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Choosing the Right A Levels

No idea what you want to do at university or for your career? Don’t worry, it just means you need to keep your options open when it comes to your A Level choices.

ALevelChoiceChoose subjects you will enjoy

Being good at a subject doesn't necessarily mean you'll enjoy studying it. If you enjoy your subjects, you will look forward to the lessons, which will make you feel less stressed and more confident.

You should consider two things when deciding whether you'll enjoy a subject: 

  • The content of the subject - you should have a real interest in the content and things you will learn about.
  • The skills required - you should be confident that you have or can develop the skills that the subject requires.

Each subject involves a different mixture of activities. One subject might require a lot of learning detail, another might require a lot of independent reading, some subjects involve a lot of essay writing, others a lot of creativity. Each of these activities requires skills you may or may not enjoy. The way a subject is assessed might also be important to you, particularly if assessment involves a lot of project work.

Choose subjects which will fit in with your career plans

  • Some university courses require you to study specific subjects.
  • Don't feel like you have to nail down your career choice before choosing your A Levels.
  • Keep your options open, but be sure to check that your A Level choices don't rule out any degrees you might be interested in.
  • Get careers advice - our Careers Advisors should be able to talk you through the options and provide you with advice and guidance.

AdviceTake time to find out all you need to know

  • Think carefully about your interests and skills and about possible
    directions after A Levels.
  • Research the subjects on offer - collect and read Prospectuses, visit Open Events and get advice.
  • Take time to think about your options and talk to others, this will give you time to change your mind if necessary
  • Remember, this is your choice - other people might have good advice and opinions, but remember you are the person who will be doing the work, and this is your future!
  • Take advice seriously, but don’t just take a subject because someone told you to or because that’s what your friends are doing.

In general, you should consider the following:

  • Breadth of subjects is valued by universities, so subjects with significantly overlapping curriculums should be avoided where possible e.g. Economics and Business Studies.
  • If you're looking to do a particular job that requires specific subject knowledge, you need to choose those subjects at A Level.
  • Subjects such as Psychology offer a broad range of skills that compliment a number of other A Levels and will provide you with a good foundation for your future plans.
  • It's worth considering a language A Level even if you don't intend to study it at university as there's a broad recognition that any language at A Level requires commitment and discipline.
  • Ensure there is some coherence that runs through your subjects, that you can connect your choices and make an argument for why you picked them.
  • Essay-based subjects such as English Literature or History demonstrate analytical skills and critical thinking.
  • Science subjects such as Physics demonstrate logic and familiarity with scientific principles.
  • Practical subjects such as Art or Media Studies demonstrate self-discipline and creative thinking.

We can help make your decision easier!

Make an appointment with one of our Careers Advisors for more information and advice

Tel: 0800 612 6008 or click here to ask us a question.

Come along to one of our Open Events at the College and speak to our A Level tutors

Click here for our Open Event dates and to pre-register.

Good luck!


01252 71 69 88

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