Categories: A/LArtsO/LTechnology

Select A/L Subject Streams After O/Ls: A Complete 2023 Guide

Subject streams:

In Sri Lanka, there are six major subject streams for GCE A/L Examination

  1. Science Stream – If you want to do Medicine, Biology, Biological Sciences or Agriculture
  2. Mathematics Stream – If you want to follow Degree programs in Engineering or Physical Sciences
  3. Commerce Stream – If you want to follow Degree programs in Commerce, Management, HR, Marketing, Finance, Accountancy
  4. Arts stream – If you want to follow Degree Programs in Humanities, Social Science, Languages, Law
  5. Technology Stream – If you want to follow new B Technology Degree programs
  6. Vocational Stream for A/L

How to select a subject stream?

Choosing the best A/Level subject stream depends on your interests, hard-working capacity and career goals. Selecting the ideal A/Level subject stream is an individualized decision based on each student’s passions, work ethic and aspirations. The right stream matches your innate strengths and curiosities to career paths that motivate you to fully apply yourself.

සාමාන්‍ය පෙළට පසු උසස් පෙළ විෂයන් තෝරා ගැනීමට අත්වැලක්. A/L Subjects

The stream you select depends on self-knowledge and matching interests with opportunities only you can decide.

1 – Science Stream

Science stream provides degree courses to become medical professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiographers), scientists, professors, researchers, conservationists and more. Degree fields can include medicine, allied health sciences, microbiology, biochemistry, ecology, zoology, botany, molecular biology, genetics, environmental science, forestry and related intersections.

Students gain advanced knowledge to promote the health of humans, animals, plants and the environment. They conduct laboratory research to better understand diseases, develop medical innovations, enhance agriculture, conserve nature and deploy biology for progressive change.

You can do higher studies to become scientists, professors, or researchers in universities and research institutes. Check university degree courses for the Biological Science stream here.

A/L subject combinations for the Science stream
For this stream, you have to follow biology, chemistry, and physics or agriculture.
This stream is the most popular stream among Sri Lankan students.

2 – Mathematics (Physical Science) Stream –

Many students who want to pursue a career in engineering (civil, mechanical, electrical, computer engineering, etc.) select this stream. Careers are also available in software engineering, data science, mathematical, statistical, and financial analysis. You can do higher studies to become mathematicians, scientists, professors, or researchers in universities and research institutes.

A/L subject combinations for the Physical science stream

For this stream, you have to do combined mathematics, physics, and chemistry. You can also follow ICT instead of chemistry. However, if you wish to follow engineering courses, you need chemistry as a subject.

3 – Commerce stream

You can pursue careers in Business Administration, Accounting, Human Resources, Marketing, and Finance in this field. The Commerce stream is your gateway to a world of business and commerce and beyond.

A/L subject combinations for the Commerce stream

For the commerce stream must choose at least two of the following subjects.
1. Accountancy
2. Business Studies (BS)
3. Economics

The third subject can be selected from one of the subjects as given in our other post.

4 – Arts stream

By studying Arts (humanities and social sciences), students develop valuable skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and empathy.

While some may underestimate this academic stream, careers rooted in the liberal arts are increasingly essential across many industries. Graduates pursue impactful roles in writing, media, law, governance, counselling, human resources, community development, and more.

The arts stream leads to public, private and nonprofit careers that create positive change in our complex world.

Subjects available for A/L Arts Stream

A/L arts stream has about sixty (60)  subjects and these are categorized into  four different subject areas

  1. Social Sciences/ Applied Social studies 
  2. Religious and Civilization
  3. Aesthetics
  4. Languages

As an art student, you can choose subjects from any of the above areas. Another of our posts provides more details on these subject options.

5 – Technology Stream

The Technology Stream has been tailored to cultivate employable technical graduates. While the extent to which this objective is achieved in Sri Lanka may raise questions, it may also unfold a spectrum of opportunities for those who embark on this academic path. From construction to agriculture, computing to healthcare, the technology stream provides the advanced skills to transform processes and products impacting daily life.

We invite students in the technology stream to read our informative post covering university degree courses in engineering and biosystem technology.

Subject List for A/L Technology stream – Combinations

For the Technology stream students should follow three subjects as follows:

  1. Science for Technology
  2. Engineering Technology or Bio-system technology
  3. You can select the third subject from 10 subjects, including English, information technology (ICT), economics, geography, commerce, accounting, and arts.

Please check our post for full details on Technology stream subjects, syllabuses and other downloads.

6 – 13 Years Guaranteed Education Program

The Ministry of Education has introduced a new subject stream to provide 13-year continuous education for all students, disregarding their performances at the GCE O/L exam. It is the new
vocational stream for GCE A/L which has been introduced  to develop the skills and protect the right to education of all children,

This stream consists of two parts.

  1. General Subjects and
  2. Applied Subjects.

Check details of 13 Years Guaranteed Education Program.

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