How to choose your A-level subjects! *Including links to subject guides* Watch

mahnoorraza
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#21
Report 1 year ago
#21
Hi! So I'm currently trying to choose my A Level subjects, and I've narrowed it down to Economics, Psychology and English. However, I can't seem to choose between Global Perspectives - a subject I took and loved in IGCSE and have heard that universities love it too, and Maths - which would be helpful if I choose to pursue an Economics or Psychology degree eventually. What would you suggest?
1
reply
miamow
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#22
Report 1 year ago
#22
Would Biology, Geography and Religious Studies be suitable for a degree in nursing? Thankyou
1
reply
miamow
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#23
Report 1 year ago
#23
Would Biology, Geography and Religious Studies be suitable for a degree in nursing? Thankyou.
0
reply
Barrack.Obama
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#24
Report 1 year ago
#24
(Original post by Hannah47123)
I want to study medicine at uni but I'm worried that I will change my mind later on or won't get the grades, I love it and am very interested in it but I've only really wanted to do it for a few years. My family and teachers want me to do art as I am predicted an A* and have done it since I was very young but I cant imagine enjoying it as a job as GCSE put me of it and I find it more fun as a hobby with no pressure, things also never turn out how I want with it. So basically, Ive applied for Biology, Chemistry, English Lit and possibly psychology. I love science but is it too much to do too A levels of it. So overall Im torn because I wanna do two sciences because I do enjoy it and got a A in my mock but is it worth risking this? I'm thinking of just waiting until my results and they will decided for me as I need to get 6 sixes to get into the school I want and a 7 in combined science but my issue is if I'll be able to change them. I'm a really creative person but its more of a hobby, it's kind of a safe option and I don't really wanna go for it because I don't really enjoy it but I know I can probably get high grades with it and I really wanna get grades like AAA or A*AA in my A levels to get into a good uni so idk tbh. Any advice?
It's really really rare for someone getting B's or 6's at GCSE to get A's at A level without putting in insane amounts of effort.
0
reply
Hannah47123
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#25
Report 1 year ago
#25
(Original post by Barrack.Obama)
It's really really rare for someone getting B's or 6's at GCSE to get A's at A level without putting in insane amounts of effort.
Thanks but thats legit not what I said at all, I said the minimum grades to get into the school I want to go to is 6 B's, I did not mention my predicted grades at all for any other subjects except art. I'm actually hoping to get alot higher than that and am predicted a lot higher but there is always uncertainty in what grades you will get. My GCSEs are also on the new specification so I have no idea of grade boundaries or what I will get. I actually just wanted advice more indepth from someone who possibly who had experience in studying medicine but thanks anyway.
0
reply
Barrack.Obama
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#26
Report 1 year ago
#26
(Original post by Hannah47123)
Thanks but thats legit not what I said at all, I said the minimum grades to get into the school I want to go to is 6 B's, I did not mention my predicted grades at all for any other subjects except art. I'm actually hoping to get alot higher than that and am predicted a lot higher but there is always uncertainty in what grades you will get. My GCSEs are also on the new specification so I have no idea of grade boundaries or what I will get. I actually just wanted advice more indepth from someone who possibly who had experience in studying medicine but thanks anyway.
Totally sorry I've missed read your post. I've applied for Medicine myself so I can answer questions you have. My advice on whether or not you should pick 2 sciences is yes for sure yoy should pick 2. Ideally chemistry with Maths because they will open the most doors for you. If you can include biology too then all medical schools will be open. I would say that medicine is of course a very stable career wheels most artists struggle to get by. I don't know your ability in art but medicine is the safer Bet. Personally I would also say that yoy swap psychology for maths as the UKCAT has a maths based section which is very difficult due to the timing to get above 700
1
reply
Hannah47123
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#27
Report 1 year ago
#27
Thanks that was really helpful, I am considering maths but I think once I get my grades I will know what to do. I am hoping for a 6 or higher in maths but it is not my strong point so I am not sure. Do you mind me asking what you received in your GCSEs and A levels so I can get a better understanding of what I would need to apply to uni to do medicine? Thank you .
0
reply
EurovisjiaOwen
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#28
Report 1 year ago
#28
Does anyone do A-Level Environmental Science/Studies. What is it like, I really want to try the subject but I fear I won't like it...?
1
reply
Forregi88
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#29
Report 1 year ago
#29
Do you recommend taking 4 subjects in AS?
Which are math, physics, chemistry, and ict
Or do you recommend me to drop either chemistry or ICT. If so, which one do you recommend me to drop?
1
reply
savage_queen
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#30
Report 1 year ago
#30
Hey, can you please tag me if you end up making a further maths A-level guide?
0
reply
username3444162
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#31
Report 1 year ago
#31
(Original post by mahnoorraza)
Hi! So I'm currently trying to choose my A Level subjects, and I've narrowed it down to Economics, Psychology and English. However, I can't seem to choose between Global Perspectives - a subject I took and loved in IGCSE and have heard that universities love it too, and Maths - which would be helpful if I choose to pursue an Economics or Psychology degree eventually. What would you suggest?
What grades are you currently getting in Maths?

Do you enjoy it or is it just okay?
1
reply
moumisayed
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#32
Report 1 year ago
#32
(Original post by Quirky Object)
Hi!

I've been seeing a lot of threads lately about A-level options, and as a current Year 12 who was pretty stuck myself this time last year, I thought I'd put together a few tips on how you might like to go about making these all-important choices. Don't hesitate to ask whatever questions you'd like to below, or PM me! I eventually settled on maths, further maths, English literature, French and Latin, in case you have questions about what it's like to study those particular subjects.

1) Choose subjects you love.
You probably hear this a lot from your teachers, but it is without a doubt the most important piece of advice you could receive. If you choose subjects you're not that interested in, having many more hours per week than you're used to of those subjects is going to make your school day pretty tiresome. This is why it's really important to make sure you can see yourself going into much more depth in the subject areas you choose! Even if you're not particularly passionate about anything, if certain topics or skills within a subject interest you or you don't think you'd mind studying that subject for several hours per week, it might be a good idea to choose it.

2) Make sure your subjects complement each other.
That doesn't mean they all have to be sciences or all have to be humanities, but studying subjects which help with each other or which show a varied but complementary set of skills will look good and also make your life easier. For example, if you're interested in politics, choosing multiple essay subjects like history and English will show that you have the skill set you need and give you lots of opportunity to practise those skills, but you might want to show that you're more versatile by picking something like maths alongside your essay subjects. Generally, only one A-level should be contrasting so that you don't lose focus, unless you want to go into quite a diverse field (you could do psychology with biology, chemistry, history and English for instance). Also, since the sciences (inc. maths) are so interlinked, choosing just one science probably isn't the best option.

3) Think about careers and uni.
You certainly don't need to be 100% set on a degree and career at this point, but having an idea of what areas interest you and what skills you might need to pursue degrees or jobs in these areas will help. Many university courses will list recommended A-levels on their requirements pages, so it might be useful to browse through course catalogues on university websites and check which A-levels are required or recommended for any courses which sound attractive. Equally, it's important to bear in mind that most jobs do not require specific degree subjects, let alone specific A-levels, so don't feel obliged to choose A-level economics just because you think you might want to go into finance, for example. The skills you learn from your A-levels are, in many cases, more important than the actual content.

4) Do your research.
This doesn't just have to involve looking up the A-level specifications and content of the subjects you're interested in, although this is a good thing to do. It could mean talking to students who are studying or have studied a subject you're considering, talking to your subject teachers about the course content, even sitting in on lessons and borrowing textbooks if your teachers let you. If you can't decide, narrowing your choices down to a list of possibilities, thinking about which combinations of these possibilities would complement each other and finding out as much about them as you possibly can will certainly help (lists of pros and cons are also extremely useful!).

5) Interested in too much?
So was I! To give you an idea of just how confused I was, my list of possibilities at the start of year 11 was maths, further maths, physics, chemistry, French, German, Latin, English literature and philosophy. I ended up hurriedly changing German to Latin two months after the options deadline and having a huge physics vs. English dilemma for several months - and it all worked out in the end! If you like too many subjects, try to work out what you like about each one and make sure your final choices include all of those aspects so that you don't end up missing a dropped subject too much. Don't be afraid to change your choices later if you have a sudden realisation; usually, schools and colleges will be quite accommodating.

6) If all else fails...
Here are some versatile, well-regarded subjects to mix and match if you really have no idea!
  • Maths - goes with absolutely everything.
  • English literature - a core subject like maths, particularly useful in combination with humanities but also a good contrasting subject for science students.
  • A "traditional" science: biology, chemistry or physics. These should be taken with at least one other science (traditional or otherwise) and/or maths.
  • A foreign language (ancient or modern); these are useful and go with any other subject combination, but they are a lot of work!
  • A "traditional" humanities subject: history or geography. History is a good subject for people taking English, languages or other essay subjects, while geography complements the sciences and economics quite well; both work well as contrasting subjects.


Subject GuidesTo help you make the decision, we've put together a series of threads which answer some of the most common questions you might like to consider before taking the course.

In each thread there is information about the GCSE and A level syllabus (including for core subjects), and if you have any other questions then you can ask on the thread
More guides will be added as they are made
I want to study both Business and computer science as a double major and economics as a minor or Business and Economics as a double major and computer science as a minor at a top tier/elite American university. But I don't know what A levels to Take to keep options open for both choices. I want to take further math and mathematics as they prefer it for economics and computer science. But I don't know what else to take, like for a business and a economics double major, i don't know if i should take both economics and business studies at a levels because most universities don't like it because of overlap and similarity. Like i literally don't know if taking both economics and business or taking which one of them will be the right choice for the double degree and make the chances higher for me to get in. I'm sorry the question is too long/complicated but I need all the help and guidance i can get as I'm very stressed over it. I'll be very happy if somebody clears it for me. Thank youu.
0
reply
PurpleDolphin7
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#33
Report 1 year ago
#33
Hi I've started studying a levels French, Spanish and Art. I like them and did well in them at GCSE, but I'm worried that doing 2 languages will restrict my options, if I later decide I don't want to study languages further.
Q1) Are they a good combination or should I change one of the languages for another subject? Q2) If I was to change one of them I'd prefer to change it for a social science like sociology or psychology. Is this a good idea, or what should I choose instead?
I'm really indecisive so I'd really appreciate any answers.
Thanks in advance.
2
reply
moumisayed
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#34
Report 1 year ago
#34
(Original post by Quirky Object)
Hi!

I've been seeing a lot of threads lately about A-level options, and as a current Year 12 who was pretty stuck myself this time last year, I thought I'd put together a few tips on how you might like to go about making these all-important choices. Don't hesitate to ask whatever questions you'd like to below, or PM me! I eventually settled on maths, further maths, English literature, French and Latin, in case you have questions about what it's like to study those particular subjects.

1) Choose subjects you love.
You probably hear this a lot from your teachers, but it is without a doubt the most important piece of advice you could receive. If you choose subjects you're not that interested in, having many more hours per week than you're used to of those subjects is going to make your school day pretty tiresome. This is why it's really important to make sure you can see yourself going into much more depth in the subject areas you choose! Even if you're not particularly passionate about anything, if certain topics or skills within a subject interest you or you don't think you'd mind studying that subject for several hours per week, it might be a good idea to choose it.

2) Make sure your subjects complement each other.
That doesn't mean they all have to be sciences or all have to be humanities, but studying subjects which help with each other or which show a varied but complementary set of skills will look good and also make your life easier. For example, if you're interested in politics, choosing multiple essay subjects like history and English will show that you have the skill set you need and give you lots of opportunity to practise those skills, but you might want to show that you're more versatile by picking something like maths alongside your essay subjects. Generally, only one A-level should be contrasting so that you don't lose focus, unless you want to go into quite a diverse field (you could do psychology with biology, chemistry, history and English for instance). Also, since the sciences (inc. maths) are so interlinked, choosing just one science probably isn't the best option.

3) Think about careers and uni.
You certainly don't need to be 100% set on a degree and career at this point, but having an idea of what areas interest you and what skills you might need to pursue degrees or jobs in these areas will help. Many university courses will list recommended A-levels on their requirements pages, so it might be useful to browse through course catalogues on university websites and check which A-levels are required or recommended for any courses which sound attractive. Equally, it's important to bear in mind that most jobs do not require specific degree subjects, let alone specific A-levels, so don't feel obliged to choose A-level economics just because you think you might want to go into finance, for example. The skills you learn from your A-levels are, in many cases, more important than the actual content.

4) Do your research.
This doesn't just have to involve looking up the A-level specifications and content of the subjects you're interested in, although this is a good thing to do. It could mean talking to students who are studying or have studied a subject you're considering, talking to your subject teachers about the course content, even sitting in on lessons and borrowing textbooks if your teachers let you. If you can't decide, narrowing your choices down to a list of possibilities, thinking about which combinations of these possibilities would complement each other and finding out as much about them as you possibly can will certainly help (lists of pros and cons are also extremely useful!).

5) Interested in too much?
So was I! To give you an idea of just how confused I was, my list of possibilities at the start of year 11 was maths, further maths, physics, chemistry, French, German, Latin, English literature and philosophy. I ended up hurriedly changing German to Latin two months after the options deadline and having a huge physics vs. English dilemma for several months - and it all worked out in the end! If you like too many subjects, try to work out what you like about each one and make sure your final choices include all of those aspects so that you don't end up missing a dropped subject too much. Don't be afraid to change your choices later if you have a sudden realisation; usually, schools and colleges will be quite accommodating.

6) If all else fails...
Here are some versatile, well-regarded subjects to mix and match if you really have no idea!
[ul]
[li]Maths - goes with absolutely everything.[/li]
[li]English literature - a core subject like maths, particularly useful in combination with humanities but also a good contrasting subject for science students.[/li]
[li]A "traditional" science: biology, chemistry or physics. These should be taken with at least one other science (traditional or otherwise) and/or maths.[/li]
[li]A foreign language (ancient or modern); these are useful and go with any other subject combination, but they are a lot of work![/li]
[li]A "traditional" humanities subject: history or geography. History is a good subject for people taking English, languages or other essay subjects, while geography complements the sciences and economics quite well; both work well as contrasting subjects.[/li]
[/ul]

Subject GuidesTo help you make the decision, we've put together a series of threads which answer some of the most common questions you might like to consider before taking the course.

In each thread there is information about the GCSE and A level syllabus (including for core subjects), and if you have any other questions then you can ask on the thread
More guides will be added as they are made
I want to study both Business and computer science as a double major and economics as a minor or Business and Economics as a double major and computer science as a minor at a top tier/elite American university. But I don't know what A levels to Take to keep options open for both choices. I want to take further math and mathematics as they prefer it for economics and computer science. But I don't know what else to take, like for a business and a economics double major, i don't know if i should take both economics and business studies at a levels because most universities don't like it because of overlap and similarity. Like i literally don't know if taking both economics and business or taking which one of them will be the right choice for the double degree and make the chances higher for me to get in. I'm sorry the question is too long/complicated but I need all the help and guidance i can get as I'm very stressed over it. I'll be very happy if somebody clears it for me. Thank youu.
0
reply
Ciara.Mccarthy
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#35
Report 1 year ago
#35
Hi...I'm in year 1o but am now starting to look at A level options and don't know what to choose out of: Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Further Maths, Philosophy and Physics. I am interested in forensic anthropology as well as philosophy, maths and engineering. I was wondering if anyone has information on these subject choices to help me choose...Jack Sparrow
1
reply
ThePositivePanda
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#36
Report 1 year ago
#36
Hi! Thank you so much. Your threads and posts have been really helpful. I'm thinking of taking Maths, English Literature, History and another subject - either psychology, sociology or economics.

However, I haven't done History at GCSE. I know that this would put me at a disadvantage if I do take it, but would it be better if I picked a different subject?

Also, which one out of psychology, sociology and economics do you think would go better with my choices? Thank you so much!
1
reply
PrincessDiaries
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#37
Report 1 year ago
#37
I want to be a philanthropist but also be a chemist as well in Canada so will economics chemistry physics and math be enough?
1
reply
TheNeonCoffin
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#38
Report 1 year ago
#38
Hi. I'm thinking of choosing Psychology, Biology and maybe Health and Social Care (not really sure on that yet) . I'm thinking of doing something in the future related to psychology. I've heard that A level Biology is a huuuge step from GCSE and that it will be too much of a workload. I'm just generally not sure what to choose apart from Psychology. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
1
reply
abdidahir
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#39
Report 10 months ago
#39
(Original post by Quirky Object)
Hi! It really depends on whether you're looking for something more theoretical or something more practical; econ is more about the theory behind markets, finance etc. while business is more practical and might be better if you're just looking to go into business management or something more hands-on. Econ is generally regarded as more rigorous, so if you want to pursue an academic degree rather than something more vocational, I'd say it's a better choice. It also complements human geography very well in case you were thinking of geography at uni.
if you are looking for both theoretical and practical then physics is a good option
0
reply
Izzy003
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#40
Report 10 months ago
#40
Im torn between doing history or geography. I enjoy both equally.
I want 2 do an economics degree.
Im doing maths and psychology but i cant decide on the 3rd
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • University of East Anglia
    Mini Open Day Undergraduate
    Fri, 22 Nov '19
  • University of Hull
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Sat, 23 Nov '19
  • Edge Hill University
    All Faculties - Undergraduate and Postgraduate Undergraduate
    Sat, 23 Nov '19

Have you made up your mind on your five uni choices? (November update)

Yes I know where I'm applying (223)
70.79%
No I haven't decided yet (58)
18.41%
Yes but I might change my mind (34)
10.79%

Watched Threads

View All