Pupils who pass their PLE can progress to secondary school. This has two stages; the first four years, senior one (S1) to senior four (S4), constitute the O-level period or lower secondary. At the end of S4, students sit the second major national exams known as the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) or simply O-level examinations.
Students who pass their O-level exams may progress to A-levels or the Higher School Certificate (HSC). This lasts two years, S5 and S6, after which students sit for the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) examinations. Obtaining an A Level Certificate is equivalent to a High School Diploma. Students can use this certification to join tertiary institutions like universities, colleges and vocational skills. They can also apply for low-skilled in construction, tourism, office administration, among other sectors.