A form of torture which is supposedly 'optional' for any uk 16-18 year old. However it is most likely said 16-18 year olds are forced, sorry, 'persuaded' into sitting these exams which they are clearly going to fail. Said failed exams are then followed by hundreds of retake's until finally said teenager can get high enough grades to get into any uni which will take them after which they will be - you guessed it - forced to do more coursework, sit more exams, and so on and so forth through life.
Person 1: What the hell are A levels?
Person 2: You mean you werent forced into them by your parents/teachers/both?
Person 1: Oh no, I'm not 16 yet, but believe me when I am, I will be forced to take them
Person 2: That blows.
Person 1: Yup
(and so the boring conversation continues)