The River Thames outside DLD College London

How do we guide and support our students when making decisions about which A-Level subjects to take

What is the significance of A-Level subjects? 

A-Level courses are advanced level courses in which one has to study 3 or 4       A-Level subjects and secure high grades to enter into a university. Completing A-Level subjects is the most recognized qualification set by all the universities at UK to pursue a degree. Moreover A-Level courses are globally accepted in other countries also to continue higher studies. 

Students study A-Level subjects not only for higher studies but also for doing further research or for training or for enhancing their career.   

Why selecting the right A-Level subjects are important? 

Selecting the right A-Level subjects will decide what degree course one can enrol in the university. Therefore depending upon the chosen  A-Level subjects only, the future career is going to be decided. Selecting A-Level subjects in a  random manner will not satisfy the criteria stated by the universities and therefore the students may face the problem of not able to join a degree of their  own interest. 

During a country wide survey conducted among students applying for university, 28% of students declared that they wish, they could have taken some other A-Level subjects and 41% stated that they should have given more thought to select the right A-Level subjects. Hence to avoid last minute doubts and difficulties one should take more time and thought to pick up the appropriate A-Level subjects 

What are the guidelines to select the A-Level subjects? 

  1. The primary focus should be on theA-Level subjects of your interest and passion. So go by the decision of your heart. Otherwise you may find it difficult to score high grades in the A-Level subjects. You can keep your skill, strength, goals, aspirations and career as your priority. 
  2. Make a detailed study of the entry level requirements and criteria for enrolling for a degree course displayed by various universities. This knowledgewill certainly make you ready to decide what A-Level subjects you should choose. The Universities are grouped into a cluster to know  about the category to which they belong. Apart from the Prestigious Oxford and Cambridge Universities there are other groups like G5, Russel Group, 1994 Group and Million Plus. It is very important to be clear about the degree courses offered and their requirement.  
  3. A-Level subjectscan be studied in 3 different durations such as 2 years extensive course, 18 months intensive course and 1year quick course. Hence decide what is your option earlier. Whatever may be the duration of the           A- Level course, a student is required to complete 360 guided learning hours, where guided hours are the total number of hours the students have their direct study or the number of hours of supervised study. 
  4. If you are not sure about whatA-Level subjectsto choose, select facilitating subjects which gives you more than one choice or option later, to decide your degree. 
  5. You can approach your teachers, who can guide you exactly to selectA-Level subjects because they know very well about your strength and capability. 

Are A-Level subjects harder to learn? 

Yes, A-Level subjects are indeed hard, because you have to specialize the core subjects required to join a degree course. They are advanced level courses which are highly challenging. Moreover, one has to secure high grades to enter into a university. Therefore a student has to be organized, plan the time and schedule to study all the A-Level subjects. A systematic and consistent preparation is needed than studying at the last minute before the exams. 

How many A-Level subjects should be taken for a degree? 

As per the norms of a university, it is enough if the student completes 3 of the appropriate A-Level subjects with high grades. But studying the 4th A-Level subject, is always an advantage, since the students have an open choice to study another degree if they could not get admission for their desired course. Apart from this, studying 4th A-Level subject proves the additional capability of the student and academic calibre.  

Do we need 4 A-Level subjects to pursue medicine? 

Top most universities like Oxford and Cambridge expect the students to qualify in 4 A-Level subjects with high grades to pursue medicine. Maybe 2 A-Level subjects are from pure Science, third from Maths and  fourth one could be Physics, Psychology or any other relevant subject. The student should take time to know what are the A-Level subjects to be avoided to pursue Medicine. 

What grades had to be scored in A-Level subjects to join a university? 

Most prestigious universities expect the students to secure a minimum of A*Grade in 2 of the required A-Level subjects and A Grade in the other 2  A-Level subjects. Anyhow we should remember scoring 3 A* grades and 1 A grade is also enough in some of the universities. The next level universities admit the students if they have scored A* or A grades in 3 of the A-Level subjects and B grade in the 4th A-Level subject. 

Furthermore the students have to achieve a high UCAS score for entering into a university, which is calculated from the grades they have scored in the A-Level subjects they have studied.    

What are the popular A-Level subjects? 

Some of the most popular and wanted A-Level subjects among students are Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, History, Psychology, English Literature and PhysicsMost of the students opt for the above subjects because it is easy to enrol in a degree course in a university if they choose the right combination of the above subjects. 

What are the hardest A-Level subjects? 

The hardest A-Level subjects to study are furnished in order from a survey among the students. They are Modern Foreign LanguagesFurther MathsHistoryPhysicsEnglish LiteratureChemistryMaths and Psychology. Students feel that  it is very hard to get good grades in these subjects. Unless they make a timetable to prepare A-Level subjects periodically, it is very difficult to qualify in these subjects. 

What are the facilitating A-Level subjects? 

Facilitating  A-Level subjects are main subjects which are generally required for entry into a university, irrespective of the degree course the students are applying for. Opting for facilitating subjects is a great advantage because the choice of degree options are open. It is advisable to select any two of these facilitating  A-Level subjects to have a flexibility of courses.
The facilitating A-Level subjects are Biology, Chemistry, English, Geography, History, Mathematics, Modern and Classical Languages and Physics. 

What are the A- Level Subject categories available?  

A Level Subjects should be so selected, such that it provides more flexibility to join courses as per our interest in the university. A Level Subjects can be assorted into different categories based on the facilitating subjects.                          

Facilitating  Sciences :  

Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Human Biology, Maths and Further Maths. 

Facilitating  Humanities: 

English, History, Geography and Languages. 

Non-Facilitating but worthy Subjects: 

Art, Economics, Government & Politics, Music, Philosophy and Psychology. 

Mickey  Mouse  Subjects: 

Media Studies, Film Studies and photography. 

Two Facilitating Sciences, Two Facilitating Humanities 

Choose 2 Sciences and 2 Arts in the  A– Level Subjects 

Two Facilitating Sciences, One Facilitating Humanities, One Odd Subject: 

Select 2 Sciences, one basic Arts and one odd subject in A- Level Subjects. 

Maths, Two Facilitating Humanities, One Odd Subject: 

Pick up Maths, Economics, one Arts and one Subject of Interest in the A- Level Subjects. If the student makes the appropriate combination of the facilitating subjects it is relatively easy for them to opt for their second choice in the event of them not getting their first choice degree course. 

Let us see some of the requirements for important courses.  

What A-Level subjects should be selected for Medicine? 

Students who want to pursue Medicine can choose A-Level subjects, Chemistry and Biology as the first two subjects. The third A-Level subject could be Maths and the fourth A-Level subject could be either Physics or Psychology. They should be careful not to overlap the same content subjects like Maths and Further Maths and also Biology and Human Biology. 

Moreover well renowned and prestigious universities expect the students to score 3 A* Grades in the first three A-Level subjects and one A Grade in the fourth A-Level subject. Hence studying Medicine requires hard work and consistent preparation to achieve higher grades. 

What A-Level subjects should be selected for Engineering? 

Select Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Further Maths or Computer Science in the A- Level Subjects to do Engineering. Apart from this one should score a minimum of 2 A* grades and 2 A grades in the 4 A- Level Subjects to apply for top and renowned universities. 

What are the A- Level Subjects to be chosen for Architecture? 

Students who want to pursue a degree in Architecture should select A-Level Subjects Maths, Physics, Technology and any other Science subject with minimum 2 A* grades. Apart from these subjects3-D imagination and  Creative Thinking is also required from the student to excel in the course. A well prestigious university has stated that the student should furnish a comprehensive portfolio of Creative Work during the interview as an important criteria for getting admission. 

In conclusion, the students should certainly study the criteria and carefully select  the A- Level Subjects to realize their dream.