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How to choose the right A Levels

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When I was on the home straight in Year 11, with the prospect of the summer looming merely weeks ahead of me, I remember feeling quite clueless on which A Levels to take.

I suppose this article is aimed at those of you who, like I was, are not sure which career path you want to take, especially if they are not all that similar; I was considering either a pharmacist, lawyer or journalist.

Facilitating subjects

This forced me to choose subjects in which would allow me to possibly do any of these three, which meant I had to take “facilitating subjects”, in order to have the best chance of attaining the qualifications required for my future ambitions. I found that a lot of university courses prefer you to have at least one essay subject, as there are usually a lot of essays regardless of the degree, so I chose to take English Literature, which also allowed me to choose a journalism course if I wanted.

Keeping options open

In my opinion, it is important to choose subjects that keep the doors open to what you want to do in the future, but also aren’t too difficult to do well in. For example, as it might appear easier to get a better grade in one subject than Maths for example, then it might be better to do the other subject, as your future aspirations might care more about the actual grade than the subject.

However, I remember having a quick check to see if any A Levels were compulsory to have, or preferential for the certain university courses that I was considering. For example, I needed both Chemistry and Maths for a Chemistry course at the universities I was looking at.

Do what you love

Bearing that in mind, it’s also really important to do what you like, and what you’re good at. I knew that most universities prefer you to take History if you want to go on to do a Law course, but I didn’t enjoy History like I did Maths and Science, and knew I would probably end up doing better in a subject that I liked.

Ultimately, remember not to spend your final couple of childhood years stressing about a subject that you perhaps don’t even enjoy. Do what is manageable to fit your ambitions, but always consider that at the end of the day, you’ll be remembered by you, not your grades.

Do you have any advice for students choosing their A Levels? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: Anne-Lise Heinrichs

Emily ReadHow to choose the right A Levels

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