The Student Room Group

Alevel subject options

How do you pick the right subjects for you when you don't know what you want to do for the future?
Original post by hafsaaaaaaaaa
How do you pick the right subjects for you when you don't know what you want to do for the future?


You pick the subjects you enjoyed the most at GCSE or think look the most interesting and you pick a degree/career path later on based on your choices you make now and factors like predicted grades.
(edited 8 months ago)
Original post by hafsaaaaaaaaa
How do you pick the right subjects for you when you don't know what you want to do for the future?

I suggest that people pick general subjects to make themselves to be flexible with the degree options. You should couple that with your interests and what you are good that.

If you do not mind any subject, I would suggest:

1. Pick one or two sciency subject
2. Pick one or two non-sciency subject

Here would be my recommended subject list: Geography, Psychology, History, Philosophy, Sociology, Maths etc.
It is really important imo to think carefully carefully about your options. I know a lot of people who went with the A-Levels which were the ones they enjoyed most at GCSE, and out of those people, some said that they regretted their choice, and some didn't. It depends on the subject.
I don't know what your sixth form/college offers as subjects, but I did history, English literature, and religious studies. I had already settled on history and RS as definite options, but I did initially want to do criminology, which was a new course freshly introduced to our sixth form, and only really changed my mind because my lit teacher in year eleven advised that I take lit for A-Level.
1) RS was fantastic. It was waaaay better at A-Level than GCSE; the focus on religion was more in the background, and there was a greater focus on philosophy and ethics, which linked better to my dream degree of law.
2) History was good, although very hard work. Coursework is definitely an element of consideration, because if you're doing three essay subjects like myself, or science subjects, the workload can be immense. On one hand it prepares you for university which is good, but on the other hand, good time management is imperative and it's a thing that has to be picked up very quickly.
3) Literature was mixed. I didn't really start to enjoy it until year thirteen when the content moved to more modern texts and poetry, as for some reason I never really gelled with Shakespearean texts; I appreciate them, but studying them for so long, especially with the teacher we had back then who tended to be quite verbose, was a lot to process.

TL;DR - it is important to prioritize subjects that are going to help you in the future, even if they don't immediately jump out at you. I would also recommend, depending on how many subjects you're allowed to do, to balance it out; if you do 4 A-Levels, do 2 'practical' (ie subjects relevant to your dream degree or job role) subjects, and 2 'fun' subjects, ie creative or a bit more relaxed. I wished I could have done music, but the course didn't run at our sixth form :frown:
If your college offers taster sessions for A-Levels, TAKE THEM. They are so important and can show you insight into what the A-Level looks like and how it's structured. If you don't know what you want to do, that's totally fine. Attend the tasters, and trust your intuition. The teachers will usually tell you how you can segway from an A-Level subject into a degree, so take their advice, they are experts.

Enjoy your A-Levels; it will be hard work, but you'll learn a lot of lessons along the way. Good luck, and stay safe :smile:

Quick Reply

Latest