Subject options for GCE Advanced Level

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After O/L examination, what are the subject options (choices) do you have for GCE A/L? First you have to decide on the stream you are going to study – Science, Commerce or Arts.

Science stream

Science stream consists of Biological science or Physical Science. In Biological Science stream you have to follow Biology, Chemistry and Physics (or Agriculture). Physical science stream includes Physics, Chemistry and Combined Mathematics.


Biology is the science that deals with living things. It includes zoology (the study of animal life), botany (the study of plant life), microbiology (the study of microorganisms), human biology, cytology (the study of cells), anatomy, physiology, genetics, evolution and diversity.

Pursuing a career in biology can be immensely rewarding and exciting. Popular career option is to become a Doctor. But the knowledge in biology, increases our understanding about the natural world in which we live and helps us address issues of personal well being and worldwide concern, such as environmental depletion, threats to human health, and maintaining viable and abundant food supplies.


Chemistry is the science of matter; the branch of the natural sciences dealing with the composition of substances and their properties and reactions. It is not an isolated discipline, and it merges into physics and biology.

Understanding chemistry helps you to understand the world around you. Everything you can touch or taste or smell is a chemical. When you study chemistry, you come to understand a bit about how things work. If you know some chemistry, you can make educated choices about everyday products that you use.


Physics is the scientific study of matter and energy and how they interact with each other.

This energy can take the form of motion, light, electricity, radiation, gravity. Physics deals with matter on scales ranging from sub-atomic particles (i.e. the particles that make up the atom and the particles that make up those particles) to stars and even entire galaxies.

In a broader sense, physics can be seen as the most fundamental of the natural sciences. Chemistry, for example, can be viewed as a complex application of physics, as it focuses on the interaction of energy and matter in chemical systems. We also know that biology is, at its heart, an application of chemical properties in living things, which means that it is also, ultimately, ruled by the physical laws.

Because physics covers so much area, it is divided into several specific fields of study, such as electronics, quantum physics, astronomy, and biophysics.

Combined Mathematics

Mathematics (maths) a science (or group of related sciences) dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement. The term Combined Mathematics is used to describe Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics.

Today, mathematics is used throughout the world in many fields, including natural science, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences such as economics. Applied mathematics, the application of mathematics to such fields, inspires and makes use of new mathematical discoveries and sometimes leads to the development of entirely new disciplines.

Commerce stream

Popular subjects in commerce stream consist of Economics, Business Studies and Accounting.


Economics is the study of the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services (wealth) in human society. Economics can analyze and predict individual behavior as well as the effects of institutions such as firms and governments, or clubs and religions.


Accounting is the art of recording, summarizing, reporting, and analyzing financial transactions.

Accountants use the work done by bookkeepers to produce and analyze financial reports. Although accounting follows the same principles and rules as bookkeeping, an accountant can design a system that will capture all of the details necessary to satisfy the needs of the business — managerial, financial reporting, projection, analysis, and tax reporting. A good accountant will create a system of financial reporting that gives a complete picture of a business.

Business studies

Business studies is about the world of business and it explores important features such as environments, markets, processes and organizations while examining their inter-relationships. Business is the social science of managing people to organize and maintain collective productivity toward accomplishing particular creative and productive goals, usually to generate profit.

Arts Stream

In Arts stream students follow various subjects: Sinhala, Logic, Political Science, Geography, Buddhist Civilization, English Literature, Japanese, History and Drama. Read more on subject combinations for A/L arts stream.

Updated 2013 April: There is also a new Technological Steam for A/L for 2015 A/L.
Related Posts
Subject combinations for Arts subjects
2013 A/L Tuition classes for students after O/L
Higher education choices after A/L
Higher education opportunities in Biological Science
Courses you can do after Advanced Level
A/L Syllabuses



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  1. Nuvan James May 11, 2016 at 9:55 pm -  Reply

    Sir, is it possible to enter medical faculty after passing science stream A/L exam in 3rd shy?

  2. vihagi May 1, 2016 at 9:00 pm -  Reply

    what about technology stream?? is there any ict courses in colombo campus to do after doing a/l exam by technology stream?? please give me a immediate answer please!!!

    • Hiran May 1, 2016 at 11:08 pm -  Reply

      If you need to do Computer Science @ UCSC Colombo university, do A/L in Maths stream.

  3. Nimna April 27, 2016 at 8:18 pm -  Reply

    Sir ,
    i like study biology in a/l exam.
    but i want study biology,it,agriculture in bio steam.
    how i study in this study.

    • Hiran April 27, 2016 at 9:53 pm -  Reply

      Select Biology, Agriculture and Chemistry

  4. Vino March 27, 2016 at 8:53 pm -  Reply

    Sir ,please tell me what kind of subjects have to select in commerce stream.without accounting, economics,business studies.I know only this subjects. Is there any more?

    • Hiran March 28, 2016 at 12:00 am -  Reply

      You can do business stastistics instead of Business studies.

  5. udani March 25, 2016 at 11:55 am -  Reply

    i would like to go campus as a student in the faculty of humanity.for that,i do languages for my gce a/l exam 2018.i would like to know that which subjects are the best to do in arts can i select my subjects to go to the faculty that i mentioned above.
    looking for an early reply.

  6. udani March 25, 2016 at 11:53 am -  Reply

    i would like to go campus as a student in the faculty of humanity.for that,i do languages for my gce a/l exam 2018.i would like to know that which subjects are the best to do in arts can i select my subjects to go to the faculty that i mentioned below.
    looking for an early reply.

  7. Dulini March 20, 2016 at 10:38 am -  Reply

    i would like to do a/l in commerce stream but i wanna know what are the minimum qualification needed to do a/l??? plz reply meee

  8. naduni perera March 8, 2016 at 9:00 am -  Reply

    I can do the mathematics and commerce.but I know the what is select?

  9. Nile January 19, 2016 at 6:48 pm -  Reply

    Sir, can I do maths, business studies and English literature for my a/L’s and do architecture in university?

  10. Thawshini January 14, 2016 at 4:41 pm -  Reply

    Sir, I hope to continue my studies under science stream along with ict. Can I do ict along with biology and chemistry ignoring physics?

    • Hiran January 14, 2016 at 9:24 pm -  Reply

      with ICT Bio Chemistry you cannot enrol Medicine, Engineering, Physical or Biological Science streams at University.

  11. Aloka D C Coonghe December 6, 2015 at 11:16 am -  Reply

    I need to do G.C.E. Advanced Level in SCIENCE SUBJECTS, when is the closing date of Applications and when is the Exam.


    Aloka Coonghe

  12. fahim August 21, 2015 at 4:34 pm -  Reply

    im following Arts stream for my AL
    i hv selected economics, business studies and IC
    but i wnt to knw wther doing business study wud help me
    looking for a reply

  13. Mayura Ramanayaka August 6, 2015 at 8:46 pm -  Reply

    Sir.. can i do Economics, Business Studies and IT as my subjects? Because i’m not good in Accounting. So can i do IT instead of Accounting? is it must for me to do Accounting ?

  14. Ibnu Zarook July 30, 2015 at 10:44 pm -  Reply

    sir.. my ambiion is to be an air craft engineer. what are the steps i should follow? i am still in o/l but i am sure that i will pass in it.

  15. shaz June 16, 2015 at 10:44 am -  Reply

    Sir,I hope to do a level in art stream. econ, logic & geography. so what are the professional jobs I can do. I’m looking for your reply.

  16. Omar May 19, 2015 at 7:15 pm -  Reply

    Sir..can i do combined maths, chemistry and IT for gce al as my subjects..? Is it a must for me to do physics also?

  17. Anne May 18, 2015 at 7:23 pm -  Reply

    sir i’m going to study Bio science for A/L . Can I leave chemistry and choose a another subject from commerce?

  18. Shehan March 15, 2015 at 6:10 pm -  Reply

    I completed london a/l and london o/l
    Now i want to do local a/l sciencw stream as a private candidate After registering for projects at education department.Sir if i do well in a/l can i enter srilankan medical faculty though i did london o/l?
    and sir is GIT compulsary? PLz reply sir its urgent

  19. sahana anpalagan January 29, 2015 at 9:01 pm -  Reply

    please sent me al arts stream past papers in Tamil

  20. Resha January 28, 2015 at 7:50 pm -  Reply

    i need to be a pilot. can i do languages for that>??
    IF I MUST DO SCIENCE FOR A/L TO BE A PLOT .is it at least 3 S passes for science ??
    um looking for ur reply !

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