Why Study 4 AS-Levels Rather Than 3?

In September 2015, the Government introduced changes to a number of A-level courses. The new guidelines suggest all exams be taken at the end of second year, with the first year of study no longer contributing to final grades. As a result of these changes, most colleges in Birmingham no longer allow new students to take 4 AS-levels. Students must choose and study just 3 A-level courses throughout their time at college.

For many learners this raises questions: Doesn’t that mean that I’m sacrificing an AS qualification? What if I don’t enjoy one of my subjects? Will my results rely solely on how I perform in one set of exams? Understandably, these are pretty serious concerns.

Here at JCC, we strongly believe in the advantages of studying 4 AS-levels and our students will continue to do this. As a student, this gives you the chance to really explore your AS subjects and discover which three interest you the most, which three you’re best suited to and, therefore, which three to take into your second year. Studying 4 AS-levels brings tremendous value to you, your ambitions for university and your career goals – here’s why:

Monitor Your Progress

Sitting an exam at the end of first year gives a clear measure of how students are progressing. It’s also useful to experience the exam environment in preparation for final year.

An Extra Qualification

Having an extra AS-Level qualification will increase your UCAS points and add variety to your university applications.


Studying 4 AS-Levels takes the pressure off choosing your subjects and allows you to try out a course you may otherwise not pursue. If you don’t enjoy one subject as much as the others, you won’t be stuck with it in second year. If you love all 4 subjects, you can still enjoy the option you drop through JCC Extra curricular clubs!

Decide on a Career Path

Studying a wider variety of subjects will help to widen your career choices and open up different opportunities. There’s no such thing as wasted time when it comes to education, a 4th course will give you extra experience which is vital for your CV.