What is Difference Between A-Level and Intermediate?

Difference Between A-Level and Intermediate

After completing the matric examinations in Pakistan, a lot of students are faced with a challenging decision regarding the next step. The two significant options for 11th class and 12th class in Pakistan are A Levels and FSC. In order to make an accurate decision for the future, it’s essential to understand what these educational systems are. What is Difference Between A-Level and Intermediate?

Advanced Level or A Level is an international degree. It’s an equivalent to the F.A (Faculty of Arts) or FSc. (Faculty of Science). These degrees are established by the Punjab Board or the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education. Having said that, the significant difference between an Advanced Level degree as well as the completion of intermediate level is the Advanced Level degree that is awarded by the Cambridge International Examination committee. 

Difference Between A-Level and Intermediate

The system is internationally recognized by multiple countries across the world. Whereas, an intermediate in Pakistan is recognized by the Higher Education Commission Pakistan. However, it does not imply that the students who have completed an intermediate cannot apply for universities.

The inter results are converted into internationally recognized scores as well as after taking some English Language tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. They are considered eligible for admission and for the students taking the A Level. Although, there are no complications but some universities press for a standardized English language test.

For students doing inter with the BISE, elective courses and optional ones are chosen simultaneously. The compulsory courses are; English, Urdu, Islamic Studies, and Pakistan Studies for both FA and FSc degrees. In terms of elective courses, both offer different subjects. In order to attain an FSc degree, the student must take the compulsory courses along with either pre-engineering, or pre-medical courses.

Difference Between A-Level and Intermediate

However, many of us want to clear some misunderstandings regarding FSc and A Levels. Let’s differentiate both degree programs and select the best one of the bright futures of the student.


FSc, an abbreviation for the Faculty of Science, is a science-based study program for intermediate students. It’s a local education system in Pakistan that is conducted by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education.

In terms of FSc, there are two subject groups, known as pre-medical and pre-engineering. Along with the compulsory subjects of mathematics, FSc students must appear for three elective subjects that are significantly based on the subject group. For pre-medical students, the subjects are physics, chemistry, and biology, whereas for pre-engineering, biology is replaced with mathematics. 

There’s a great need to know that FSc exams are conducted by local examination boards. For example, if a FSc student studies in Lahore, he/she will appear from BISE Lahore. Keep in mind that the examinations are different between educational boards. Upon passing the exams, intermediate students are awarded with the higher secondary school certificate that is considered as high school education certificate in Pakistan. After that, the FSc students are able to apply to Pakistani universities as well as medical colleges.

The local Intermediate education system is significantly based on memorization and rote learning. The syllabus is not taught in a conceptual manner and the students are not expected to apply their knowledge in the exam. FSc syllabus is largely textbook-based, but notes, past papers and other helping material is available for students to study for their FSc exams.

Why to choose FSc- A Quick Summary of Perks

  • Syllabus/curriculum is standard books that you can memorize easily with help of past solved papers.
  • It’s a local education system that means you can easily get admission in government universities after having a higher secondary school certificate. 
  • Although many companies recommend eLearning but If you want to pursue a career in medical sciences, you should go for face to face FSc.  
  • There’s a common perception that marks of A-levels students are deducted when the grades are converted into marks. However, if you want to study in Pakistan, prefer Fsc over A levels.
  • FSc is considered as an economical education system as compared to A-levels.
  • A-level is tough as compared to FSc, as its educational nature is different and tougher than FSc.

What are A Levels?

Firstly, there’s a great need to know that A Levels is a General Certificate of Education study program. This educational program is conducted by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). A Levels is equivalent to 11th and 12th class, where 11th class is known as As Level (Advanced Subsidiary), as well as 12th class is known as A Level (Advanced Level), or A2.

There’s a great need to know that, A Levels is an internationally recognized qualification offering a wide variety of subjects. Students of A Levels have complete flexibility to choose any combination of subjects according to their interest. These subjects are biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, law, computer studies, economics, and business studies. In Pakistan, A Levels students appear for 3 subjects.

Along with this, A Levels education is renowned for its high standard of education encouraging heavily on conceptual learning and application. The A Levels syllabus is detailed that teaches students the subject in-depth. It teaches critical thinking and analytical skills and a number of past papers, marking schemes, and other study resources are available on Native Learners to prepare for the A Level examinations.

Pakistani students easily apply for universities abroad after passing A Levels. However, in Pakistan, universities don’t accept the students on their A Levels grades alone. The A Levels grades must be equivalent to the Pakistani education standard in order to apply to local universities. Furthermore, it is also believed that marks are deducted while equaling the A Levels grades, making it especially challenging for A Levels students to apply to medical colleges. 

However, A Levels are not offered by government schools in Pakistan, that means, the students must attend private schools, or enroll as a private candidate. A Levels education is also considerably more expensive as compared to the local education system.

Why to choose A Levels- A Quick Summary of Perks

  • A-levels primarily focus on conceptual exams, as there’s no need to memorize books.
  • It’s recognized If you want to study abroad, prefer A-levels.
  • Select variety of subjects as per your preference
  • Pursue a career in accounting, economics and computer studies with A-levels.
  • Curriculum of A-levels is amended and relies on recent and advanced knowledge.
  • After A levels, you don’t have to clear IELTS and TOFEL.
  • A-level exams are held twice a year.
  • It’s a better-quality education system and the best alternative to Fsc.

Should I Select FSc or A Levels After Matriculation?

Based upon all the discussed information above, there’s a great need to determine which education system is more suitable for you. Simple is that, if you are interested in studying abroad for university, it would be best to prefer an internationally recognized high school qualification that is A Levels. Along with this, A Levels education is also suitable if you are interested in studying accounting, business, engineering, as well as other diverse subjects.

On the flip side, if you intend to study science-related degree programs in Pakistan, then FSc may be a better option. In particular, if you want to study medical in Pakistan, opt for pre-medical in FSc. Intermediate is also the option if you do not want to pay the heavy fees of private schools.

However, the differences do not end here. After completion of the inter degrees or A level, students from both backgrounds have different job opportunities. Advanced Level students have a competitive edge along with parse study options. They can apply abroad without equivalence certificates, even side jobs are easy to find and offer good money.

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