During my job hunt I noticed one or two companies asking for A-levels results. For those unfamiliar with the term, I understand it stands for Advanced Levels and it's the UK equivalent of two High-school senior years in America (but I might be wrong). In any case it has nothing to do with University transcripts, and the position which requires them is usually entry / graduate level.

  • Why do A-levels matter? Isn't that too far in the past by now?

I'm a foreign student nearing graduation but I've left nationality out of my CV as I thought it irrelevant. I don't intend to include it unless explicitly required, or perhaps "give it away" by listing my mother tongue in a language proficiency section.

  • Does it make any difference that you don't provide the results without giving context (disclosing nationality)?

To address the points raised in answers so far:

My home country doesn't have the equivalent of A-levels. You do a national exam, submit a list of your preferred colleges, and they get to pick which students join them. Unless you want to continue at a private school, or study abroad (as I did).

So there's nothing to include really. Even if I were to include high school maths grades, for example, these grades reflect the institution which awarded them and my attitude towards it at the time. Not very indicative of my numeracy.

I'm an EU citizen and have no visa restrictions. Of course I'm not trying to conceal my ethnicity (my accent would give it away during the interview anyway) but I really don't see the point in including it in the CV.

  • 4
    A-levels are typically taken in 3-4 subjects that tend to align with your future career (or at least the degree that you take). They can provide some information about your strengths that your degree doesn't necessarily cover. Eg. I have a degree in Computer Science, but I got an A in A-Level Maths sort of reinforces your maths skills. Mar 10, 2014 at 14:04
  • Do you have an IB which is increasingly used as an alternate to A levels Mar 10, 2014 at 20:41
  • 2
    A-levels are the first academic grades where the students are there voluntarily, as opposed to being certificates for education mandated by the state (GCSEs). This is likely significant.
    – Kaz Dragon
    Mar 11, 2014 at 13:41
  • Surely you must have shown something to the UK university to get them to take you. Mar 1, 2016 at 23:05
  • I suggest including in your CV the last form of education you finished, as well as on-going education. For you, currently, the last completed education is your high school. Doing so has the advantage, in your case, of explaining the lack of A levels. Mar 1, 2016 at 23:40

4 Answers 4


A-levels, or any other standard tests expected for a student in the job region, are just one more piece of information that helps recruiters and companies get an idea of the skill levels of entry level employees, since they don't have a work history to demonstrate.

It should be OK to not have these results or other things requested by the company, if there is a legitimate reason. But since they are asking for the information, you need to give them some explanation. The level of detail is up to you and may be based on the specifics of the desired information, but you do yourself no favors leaving something like this blank. Be prepared for them to assume the worst. If you say "I didn't take them" without further information, they could assume that you were not capable enough to pass instead of you being from another country.

  • But not really appropriate for graduates which the OP is May 14, 2018 at 11:12
  • @Neuromancer, appropriate or not, if the employer asks for information, you should provide it or an explanation why it doesn't exist or isn't relevant.
    – cdkMoose
    May 14, 2018 at 13:30

I help recruit people out of university - A-Levels are a useful indicator. You may have got a degree in French, but you may have failed Maths A-Level - would we want to hire you for a financial position?

Essentially, we want to see a record of your education. If you don't have A-Levels, but have some foreign equivalent, put those down instead.

Regarding your nationality, you will need to provide proof of your right to work in the UK - so you will need to indicate on your CV or application your class of visa.


I understand it stands for Advanced Levels and it's the UK equivalent of two High-school senior years in America (but I might be wrong).

In england (scotland have a different system) A levels are qualifications traditionally taken after compulsary education but before university*. Usually at the age of 18. They may be taken either within a school that has a "6th form", in a "6th form college" or a "further education collage". Most British students going to university will have taken A levels in 3-4 subjects.

In general in the UK A levels are the last "standardised" tests a student will do. They will of-course do exams at University, but those exams are set by the individual university rather than by an independent exam board.

If they directly ask the question (e.g. on an application form) and you fail to answer it without any context then I would expect them to assume you had poor A level results that you are trying to cover up.

Presumablly you will have had to show some sort of qualifications to gain entry to the University you went to. I would suggest you give details of those qualifications to the employer.

My home country doesn't have the equivalent of A-levels. You do a national exam,

That national exam seems like the closest thing your country has to A levels, does the exam have a name? were you given any form of mark or grade for it?

* Compulsory education has recently been extended to age 18, however A levels are not the only option.


I agree with Terence that A-Levels matter for the reasons given, but support you in that Nationality should not matter unless specifically asked for. You could be a permanent resident and not have VISA worries and even if you do have VISA restrictions, these can be sorted at the Interview stage as appropriate. Mentioning them in your CV could sway your chances of getting your foot in the door for the interview. Putting down your equivalent A-Levels would only indicate that you did that part of your education overseas and not give the impression you are passing through on a working VISA.

  • Even within the UK, A-levels aren't standard. Across Scotland, Highers are the norm, and some progressive secondary schools offer international qualifications like the Baccalaureate anyway. Mar 10, 2014 at 14:58

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