An O-Level student preparing for online classes

Widening reading is a type of personal exploration that you can do to improve your understanding of certain subjects. It can also help you demonstrate your passion for the subjects you’re studying. You can do different kinds of wider reading to make it easier for you to keep motivated. Having a good understanding of your chosen subjects will allow you to start your university career in a stronger position.

Are you struggling to start reading beyond what your teacher has told you? This post will help you understand what wider reading is and how it can help with your A Level and university applications.

What Is Wider Reading?

The concept of wider reading is not limited to just reading. It also covers other activities such as competitions and documentaries. For students who can make time for these activities, there’s no better way to learn about a wide range of concepts and better prepare for further studies than wider reading.

Through wider reading, you can explore topics you’re passionate about. This practice can help you demonstrate your passion for the subject and show off your knowledge in an interview. It can also help you prepare for university.

A study conducted by the Institute of Education revealed that children who regularly read scored higher on their spelling, vocabulary, and math tests. This doesn’t mean that students taking A Levels must integrate wider reading during their revisions; the practice instead helps empower students to gain a better understanding of the course concepts.

Through weekly enrichment seminars, you can improve your knowledge about a particular subject and demonstrate your passion for it in an interview. This practice can help you stand out from the crowd and impress the admissions tutors.

Wider Reading For A-Levels

: An O-Level student preparing for online classes


Widening reading is often referred to as a “super curriculum learning” technique by schools and universities. It allows students to acquire a higher level of knowledge than they would through conventional classroom teaching.

Examinations require that candidates show evidence of wider reading in order to reach top marks. For instance, in the A Level Biology exam, the marking criteria state that the answer shows that students can “read beyond the requirements.”

If you’re already interested in a particular subject, you might be able to easily acquire additional marks through wider reading.

You’ll be able to incorporate relevant concepts into your answers if you practice, and this will help you stand out from the crowd. For example, in a Geography essay, you can use case studies to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies following natural disasters.

With wider reading, you’ll be able to understand the specification better, which can help you confidently answer questions.

Wider Reading For University Applications

By participating in wider reading, you can have a firm grasp of core concepts taught in A Levels and show your passion for studying your course. This practice can help you stand out from the crowd and demonstrate how well you can work independently.

Your Personal Statement should also explain why you’re a good fit for the course you’re applying to. It’s important to note that wider reading should be included in your statement, as well as in the admissions criteria for the degree you’re applying to. For instance, at Cambridge Medical School, the Key Criteria state that applicants should have a sound understanding of ethical, legal, and community issues.

In admissions tests, wider reading can also be used to show off your knowledge. For instance, in the Cambridge Law Test, candidates are expected to demonstrate their knowledge of current affairs.

Your interviewer might ask you to share something interesting that you’ve recently read. This can be a crucial part of a successful interview, as it lets you show off your passion for the subject.

Your interviewer will also judge you on the basis of your various skills with regard to effectively thinking critically and solving difficult questions. With wider reading, you’ll be able to practice these skills.

Wider reading can also help you develop other skills that you’ll need to succeed in university, such as academic research. Wider reading enrichment supervisions are designed to provide you with a deeper understanding of a particular subject. These sessions can be included in your Personal Statement and in interviews.

What Counts As Wider Reading?

A student taking notes during an online class


Contrary to popular belief, wider reading encompasses far more avenues than just books. If you’re not a fan of reading, you can still go beyond your A Level requirements by taking other subjects.

We encourage you to take up the following wider reading types for an enhanced learning experience:


Books contain a wide variety of information and can help you develop a deeper understanding of a particular subject or field you wish to pursue in the future. You can easily find a thorough explanation of any topic through this medium of information. Many universities also provide book recommendations to university applicants to stand out!


Apart from learning more about the current developments in your field of interest, you’ll be able to keep up with the latest news about your subject by signing up for newsletters from Royal Society, Academy, and Association websites.


You’ll likely spend a lot of time at university reviewing publications, and it’s important to start understanding how to evaluate and structure them. Having a good understanding of these can help improve your A Level essay answers. Remember to consider the year and authors of the key publications to ensure you’re getting up-to-date information.

Online Courses

Online courses are becoming more popular, and universities such as Reading University have started offering free online studies and courses. These can cover a wide variety of subjects.


One of the best sources for current affairs is news. You should regularly check the news to keep up with the latest developments in your field of study. Having a good understanding of current events can also help you during interviews.


During interviews, you can also talk about relevant lectures and sample sessions. These can provide you with a deeper understanding of the university’s teaching methods.


The Big Bang Competition, the Maths Challenge, and various debating competitions are all great ways to show commitment to your subject. These events can also help develop various skills that you’ll need to succeed in university.

You should also avoid getting too narrow or running out of steam by reading outside of your chosen subject. This can help you improve your time management and organisation skills. At university, you’ll need to have these abilities in order to effectively plan your time around lectures, labs, and leisure time.

How To Start

A student taking notes during an online class

Authors and producers want you to watch and read their work, which is why finding content is not that difficult. Just type in a Google search.

Ask your teachers, librarians, and other experts for advice on how to widen your reading. They will most likely be able to help you find content that interests you.

To help you improve your reading skills, universities have websites that provide a variety of subject resources. Oxford University’s website and Reading University’s site have helpful guides.

If you struggle to find motivation when it comes to wider reading, try setting goals. For instance, you can complete two sections of an online course in one week. Having dedicated time to reading can also help keep you motivated.

Cambridge Home School Online Provides The Tools You Need For Wider Reading and Ace Your A Levels

Wider reading can be very difficult for students to include in their daily schedule and hosts a far greater challenge for students to juggle with their studies. However, the benefits of this practice can be very beneficial to those who want to improve their academic performance and stand out during applications. It allows them to develop their analytical skills and knowledge of intricate details in a text. Cambridge Home School Online’s A Levels program is designed to help students succeed in their further studies and give them a platform to receive exceptional education while helping them balance extracurricular activities.

The online programs offered by Cambridge Home School Online feature various tools that help students analyse and understand literature. It also allows them to improve their understanding of the English Language and learn how to conduct research and analysis. Through our A Levels program, students can improve their academic performance and develop their skills through modern resources.

What Sets Us Apart

Cambridge Home School Online’s A Levels program is designed to help children develop their critical thinking and knowledge of literature. This ensures that they can critically evaluate and explain the text.

To ensure that your child is not overburdened, Cambridge Home School Online utilises various methods to instil a passion for wider reading. We understand that it can be challenging to analyse and understand the works of great authors, and we aim to teach students at their own pace. In addition to audio-visual lectures, our A Level programs also feature case studies and mock exams that help students develop their understanding of the material.

Through our A Levels program, students will be able to develop their skills in effective literary analysis. They will also be able to improve their communication abilities through presentations. In addition, they will be able to access a wide variety of texts that they can read for leisure or information.

The goal of our Online A Level program is to help children develop their confidence in their ability to analyse and understand literature. By the end of the course, they will be able to confidently and accurately interpret the text for various purposes and sources.

Why Cambridge Home School Online is Best for Your Child

 A student taking an A Level online class

Pastoral Support

Many conventional schools encourage overwork among their students, which can result in them feeling exhausted and stressed as they go back home. Cambridge Home School Online takes the time to ensure that our pupils are not overworked and that their stress levels are minimised. This helps us instil passion in our students.

One of the advantages of Cambridge Home School Online’s A Levels program is that it allows students to take advantage of various activities and leisure time. This allows them to spend more time with their families instead of wasting time commuting to and from school.

It is important for students to maintain their academic success and motivation. Cambridge Home School Online has student counsellors available to help them if they are struggling with their studies or if they are experiencing other issues.

Academic Growth

Today, students need to have the necessary skills and knowledge to compete at a global level and secure admission into some of the world’s best universities. Cambridge Home School Online’s A Levels program can help them achieve this.

We at Cambridge Home School Online firmly believe that students need to have the necessary tools and resources to improve their academic success.

Our faculty consists of highly experienced MA/MSc/PhD-certified specialists who utilise an individual approach to learning. They are able to assess their students’ strengths and teach them accordingly.

This ensures that our teachers are able to develop effective teaching techniques and strategies that will help improve the academic performance of their students. Our track record shows that we are committed to academic excellence. In June of 2021, over 86% of our students were able to secure As and A*s in their target subjects. Also, all of our students who applied to various universities received offers.

Cambridge Home School Online believes that equipping students with the necessary resources and tools to excel is very important for academic success. Apart from textbooks, our pupils have access to a wide range of educational resources, such as study guides, past papers, and videos. By giving our students the necessary resources and tools, we can help them perform at their best and incorporate wider reading during their studies.

We also give our pupils a platform to develop their personal skills and talents through various competitions and activities. In addition to honing their academic skills, our pupils participate in various events such as chess tournaments and the Spelling Bee. These programs are designed to help our pupils become well-rounded individuals.

International Students

An A-Level student taking an online class in India


The rise of globalisation has led to an increase in the number of students who are able to pursue educational opportunities outside of their home country. Online schools have been able to capitalise on this opportunity and provide a variety of educational services to students from different backgrounds.

Through the interactions between students from different backgrounds, they can develop a deeper understanding of the customs and norms of other people. This allows them to be more resilient and capable of facing any challenges that they may encounter as they get older.

Through the use of online school education, Cambridge Home School Online has been able to expand its student body to include a wide range of students from different backgrounds. This allows us to provide a platform for our pupils to interact with people from different cultures.

Cambridge Home School Online provides online homeschooling for Primary Prep, Lower School, Upper School, and Sixth Form students, allowing them to study from experienced teachers based in the UK from the comfort of their homes.

For more information on our A Level online classes, contact us today!


What is wider reading and how can it benefit students?

Wider reading extends beyond textbooks, encompassing various resources such as books, documentaries, and competitions, to deepen subject understanding and demonstrate a student’s passion, benefiting both A Level performance and university applications.

How does wider reading contribute to success in A Level exams?

Engagement in wider reading allows A Level students to integrate a broader range of knowledge and examples into their exam answers, which can lead to higher scores as they demonstrate understanding beyond the core curriculum.

Can wider reading enhance a university application?

Wider reading showcases a candidate’s commitment and depth of knowledge in their chosen subject area, potentially strengthening their personal statement and interviews for university applications.

What types of resources are considered part of wider reading?

Wider reading includes a variety of materials such as books, academic publications, online courses, news articles, lectures, and participation in subject-related competitions.

How does Cambridge Home School Online support students in wider reading?

Cambridge Home School Online facilitates wider reading through access to a diverse range of educational resources, including enrichment seminars, and the guidance of MA/MSc/PhD-qualified teachers, helping students to excel academically and develop holistically.

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