Choosing your A Level subjects is one of the biggest and life changing opportunities for students. This is the make or break part of your life, where making a right decision is very essential. As a student you must be very cautious and careful in this case. Here are some tips and ways that can be of help in making this decision.

What you enjoy is What you choose?

The subjects you study should be enjoyed by you as if you don’t, the situation you get in is very difficult and demoralizing. Besides this a student should be active and ready to learn, that is probably the best way to learn and get a grade. Most students know what the enjoy and how much capable they are. In case if you are unsure about it, there are some ways like

1. Is the content of the Subject interesting 

2. What kind of skills it requires and whether you can develop those skills.

If answer to both these is yes than it might be up to your taste.

Choose subjects according to your future career

Students should have their mind clear about their future career and the subjects they want to choose. The subjects that will fit to your career can be told by your teachers or the university in their own website. The subjects you choose should open opportunities for you. There are some subjects known as ‘facilitating’ subjects.

  • biology
  • chemistry
  • english
  • geography
  • history
  • maths
  • modern and classical languages
  • physics

Those subjects you find really tough should be avoided as this would make your life hell; whereas, those who like to take up challenges, this is a good time to show your selves.

 A-level subjects that are blacklisted.

An A-level subject blacklist does not exist, but certain universities do require particular subjects for particular courses, and applicants applying without these subjects will often not be considered.

Julian Skyrme head of undergraduate recruitment and widening participation at the university of Manchester

It is sensible that studying engineering, no one would accept you if you haven’t studied science subjects and maths.

Certain courses that require specific A-levels

As told you need the right subject (and the right grade) to be selected in a university. We have listed below some examples of these to give you an idea..

  • Pharmacy/dentistry must have: chemistry, plus at least one from biology, maths and physics
  • Engineering must have: Mathematics, plus physics, chemistry, computer or biology.
  • English must have:  English literature and language or English language
  • Geology must have: at least two from maths, physics, geology, chemistry and biology
  • Accounts must have : Accounting plus mathematics.

Some things to keep in mind

A Level are a lot tougher than GCSEs

If you have not studied A-Levels yet, then let us make it clear to you that the GCSE to A Level jump is much tough and that the level of difficulty increases a lot more than it did in your previous grades. You would be taught in a totally different way and a lot more is expected from you. This is mainly due to the short period of time and that students would be going to universities to start a whole new phase of life.

Your current teachers

Your current teachers will know your weaknesses and  intellectual strengths. It is certainly worth asking their opinion on the subjects you are thinking about.

AS and A2 subject specifications/syllabus

The exam board ‘specifications’ (new term for ‘syllabus’) describe the topics. You can find exam board specifications for the AS and A2 parts of each A-level subject online. AQA, CIE,  EDEXCEL and OCR are the ‘big four’ exam boards. Many A-level subjects are offered by all four boards.


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