How to choose A-levels

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Your young person has decided to remain in traditional education until they are 18 and take A-levels  – congratulations, a decision is always a good thing!

Next comes the hard part, unlike GCSEs or Applied General Qualifications, which are broad and keep options open, A-levels start to narrow things down a little. This is positive, but it needs some careful consideration.

A good idea is to look at what they want to do post-18; whether they would like to go to university (and in which case what sector or job post-university), go straight into a job, or look at options like school leaver programmes and advanced apprenticeships.

What they want to do later should help guide their A-level options, and how hard they have to work!

For example, if someone wants to study History at the University of Bristol, they will typically be required to reach AAB in their A-levels, with an A in History. So they’ll have to take History, as well as two other subjects that both feed into the critical and analytical skills they’ll need to study their degree, as well as subjects in they are confident they’ll make the grades.

Or the EY School Leaver Programme, a more hands-on work/study option, they would need to have a predicted 300 (24) UCAS points from three A2 Levels or equivalent.

Encourage young people to talk to teachers or advisors about which A-level options would serve them best to meet the standards they require.

That’s not to say that A-levels are the be all and end all, with so many courses and options open to young adults, education and career path changes are never impossible.

Read more:

How to choose GCSE options 

What is the International Baccalaureate?