Post 16 Options: A-Levels

26th August 2022 by CareerWave

Once you decide that A-level study is the right option, you need to choose which subjects you are going to do for 2 years.

This is a complex problem needing a well thought out solution.

You might have strong ideas about your future or you might want to simply play to your strengths.

Either way, here is CareerWave’s best advice about how to get your A-level decisions right;

In a nutshell, what are A Levels?

  • academic subjects – focused on ideas, theory and knowledge.
  • mainly taught in a classroom environment at a Sixth Form
  • assessed by exam.
  • you usually take 3 A-levels  (OR 1 or 2 A-levels alongside 1 or 2 technical Level 3 courses).
  • can lead to University or employment including Apprenticeships (at Advanced, Higher or Degree level).

How to get A-level decisions right

  • choose subjects which interest you.
  • work out if you are good at the subject, or you think it suits your strengths.
  • understand that specific combinations of A-levels are needed for some degrees and subsequent jobs e.g. Medicine
  • understand that there are many degrees and jobs which do not require any specific subjects…
  • …therefore it is ok to mix it up a little. Taking a contrasting subject shows off other talents.
  • be aware of workload and the demands of each subject before making your subject choices.
  • understand that there are many misconceptions about what A-levels are essential for degrees and jobs. Always check out the specific entry requirements for each University and each job opportunity (including Higher and Degree Apprenticeships).
  • understand that some Universities (usually the more traditional ones) might prefer to see one or two ‘core’ subjects at A-level (English, maths, science, humanities, languages)…
  • …therefore think carefully about what subjects might best prepare you for the University you are applying to and the course you want to study.
  • be aware that you might also have opportunities to enhance your independent study skills (e.g. Extended Project Qualification or EPQ) alongside your A-level study.

Further advice (excellent tool that allows you to quickly see the degrees your choices can lead to)

Higher Education course search (and advice)