Definition of A level in English:

A level


mass noun
  • 1(in the UK except Scotland) a qualification in a specific subject typically taken by school students aged 16–18, at a level above GCSE. The equivalent in Scotland is the Higher.

    Compare with GCSE, O level
    • ‘This was the first time such a concession had been made in her school for an A-level student.’
    • ‘The hopes and dreams of thousands of teenagers hung in the balance on Thursday as they tore into brown envelopes for their A-level results.’
    • ‘Seeing all the A-level students reminded me of three years ago.’
    • ‘It's an A-level commentary, providing a lot of depth and insight for the viewer.’
    • ‘Defenders of the new A-level point to the ‘pressures’ of doing coursework.’
    • ‘A kindhearted teenager built a safari area free of charge for youngsters at an infants school as part of his A-level studies.’
    • ‘Compiled by the Press Association news agency, it ranked previously known top schools in terms of their A-level points score.’
    • ‘Today, his father paid tribute to the hospital staff who saved his life and said he understood why the brave A-level student wants to kite surf again.’
    • ‘I famously, because I travelled a lot but also because I was slack and didn't pay attention, booked and paid for my A level English literature exam, but was so far behind that I didn't even show up on the day.’
    • ‘I received an email through the site from a young woman doing an A-level journalism course who wanted to write a story about street harassment.’
    • ‘Girls have won a greater proportion of passes at A-level for the last eight years.’
    • ‘My A level physics practical exam featured an accident too, though far less exciting than this one.’
    • ‘An A-level student. surnamed Lee, said he had moved to Tsuen Wan before the isolation order was imposed.’
    • ‘The gifted A-level student suffered from a rare heart defect which caused her to collapse at the wheel of her car leading to the crash.’
    • ‘The large number of A grades this year in the A-level backs up this explanation.’
    • ‘The dispute forced the college to send home A-level students for a study day, although it remained open to those on vocational courses.’
    • ‘If they continue with their education, this is followed with GCSE, AS levels and A2-or A level - exams at the age of 16, 17 and 18.’
    • ‘Chris had just completed his A-level studies at St John's School, Marlborough.’
    • ‘There are about 20 lads staying on to do GNVQ, so they can start the A-level course next year.’
    • ‘Or that simply passing English exams at Cambridge GCE O and A levels isn't good enough now.’
    1. 1.1count noun An A-level exam or pass.
      • ‘At Parrs Wood Technology College, east Didsbury, the proportion passing A levels rose from 95.5 per cent to 97.’
      • ‘Grave concerns have been raised about the marking of A levels and GCSE exams after 24 students from Easingwold School had their grades raised.’
      • ‘The court was told that both men had passed their GCSE examinations and that Morris Doherty had passed three A levels and was studying television production at university.’
      • ‘I guess it was a present - for her eighteenth birthday maybe, or for when she'd passed her A levels.’
      • ‘M. Vinayagamoorthy said: ‘I passed my A levels but didn't get a university place.’’
      • ‘Congratulations to all who passed their GCSEs and A levels, all the hard work has finally paid off.’
      • ‘Natalie has just completed nine GCSE exams and will take A levels in mathematics, physics, biology and PE at Millfield.’
      • ‘When I complained to the teachers I was abused, as they felt that as they needed to pass the A level, they should work through their list of questions during the performance.’
      • ‘That book which features the detective antics of a young boy who is challenged by autism and yet manages to take Maths A level and pass.’
      • ‘But he does worry about our attitude towards maths and the sciences - and the fact that so many people opt for arts A levels because they see them as easier.’
      • ‘He discovered a passion for art in prison and passed a GCSE and A-level and now plans to continue his studies at a Welsh university.’
      • ‘I passed my French A level last summer so can concentrate on the maths, music and business studies.’
      • ‘Once I passed my A levels I left Glasgow, where I grew up, came to England and worked in hotel sales and computing.’
      • ‘Why was his acceptance by Sandhurst dependent upon his passing this ridiculous A-level?’
      • ‘I hope when I take my A levels, people will appreciate the effort needed to pass exams.’
      • ‘Every time I get dressed it's like trying to pass my A levels again.’
      • ‘Graveney School in Tooting celebrated its highest-ever A-level pass rate of 98.48 per cent.’
      • ‘There were also celebrations at neighbouring school Hardenhuish, where 96 per cent of students passed their A levels.’
      • ‘And you can see the problem; last year more than 21% of students attained A grade passes at A level.’
      • ‘I spent yesterday evening cramming the whole Physics syllabus in a desperate, last minute dash to try and pass my Physics A-level.’


1950s: short for advanced level.


A level

/ˈeɪ lɛvl/