A Levels Intro

Key Stage 5: A Level Course

Learning Brains Teaching Centres offers tuition for AS and A Level students in all subjects.


Key Stage 5: A-Level Tuition

At Learning Brains Teaching Centres, we offer tuition for AS and A-Level students in all subjects and cater to all abilities. Whether you require general ongoing support throughout AS and A-Level study or individually tailored support for any upcoming examinations, we can find a tutor to suit your needs.


Taking the Stress out of A-Levels

We aim to take as much of the stress out of A-Levels for students as possible with structured, week-by-week learning and revision materials supplied in a friendly environment and knowledgeable tutors.


We understand that A-Levels are an exceptionally stressful time for students, and that students may feel additional pressure due to the recent removal of re-sits in January. However, by engaging students in small group discussions at our centres, we at Tutoring Brains create a network of support for students – not only academically, but pastorally too. Engaging in dialogue about A-Levels with peers can help to build confidence in students and help them cope with aspects of stress that may be caused by A-Level examination preparation. A positive and pro-active learning environment teamed with academic support and relevant revision that focuses on individual areas of weakness is a formula of success that we at Learning Brains have tried, tested and vouch for.


Changing A-Level Syllabuses

Our AS and A-Level tutors are kept up to date with the changing national curriculum and are familiar with the UK’s main A-Level exam board syllabuses, including: OCR, Edexcel, AQA and WJEC. All of our tutors are qualified at least to A-Level standard, many of whom are embarking on a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or PhD. We recruit tutors from a wide background of examination boards to ensure the best quality tuition for our students.


Tailored Tuition

In addition to students attending our Learning Centres, we also provide a home tuition service, where our tutors can visit students in their own home. Alternatively, students can also visit tutor’s homes where possible and where necessary. Furthermore, we have tutors available for private tuition after school, during free periods, in school holidays and at weekends. We offer these services so that we can best fit around student’s needs and schedules and therefore ensure the best chances of progression, achievement and success.


Our AS and A-Level lesson topics are guided by student’s requests, so students are always in charge of what they learn. This means that they are always learning materials that are relevant to their studies and areas of weakness can be addressed in detail. Priorities and the pace of lessons are established in partnership with the student.


At request, tutors can also liaise with teachers at school or college to plan private tuition that focuses on any gaps in understanding or subject areas that would benefit from additional time and support.


Every student is an Individual at Learning Brains

At Learning Brains, we know that every student is an individual. This means that all students will learn at different paces, through different means and retain information differently to others. We work with students and parents to ensure tuition is tailored to equate academic success for every student at Learning Brains.


Many parents and students choose to enlist our support early on in AS and A Level courses to ensure students are able to make the best possible start to sixth form or college. However, we are able to assist students at any point in their studies and can help with specific coursework or examination preparation difficulties.


A-Level FAQs


What does A-Level stand for?

A-Level is an abbreviation for ‘Advanced Level.’


What is an A-Level?

An A-Level is an academic qualification that is usually taken after GCSEs. A-Levels usually focus on academic subjects, unlike BTECs and NVQs, which tend to be focused on more practical elements.

There are more than 40 different A-Level subjects on offer in the UK, ranging from English, Maths, Science and other subjects often studied at school, to more specialist subjects such as Design and Textiles, Afrikaans and Travel and Tourism.


How do A-Levels work?

A-Level subjects are usually chosen upon the successful completion of GCSE examinations. Students are generally required to possess at least 5 GCSEs (A*-C) to study at A-Level. Many A-Level subjects require at least a C grade at GCSE in that specific subject in order for a student to enrol. Some institutions require GCSE grades B and above. For example, a student may have to achieve a GCSE grade B in Biology to study Biology at A-Level.


Students usually study 3 or 4 A-Levels over 2 years. Generally, 4 A-Levels are studied at AS Level but only 3 and taken through to A2 to be completed. Students that choose this path will usually gain an AS qualification in 1 subject and 3 complete A-Level qualifications.


A-Levels are very highly valued by employers and universities and can therefore open up lots of doors for opportunities of further study and careers paths.


How are A-levels different from GCSEs?

A-Levels are a higher qualification than GCSEs. There is a significant step up from the intellectual challenge at GCSE to A-Level. Students will study subjects and topics in more detail and teachers/tutors expect a lot more independent study and engagement from students than they did at GCSE level.


Where can I study A-Level subjects?

You can study A-levels at school, sixth form or college. Students do not necessarily need to stay at the same school where they completed their GCSEs. For more information please refer to our information page about options after GCSEs.


Most people study A-levels full-time, but they can also be studied part-time through some colleges and other academic institutions.


What is the difference between AS and A2?

AS Levels are essentially half of a full A-Level qualification. To employers and universities, they indicate a broad understanding of the subject even though it was not completed. This is very common in the UK, as students often begin A-Levels with 4 subjects and take their 3 strongest subjects through for completion. Juggling A-Levels is hard work and so it is common practice to gain AS Level alongside full A-Level qualifications.

Until recently, AS Levels counted towards a full A-level. Students would previously attain an AS level at the end of Year 12 and the A2 (the full A-level) at the end of Year 13. However, from 2015 (2016/2017 for some subjects), AS levels are standalone courses, taken alongside – rather than as part of – A-levels. This means that they won’t form part of an overall A-level grade. So, students only take their AS exams at the end of the first year and then need to take all the exams for full A-levels at the end of the two-year course.


What does linear and modular course mean?

You may have heard that the new A-Levels will be linear, rather than modular. What does this mean?

This means that students will now take all exams at the end of the two years, rather than being assessed via examination after each module. There may be coursework throughout the year but the majority of assessments will occur at the very end of the course.


Are A-Levels right for me?

If you enjoy academic learning, want to study a broad range of subjects and are considering going to university, A-Levels are a good option for you. A-Levels are held in high regard by universities and some university courses only accept A-Level qualifications, as opposed to vocational qualifications such as BTECs and NVQs.


A-Levels are also a good option if you are not yet sure what you want to study at university, as they allow you to explore different subjects at depth. For example, you could do A-Levels in English, Mathematics and Chemistry simultaneously, and then decide which of these you’d like to study at a higher level at university.


However, A-Levels are just one of the post-16 options available to students and are not for everyone. If you know the career type or trade you want to work in, you may find a vocational qualification or apprenticeship a better fit to fast track you into your career.


We know it’s not easy to figure this out, so to help – we’ll now take a look at the careers that you will need A-level subjects for.


Which careers require A-Levels?

Some careers require you to have a degree, and you need to have certain A-levels to get a place on that degree.


Many science related careers require degrees, as well as teaching, dentistry, and some fields of IT.


Which has put together a handy guide showing what A-levels you need for the degree you want to study. Some common ones are:


  • Veterinary science – biology and one or two subjects from chemistry, maths or physics.
  • Medicine – chemistry, biology and either maths or physics.
  • English – English literature.
  • Computer science – maths.
  • Dentistry – chemistry, biology and either maths or physics.


If you have a certain degree or career in mind, it’s really important that you have a look at the entry requirements to those courses when choosing your A-level subjects. Some degrees only accept applications from students with specific A-Levels.


If you have no idea what you want to do next, then you’re better off choosing a more general subject – read the next section to find out why.


Which A-Levels give you the most options?

There are some A-levels that help you to keep your options open. These are known as facilitating subjects. They are:


  • English literature
  • History
  • Modern languages
  • Classical languages
  • Maths and further maths
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Geography

The more of these you choose, the more university courses you will find are open to you when you start applying. So, if you’re not set on a particular degree or career, it’s really worth looking at these facilitating A-level subjects. They will enable you to make a decision about a career at a later date, while still gaining valuable qualifications.


Some universities have a list of A-level subjects they prefer. Some even actively discourage students from taking certain subjects. It is best to refer to the university websites directly to find out this information, or, alternatively you could head to UCAS or speak to a careers advisor.