and thus enable the transition to studies.

b) International Baccalaureate

Another advanced level qualification is the International Baccalaureate, or IB for short. It has been offered since 1968 and was originally designed for diplomatic children. Today the IB is an international school program for students aged 3 to 19 years. The IB is offered by many schools around the world, including the UK. The special thing about it: the system connects elements of different school systems. The aim is to make it easier for internationally mobile students to change schools. The IB is concluded with the IB Diploma. The IB degree is equivalent to the general university entrance qualification. In contrast to the A-Levels, admission depends on a university does not depend on the chosen combination of subjects.

So who is during high school does not want to or cannot commit to a particular career path, should consider obtaining an IB degree.


An IB student must Take one subject from each of six subject groups - at least three of them in the Higher level, the rest of them in Standard level. IB qualifications are growing in popularity in the UK and are recognized as higher education entrance qualifications in most countries, including the UK.


c) Cambridge Pre-University (Pre-U) Diploma

The Cambridge Pre-U is a relatively new qualification for students aged 16 and over. The Pre-U is especially delighted at private schoolshigh popularityt. The Pre-U was developed in cooperation with universities in order to To prepare students as best as possible for independent learning there.

For the Pre-U, the students vote a total of three out of 26 subjects. They then take these individually or in an interdisciplinary combination. A Pre-U diploma is awarded upon graduation. Training lasts two years.


d) AQA Baccalaureate

The AQA Baccalaureate is also relatively new. These new qualification for students aged 16 and over is becoming increasingly popular in the private school sector.

The Baccalaureate is based on the A-Level qualification including three other elements - such as practical projects or subject-related activities to promote teamwork and personal responsibility.


NOTE: The recognition of qualifications

Anyone who obtains a school-leaving certificate at an international school in England should of course also inquire whether the qualification is recognized in Germany.

This website does Assistance in the classification of foreign qualifications in the German education system: http://anabin.kmk.org.

4.9 of 5 stars (based on 14 ratings)