10 top tips on choosing the best A-level subjects for you
One of the most difficult decisions students have to make to achieve their place at a top university is which subjects they should study at A-level.
Every student is an individual. Whilst there is no single recipe for success, it's sensible to choose subjects that demonstrate your ability and develop both your subject knowledge and transferable skills.
Kings personal tutors and UCAS advisors are highly experienced in putting together tailored study plans that ensure a genuinely satisfying academic journey and successful outcomes.
Here are ten top tips when it comes to making your final subject choices.
1. Do your research
Research which course best matches your interests and the subjects the universities require. If, like many students, you are not certain of your plans for degree, think about which subjects you don't wish to pursue and check which doors that would close.
2. Don't limit your options
The prestigious Russell Group of universities published a guide called Informed Choices which explains in detail what they are looking for. We suggest you choose at least two 'facilitating subjects', with the third choice being more flexible.
3. Breadth of subjects is good
It can often be beneficial to avoid significant overlap — for example, taking Economics alongside Business Studies — unless of course you have a specific interest in that area.
4. Follow your interests
Students tend to be better at the subjects they enjoy and this should lead to a more fulfilling future career, but remember that two years is a long time and you might change your mind.
5. Play to your strengths
If you enjoy essay writing and research, then essay-based subjects demonstrate your communication and analytical skills and critical thinking. Science subjects demonstrate logical thinking and reasoning as well as building familiarity with scientific principles.
6. Consider studying a new subject
A-levels open up new subject possibilities, you may find a new area of study you find intellectually stimulating and enjoyable.
7. Know what the A-level course entails
Find out what exactly what you will be studying over the next two years and how the course is structured. Kings will provide advice and guidance but are also flexible, it's possible to change your mind if you start a subject and find it really isn’t the right fit for you.
8. Maths can be a winning choice
Universities value Maths and it is a pre-requisite subject for many degrees. Mathematical and statistical problem solving, data analysis and interpretation skills are used in a broad range of subject areas. If you are capable of achieving good grades it is well-worth considering.
9. Bear in mind that A-levels are more difficult than GCSEs
This may seem obvious but prepared for a big jump in the level of difficulty and possibly the effort required.
10. Get advice from the experts
Every potential A-level student should receive tailored advice from their current school, but we are always happy to discuss your subject choices. Our team are experts at helping students achieve their full potential and win their place at a leading university. Our students' results and destinations illustrate our students' success.