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



About the author / 


University Senior Lecturer at University of Sri Jayewardenepra, Sri Lanka


  1. hana December 18, 2014 at 3:07 pm - 

    please let me know about technology stream

  2. Nushara December 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm - 

    Pl let me know whether I could do Geography, Political Science and Logic for A/ls

  3. ek.tharshini November 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm - 

    dear sir/maddam,

    please sent A/L bio technology and science for technology cillabs and modal paper,

  4. Manisha November 9, 2014 at 10:35 am - 


    I’d like to know, whether is it possible to do an A/L combination of Biology, Chemistry and taking English language individually as the 3rd subject. And, is it still possible to do GCE A/Ls for a student who has done International Ordinary levels by getting the certificate approved by the department of education?
    Please be kind enough to assist with this matter!

    Thank you!

  5. Hiran October 15, 2014 at 11:00 pm - 

    sahan – You cannot enter Medicine, Engineering, Bio sicnece or physcal science with this combination.

  6. sahan October 14, 2014 at 9:33 pm - 

    Dear sir!
    I’ve choosen biology, physics & ICT combination. Are there any courses that i can follow after my a/l s?
    Please help me..

  7. K.D. August 16, 2014 at 4:07 pm - 

    Sir, what are the least qualifications that is required to be selected to do astro physics or medical physics at the university?

  8. Shalini Rebecca July 20, 2014 at 10:46 am - 

    Sir, can I know whether there is an eglish drama paper for advance level..

  9. Thilan July 17, 2014 at 5:47 pm - 

    Sir, i am studying in math stream. Can I leave chemistry and select ICT?

  10. anjalee July 12, 2014 at 9:34 pm - 

    sir, I am doing arts for my a/ls, due to the time table clashes, can I do two subjects at school and a one subject in private?? also I am going to apply for a/ls from the school can I do that??

  11. anjalee July 12, 2014 at 9:27 pm - 

    sir, I am doing arts for my a/ls ,Due to the time table clashes ,can I study two subjects at school and a one subject in private??

  12. hansi July 7, 2014 at 5:13 pm - 

    how get a/l G.I.T. PAST PAPERS?

  13. Hiran July 6, 2014 at 8:17 pm - 

    yazeen- without Chemistry you cannot enter into a University for Engineering or Physical science.

  14. yazeen July 5, 2014 at 9:15 am - 

    Sir, im studying in math stream. Can I drop chemistry and do ict?

  15. kavindi May 4, 2014 at 11:07 am - 

    Dear sir/madam, can I do german language for A/L , combining with physics & ICT ?

  16. Hiran April 11, 2014 at 6:45 pm - 

    If it is commerce stream you must select Econ.

  17. Dharshana April 10, 2014 at 10:10 pm - 

    Without this commerce stream subjects, what are the other subjects we can choice in a/l commerce stream! Without ecconomics what subject we can choose!!! in Tamil medium! Plz send these details to my mail

  18. sarath bandara January 29, 2014 at 8:01 am - 

    Dear Sir/Maddam,
    Please sent A/L Agriculture cillabus to my mail. it is very urgent for students,
    sarath t

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