A-Levels VS IBDP: 5 Differences To Make The Right Decision

by Ignite Training Institute

Are you unclear about the difference between the IBDP VS A-Levels? If yes, do not be concerned; the purpose of this blog is to assist you in arriving at the best decision. Reading ahead will provide you with an in-depth review of both programs and help you comprehend the distinctions between them. 

The differences supporting the clash between A-Levels VS IBDP are highlighted with respect to all the crucial factors like the level of difficulty, international recognition, grading system, and much more. As universities around the world acknowledge both these courses as great choices, let’s conduct a parallel form of distinction for the same. 

Moreover, Ignite Training Institute offers full-scale academic support for IBDP & A-Levels. Get in touch with our expert consultants today!

What Is IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme)?

Students between the ages of 16 and 19 are eligible to opt for the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP), which is a pre-university curriculum that lasts for two years. It is one of the most popular & comprehensive programmes offered by the International Baccalaureate (IB). As it manifests coursework that covers six different subject groups, including language and literature, individuals and societies, mathematics and computer science, experimental sciences, arts and electives, and physical education. 

The IBDP’s syllabus is structured to help students develop the competency and information they need for higher education. In order for students to earn an IB Diploma, they are required to complete 3 courses at Higher Level (HL) & 3 courses at Standard Level (SL). These HL courses require more time & effort than SL courses.

What Is A-Levels?

The A-Level is also popularly known as the Advanced Level qualification. It is the pre-university certificate that has the highest level of recognition in the United Kingdom & other parts of the world. It is a program that lasts for two years and provides students with a variety of topic alternatives to choose from in order to equip them with the information and skills necessary to continue their education at a higher level. 

After completing the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) or an equivalent IGCSE, students are usually eligible to begin studying for their A-Levels. As A-Levels are further separated as AS-Levels for the 16 to 17-year age group & A2 Levels for 17-18 year age groups. It helps students pursue their own career interests. 

IBDP VS A-Levels: Which Is Better For Higher Education?

1. Grading System

Despite the fact that both the IBDP and A-Levels use grading systems that are intended to differentiate student performance, there are some key distinctions in the ways in which these two types of exams are scored. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) has a numerical grading system that goes from 1-7, with 7 representing the highest possible mark. On the other hand, the A-Levels use a letter-grading system that spans all the way from A*, the highest grade, to E.

2. International Recognition

Both the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) and the Advanced Levels (A-Levels) are recognized and accepted by top colleges worldwide. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Curriculum (IBDP), on the other hand, is more generally recognized, and as a result, many colleges award additional points or other incentives to students who successfully complete the programme. It is possible that graduates of the IBDP will have an easier time getting admission to top colleges as a result of this.

3. Subject Choices

Candidates that have signed up for A-Levels are usually to study a minimum of 3 subjects to complete the qualifications. However, students enrolled in the IBDP programme are required to study a minimum of 6 subjects. This includes opting for 3 Higher Level (HL) & 3 Standard Level (SL) subjects. 

4. Assessment

Both the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and the Advanced Level Tests use a combination of coursework and examinations to determine a student’s final grade. Exams for the IBDP are administered both internally and externally, but exams for the A-Levels are exclusively administered externally.

5. Curriculum

While the IBDP curriculum is all-encompassing and students opt for six different subjects along their journey. They also choose their core interests, submit an extended essay, study TOK, & participating in CAS activities. On the other hand, the A-Levels curriculum is more narrowly focused and only covers three different subject groups. However, the program provides flexibility in choosing subjects wisely. Students who opt to participate in the IB Diploma Program are afforded a more diverse selection of course options, which paves the way for them to investigate a number of distinct areas of interest.

Related: IB VS IGCSE: The Exact Differences Between The Programs

Ignite Training Institute – Best IBDP & A-Levels Tutors In UAE

Ignite Training Institute is recognized as the premier IBDP tutoring institute in Dubai, UAE. The establishment help students by the means of comprehensive training, recurring testing, 1000+ customized resources, & unlimited review & doubt-solving sessions. Our team of expert trainers assists students in utilizing their full potential by acquiring the necessary skills & correct understanding of the concepts. 

As a result of these critically proven exam strategies, we help our students significantly improve their IBDP grade points. With more than 85+ years of collective trainers experience, students are given excellent support for A-Levels.

Related: How To Find The Best Coaching Institute In Dubai?


1. Does The IBDP Offer A Wider Variety Of Academic Choices Than A-Levels?

The A-Levels curriculum only covers three of the topic groups, whereas the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) offers a more complete education that spans over six subject groups. Students who want to pursue the IBDP have access to a more diverse selection of academic tracks from which to choose.

2. Is There A Difference In The Level Of Difficulty Between The Grading Systems Used For The IBDP & The A-Levels? 

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) has a numerical grading system that goes from 1-7, with 7 representing the highest possible mark. On the other hand, the A-Levels use a letter-grading system that spans all the way from A*, the highest grade, to E. As a result of the fact that each grading system is intended to differentiate between the accomplishments of individual students, it is challenging to determine which one is the most challenging.

3, The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program: Is It Recognized by Universities Around the World?

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is acknowledged and recognized by universities globally. In point of fact, a number of educational institutions provide students who successfully complete the programme with additional points or bonuses.


a levels vs ibdp

To conclude, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) and the Advanced Levels (A-Levels) are two of the most popular academic programmes offered internationally. Both of these programmes provide students with a complete education in a wide range of subject areas. 

As the IB Diploma Program is acknowledged on a global scale and is recognized by educational institutions all around the world. The A-Levels are recognized by colleges all around the world, however, this recognition is not as widespread as it is for the IBDP.

Ignite Training Institute offers individualized tutoring services to students so that they may perform to their full potential in the IBDP programme. In the end, the needs and ambitions of the individual student should serve as the primary basis for making the decision over which programme to enroll in.