A levels in Spain

What does the A-Levels programme in Spain consist of?


The A-Levels in Spain are a series of academic tests which are accredited to the British academic system. Adequate preparation for these exams is essential in order to gain access to international universities. At our public school in Seville we have developed a specific programme, with which our students acquire the necessary preparation to face the A-Levels exams with confidence.  


What are A-Levels?


A-levels, short for “Advanced Level”, are a set of advanced level academic examinations taken in the UK and some other countries which follow the British education system. These exams are usually taken at the end of secondary education, after the completion of GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education). A-levels are an important route to higher education and are internationally recognised.

Students choose a number of subjects in which they wish to take A-levels and usually study these subjects for two years. On completion of A-level examinations, they receive grades that are used by universities to determine students’ eligibility for degree programmes. A-levels are known for their academic rigour and their ability to prepare students for university study and careers.


Equivalence of the A-Levels syllabus


A-levels are advanced level exams, which are similar to the Selectividad or PAU in Spain, as they are a requirement for entry to higher education. However, A-levels allow students to specialise in certain subjects, whereas the Selectividad tests a wider range of subjects. 

A-levels are therefore similar to Selectividad in terms of their function as a stepping stone to higher education, but differ in the depth of specialisation they offer.


How are they marked?


A-levels are graded in the UK using a grading scale ranging from A* (A star) to U (fail). Each grade is assigned based on the student’s performance in the exam.

  • A* (A star): This is the highest grade and is awarded to students who perform exceptionally well in the exam. It is equivalent to a grade of 10 on the Spanish scale.
  • A: This is an excellent grade. It would be equivalent to a grade of 9 on the Spanish scale.
  • B: Is a good grade and shows strong academic performance. Equivalent to a grade of 7-8 on the Spanish scale.
  • C: Represents a satisfactory level of academic competence. It would be similar to a grade of 6 on the Spanish scale.
  • D: Indicates below average performance. It would be equivalent to a grade of 5 on the Spanish scale.
  • E: This is a passable grade, but with room for improvement.
  • U (Unpassed): Means that the student did not reach the level required to pass the exam.


These grades are used to assess students’ performance in their A-level subjects and are an important factor in admission to universities and higher education programmes in the UK and other countries that recognise these exams.


How are A-levels recognised in Spain?


The validation of A-levels in Spain depends on the university to which a student wishes to apply. In general, many Spanish universities recognise A-levels as equivalent to Selectividad and can admit students with these qualifications to degree programmes, however, the specific requirements may vary depending on the institution and the degree programme.


How does the validation of A-Levels to Selectividad work?


The validation of A-Levels to Selectividad in Spain is generally based on a comparison of the grades obtained in A-Levels with the grades required for university entrance in Spain. 

Each university may have specific requirements, but in general, if the A-Levels grades meet the admission standards of the university in Spain, the student can be admitted to degree programmes.


What subjects can students choose?


At A-Levels, students have the flexibility to choose the subjects they wish to study, according to their interests and academic goals. The subjects available cover a wide range of disciplines, some of the common subjects that can be chosen include mathematics, English, history, biology, chemistry, chemistry, physics, economics, psychology, English literature, art, music, foreign languages (such as French, Spanish, German), geography, politics and sociology.

Students generally choose between three and four A-Level subjects, although this may vary according to the educational institution and the specific curriculum. The choice of subjects can influence future higher education choices, so it is important to select your subjects.


What are the requirements for entry to the A-Levels programme?


To be eligible for A-Levels examinations, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Age: Students are usually at least 16 years old when they start their A-Levels studies.
  • GCSEs: Good GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) grades are usually required in a wide range of subjects.
  • Subject choice: Students must select the specific A-Levels subjects they wish to study.
  • Institution requirements: Some institutions may have additional requirements, such as interviews or specific entrance exams for certain subjects.


At International School Andalucía we prepare our students to take their A-Levels exams with confidence, with a view to a future international university education.