We’ve put together this simple checklist to help you make your mind up on your A-level choice.
1. Do your homework
If you’re having some doubts about your A-Level choices your first port of call should be to read around the subject. Looking to do English Literature but never read a book all the way through before? Now’s the time to get to the library! The same principle goes for STEM subjects too, you don’t need to try and teach yourself the entire syllabus but try reading around the topics a bit and check that you’re interested in the subject itself.
2. Check the course specifications
Make sure that your interests are catered for, and if they’re not, consider a different subject. You may be particularly interested in the philosophy of religion (for instance) but you find out your sixth form’s philosophy course is all about politics and ethics; then it would be worth looking into what the religious studies course could offer you instead. If you can’t find out the exact modules you’ll be studying then check out which exam board your college uses- it’ll give you a good idea of what kind of topics your subjects will go into.
3. Think about your university choice now
It may feel a bit premature to be thinking about uni when you’ve only just finished your GCSEs but it’s really worth taking a minute to think about what course you might want to do. Or if you even want to go onto further education at all. If you’ve always dreamed of being a doctor then your A-level choice is crucial for getting into the medical course of your dreams.
|More on University Choices:|
Eveything you need to know about University
Find your perfect University
Which subject should you study at university?
4. Play to your strengths
Are you fantastic at exams or feel more at home with continual assessments and coursework? Check out how your AS and A levels are being assessed to avoid ending up having to deal with a tonne of extra stress that could have been avoided. You should also consider that this is the next two years of your life that you’ve committed to, so you need to go with subjects that you’re going to feel comfortable with. For instance: if you hate writing essays then it might be worth re-thinking your choice of AS History.
5. Consider your future career
Ok, so this is scary- I grant you- but it’s also really important to think about what sort of thing you’d like to do in the future and how you’ve got a golden opportunity now to equip yourself with some great experience for future you. But even if you haven’t got any idea what you’d like to do as a career, you can still make sure you can get the most practical knowledge and transferable skills out of your subjects.
6. Just ask!
Teachers, your older brother, friends, your parents- they’ve all got your best interest at heart and will be able to give you real life advice based on their experiences. You need to be careful though, just because someone else took biology AS, thought it was the most difficult thing that had ever existed and had to give it up, don’t let that put you off it’s not necessarily going to be your experience of that subject. And don’t let anyone persuade you into a particular course either- take advice and feedback on board, but ultimately you need to make the decision yourself.
It’s essential to check what your 6th form or college’s rules are on changing. There may be timetable clashes meaning you won’t be able to transfer to every subject on your list. Remember not to stress too much and think about the things you’re good at and how this will be applied to your subjects. It’s also vital that you inform your college or teacher as soon as possible, so they’re able to get you the help and advice you need.
Are you thinking of making some changes, what do you think is the most important factor deciding your A-levels? Or do you have any other pearls of wisdom to share?
|More on TSR:|
Our dedicated A level discussion forum
Look into A level choices in more depth
GCSE results day hub