It’s already that time of year where students are applying for college
and thinking about which subjects they are going to choose. We all know
that what you choose to study at A-Level can have a major impact on your
future, so it’s important to make the right decision. Here at Tutor
Doctor we’ve narrowed it down to the 4 most important things to
consider before making those all-important choices. So whether you’re
decided or haven’t got a clue, we guarantee that these four pointers
will help you make an informed decision.
1. Ability and enjoyment
It’s always important to start with the basics. Begin by mind mapping
out the subjects your good at along with what you like and enjoy. The
more you enjoy your studies the more likely you are going to be motivated
to work hard. Having a natural ability in your chosen subjects can also
increase your chances of success. However always keep in mind that A-Levels
are very different to GCSEs, so make sure you do your research about exactly
what each course offers.
2.Certain University courses will look for specific A-Levels
If you have a rough idea what you’re wanting to study at university
always keep in mind that certain university courses will look for specific A-Levels.
Here are just a few examples:
Pharmacy must have: chemistry, plus at least one from biology, maths and physics
English must have: English literature or English language (Sometimes Both)
Geology must have: at least two from maths, physics, chemistry and biology
Economics will need: maths
This will also be similar for those interested in Art and Design degrees
and it is likely that art subjects will be required. For a full list of
University subjects and typical A-Level requirements
3. Course content, assessment and workload
Before making any final decisions always have a look at the course syllabus-
this will usually outline the content and assessment titles. This will
give you a good indication to whether the two years will cover the areas
that you are most interested in. You might even be surprised at how excited
you can get about specific topics!
Also consider the workload of the course and the main methods of assessment.
For example one subject might include lots of essay writing and reading
whereas you might prefer extended practical projects. Either way it will
give you the chance to weigh up what you’re best at and whether
that style of assessment suits you.
4. A-Levels are tougher than GCSEs
Finally it’s important to remember that A-Levels are a lot trickier
than GCSEs. It’s a fairly big jump up and you will instantly see
that a lot more is expected from you. It’s crucial that you prepare
yourself for this transition by being on top of your studies and not leaving
revision and homework to the last minute.
How can I get advice?
If after reading this you are still confused about which A-Level subjects
you want to take or perhaps you’re not sure if A-Levels are the
right option for you, remember you can always get advice. Speaking to
tutors, teachers, parents, college lecturers and even other family members
is always a great way to talk through your options. Teachers and tutors
will also be helpful if you’re not sure which subjects are your
strongest. If these options don’t suit you, then chatting with a
Careers Advisor can be super helpful as they always have loads of information
to hand. Visit the
National Careers Service for details.
For more information about the structural changes to A-Levels see our previous post