Which A-levels should I pick?

If you want to stay in education after GCSE’s, there are a huge range of A-level or level 3 qualifications for you to consider . But how should you decide which ones to pick? UnCOVered’s here to talk you through the big decision…

#1. If you already know…


If you already know what you want to do after sixth form or college, then you definitely need to keep this in mind when choosing your A-levels. Certain courses or career pathways will require specific A-Level (or equivalent) subjects. In addition, some universities won’t accept certain qualifications; so if you’ve got a good idea of what you want to do after year 13, it’s best to research it in advance.

#2. If you don’t have a clue…


Don’t panic if you really don’t know what you want to do. Try and think about what subjects you’ve enjoyed most at GCSE, or what you enjoy in your spare time. If you’re really into all things technology, then studying ICT or Computer Science might give you a chance to explore that further. If photography is more your thing, then you might want to explore BTEC and A-Level options related to that!

Whilst you want to try and keep your options open, be careful not to pick 4 completely unrelated subjects. For example, doing A-Levels in ICT, Biology, Music and Religious Studies. These subjects combined may not necessarily leave you with the best options later on. Whilst most university courses are more interested in the transferrable skills you’ve picked up during your A-Levels, you won’t necessarily have had chance to refine them fully if you’ve picked 4 completely unrelated subjects. Be warned, it could also suggest that you’re not focused on the subject you want to pursue.

#3. But I hate exams…


Like I said at the start, A-Levels aren’t your only option. BTEC’s and other more vocational qualifications can provide more practical forms of assessment whilst still leading to university. However, you will need to have a reasonably clear idea of which industry you’re interested in, or what you want to go on to study because these courses generally specialise in one particular subject. This doesn’t completely close off other future options, but it will limit what you can go on to study.

#4. Do it for you…

back off

Studying something you enjoy really does make a difference. Don’t limit yourself because of other peoples interpretations of what a ‘real’ subject is. It’s perfectly possible to do something you love and get a good job and/or degree at the end of it. My friends looked down on me for picking a BTEC Media in college, but 4 years on, not only am I in a good job with a good degree, but I still love what I’m doing. If you don’t care about the subjects you’ve chosen, you really won’t get the most out of college or university, so try and put other people’s opinions aside. Remember that it’s you who will have to study the subject for the next few years!

Now you know how to pick your A-Levels (Or similar) in 4 easy steps:

Think about HOW you want to study, WHAT you want to study, your FUTURE career and/or study plans. Finally, whatever you choose, choose it for YOU.



Further Advice:

Speak to your careers advisor at school, visit your local sixth forms and colleges and speak to their subject and course tutors to work out what course type is best for you. Choosing between A-Levels and more vocational or practical qualifications often doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing decision either. Quite often you’re able to combine a BTEC alongside one or two A-Level subjects. It’s all about what works best for you!

Most of all don’t panic, the majority of people didn’t know what they wanted to do at 16 or 17, and I didn’t either. But if you can look ahead, even slightly, to what you might enjoy doing and ensure you study something relevant, it will really help your career prospects in the long term.

and remember….

alevel choice