Students often question whether they made the right choices when choosing which A-Level subjects to pursue after completing their GCSEs. Students should consider how respected the subject is within academia when selecting an A-Level.
It’s time for you to begin thinking about college. It might not be as simple as you think. There are so many AS Levels and A Levels available that it can seem overwhelming, especially if your strengths lie in multiple subjects. A-Levels will also influence the university degree you get.
What are the A-Levels You Can Take?
Students are more likely to choose three A-Levels than five, and most universities will accept this. If you are interested in taking more than three A-Levels, you should talk to your teachers to get their guidance. Five A-Levels is a lot of work, and you don’t want to do too much. It’s all about quality, not quantity.
Remember that exam boards are different. OCR is said to be more difficult for Maths than Edexcel or AQA. You won’t be able to choose which exam board you use, unless you are self-studying the subject at hand. However, it is worth researching which exam board your school uses in order to ensure the type of assessment you receive suits you.
What Are the Most Useful A Levels?
These are the facilitating subjects, in no order of priority:
Modern and Classical Languages
English Literature is not like other logic-based subjects such as Mathematics and any of the sciences. There’s no textbook that will tell you how to pass an exam. Although you can learn to analyse and write essays, the ability to generate ideas and communicate them clearly is unique to each writer. This type of learning is not for everyone, which is why it is often considered one of the most difficult A-Levels.
English Literature has been around since the beginning. English Literature should not be confused with English Language. They cover different aspects of the subject. Both are highly respected by universities all over the country but they are valued for distinct reasons.
You will also need to study text and other writing more closely than at GCSE in order to generate original ideas for essays and other assessments. Examiners will read hundreds of essays on the subject you are writing about, so you must find unique ways to tackle the text to impress them.
A-Level English Literature frequently assesses a student’s ability and willingness to analyze texts, both historical and current. A-Level English Language does the same thing, but English Literature requires a greater knowledge of historical contexts. Context, although still very important, is more prominent in A-Level English Literature than A-Level English Language.
Mathematics is highly valued A-Level subject and can be used to access a variety of university courses. You might also consider taking the additional mathematics A-Level if you are a strong math student to get two prestigious subjects. This will allow you to target top universities like Oxbridge and LSE.
Maths is such a versatile subject that you can’t go wrong when you combine subjects. These are some of our favorite A-level combinations that go well with Maths.
- Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology
- Maths, Physics and Economics. Business Studies.
- Mathematics, Further Maths and Physics, Computing
- Maths, Psychology, English, Economics
You will be focusing on three topics in your second year: pure theory, mechanics and statistics. If you want to pass your final exams, you must be able master each of these areas. If you don’t enjoy Physics, learning mechanics can be hard. However, it can be easy to learn pure mathematical theory if your skills are in applying formulas to real-life situations to understand them.
A-Level Physics teaches fundamental scientific principles, which are essential for further scientific studies at University. It is obvious that A-Level Physics is a requirement for university admissions tutors when assessing candidates who are looking to study Maths.
If you’re interested in understanding the mechanisms behind some of the most amazing things that happen in the world, like how medical imaging works or the study of Cosmology (aka. You’ll be able to experience the exciting future of the Universe in a few years of intense study.
We recommend that you take Physics in addition to Maths and, preferably, Further Maths. Take one of the following subjects in addition to these three.
- Human Biology
You can choose to replace Further Maths with any of the subjects listed above if you don’t wish to take it. This could be a disadvantage if your application is to a competitive university.
Physics is a complex subject that can be taught theoretically. It is often studied alongside logic-focused subjects such as Chemistry and Mathematics. The topics you choose will include Thermodynamics and Nuclear Physics. Many of these topics have parallels to Further Maths A Level. If you struggled with the subject at GCSE you might find it a difficult A-Level subject.
If you love learning biology, it is a good idea to take A-Level Biology at Sixth Form College. Nearly all universities consider the A-Level to be a top-ranking degree. Although the subject contains a lot of mathematics, students love and hate essay-style questions.
You will need to complete at least one additional Science course, if not two, in addition to your Biology A-level. Maths is the last option.
These are our recommendations for you if Biology is something that interests you.
- Physics/Further Mathematics
A-Level Biology is considered to be at least 2 to 3 times harder than GCSE Biology. This doesn’t include the independent work required to pass the course. However, A-Level Biology can be a great subject for your CV if you love the subject and are open to taking on the challenge. It provides foundations in many areas of life that will help you throughout your career.
It is recommended to have at least one additional science or Further Mathematics, as Chemistry and Mathematics are essential for undergraduate Chemistry studies. These are the most well-respected and traditional sciences. However, some universities will accept additional subjects like Psychology, Design and Technology and Computing.
Chemistry is among the “big three” scientific A-Level subjects. It is also the 2nd most common science subject in England. Many universities require at least one science subject. Medical schools may sometimes require both Biology and Chemistry.
You should take Chemistry and Mathematics A-level if you are interested in studying Chemistry at university. Then, we recommend that you choose another science or Further Maths.
These are our recommendations for Chemistry:
- Additional Maths
You’ll be continuing the content framework that you learned at GCSE but in a more detailed manner. You will be covering topics like organic chemistry and periodic table trends. There are many other topics you might be interested in, though this will depend on the exam board. These include enthalpy and ionisation engines as well as electron structure.
A-Level History is well-respected for its extremely difficult exams. It is therefore highly regarded in comparison to other A Levels.
Students pursuing History A-Level need to have a strong memory and a passion for writing. This can be a challenge for students who don’t feel confident. You will need to remember all important dates and facts in order to write an essay.
Geography is a great choice for A-level. Geography is multi-disciplined and offers many complementary options for A-level subjects.
Some universities may not consider the Geography A level as important as the History.
The content you cover is relatively light and easy to understand because of the variety of learning that you enjoy. Many schools send students on field trips to discover different areas and geographic areas. They also hold classroom discussions and debates about complex geospatial problems and how they apply to real life.
These are just a few suggestions:
- Economics, Biology, Geography
- Mathematics, Biology, Geography
- Geography, History, English
A-Levels are a lot harder than Gcses
It will usually come down to one or more of these three scenarios as to why you choose a subject at A-level.
- It’s something you love and are skilled at.
- It is necessary to pursue a specific career.
- It’s a topic you have never studied but that you believe will be of interest to you.