A Level Tips

As we move into Open Evening season, we thought we’d round up some of our best tips to help you decide which A-Level subjects to choose.

We know that you’ve only just settled back into school and you have the whole academic year ahead of you, but now would be a good time to start to think about life after Year 11.

There are plenty of college options out there, but there are also lots of A-Level options too. Generally speaking, you’ll need to choose three subjects to study for two years. If you already know what you want to study, then great!

But if you’re not sure, how do you make your decision?

You could try…

Plan backwards

Some of the best advice we’ve ever heard is to plan backwards. If you jump ten years into the future, what sort of job would you like to have? What industry would you like to work in? Where is your career taking you?

If you can roughly answer these questions then you’ll be able to look into the types of qualifications and experience you’ll need to get there.

From there, you can roughly work out what subject you’ll need to study at university.

Then working backwards again, you’ll get an idea of the subjects you’ll need to study at A-Level.

For instance:

You want to work as a Graphic Designer…

So you study a BA(Hons) Graphic Design degree at university…

To help you get to university you study A-Level Graphics, Fine Art, and Business.

Play to your strengths

You shouldn’t overlook the subject that you’re good at. It wouldn’t make much sense to study three A-Level subjects that you didn’t really enjoy or had no experience of at GCSE. So if you’re predicted 8s and 9s in English, then perhaps consider taking A-Level English Language & Literature.

The other thing worth mentioning here is that some subjects will have specific entry requirements, so you may need to have studied that subject at GCSE and gained a high grade - this is usually around a grade 6.

Do your uni research

If you’re 99.9% sure you’ll be going to university after college, then try looking at a few universities before you decide on your A-Level choices.

Similar to the backwards planning tip, you might find it useful to look ahead to the universities you’d like to study at. You’ll be able to find out about the courses they offer and discover what entry requirements you’ll need to get in.

Not only that, you’ll be able to check out other important things like what the campus is like, what student life will be like, and what work experiences opportunities there are.

Value added

Asking yourself “what else do I get from this course” is also a good way to settle on your three subjects. The course content will play a big part in you gaining your qualification, but you should also research the other things that will enhance your learning experience.

Are there any field trips that you can go on? Is work experience built into the course? Will you get more than just textbooks and PowerPoints?

Find out if you can take part in work experience placements related to your course or career aspirations. Find out whether there are any subject related trips that you can go on. Perhaps you’d be interested in visiting crown court if you are a Law student, or perhaps you’d like to visit the Houses of Parliament if you’re studying Politics. Either way, see what the course offers you outside the classroom.

Choose facilitating subjects

If you’re the type of person that likes to keep their options open, then choosing facilitating subjects could be a good option. Many of the top universities look for facilitating subjects such as Geography, History, Physics, or French, because they equip you with critical thinking skills, the ability to research data, analyse data, and you are able to demonstrate your ability to learn and retain information.


Hopefully, these five tips will come in handy when the time comes to make your choice, but above all else, remember that A-Levels are a two-year programme, so make sure you choose three subjects that you’re going to enjoy and want to come into college for every day.

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