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A Level Subjects: Complete List and Which You Should Choose

01 May 2024
For many students in Hong Kong, the Cambridge International Advanced Level (A-Level) is a rite of passage in their youth. Attaining good grades in A-Levels will help them progress to higher education in life. That is why the selection of A-Level subjects is critical because their choice can open doors to their desired tertiary programmes and future careers.
With so many subject choices for A-Level, the decision-making process is tough. Read on to find out more about the complete list and which subjects you should choose.  

What is Cambridge A-Level?

The Cambridge International A-Level (Advanced Level) is a British qualification commonly accepted in Hong Kong. It is a subject-based qualification recognised as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a secondary school completion qualification provided by established examination boards in the United Kingdom.

Many students in Hong Kong typically attempt A-Level above the age of 16. Offering over 55 subject choices, A-Level is considered to be the 'Gold Standard' in education.

The A-Level is one of the most recognised qualifications used for university admission through the non-Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS) route. The Hong Kong Examination and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) and The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) seek to connect students’ results to open doors to both local and overseas education programmes. Commanding an A-Level certificate and good grades is generally required for university entrance, with universities accepting admissions based on grades achieved.

As a gauge, medical schools of the University of Hong Kong as well as the Chinese University of Hong Kong require 4A* in A-Levels to differentiate the best candidates due to high quantities of enrolment applications.

How is A-Level assessed?

At the end of two academic years, students are required to undertake a series of written examinations to determine their ability in their selected subjects.

The grading scale runs from A* – E. With the commencement of the high distinction grade (A*) in 2010, the A-Level examination can now identify students who command the highest tier of ability. Students who are unable to meet the minimum requirements will receive a grade of U. As a gauge, students need 40% to achieve an E, 50% for a D, 60% for a C and so on. Any student averaging 80% across all modules will gain an A*.

Students are able to re-sit specific subjects if they fail, and are able to attempt their exams multiple times.

What are the common A-Level subjects?

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Based on requirements from tertiary institutions, students need to take between 3 to 4 A-Level subjects. Some of the subjects include English Language & Literature, Maths, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, History, Geography, Psychology, Economics, Art, Information Technology and Modern Foreign Languages such as French, German, and Spanish and more. Students may need to determine a suitable combination of these subjects that can help them open doors to their desired further education.

Complete List of A-Level Subjects

The A-Level generally take two years to complete. Students can choose to take three to four A-Level subjects in their first year but most will focus on just three in their second year as many university offers are usually based on three A-Level subjects.

The A-Level curriculum has no specific subject requirements, so students will have the opportunity to take any combination of subjects. However, most students will pick their subjects based on the degree they wish to pursue in university as most courses require specific A-Level subjects for admission.

To help make an informed decision and deliberate on the combination of subjects to take, here are the subjects categorised by the relevant groupings.

How Do I Choose A-Level Subjects?

With the wide range of subjects that are available, many are likely to be torn between choices. Students can pick subjects that they are personally interested in. Interest usually corresponds with one's strength in a subject. Alternatively, for those who are more adventurous, they may want to choose something exciting and unconventional.

To aid in the selection process, you can check the entry requirements on university websites as a start. You can also turn to the A-Level explorer tool.  

For those who are uncertain of their interests or career choices, we recommend going for a subject combination that opens doors to a broad selection of future tertiary programme choices.

Why Choose A-Levels?

A-Level is an obvious choice for many students because it is a qualification that is both nationally and internationally recognised as an entry requirement into numerous university programmes and professional training opportunities.

With over 55 subjects to choose from, the A-Levels provide students with a chance to explore the subjects they are passionate about and help them secure a place in university.

Through A-Levels, students can acquire life-long essential skills such as analytical thinking, critical thinking, knowledge management, persuasion and developing an argument, and research skills.

Rather than a question of why choose A-Levels, it is often a matter of how to perform well at it.

A-Level at Invictus School Hong Kong

If you are keen to enrol in a school for A-Levels, Invictus International School in Hong Kong is the ideal choice.

Established in 2019, the school is home to both expatriate and local students and utilises rigorous internationally renowned curricula and immersive classroom experiences to help each student develop a spirit of lifelong learning and excellence. The school also follows Cambridge A-Levels for international students.

To find out how you can benefit or transition to an A-Level curriculum, visit or email us at or