Untitled 1
Always Learning
Always Learning
International Qualifications

Qualifications | A level update for international centres 

April 2013: Important update for international A level centres

In February we wrote to all our international centres to announce that the UK government and Ofqual had asked all UK awarding bodies to remove the January examination window with immediate effect.   We can now confirm that this change applies to all centres teaching Ofqual-regulated qualifications, wherever they are in the world. 

We know that January exams are important to many of you, and we've continued to work with Ofqual and with our customers to make sure students have the best choices. The options available are explained below.
Edexcel International AS/Advanced level
As we announced in February, we're developing a new suite of A level qualifications called Edexcel International Advanced Levels, available for first teaching in September 2013. This suite will be modular in structure and will contain a January and June examination series. 
These qualifications are only available to centres outside the UK.

The subjects initially available are:

- Mathematics
- Economics
- Business Studies
New specifications will be available for first teaching this September 2013 from our website. Draft units from the specifications will be available online at the end of April. 
- Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
Existing Edexcel GCE A levels (with international units) are being renamed Edexcel International Advanced levels. There is no change to the content or assessment of these specifications. 

- Accounting 
- Law
The existing Edexcel GCE A levels will be renamed Edexcel International Advanced Levels. There is no change to the content or assessment of these specifications. 

The first exams will be in January 2014, with the exception of Law which will remain available in June only. 

Edexcel GCE A level

Our Edexcel GCE A level suite will continue to be available. However, as these qualifications are regulated by Ofqual, examinations will no longer be available in January. Examinations will only be available in June of each year. 
Edexcel GCE A levels are being revised, for first teaching in 2015, in certain subjects to meet new Ofqual regulations. The qualifications will become linear in structure, with examinations taken at the end of the course. Ofqual proposes that AS will become a stand-alone qualification and will no longer contribute to an A level. For further details on the changes that will affect centres in England and overseas teaching Edexcel GCE A levels, read the Ofqual A level update.

International centres may choose to teach some subjects from the Edexcel International AS/Advanced level suite and some from the Edexcel GCE A level suite to give students breadth of choice and flexibility.

What this means for you and your students

Students who must complete their A levels in January 2014

We understand that the removal of the January exam window presents significant problems for students who need to cash in and complete their A levels in January for entry to universities. We’ve been working to address this and we now have a solution that will suit many students who are using the current Edexcel GCE specifications.
All units currently available in January will be available for one final sitting in January 2014. Students can only sit examinations in January 2014 in the subjects where we have an Edexcel International Advanced level alternative. For all other subjects, exams will only be available in June 2014. 

January 2014 examinations, based on the existing Edexcel GCE specifications, will be available in the following subjects:

• Mathematics
• Science (Biology, Chemistry, Biology) –  international '100% written exam' specification only
• Economics
• Business Studies
• Accounting

Students can therefore cash in as planned in January 2014 to complete their A level qualification. If this option is taken, please note the following important points:

• The specification and assessment remain unchanged, so you should continue to prepare your students for their final January exams in 2014 in the usual way.
• Students will be awarded an Edexcel International Advanced Level, regulated by Pearson, instead of an Edexcel GCE A level. This is because Ofqual has confirmed that all regulated A level qualifications can no longer include a January exam series.
• All entries for January 2014 must be accompanied by a cash-in code.

Students wishing to complete their Edexcel GCE A levels in June 2014
The solution above has been agreed specifically for students who must complete their course in January 2014. Students planning to complete their A levels in June 2014 will no longer be able to sit an exam in January 2014, but they'll still be able to complete their AS/A level in June 2014 as planned.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about these changes, you can contact our International Customer Services team on +44 (0)120 477 0696 or by email at internationalEO@pearson.com.  

expand 24 January 2013

Update for international centres on Ofqual regulated A levels

On 23 January 2013, Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, set out his policy steer on A level reform with the introduction of new A level qualifications and changes to AS levels from September 2015.

The key changes announced are as follows:

  • A levels will be linear and taken over two years. Students will now sit their exams at the end of the two-year course.
  • AS levels will be retained but will become stand-alone qualifications, they will no longer count towards a full A level. Michael Gove stated that he would like AS levels to be ‘as intellectually demanding as an A level, covering half of the content of a full A level and delivered over one or two years.’ Centres can decide the length of the qualification (1 or 2 years) to suit their students.
  • An advisory body created by the Russell Group, which represents a group of 24 leading UK universities, will provide Ofqual with advice on the content of A levels. It will focus on the subjects most commonly required for entry to leading universities.
  • The new linear A levels are expected to be available for first teaching from September 2015 with first assessment in summer 2017. Please note that this is a change from the original date of September 2014.

Edexcel will work with Ofqual to understand fully the implications of these changes for all A level subjects. We will continue to keep you fully updated on our website.

Read our response to this announcement by viewing our press statement.

expand November 2012

You may be aware that the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) recently conducted international and national research into A level qualifications. This research has led to a consultation in England on structure and assessment arrangements. 

Ofqual indicated that there was support for a number of key proposals with several issues that require further clarification which they will continue to deliberate in the coming months. 

One outcome which was announced is the removal of January examinations in England from September 2013 for the current specifications. Our current understanding is that this announcement was made in reference to centres in England. We are already in extended discussions with the regulator to get clarity on this matter, taking into consideration the needs of our international customers. 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact your regional representative. We will keep you updated on the latest developments.