International A Levels

International A Levels entitle one to study at universities and institutions of higher learning all over the world. Examinations are held by Cambridge Assessment International Examinations and Pearson Edexcel at over 10,000 schools in 166 countries, making IALs the most common university entrance qualification in the world.

Thanks to the largely free choice of subjects, the International A Levels enable tailor-made training specific to your individual strengths. With the exception of foreign languages, all lessons are held exclusively in English.


Recognition of your International A Levels requires you to take exams at two levels: at least three subjects need to be completed with an IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education), three or more further subjects are studied in depth and completed with an International A Level certificate. Those subjects you wish to complete at a specific level are determined at the beginning of the programme, although changes may be possible at a later stage.

The IGCSE corresponds to a High School Diploma and immediately entitles one to commence academic study in some countries. In Switzerland it corresponds to the qualification gained at a specialised or business Secondary School (Fachmittelschule/Wirtschaftsmittelschule – FMS/WMS), which is required for studying at a College of Higher Vocational Education and Training (Höhere Fachschule – HF).

International A Levels (IAL) cover some topics of the first year of university, which is why it may be possible to skip the first year of study at certain institutions of higher learning abroad.

Recognition of International A Levels

International A Levels are internationally renowned as an excellent preparation for academic studies. They are considered the gold standard for entry to many universities. The certificates are accepted by over 500 universities in the USA, in particular the Ivy League universities Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale, as well as the prestigious British universities Oxford and Cambridge, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and Lausanne and the University of St. Gallen.

In Switzerland, admission is regulated by Swissuniversities. Three International A Levels with grades BBC or higher and three IGCSEs with 5/9 are required for admission to a Swiss university or a university of applied sciences. One of the A-Level subjects must be mathematics or a science subject. Another should be German or French. Otherwise a language certificate at level C1 or higher must be presented to the respective university. This can also be prepared and completed at our school.

Admission criteria can vary depending on the university and course of study and may be adapted by the institutions of higher learning. Current admission criteria of universities worldwide can be found on the website of Cambridge International. We are happy to advise you regarding the selection of your subject combination with a view to your desired course of study.

IGCSE and IAL, Matura or IB?

The IGCSEs are an internationally recognised international secondary school leaving qualification and equivalent to a US High School Diploma. With IGCSEs students already have internationally recognised academic currency after year 10. The level of academic rigour at A levels is so highly regarded that in some US universities students with good grades can directly enter the 2nd year of study.

We have opted for IGCSEs and A levels because of the flexibility and choice this curriculum provides. In years 11 and 12 our students can study 3 to 4 subjects they are passionate about and interested in. This means breadth and range in a student’s program is much more flexible and can be adjusted and adapted according to the individual student. For example, while some students will want to supplement an A level STEM focus (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) with a language or an elective such as Art; other students will benefit from the opportunity to focus on their three sciences having already completed a broad academic programme with their IGCSEs.

IGCSE and A Level grade system

IGCSEs are graded from 1 to 9: 1 being the lowest grade and 9 the highest. 5 corresponds to a strong pass.

IALs are graded from A* to F. A* is the best grade. An exam is passed with a C or higher.