Subject options for GCE Advanced Level

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select subjects for A LevelHow to select A/L subjects?
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, Mathematics, Commerce, Arts or Technology.

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. However you can select other subject combinations also in Commerce stream.


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.

Read More on How to select Subject combinationsin Commerce stream.

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.

Technology stream

For Technology stream you need to follow three subjects as follows:
1. Science for Technology
2. Engineering Technology or Bio-system technology
3. Select the third subject from 10 subjects including English, Information Technology, Economics, Geography, Commerce, Accounting, and Arts etc.
Read More on Technology Stream subject combinations:

Related Posts

Subject combinations for Arts subjects
2019 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. cham May 11, 2017 at 3:07 pm -  Reply

    Sir , is it better to choose political scienece or economic for my als?I equally like both subjects but they sa political science has a low zscore.which one should I choose?

    • Hiran May 11, 2017 at 7:20 pm -  Reply

      Do not select subjects based on Z score. Select Subjects that u can get higher marks.

  2. Shimar Ahamed May 6, 2017 at 1:40 am -  Reply

    Sir, I got (A) in Maths and (A) in Science. Is it possible to enter Computer Science and Engineering in Engineering faculty in university if I take It instead of Chemistry in Maths Stream?

    • Hiran May 6, 2017 at 10:54 pm -  Reply

      No. You cannot do an Engineering Degree with ICT.

  3. Nafha May 3, 2017 at 12:49 pm -  Reply

    I got c for science and s for maths.Aint I eligible to do science stream?

  4. Brinda April 29, 2017 at 8:03 pm -  Reply

    Sir…i have decided to do Arts subjects in my A/L.My Subjects will be ICT,ENGLISH,GRC IN ENGLISH MEDIUM. But so have obtained s pass in my mother tongue Tamil..
    Am I eligible to follow A/L? Plz let me know soon

    • Hiran April 30, 2017 at 10:56 pm -  Reply

      What is GRC? Ask yr school on this

  5. Jawidh April 27, 2017 at 2:51 pm -  Reply

    Practising past paper questions since now is the better way to understand?

  6. Jawidh April 26, 2017 at 2:47 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for your reply and,
    Problem is not school.
    Did I want to study and revise Ordinary level Physics and chemistry to Follow Physics and Chemistry in Advanced level?

    • Hiran April 27, 2017 at 7:25 am -  Reply

      You will learn these at AL

  7. Jawidh April 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm -  Reply

    Sir, I have got  (A) in Mathematics and  (S) in science in 2016 O/L examination.I like to study in Maths stream but my problem is Physics and chemistry.Iam totally confused with this because i didnt had any interest in studying science subject at first (foolishness). I thought science is a hardest subject.In the last I started to learn science and interested but i coudnt score marks in the paper because less knowledge in theory.
    Need some ideas with this .
    What stream that I want to choose with Combined maths.
    Because I have less knowledge in science theory.
    Choosing Physics and chemistry will become a problem ?

    • Hiran April 19, 2017 at 7:01 pm -  Reply

      If u got A for maths. I think u will be able time follow physics and chemistry. But ask yr school also.

  8. Ashan Fernando March 30, 2017 at 11:15 am -  Reply

    Dear Sir,
    I have got “A” pass for Mathematics and “S” pass for Science. Can I follow Maths for A/L? Is there any restrictions from Education Department?


  9. Zaid Ahamed March 29, 2017 at 8:35 pm -  Reply

    Sir i got 2B passes for science and mathematics and i got A pass for I.C.T But unfortunately failed mother tongue. I was planning to do physical science for a long time so can i follow sir. And also instead of chemistry i like to follow i.c.t . Is it possible i can do my A/L’s. Your words will lift me to a new level sir.

    • Hiran March 29, 2017 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

      With ict. Physics and maths u can follow ict and some physical science degree programs

  10. Kelvin March 28, 2017 at 10:00 pm -  Reply

    Sir can i do bio with science B pass and math S pass

    • Hiran March 29, 2017 at 7:39 am -  Reply

      Yes. you can do. But check with your school.

  11. s.nidharshika February 21, 2017 at 10:39 am -  Reply

    Sir I thought to do com. maths, physics and ict. So what are the careers i am eligible for?

    • Hiran March 1, 2017 at 8:40 pm -  Reply

      Subject options are for university selection. Not for jobs

  12. Chinti umaya February 11, 2017 at 12:59 pm -  Reply

    I want to be a judge what subject i should ido in a/l please explain about it sirr..

  13. sadun February 9, 2017 at 11:43 am -  Reply

    sir ,iskole yanne nathhuwa private AL exam 1’st try keruwoth eke mata prashnayak veyda .

  14. Bashitha February 2, 2017 at 9:47 pm -  Reply

    Can i be a scientist in nasa by doing biology for A/L

  15. wijesundara January 13, 2017 at 3:59 pm -  Reply

    What are the degrees which I can apply with com.maths physics and ict? Can’t I become an electronic engineer without chemistry even in a private university?

  16. Kaveesha January 11, 2017 at 4:48 pm -  Reply

    I hope to do commerce scheme for A/L.can I became a product development engineer??

  17. ruwini January 6, 2017 at 9:00 am -  Reply

    Sir what’s the subject combination to enter the medical university? Can I do IT instead of physics.
    Sir another thing I want to ask is does doing bio get linked with the jobs in management?

    • Hiran January 7, 2017 at 8:47 am -  Reply

      For medicine you must do Biology Physics and Chemistry

    • Hiran January 7, 2017 at 8:48 am -  Reply

      You can do management after AL with biology stream

  18. Kavindya October 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm -  Reply

    Sir.I am doing art in A/L. I do I.T,French and I hope to change the art to media.because my teacher try to remove me.but my friends saying art is better than media…I just want to say what us the best to make a good path of my future amoyart and media?

  19. sameera October 7, 2016 at 8:43 pm -  Reply

    Sir I was sit a/l exam in bio science on year 2016 . But i cant completly wrote that exam. so can I write the exam by art subjects on next year, and tell me how can apply to it.

    • Hiran October 7, 2016 at 10:57 pm -  Reply

      Yes u can do arts stream.

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