Your A Levels are one of the most crucial points in your academic career, given that they’re at the very cusp of your university and college career, professional training, and other important decisions.
You shouldn’t feel under pressure to take certain subjects over others, given that they’re all quite challenging in their own way. However, it does help to consider certain factors when choosing the best A Level subjects for your own requirements. As one of the top British schools online, we are determined to help students choose subjects that align with their career goals, educational interests, passions, and even hobbies, helping them improve their learning experience.
Whether you’re a student or the parent of a concerned pupil, use the following tips and advice from our Cambridge online school to help you make a decision:
1. Recognise that A Level subjects are harder than their I-GCSE counterparts
A Levels are generally a notch above their GCSE and I-GCSE subjects, which means that you should not take them for granted or assume that just because you aced them then, you will now.
This is not to discourage or scare students interested in a particular subject because they enjoyed it during their Upper School or Lower School years. The best A Level subjects are designed to advance your knowledge and understanding of a particular subject, test you on its theoretical basis and prove you with crucial critical thinking and analytical skills that prove valuable in the long run. It’s also why most students take fewer A-level subjects than I-GCSEs.
Many students at our Cambridge online school feel overwhelmed because they don’t expect the subject matter to be as challenging as it is, which can be quite the jolt. That’s what makes it doubly important to choose your subjects based on multiple factors, proper planning, and detailed analysis and comparisons.
2. Explore the full depth and breadth of each A Level subject at our online British school
Be sure to fully explore and understand what each subject you’re choosing entails, from the syllabus to the course expectations. Some courses are straightforward and focused more on a standard year-end exam via Cambridge, while others have consistent coursework throughout. You may have lab requirements, mid-semester testing, portfolios such as for A Level Art, Design & Media, or projects on which your grades are based.
Be sure to research the depth and breadth of each subject, reading its course summary, expectations, grading criteria, and other factors determining how viable and manageable it is, especially if you’re studying via an online British school like ours. Our students engage in a wide variety of A Level subjects, participating in projects, and practical learning no matter where they’re based, be it in the UK, Central or South Asia, the Middle East, etc.
Researching in-depth will prepare you for what to expect during your course and gauge whether or not an A Level subject is best for your circumstances based on what facilities you have access to.
3. Consider whether you need an I-GCSE prerequisite to take the subject
While a vast majority of A Level subjects do not require prerequisites, many, especially those in science, do. Before you decide, look into the prerequisites and requirements for each subject you’re interested in, and whether or not you meet them.
Often there’s no restriction on what subjects you can take so long as you can cope with the coursework and syllabus, but it does get significantly more difficult to follow through on advanced concepts without prior knowledge This is generally why prerequisites are necessary; given that they act as a base for your learning. Much of the content that is taught at the A Level builds on theories, information, and knowledge that students are either expected to know or catch up with easily, and it can be challenging for students who are starting anew.
It’s best to research what subjects you’re considering need prerequisites and rule them out based on whether or not you meet them.
4. Look into specific requirements for potential careers and professional interests
One of the biggest motivators when deciding the best A Level subjects for yourself is to think about your potential career or professional interest and inclination. Our online independent school allows you to choose from a wide range of A Level subjects across the natural sciences, humanities, business and commerce, art and design, and various other categories for this reason.
Many specialised careers and jobs require professionals to have the relevant educational background and formal training and degrees. If you have a clear idea of what career you’d like to pursue, whether it’s as scientific as a doctor, or as creative as a designer, the sooner you align your education to it, the better.
Knowing your specific career requirements will also help you filter our subjects that are not profoundly helpful. For instance, you may not need mathematics to study medicine in the future, the way you won’t require biology to study engineering. Even within disciplines, you have varying subject choice and variety, which is why it’s a good idea to make your decision based on what you need versus what’s nice to have.
5. Check degree or course requirements that will determine the A Level subjects you choose
Alternatively, you should also look into specific degree requirements to help determine your subject choice. Many top universities across the UK, US, and other locations tend to highlight and list which subjects are prerequisites to what programmes.
University prerequisites are a valuable resource, given that they’re the next step to your A Level of education, and can determine where you secure admittance. Again, certain disciplines have more freedom than others, and most humanities degree programmes will accept students from various educational backgrounds, whereas scientific degrees may not.
We understand that this pressure to think about your career choices and university education at such a young age can be a lot to handle for young students, but that’s why the MA/MSc/PhD qualified faculty members and counsellors at our online British O Level school will guide you, offer you different insights, and share valuable advice on choosing the best A Level subjects for your long-term goals.
One of our biggest missions as an educational institution is to help our students secure admission into the world’s top universities, build fulfilling careers, and become successful in all facets of their professional lives.
6. See which subjects at our online Cambridge school complement each other more effectively and cohesively
A great way to decide your subjects is to see which A Level subjects fit best with one another too. This somewhat unconventional approach helps students with a general career direction or educational interest find their calling.
Humanities subjects such as A Level Sociology, History, and Literature go exceptionally well together, allowing students to explore multiple aspects of the discipline, learn overlapping theories, apply concepts across subjects, or develop a complex worldview based on what they learn.
Similarly, science subjects offer similar insights into the human body, natural phenomena, and processes around us. Complementary subjects give you enough variation and knowledge to keep things interesting without restricting your knowledge base and learning, and you can find a wide variety of subjects in multiple disciplines at our online Cambridge school.
If you’re unsure of what subject combinations work for you, it helps to talk to experienced mentors or educators, and the MA/MSc/PhD qualified teachers at our international online school can offer you guidance.
7. Look at which A Level subjects are not accepted by universities and course programmes
However, you should also look at what universities do not accept subjects either in tandem with one another or independently. Many universities for instance, do not regard Business Studies and Economics as separate subjects when taken together, and many do not look at English General as a subject when considering grades.
With that in mind, it’s essential to avoid choosing subjects where content and subject matter are too narrow and similar, given that breadth is always preferred by admission officers and review boards.
It’s impractical and wasteful to spend so much time, effort, and money on subjects that will ultimately be disregarded when applying to university or specialised programmes. The sooner you’re clear on the matter, the better.
8. Think about your own interests and passions, and understand what you’re good at
Cambridge Home School Online is one of the best options for students from across the world looking for a supportive, encouraging learning environment where they are offered flexibility, and taught by some of the most talented individuals from various backgrounds. This allows us to support our students in pursuing their passions and interests more dedicatedly, encouraging them to sign up for subjects they truly enjoy and have a genuine interest in.
Some of the most successful people in the world are followers of the mindset that you should follow your passion and success will follow you, and that adage holds true even when it comes to your educational passions. Your A Level subjects should be enjoyable, aligned with your interests and passions, and something you’re genuinely excited to study, not just because you were told to study them.
Many students are pressured into studying subjects they have no real interest in or zeal for, and their grades suffer, their mental health suffers. Their personal development stagnates, and that’s precisely what we hope to avoid. In addition to making quality education accessible to students across the globe, we’re also committed to helping them fulfill their goals and dreams through our online British school and by choosing the best A Level subjects for themselves.
It’s important that students be given the opportunity and space to explore their passions and interests, and we encourage parents to let them choose subjects that resonate with their interests. If you have any concerns as a parent, you can reach out to our team to discuss your queries in more detail.
Make the right choice with help from the team at Cambridge Home School Online
In addition to offering a wide range of options and subject choices, our British online school also offers top-notch online schooling at other levels, including IGCSEs. Cambridge Home School Online works with students from the UK, Europe, Central Asia, South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, providing them with flexible lessons, small classroom sizes, and various other benefits.
Our exceptionally talented teachers will customise your classes based on your requirements, providing students with much-needed guidance, support, and counseling to make smarter academic decisions and find a stronger anchor for their career goals.
Explore the following resources to get started:
- Admissions Process
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- Online Reviews
We pride ourselves on being one of the most widely-trusted and preferred British online schools across the globe; we also have highly-qualified faculty members holding MA/MSc/PhD degrees, helping your child secure top grades, achieve academic excellence, and develop an edge above their peers.
By equipping students with the tools they need, we hope for them to attend the top universities, get the best jobs in the market, and much more. Our long-term goal is to set them up for success beyond the classroom too
You will find that our institution is committed to going above and beyond to improve the schooling and education experience for your children. If you have any questions about the best A Level subjects at our British online school, please feel free to contact our team. We’re always here to help facilitate you and help you with your queries and concerns.
How can students prepare for the increased difficulty of A Level subjects?
A Level subjects present a step up in complexity from I-GCSEs, requiring students to develop a deeper understanding and analytical skills. Preparation includes recognising the challenge and planning accordingly to meet the rigorous academic demands.
What is the importance of understanding the depth of A Level subjects?
Fully exploring the syllabus and expectations of each A Level subject is crucial. Some subjects may involve continuous assessment through coursework, while others culminate in year-end exams. Understanding these elements helps students gauge manageability and interest.
Are prerequisites important for choosing A Level subjects?
Yes, prerequisites are important for A Level subjects, especially in scientific disciplines. It’s essential to check if previous knowledge is required to ensure a smooth continuation of learning and success in advanced concepts.
How should career goals influence A Level subject choices?
Future career aspirations and interests should guide A Level subject selection. Specific professions may require certain A Level qualifications, so aligning subject choices early with career goals can be advantageous for university admissions and career pathways.
What role does subject compatibility play in selecting A Levels?
Choosing A Level subjects that complement each other can create a cohesive learning experience and may benefit students in understanding overlapping concepts, aiding in a well-rounded academic profile for university applications.