General administration

You can find information about all aspects of administration, as well as all the forms you need, at

Entries and codes

Students only need to make one entry for each qualification – this will cover all the question papers and certification.

Every specification is given a national discount (classification) code by the Department for Education (DfE), which indicates its subject area.

If a student takes two specifications with the same discount code, Further and Higher Education providers are likely to take the view that they have only achieved one of the two qualifications. Please check this before your students start their course.

Qualification title AQA entry code DfE discount code
AQA Advanced Subsidiary GCE in Business2 7131 3210 (post-16), AA3 (KS4)
AQA Advanced Level GCE in Business2 7132 3210

These specifications comply with Ofqual’s:

  • General conditions of recognition that apply to all regulated qualifications
  • GCE qualification level conditions that apply to all GCEs
  • GCE subject level conditions that apply to all GCEs in this subject
  • all relevant regulatory documents.

Ofqual has accredited these specifications. The qualification accreditation number (QAN) for the AS is 601/4337/X . The QAN for the A-level is 601/4336/8 .

Overlaps with other qualifications

There is overlapping content in the AS and A-level Business specifications. This helps you teach the AS and A-level together.

Awarding grades and reporting results

The AS qualification will be graded on a five-point scale: A, B, C, D and E.

The A-level qualification will be graded on a six-point scale: A*, A, B, C, D and E.

Students who fail to reach the minimum standard for grade E will be recorded as U (unclassified) and will not receive a qualification certificate.

Re-sits and shelf life

Students can re-sit these qualifications as many times as they wish, within the shelf life of the qualifications.

Previous learning and prerequisites

There are no previous learning requirements. Any requirements for entry to a course based on these specifications are at the discretion of schools and colleges.

Access to assessment: diversity and inclusion

General qualifications are designed to prepare students for a wide range of occupations and further study. Therefore our qualifications must assess a wide range of competences.

The subject criteria have been assessed to see if any of the skills or knowledge required present any possible difficulty to any students, whatever their ethnic background, religion, sex, age, disability or sexuality. If any difficulties were encountered, the criteria were reviewed again to make sure that tests of specific competences were only included if they were important to the subject.

As members of the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) we participate in the production of the JCQ document Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments: General and Vocational qualifications. We follow these guidelines when assessing the needs of individual students who may require an access arrangement or reasonable adjustment. This document is published on the JCQ website at

Students with disabilities and special needs

We can make arrangements for disabled students and students with special needs to help them access the assessments, as long as the competences being tested are not changed. Access arrangements must be agreed before the assessment. For example, a Braille paper would be a reasonable adjustment for a Braille reader but not for a student who does not read Braille.

We are required by the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to remove or lessen any disadvantage that affects a disabled student.

If you have students who need access arrangements or reasonable adjustments, you can apply using the Access arrangements online service at

Special consideration

We can give special consideration to students who have been disadvantaged at the time of the assessment through no fault of their own – for example a temporary illness, injury or serious problem such as the death of a relative. We can only do this after the assessment.

Your exams officer should apply online for special consideration at

For more information and advice about access arrangements, reasonable adjustments and special consideration please see or email

Working with AQA for the first time

If your school or college has not previously offered any AQA specification, you need to register as an AQA centre to offer our specifications to your students. Find out how at

If your school or college is new to these specifications, please let us know by completing an Intention to enter form. The easiest way to do this is via e-AQA at

Private candidates

A private candidate is someone who enters for exams through an AQA-approved school or college but is not enrolled as a student there.

If you are a private candidate you may be self-taught, home-schooled or have private tuition, either with a tutor or through a distance-learning organisation. You must be based in the UK.

If you have any queries as a private candidate, you can: