by Piter Thomas
Are you thinking about what A Levels to take? This can be a difficult decision to make, whether you want to go on to university or straight into full time employment. Typical choices include going for academic subjects in a specific area that you’ve done well in before, as well as taking on more vocational subjects. At the same time, it’s worth considering whether you can get the most out of A Levels by taking subjects at an independent college with specialist subject options and tuition.
Academic A Levels can be focused around subjects that you’ve traditionally done well in, or are expecting to get high marks for in your GCSEs. If you’re better at Humanities than Sciences, then A Levels made up of English, History, and subjects like Politics could be a good idea, while more science-oriented people can go for Maths and Sciences. Whether you go for a heavily academic pathway for your A Levels depends on whether you can maintain the workload, which can be made much easier if you have a natural talent for and interest in subjects.
By comparison, you may want to take a more vocational route for your A Levels, which doesn’t mean that you can’t still introduce academic elements into them. Subjects like Law, Business Studies, and Accountancy can be taken as more specialised A levels, but can still be used as part of a broader set of academic courses, and can either be used to progress to university, or into training courses. New ‘tech levels’ are also expected to be launched in the next few years, which will further bridge the gap between vocational and more traditionally academic courses.
It’s also worth thinking about an AS Level that you want to take over two years, or drop after one – AS Levels will be one year only within the next couple of years, so it’s worth considering whether you want to take a subject that can broaden your choices and employability; this might involve taking a subject like Film Studies or Art that you have a strong interest in, and can still be made an important part of your academic studying.
If you already know what subjects and even university you want to move on to after your A Levels, then it can be a good idea to check their website and departments to see what minimum grades they require, as well as if they specify certain subjects that are needed for the course. Conversely, some universities can provide advice over which subjects might end up damaging your chance of getting a good enough UCAS score.
You can make things easier on yourself when looking for A Levels by considering completing them at a specialist college. Independent schools like Lansdowne College offer a wide range of core and additional subjects, as well as options for one and two year A Levels, resits, and more vocational based courses; Lansdowne also provide classes in music and dramatic art, which can be taken as an alternative to A Levels.
Guest Post by Piter Thomas
Piter Thomas is a freelance writer with interests in education. He recommends exploring the A Level subject options and tuition available at Lansdowne College. Piter can be found online blogging about choosing the right path for academic success..