A Levels in Malaysia – All You Need to Know

12 Mar 2021

The extended period of distance learning due to the pandemic has taught us that the world is rapidly changing and an unpredictable future lies ahead. It’s vital for education to evolve in order to prepare students for this new reality – to be Future Ready. Because in an uncertain world, where do we want to be at the turn of the next screw?

Are you Future-Ready?

Are you looking for a pre-university programme that not only opens the doors to top universities and careers but allows you to walk through them? Are you ready to take on a visionary approach to Cambridge A Levels in Malaysia that will set you apart from your peers? Whether you have a 10-year plan in place or are still struggling to decide what to take, Charterhouse Malaysia will help you decide if A Levels and our broader education programme is right for you.

All you need to know about A Levels in Malaysia and more!

What are A Levels?

The GCE Advanced Level, or A Levels, is a pre-university programme with a rigorous academic syllabus. The highly sought after UK-based qualification provides students with a solid foundation of fundamental knowledge within a specific subject area. It is equivalent to other pre-university programmes such as the Malaysian STPM, Canadian Pre-university and Australian Matriculation. Students have the flexibility to choose between a minimum of 2 and a maximum of up to 4 subjects.

There is a common perception that A Levels are one of the more difficult pathways for pre-university, considering the papers are coordinated by the esteemed Cambridge Assessment International Examinations (CAIE). However, keep in mind that this also means your qualifications are often stronger compared to other candidates when applying to a competitive degree programme.

It’s also worth noting that subjects offered in an A Levels programme often feature prerequisite subjects for universities and develop the academic skills required to succeed. So whether you already have a solid education pathway planned or are keeping your options open, it is worth noting that the UK-based certificate gives you gold-standard access to universities around the world.

How is the A Levels programme structured?

The GCE Advanced Level can be broken down into 2 sections:

  • Advanced Subsidiary (AS Level) – Year 1
  • A2 Level – Year 2

Or it can be structured with both AS and A2 level examinations taken at the end of the course.

Depending on your intake and institution, A Levels in Malaysia may take between 15 – 24 months to complete.

Is there a difference between the AS Level and A2 Level?

The AS and A2 components of the A Level develop and assess the same higher-order thinking skills and in most cases, the A2 is simply an extension of content rather than an increase in complexity. However, the AS is considered a lower-level qualification than the A Level. You cannot achieve the A Level without passing both the AS and A2 components.

What subjects should I take? 

Whether you’re heading for the sciences or humanities, it’s important to consider your interests, strengths and subjects concerning the type of work you’re interested in. Here is a list of subjects commonly offered at the A Level:

  • Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Economics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Computing
  • Law
  • Accounting
  • Psychology
  • English Literature
  • Business
  • Geography
  • History

The GCE Advanced Level at Charterhouse

Charterhouse Malaysia offers the Cambridge GCE Advanced Level in a “Future Ready” environment. Much like their English counterpart, Charterhouse Malaysia adheres to the stringent standards of a British education renowned worldwide. Students, both locally and internationally, aspiring to further their education past SPM, IGCSE and O-Levels, can look forward to an exciting learning journey with Charterhouse Malaysia.

Beyond a rigorous A Levels programme, we offer a ‘Future Ready’ education.

What is a ‘Future Ready‘ education?

When learning is constrained within four walls, a board, and rows upon rows of desks and chairs, it is not optimal.

The Charterhouse Malaysia take on education focuses on moulding holistic individuals based on the core values of Charterhouse.

A ‘Future Ready’ education is the amalgamation of futuristic pedagogies that teach, guide and prepare students for an uncertain future. Charterhouse students are more than boys and girls who regurgitate information, but those who can think critically, creatively and independently.

The comprehensive curriculum includes Spectra Smarts, Design Thinking and Independent Learning Programme, supported by student-led leadership programmes such as the Charterhouse Forum with students owning their learning journey with their Charterhouse Learner’s Portfolio.

Whatever role you choose to pursue in the future, Charterhouse intends to instil a critical approach to tackling problems with a touch of creativity, but one that is also rooted in empathy.

Find out more about our futuristic curriculum in the next blog post.


Charterhouse Malaysia is an English-medium International School located in the heart of Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Our comprehensive and holistic pedagogy focuses on equipping students with a Future Ready perspective and skills. Find out more here: https://www.charterhouse-htms.edu.my/open-day/