Why Internationally recognised A-Levels power your chances of acceptance at UK/EU top universities and better prepare you for your tertiary studies in South Africa:

  • Are you currently completing your NSC Grade 10 and wondering about your future career?
  • Are you currently in Grade 11 and want to ensure you have the best chance of succeeding in your applications to study in South Africa and abroad?
  • Are you completing your NSC matric and wanting to apply to a top-ranking UK or EU university?
  • Are you taking a gap year and wanting to study your chosen subjects in greater depth and top up your matric results with a highly-regarded, internationally recognized qualification?
  • Are you thinking of taking your studies to tertiary level, either here in South Africa or overseas in the UK or the EU? If so, then your Matric qualification would be suitably boosted by adding the A-Levels needed to write the entrance examinations for overseas institutions.

If so, read on to find out more about A-Levels and why you may need them.

Staying home or going away

Certainly, good Matric marks can get you into a local university. However, in general, to succeed with your applications to UK/EU institutions, you’re going to need to pass the Internationally recognized A-Level exams – and to pass these, you are definitely going to need to study A-Levels in your subjects of choice.

  • A-Level (Advanced Level) qualifications are UK subject-based qualifications that can lead to university, further study, training, or work, and are assessed by a series of examinations.
  • A-Levels are usually studied over the course of 2 years, and lead to qualifications recognized for entrance to higher education institutes in the UK and many others worldwide.
  • Most higher education institutes require a minimum of 3 A-Level subjects. Subjects include, amongst others: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History, Geography, Psychology, Economics, Art, Information Technology, and languages such as English and English Literature, French, German, and Spanish.
  • The exciting thing is that you can study for these tests alongside studying for your Matric. Or if you are currently completing your Grade 10 year, you may choose to go straight to A-Levels. Or, instead of Matric, you can follow the international curriculum of firstly GCSE, then finally A-Levels in your subjects of choice, then Matric may not be needed at all. Deciding on this latter route is a great choice if you are clear on the subjects you excel in and want to focus on those. This may be the most straight-forward way of attaining your goals.
  • If you are not sure of your career direction and which subjects to choose, Learning Unlimited assists you to identify your interests, abilities, and passions through various internationally recognized career assessment tests and counseling. This will enable you to select the A-Level subjects most suited to your particular interests and talents. For instance, if you are strong in Maths and weak in English Literature, then you would be able to drop the latter and focus on Maths.
  • You can also write the International GSCE and A level examination in stages and at different sittings (not all in one go).
  • Different tertiary institutions will have their own entrance requirements. It’s important to check what you will need with the school or college to which you would like to apply. Each tertiary institution may employ specific admission requirements that you have to meet in order to gain admission, and this could include specific high school subjects.
  • If you’re not sure what career or job you want to do, studying a selection of A-Levels is a good way of keeping your options open. While A-Levels are the most common qualifications studied to get into higher education, even if you choose not to go that route, you must remember that these qualifications are highly valued by employers because they reflect discipline, aptitude, and a sound work ethic.
  • Choosing your subjects for A-Levels is important; you must be good at the subjects, enjoy studying, and be prepared to invest the time and effort required to do well. It’s important to note that even if you average A’s and B’s on your South African Matric, you may find you score C’s and D’s when you write the Cambridge Assessment International Examinations – key tests for application to UK/EU universities.
  • A-Levels present a great source of intellectual stimulation for talented and ambitious students who actively want greater challenges. It’s important to note that A-Level subjects are often up to 18 months ahead of the Matric syllabus, not only in terms of the material covered but also with regard to the standards by which students are marked and assessed.

For the ‘staying home’ brigade

Please follow the link below to the HESA (Higher Education of South Africa) document that shows how the internationally recognized A-level qualifications can lead to a Matric exemption for application to South African universities.


Mahé Bodard

Mahé Bodard

Testimonial – the value of A-Levels

My name is Mahé Bodard, and I am currently studying medicine at UCT. I participated in the Learning Unlimited A-Level programme in an effort to expand my learning opportunities and level.

Taking the course in addition to my school work prepared me for the increased workload of the university and pushed me to develop the organizational skills I would need.

The A-Level course also allowed me to be exposed to greater depths of the subjects I had taken, facilitating my learning experience in my first year of university. I would recommend such a course to anyone who wishes to expand their capacity.

Learning Unlimited – preparing for study at top international institutions

Learning Unlimited has a proven track record as a premier distance-learning institution offering bright, motivated children the opportunity to acquire sound conceptual knowledge and application of the key concepts of the International GCSE and A level curriculum.

Through our Masterclass programmes, children can prepare themselves to obtain excellent GCSE, A-Levels and SAT results, fully supporting transition from the South African education system to UK, EU or USA institutions. We work in a highly focused and stimulating environment where enriched, interactive learning methods are geared to enable critical thinking and intellectual potential.