Updated: Jul 11
School’s out for summer... but that means that big decision-making is on the horizon. Yep, those of you who are celebrating the end of your GCSE exams know exactly what we’re talking about. The horrific GCSE-shaped weight may be off your shoulders, but now it’s time for the main event: A Levels. A.K.A: making choices that will help shape the rest of your life.
Now, before you recoil from your screen in horror, remember a few things. First, everyone is in the same boat; everyone your age who pursues higher education has to make this choice, and is likely as nervous about it as you are! Secondly, A Level choices aren’t irreversible. Depending on how far you are into your studies, you can opt to switch subjects, or retake exams later down the line. Thirdly, you should try to perceive this as a positive, exciting decision; after all, you are now able to hone in on the subjects you actually enjoy!
So, without further ado, here is Titanium Tutors’ expert guide to choosing the right A Levels for you.
Which Are Your Top Subjects?
Our advice takes the form of a series of questions which you should be asking yourself prior to making this potentially life-changing decision. First things first, it’s vital that you consider which subjects you perform the best in. You need to remember that, whilst you may be studying less subjects, A Levels are a sizable step up from GCSEs. So, to put it bluntly, you certainly shouldn’t be choosing subjects which you are already struggling with! A Levels are more intricate and intensive, so you really should be putting your best foot forward.
What’s more, your predicted A Level grades are one of the main criteria for admissions teams, so those all-important university offers will be a direct result of how well you’re performing at the beginning of your A Level journey. Not to mention the fact that your final grades will either provide a closed door or a golden key to the university of your dreams!
Which Subjects Do You Enjoy the Most?
Now, you may be a straight-9 student, or you may have particular niche subjects which you thrive in. Either way, you can narrow down your choices by considering which subjects you enjoy the most. Which subjects are you the most passionate about? Which subjects can you envisage studying for another two years – at a more intensive level? The likelihood is that the more you genuinely enjoy a subject, the more you will contribute to class discussion, do extra research on your coursework – and ultimately, get a higher grade! Also, the last years of school may be all about working hard – but being happy is just as important!
What Do You Want to Study at Uni?
Now, this is the big question. After all, as we mentioned earlier, A Levels are the key to getting into the university of your choice. All university courses require certain specific A Levels, which are naturally relevant to what you’ll be studying at a higher level. Think of it like a ladder; A Levels are the next rung up, followed by uni!
Now, don’t panic; we’re not asking you to make an even bigger choice and put all your eggs in one uni basket. However, before choosing your A Levels, you need to at least have a rough idea of what degree you want to study. If you’re torn between multiple options – that’s fine too!
Remember: you choose four subjects for AS Level, and these four can include a diverse range of subjects which pertain to different courses. For example, if you’re unsure about whether you’d like to study English Literature at university, or perhaps pursue Psychology, you can choose them both for now – making up two of your four AS Levels! Likewise, if you’re sceptical about taking the plunge to study Medicine, whilst you are required to study at least two related subjects, you can make up the others with different passions of yours!
How Do You Envision Your Future Career?
Similarly, whilst this may feel like peering through a window way too far into the future, you need to try your best to think ahead to the ultimate ‘adulting’: your career. Picture yourself in five, ten years in the future – what do you imagine? What kind of industry can you envisage yourself thriving in – and ultimately, being happy in?
Whilst, again, you don’t need to make a concrete decision now, it is helpful to have a rough idea of the types of careers which would best suit you, as your university degree will play a pivotal part in securing your first – and every! – job. However, if you’re still feeling unsure, don’t fret; many students find that university sets them on a much clearer path to career success.
All in all, choosing your A Level subjects should be a team effort between your head and your heart. But, again, while it may be a daunting prospect, try to focus on the positives: you’re taking an exciting leap into your future, honing in on your passions – or, at the very least, the subjects you like the most.
For more top tips and guidance, keep up to date with the Titanium Tutors blog. We’ve got your back!
Blog Post Crafted by Lizzie
Lizzie is one of our experienced English tutors. She is also an actress, singer and composer. After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature and Drama, she went on to teach secondary school English for a year, and has been tutoring alongside her other passions ever since!
Lizzie is SO obsessed with the romantic literary classics that she composed a musical theatre adaptation of ‘Wuthering Heights’!