O-Level has been considered as the most formal and worldwide recognized secondary school degree awarded by the Cambridge University U.K and is being controlled directly British Standard GCE (General Certificate of Education. The aim of declaring this education is to provide exposure of international education as well as different cultures of various countries to the students.

Most of the students in Pakistan now like to opt for this degree in their career path as it provides them with more opportunities for advancement, worldwide recognition, and experience. It is a 3 years study program in many countries including Pakistan. But in foreign countries it is carried out in two years. In Pakistan, few initiatives are under progress for carrying O-levels in two years.

O-Levels Is Equivalent to Which Grade/class in Pakistan?

O-Levels is considered as equal to first two years (9th and 10th class) of higher education of BISE. Or we can say that it is equivalent to matriculation in Pakistan. After completing their ordinary level degree students can pursue their path in A-level or any other progressive stage. These British study programs are the great choice for those students who want to go abroad for further higher studies.

Many of the students are interested in O-levels program but they are lacking knowledge about the subjects and courses. By further reading this article, you’ll be able to know each and everything about the O-levels education program.

O levels Subject Details

During this time of 3 years, students have been provided with 3 major groups of elective subjects from which they have to choose any single group for the study. Students must meet the requirements of passing all the major subjects as well as the elective subjects to be qualified for the degree.

Compulsory Subjects

Following are the compulsory subjects that students need to clear:

Elective Subjects

Following are the elective subjects from which students have to choose any one group for further study.

Science Group

Group A: Physics, Chemistry, Biology

Group B: Physics, Chemistry, Computer

Commerce Group

Group A: Principle of Accounting, Economics, Business Studies

Group B: Principle of Accounting, Economics, Computer Studies

Humanities Group

Group A: Sociology, Fine Arts, English Literature, History

Admission Criteria

As O-Level is being designed at the international standards and it allows students from the age of 14 to 16 years to pursue further in this field. As such no specific criteria have been developed to judge the eligibility of the students for it but it depends upon the learning outcomes and aptitudes of the students after the 8th class.


The duration of this degree is of 3 years in most Pakistanis schools but they all are trying to cover it in two years like conducted in foreign schools. The session of the students starts in Oct-Sept. It covers the duration from the 9th class till the 11th. The national citizens of Pakistan during this duration have to clear 8th subjects including Urdu, Islamiat, and Pakistan Study but in case of foreign citizenship, students are exempted from these three subjects.

Fee Structure

All the expenses and fee charges of O-Level students are directly finalized by the British council and the fee structure of the students is renewed each year. According to the renewed fee structure, 2021 following is the detail of the fee per subject:
1.Accounting24, 200
2.Biology28, 200
3.Chemistry28, 200
7.English Language28,200
8.English Literature28,200
9.Further Mathematics28,200
Somehow it is presumed that the difficulty level of O-Level is dependent upon the learning capabilities of the students that how can they manage their time and curriculum. It is also said to be more expensive as well than Matriculation in Pakistan. Other than that of the fee of O-Level subjects, the books of O-Level are also quite expensive in Pakistan. But still, due to its worldwide recognition, it is preferred by the students.

Major Differences Between O-Levels and Matric

Many of the people think that matriculation and o-levels are same but there are also people who consider them different. Let’s see how both the education programs are different from each other.

  • Difference of Affiliations:

We have already discussed that the O-levels is controlled by Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) of UK. And matriculation is affiliated with BISE. So here is a great difference in local and international education system.

  • Difference of Expense:

It is often said that the only difference between o-levels and matric is the expense, as fees for o-levels are much higher than matric fees. know the differences. Yes it is true that the o-levels is costly than matriculation. This is due to the difference of local and international education framework. And the other reason of o-levels being costly is that its examinations by Cambridge are conducted two times in a year.

  • Difference of Curriculum:

As we have seen the subjects and courses of o-levels, that are quite different from the courses of matric. The qualitative curriculum of o-levels is designed in such a way that it broadens the students’ mind and thinking capabilities as it is based on concepts. While the curriculum of matric is based on cramming system following from years.

  • Difference of Grading system:

O-levels follows the 6-points grading system for the examination assessment. While for matric examination percentage or numbers are base for assessment.

Can O-Levels Convert to Matric of Bise?

Yes! You can surely convert your O-levels program to matric as it is equal to two years of matriculation. If any student of O-levels want to take admission in any university of Pakistan instead of going abroad, the student can do this surely by an equivalence method at IBCC (Inter Board Committee Chairmen). The process is simply the conversion of GCE examination results into BISE standard results.

Other Important Things You Should Know About O-Levels

  • It is not mandatory to appear in all the subjects mentioned in study program examination. It depends upon the student’s choice either to appear in all the offered courses or to appear in few. The minimum requirement of examination is 7-9 subjects.
  • The particular courses must have requirement of 150 hours of teaching.
  • The curriculum of o-levels in Pakistan has a proper balance and focus on various subjects with respect to interest and need of students.
  • The Cambridge system has main focus on theoretical learning as well as practical exposure of the knowledge.
  • The assessment of o-levels examination depends on various parts such as theory, practical, oral presentations and viva, in accordance with the given terms and conditions.
  • The assessment system of examination follows the grading system. It is basically a 6 grades system starting from grade A (highest) to grade E (Lowest).
  • The assessment system includes two sessions (May/ June and Oct/Nov) of examination.

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