New A level Courses | Oxford Open Learning

New A level Courses

Over the last three years, A levels have gradually changed. These changes are nothing for the student to worry about. Oxford Open Learning has rewritten all its courses to match the new specifications and regulations and we have made sure that you have the right course materials to pass the examination you are aiming for.

The main change to the A level courses is how they are assessed.

The Old A levels

These were ‘modular’. This meant that they were made up of modules. Most A levels were made up of 4 modules. It was possible to take these modules over several exam series in January and May/June. Then, when you were happy with your marks, you could cash the modules in for a final AS and A level grade. If you sat the modules for the AS component you could then just sit the modules for the A2 component to turn your AS into an A level.

The New A levels

These are linear. This means that they are examined once at the end of the course. In assessment terms, the AS has been ‘decoupled’ from the full A level. You can still sit an AS exam and the courses and specifications are still designed so that all the AS study material is covered in the first half of your study.  However, you can no longer carry the marks you achieved for your AS forward to the full A level.

When did these changes take effect?

This depended on the subject but the process is now complete. In a small number of subjects (notably Maths and Law), there were still old-style exams in 2018, but all others have now adopted the new linear pattern, as summarised below. Maths and Law will join the list in 2019.

New (Linear) A levels first examined in Summer 2017

New (Linear) A levels first examined in Summer 2018

  • French A level
  • Spanish A level

New (Linear) A levels for first examination in Summer 2019

  • All Maths A levels
  • Law A level

In each of the above cases the last opportunity to sit the old modular A level courses was in the summer preceding the first examination date of the new linear qualification.

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