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The second part of the A Level syllabus is sometimes referred to as the ‘A2’ part or ‘A2 Level’. A2 Level components are not included in the AS Level part of a syllabus. A2 is not a standalone qualification.
The A2-only route allows candidates who have an AS Level school-assessed grade to complete their A Level as a staged route assessment. They do not need to sit the AS papers again, even though there are no AS Level marks that can be carried forward.
A2-only grading does not consider the candidate’s AS Level school-assessed grade. However, the candidate must have a valid AS Level school-assessed grade, and no other AS Level credit achieved via the exam route relevant to their entry option, to be entered for A2-only.
Choose an entry option code that only includes the A2 Level components and the carry-forward component from the series where the candidate achieved their AS Level school-assessed grade.
All entry option codes are in your Cambridge Guide to Making Entries, available on Direct. See the example scenarios here.
We will set appropriate grade boundaries for A2-only A Levels. For each syllabus, we will do this by:
To calculate the marks adjustments for each syllabus we considered the typical percentage of candidates achieving each grade at A Level across the whole cohort of A Level candidates. We then matched this against typical candidate performance, if we had considered only their performance in the A2 components. Looking at the difference in the corresponding marks shows us the marks adjustments needed.
We are confident that the standard of each grade is the same in the A2-only A Level as it is for an A Level achieved by any other route.
Candidates sitting an A Level in the November 2021 series or in 2022 who were also entered for the same syllabus in the previous 13 months and who received a valid AS Level result (A–U) via the school-assessed grades route are eligible for A2-only grading.
Candidates are not advantaged or disadvantaged by following the A2-only route.
No. The number of individual papers the candidate takes at A2 Level is the same as those taken by a normal staged assessment candidate who sits AS Level and A2 Level exams. A2-only candidates differ in that they have not taken AS Level exams.
We cannot generate a PUM for candidates taking the A2-only route. In countries where we provide a PUM, candidates who only have AS Level results achieved using the school-assessed grades route should be entered as linear route candidates in the November 2021 series or in 2022.
The requirements for the evidence portfolio for school-assessed grades for AS and A Level candidates is not linked to A2-only grading.
You can find the most recent guidance on this topic on page 3 of our guide How to Use Portfolios of Evidence to Decide School-assessed grades (PDF, 198KB).
A statement of entry shows the components of each syllabus a candidate is entered for, some of which have component titles that include the term 'carry forward'. We have repurposed some existing carry-forward components and, instead of indicating that marks should be carried forward from a previous series, these components tell us the candidate wishes to follow the A2-only route.
This means a statement of entry where the A2-only route has been chosen will still include a component labelled as, for example, ‘June AS carry forward’ even though, by definition, there are no marks being carried forward.