A-Levels Equivalent In The USA And Admission Tips

Many students dream of schooling in the United States, and it is no surprise. The USA has some of the best universities in the world. One question UK students applying for US universities ask is, “what are the A-levels equivalent in the USA?”

Others ask if it is possible to get admitted with A levels, and some ask about the requirements needed to get into a US university. 

If any of these questions apply to you, then this article is for you. I will be talking about A-levels and their equivalent in the USA.

What are A-levels?

A-levels, also known as advanced levels, are qualifications in particular subjects students take before attending universities. It is a UK-based qualification that is widely accepted.

What are the A-Levels subjects?

There are various subjects taken while pursuing A-level qualifications. They include;

How are A-level subjects graded?

Much like other subjects, A-level subjects are graded on a scale of A all through to E, and in some institutions, “U” is also used. Each of these grades is given a percentage.

Below is a quick example of how A-level subjects are graded.

A+: A+ in the A-level grading system depicts a score of 90% and above.
A: A in the A-level grading system depicts a score between 80% – 89%.
B: B in the A-level grading system depicts a score between 70% – 79%.
C: C in the A-level grading system depicts a score between 60% – 69%.
D: D in the A-level grading system depicts a score between 50% – 59%.
E: E in the A-level grading system depicts a score between 40% – 49%.
U: U is also termed as ungraded in the A-level grading system and depicts a score between 0% – 40%.

A-level equivalent in the USA

Basically, in the USA, the equivalent for A levels are AP courses. AP courses are sets of subjects created by the College Board and designed to give students the opportunity to take college-level courses.

AP courses are the perfect way for students to demonstrate their intellectual intelligence. Basically, these courses allow you to;

  • Boost your candidacy for college applications
  • Stand out amongst your peers
  • Get a head start in high school
  • Give yourself an edge in college 
  • Take a deep dive into areas of passion
  • Challenge yourself

Do United States universities accept A-levels during admission?

Yes, many universities in the United States accept A-level results.

Basically, when it comes to admitting students from the UK, A levels are crucial for some universities. While for others, it is not a requirement.

Nevertheless, this is not the only requirement for UK students seeking admission to US universities. In the next section, I will give a full breakdown of entry requirements for UK students.

What are the entry requirements for UK students seeking admission to US universities?

The truth is that various schools have different requirements for UK students seeking admission to US universities. Below are some of the entry requirements for most US universities.

1. High level performance

Your high-level or advanced-level performance is used to gauge your academic ability for higher-level education. Most US universities recognize GCSEs, A-Levels, or their equivalent, AP scores, as the best high-level performance qualification.

Admission officers look at your A-level or AP grades which earn you college credits. These college credits are highly regarded during the admission process.

When reviewing your application, admission officers review recommendations, official grade transcripts, essays, and extra-curricular activities. This would give them more knowledge of your capability.

2. SAT or ACT

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Many US universities require applicants to sit for an SAT or ACT test as part of the application process. These standardized tests are organized by the college board as a way for colleges to determine applicants’ suitability for enrolment.

Usually, an SAT score above 1400 is competitive enough for most top universities. While an ACT score above 32 is more than adequate for most universities.

3. English language proficiency test

A majority of universities in the US require applicants to take an English proficiency test. This will help them determine if the applicant possesses the necessary language skills required to participate in their chosen course.

The most recognized English language test include the IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) and the C1 Advanced test.

4. Cumulative GPA

The entry requirement for many US universities includes an applicant’s cumulative GPA. The minimum requirement is usually a GPA of 2.0, however, for more competitive universities, your GPA should be above 3.5.

How to increase your chances of getting into US universities

1. Research schools first

Spend time researching schools and their environments. Read student reviews so you can determine the best fit for you. Additionally, you should research various schools to know the entry requirement for each before applying.

2. Prepare your application

After determining the best university for you, take time to prepare your application. Your application should include all the entry requirements, do not forget your CV/resume.

Most universities require you to pay an application fee when applying. Usually, this fee is between $50 – $100. It should be stated on the university’s official site.

3. Apply to different universities

The truth is that there are thousands of students seeking admission every year. The admission process is tough, and most schools have very low acceptance.

So, ensure you apply to different universities. This should give you more options and increase your chances of getting admitted.


How long do AP classes take to complete?

Generally, AP classes run the length of the academic school year.

What is a good AP grade?

A good AP grade is one that is above the 70% mark, or you can say a B, A, or A+.

Are A-levels recognized in the USA?

Yes, they are.

Conclusion: A levels equivalent in the USA

A-levels are recognized by US universities during the admission process. While some require applicants to have their A-levels, others may choose to use its equivalent.

The equivalent for A levels is AP courses. However, you must note that this is not the only entry requirement for UK students seeking admission to US universities.

Other requirements highlighted above are also essential and you should follow the tips shared to increase your chances of getting admission into your desired university.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Perhaps your desired university is Harvard, here are the entry requirements needed to get into Harvard.

Thanks for reading.