How do I Choose the Best a-Level Courses?

Alex Paul
Alex Paul
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

To choose the best advanced level, i.e., A-level, courses in the UK or other countries in which the educational system is based on the UK system, you should first find out exactly which courses your college offers. Once you know the courses that are available to you, think about choosing A-levels to help you to achieve your future goals. This might involve studying a subject further at a university or to go directly into the workplace. The difficulty and how much you enjoy a subject should also be considered, along with whether your General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) results were good enough to take a particular course.

The first step to choosing A-level courses is to check which ones your college or sixth form offer. Dedicated A-level colleges tend to have a wider selection than sixth forms, although all should offer the standard courses in science, mathematics, and a number of others. Courses such as photography and sports management are less common and will not be offered by all institutions.

One of the most important aspects of choosing A-level courses concerns your future goals. If you want to go to a university, the A-level courses you select will determine the degrees that are available to you. Some degree courses, such as any of the sciences, require that you took the subject at A-level. Not every A-level course is recognized by every university, however.

It’s also essential to gauge the difficulty of the subjects that you choose at A level. If you found the GCSE version of the course very challenging, you might struggle with the step up to A-level. If, on the other hand, you enjoy a challenge, you may want to opt for the more difficult subjects. The difficulty of a subject is one of the factors that universities consider when judging whether a person is suitable for a particular course. With that in mind, you shouldn’t just choose the easy options.

Along with choosing a course that you find challenging but not too difficult, you should also select A-level courses that you enjoy. Many students try to pick a mix of subjects, some of which are difficult but will get them into their desired university, and others which will be perhaps a bit more fun. You will probably need to choose four courses; there is nearly always a chance to pick one subject that you really enjoy.

Your GCSE results will play a role in which A-level courses are available to you. Courses such as mathematics and physics require that you achieved a certain CCSE grade. The entry level will vary among educational institutions, so check what your college requires.

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