A Level A qualification offered by (pre-university) educational institutions in the UK (except Scotland, where they are called Highers). A-levels (usually a set of three, often closely-related subjects—e.g., Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry) are studied over a two-year period. The first year is called AS (Advanced Subsidiary), a period in which students often take four, then drop to three for the second year, A2. A levels constitute the standard entry qualification for academic courses in English, Welsh and Northern Irish universities. A levels help students prepare for material to study at university.