How Long Are A-Level Exams? 

How Long are a Level Exams

For students, the A-Level exam period may be a very stressful time. It signifies the completion of two years of laborious effort and, frequently, the end of the academic year. It’s usually a feeling of excitement and maybe, a smidge of anxiety.

It’s completely normal! A-levels are a big hurdle, but also a huge step into your future. One question that might be swirling around her head is “How long are A-level exams?”

Usually, many students find stress from a variety of sources. It can be difficult to figure out how long examinations last, how many there are for each topic, and how long the exam season is altogether. 

Understanding the length and amount of tests you have might be challenging because there are so many different exam boards and courses to take into account. In this article, we will talk about A-Levels, and how long they last.

How long are A-Level exams?

The time leading up to the A-Level exams normally lasts about 1.5 months. The JCQ, the government agency in charge of exams, schedules it, and it is the same for all exam boards.

It usually starts in the middle of May (about May 16) and ends in late June.  

The JCQ tries to schedule each course over this time frame with, ideally, a week or so between exams. 

This allows for revision as well as making sure that temporary illnesses and other situations do not prohibit students from sitting any tests for their subject.

As a result, even if you are sick during one of your tests for a topic, your final grade will still be based on the exams that you can take. After the examinations have been marked and moderated, the results are then made public in August.

You may read more information from the JCQ on the 2024 A-Level exam series and important dates, such as results day.

Read also: Can You Get Extra Time For Exams Due To Anxiety in UK?

What is a contingency day?

Additionally, a “contingency day” is planned for right after the exam period. The exam will probably be relocated to another day to be taken if there is a countrywide disruption and no one can take the test on that day.

Throughout the period, there are also backup afternoons, again in case there is a substantial local or national interruption to tests.

If there is a severe disruption, exams may also be relocated to another day during the term, but this is extremely improbable and rarely occurs.

The JCQ emphasizes the necessity of being accessible during the entirety of the exam period, including the contingency day. You could need to reschedule any exams that don’t go as planned if that happens. 

For example, you should avoid booking holidays or committing to plans that cannot be changed during the exam period.

Also, read: What Happens if You Miss an A-Level Exam?

What is the duration of the A-Level exam season in weeks?

The A-Level exam period normally lasts six weeks. This fluctuates from year to year because exams may occasionally be spread out across extended periods due to half terms and bank holidays. 

However, because a similar number of exams are required, it often takes the same length of time.

The first written exams will take place on May 15, 2024. After that, the period will last through June 27 with an emergency day on June 28.

You can read this: The 10 Most Popular A-Level Subjects | Ranking

What happens if you miss an A-level exam?

The lengthy A-level exam season can be extremely stressful, and stress is frequently accompanied by illness. Many students fear getting sick while taking their examinations or perhaps having to skip a test because of illness. 

Many students are also concerned about other scenarios like forgetting an exam or not being able to reach their exam location (for example, traffic).

A-Level exams are spaced so widely apart to give sick people time to recover. Students should be able to take at least one paper for each topic even if they are ill during the test period thanks to the way the exams are set up.

Additionally, it is best to inform the exam board if you are ill during an exam and are unable to provide your best effort. This and other emergencies, like bereavement, that might have an impact on your performance, can be taken into account by systems like special consideration.

However, failing an A-Level exam without a valid excuse—such as forgetting—is not taken into account. You only have one chance to take the exam, and depending on the testing center, you might not be able to take it if you arrive more than 30 minutes late. 

Do your best to show up for every exam since there is no other way to guarantee that you will receive the grades you deserve.

Also, see: How Many A-Levels Can You Take At College (In 2024)

How long are the exams for each subject?

Individual exams differ in length according to the subject and exam board, of course. A-level exams typically consist of three exams, each lasting two hours, as a general guideline.

For more details on exam duration and format for some of the most popular A-Level subjects, continue reading.

Also, read this: How to Get an A in A-Level Biology

How long are A-Level Maths exams?

All exam boards use a 2-hour time limit for A-Level Math exams. They mostly focus on longer questions with multiple steps and problem-solving abilities. 

They frequently use real-world situations to measure how well students can apply the mathematical abilities they have learned in the course.

All tests allow students to bring a calculator and a formula sheet. Math A-level coursework is not required.

How long are A-level psychology exams?

Exams for A-level psychology last two hours, with three exams administered by each assessment board after the course. For shorter answers, they mostly rely on essay writing abilities and memory of important details.

Additionally, some of the papers assess your ability to analyze data and use math. Students taking psychology A-level exams may use a calculator for the math portions of the test.

There is no assignment for A-level psychology, but some professors might invite students to do a lengthy psychological experiment in class to aid comprehension. Wondering if A-level psychology exams are hard? See: Is Psychology A-Level Exams Hard: What Other A-Levels Go Well With A-Level Psychology?

Also, see: How to Revise for Psychology A-Level Exams

How long are A-Level Chemistry exams?

Exams for A-Level Chemistry normally last two hours and include three papers. With a mix of essay and math problems, they are mostly dependent on knowledge application and mastery of practical abilities.

A-Level Chemistry has no homework, however, passing a practical exam is expected of all students. 

This involves participating in the necessary in-class practical experiments and being watched by your teacher, but it has no bearing on your final A-level mark.

Read also: How to get an A in A-Level Chemistry

How long are A-Level Biology exams?

Exams for A-level biology normally run for two hours and include three papers. They primarily focus on written abilities and measure how well students have applied what they have learned in class.

Additionally, since some questions need in-depth data analysis, mathematical aptitude is required. Students will also be expected to possess and use practical skills.

A-Level Biology students are expected to complete a practical requirement even though there is no coursework involved. 

This involves participating in the necessary in-class practical experiments and being watched by your teacher, but it has no bearing on your final A-level mark.

Also, read: How to Get an A in A-Level Biology

How long are A-Level Physics exams?

Exams for A-Level Physics normally run for two hours and include three papers. They mostly consist of a mix of long and short-response questions and have a focus on solving real-world problems.

Students are also expected to use equations—some of which are memorized and others of which are given—to apply their arithmetic concepts.

A-level physics students do not have to complete any coursework, but they must pass a practical test. This involves participating in the necessary in-class practical experiments and being watched by your teacher, but it has no bearing on your final A-level mark.

Also, see: Is Physics A Level Hard? How Hard is A-Level Physics?    

How long are A-Level History exams?

Exams for A-Level History normally last an hour and a half, though some are much longer. They are predicated on essay writing prowess and familiarity with particular study eras, including the application of source analysis. 

All test boards demand study of both British and global history, as well as typically both in-depth and broad-based study of various eras.

For all test boards, A-Level History coursework must be between 3000-5000 words long and be based on a student’s chosen period of history. It is moderated externally but marked by your school.

You can check this: Can you Retake or Resit A-Levels?

How long are A-Level exams for other common subjects?

In this table, a few other typical A-level subjects are described. The AQA exam board provided the figures. By using the search capabilities on their websites, information for other test boards can be obtained in the links to those websites.

You may find subject information from Pearson Edexcel here. You can access the OCR website at this link. More details are available at AQA’s subject center here.

Art and design topics have the longest tests, requiring 15 hours of monitored labor under timed settings to produce an artwork in response to a requirement. Modern language-speaking exams, on the other hand, can only last 20 minutes, according to the exam board.

Do not rely on your subject selection on this, as both subjects have other prerequisites that balance these exam periods.

Many students worry that their exam will take too long or that they could have trouble focusing and writing. Contacting your school’s exam office is the best course of action if you are concerned about this because they may be able to determine whether you qualify for access accommodations.

This can involve extra time and relaxation periods, among many other things. If you are qualified, it can significantly improve the fairness of exams as a means of evaluation for you.

Of course, you may get the same information as in this post by finding your specifications on the exam board website if you are studying a topic with a different test board. Through their search capabilities, all have this readily available.

Additionally, get in touch with your school or college if you have any additional inquiries. They will be able to assist you with specific queries because they are aware of the exam boards you will be taking and the exact information you will require.

Read also: The 17 Best Things You Can Do On The Day of Exam Tips!


How long is A-level?

They are typically studied over two years and result in credentials recognized for admission to higher education institutions in the UK and many other countries worldwide. Most institutions of higher learning demand at least three subjects. Schools all across the world provide A Levels, even though they are a UK credential.

For A-levels, how many hours should you study?

There are 180 guided learning hours for AS levels. They take around a year to complete if taken full-time in addition to other courses and are roughly comparable to a little under half an A-level. If taken full-time while doing other courses, A-levels require 360 hours of guided learning and often take two years to accomplish.

How long do students in the UK spend studying for their A-levels?

Two-year A-Levels are the qualifications that UK institutions use to determine a student’s eligibility for an undergraduate degree. They are typically studied over two years.

How many A-level papers are there?

At AS Level, students normally take four subjects, and at A Level, three subjects. Three A Levels are the normal entry requirement for universities in the UK.

Who reviews the A-level test papers?

Examiners employed by the exam board mark A-level papers similarly to how they are marked for GCSE exams. These examiners, once more, will need to be familiar with mark schemes and have experience utilizing them. They must also fulfill any additional requirements that each exam board imposes. 

How many points is English at the A-level?

Paper 1: English Language 1 – Language, the Individual & Society is worth 100 total points (or 40% of the A-level) and takes two hours and thirty minutes to complete. Paper 2: English Language 2 – Language Diversity & Change (2 Hours 30 Minutes) is worth a total of 100 marks (40% of the A-level), and it is 100 marks long. Coursework: The total grade for Language in Action is 100 (20% of the A-level).


The A-Level test cycle is around six weeks long. From the middle of May to the end of June, it takes place. Most A-level exams last between two and three hours, however, some, like those for art and design, might go much longer.

The majority of subjects have several exams, which are scheduled by the JCQ on various days. The same exam for the same subject must be taken simultaneously by everyone.

Furthermore, A-level exams typically run two hours per paper, though this varies greatly depending on the subject.



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