General Certificate of General Education (GCSE) examinations are normally taken at the age of 16. As well as formal classroom teaching, students are encouraged to work independently by being involved in project work. Some subjects include assessment of work throughout the school year whereas others depend entirely on formal examinations. All exams are marked independently and grades from A* down to G can be obtained.
A levels allow students to study a smaller range of subjects but in much greater depth. These exams are normally taken at the age of 18. At the end of the first year of the course students take AS level examinations and at the end of the second year they take A2 exams. As with the GCSE exams, students have formal teaching as well as project based work. The examinations are also marked independetly and are graded from A to E
British university entrance stipulations generally require students to have passed a minimum of 5 GCSE subjects (to include Maths and English), 2 A levels and an English language examination (normally a minimum of First Certificate, but sometimes the Certificate of Advanced English).