Our student blogger, Caitlin, has good advice for choosing A level subjects

Friday, August 29, 2014 12:00 AM

Our student blogger, Caitlin, shares some helpful advice for those choosing A level subjects.

Beyond the results…

To all you folk out there who have recently collected GCSE results, I hope you all got the results you hoped for. For those of who didn’t do as well as you would have liked, it really isn’t the end of the world, it just seems like it. Yes, I know your friends and family will have already told you that, but it is true. One thing you need to consider carefully is whether re-sitting parts or all of the GCSE would be a sensible choice. If you are planning to go onto the sixth form this year then consider that if you re-sit multiple GCSE modules then this may have an impact on your ability to engage with your AS studies.

Be honest! For many people, A-Levels can feel like a huge step up from GCSEs. This is not to say if you haven’t done well in a subject at GCSE you won’t be able to turn it around, but think about your strengths and weaknesses.

Be focussed, don’t drift!  Many AS subjects, for example Art, involve mountains of coursework, while others like Maths, are heavily exam-based. Find out what type and how much work will be involved.

Do the research! If you are thinking about a certain long term career path, do some research to see whether particular GCSE subjects and grades are required. If so, then a re-sit may be the only choice.

Now for the thorny issue of what to subjects to choose at AS level...

For some of you it will be a no-brainer. You already know, and stopped reading before you even reached this line. For those of you who are less sure, here are some things to consider.

If you have set your heart on a particular degree, you should look at the university’s entry requirements. Some university courses will require not just specific grades, but particular subjects to be studied in order to be considered.

If nothing else, pick subjects you truly enjoy! Don’t let yourself be pressured into taking an A-Level that you’re really not sure about. Remember, you’re the one that will have to study it for the next two years.

If you don’t have a degree or career in mind yet, it’s a good idea to keep your options open. At bestcourse4me.com, you can compare the most popular degrees that specific A-Levels lead to. Taking a range of subjects that you find interesting and are good at will allow you some freedom later when choosing a career path.

Remember that sixth forms often offer A-Levels that might have been unavailable to you at GCSE, such as Psychology, Politics, or extra languages. If you didn’t like many of your GCSE subjects, this can be a great opportunity to try something new. But be sure to have a look at each subject’s syllabus, just to make sure. Many sixth forms offer a flexible approach during the first couple of weeks. This allows you to get a ‘taster’ for a subject to see if you would like to study it further. My sister did this with A-Level Art. She lasted two weeks, and then switched to Business Studies and was much happier. Find out if your school can provide this kind of experience. 

comments powered by Disqus