GCSE results 2016: almost 30% of students want better advice on which A-levels to take

Over half also pick their A-levels without thinking about what degree they’ll go on to do, and only 30% feel suitably informed of how A-level options impact on the next step, a survey has revealed.

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Almost 30% of university applicants say that their advice on which A-levels to take was inadequate, a new study has revealed in time for GCSE results day 2016.

The Which? University survey also reveals that out of 1,000 respondents, over half (52%) picked their choices without thinking about which degree they wanted to study, and 18% said that different A-level subjects might have equipped them better for their chosen degree course.

Around five million students across the country are entered for GCSEs each year, and around 300,000 go on to take A-levels. Yet only 30% of these felt suitably informed of how their A-level options would impact their choices of university and degree.

Alex Neill, of Which? University, said: “The A-level subjects you take can have a big impact on what you can go on to study at university, so make sure you do your homework and choose wisely.”

With results day being an emotional and stressful day, Alex emphasised that it is important for school leavers to ask for help: “If you’ve just received your GCSE results, and are now choosing your A-level subjects, it’s important to know your options and get some advice. Our A-level explorer tool can help you to consider the best subjects to take.”

In response to the survey’s findings, Which? University has come up with five top tips that school leavers should bear in mind when deciding which A-levels to take:

Certain university courses will look for specific GCSEs and A-levels. To apply for some university courses, you’ll need specific GCSE and A-level subjects at specific grades. If you know what you want to study at university, you should check out the full entry requirement details.

Taking certain A-levels will open up more university course options. If you haven’t decided what you want to study at university, don’t panic – you won’t be the only one. Which? University has listed the most commonly asked-for subjects in university entry requirements on their site.

Some courses and universities have lists of subjects they don’t accept. Be aware that some courses will view certain A-levels as more beneficial than others. Some universities actually list which A-level subjects they prefer, whilst others actually have ‘non-preferred’ subject lists.

Many universities and courses will consider you whatever you choose. Don’t forget – many courses will consider a wide range of A-level and other qualification choices and do not normally have essential subject requirements! Try not to get too bogged down in essential A-levels you have to take.

It’s not all about A-levels: BTECs and vocational qualifications are a valid route to university, too, and more students are taking this route now, so it’s worth looking into all of your options.

Which? University has created a free tool to help you choose the right A-level subjects that will help you get to where you want to be. It’s simple: input your A-level choices into the tool to see a range of degree course matches based on what students with similar combinations went on to do – from the most popular to unexpected. To use the tool, visit: www.which.co.uk/alevelchooser.

 

“The A-level subjects you take can have a big impact on what you can go on to study at university, so make sure you do your homework and choose wisely.”

With results day being an emotional and stressful day, Alex emphasised that it is important for school leavers to ask for help: “If you’ve just received your GCSE results, and are now choosing your A-level subjects, it’s important to know your options and get some advice. Our A-level explorer tool can help you to consider the best subjects to take.”

 

In response to the survey’s findings, Which? University has come up with five top tips that school leavers should bear in mind when deciding which A-levels to take:

 

Certain university courses will look for specific GCSEs and A-levels. To apply for some university courses, you’ll need specific GCSE and A-level subjects at specific grades. If you know what you want to study at university, you should check out the full entry requirement details.

 

Taking certain A-levels will open up more university course options. If you haven’t decided what you want to study at university, don’t panic – you won’t be the only one. Which? University has listed the most commonly asked-for subjects in university entry requirements on their site.

 

Some courses and universities have lists of subjects they don’t accept. Be aware that some courses will view certain A-levels as more beneficial than others. Some universities actually list which A-level subjects they prefer, whilst others actually have ‘non-preferred’ subject lists.

 

Many universities and courses will consider you whatever you choose. Don’t forget – many courses will consider a wide range of A-level and other qualification choices and do not normally have essential subject requirements! Try not to get too bogged down in essential A-levels you have to take.

 

It’s not all about A-levels: BTECs and vocational qualifications are a valid route to university, too, and more students are taking this route now, so it’s worth looking into all of your options.

 

Which? University has created a free tool to help you choose the right A-level subjects that will help you get to where you want to be. It’s simple: input your A-level choices into the tool to see a range of degree course matches based on what students with similar combinations went on to do – from the most popular to unexpected. To use the tool, visit: www.which.co.uk/alevelchooser.

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