We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies as per our policy which also explains how to change your preferences.

How NOT to make A-level choices

Choosing your A-levels is easy right? Wrong! It's actually pretty easy to make the wrong decisions...

Looking back, many would change how they chose their A-levels...

We recently* asked a bunch of A-level students to reflect on how they made their choices – the findings were quite startling:
  • only 53% felt "suitably informed" at the time that their choices would impact their uni options
  • 41% didn't know that some universities and courses didn't accept certain A-level subjects
  • if they could do it all over again, 40% would give more consideration to A-levels that would help them apply to uni
Before you finalise your A-levels, use our tool to see where your subjects will lead you

The wrong ways to choose your A-levels

It isn't just a case of a lack of information either. You won't believe some of the ways students settle on their A-level choices! Here are some of the methods to avoid:

1. Don’t copy your friends 

Choosing your A-levels is one of the first significant decisions in your life where you have a major say – enjoy this taste of responsibility! Don’t just take a subject so you’ll be in a class with your friends, nor be turned off by one because of what others think of it.


2. Don’t just think about the 'now'

As demonstrated by the survey findings above, it's worth keeping the future in mind when making your A-level choices – what subjects or careers might you want to pursue? Remember, you need certain A-levels for some degree courses, while some universities have preferred subjects.

These post A-level plans don’t have to be set in stone. You can always choose a few facilitating subjects to keep your degree options as wide open as possible. 

Learn more about facilitating subjects, read our six-step guide to choosing A-levels.


3. Don’t forget, your current subjects aren't the only ones

There are a number of refreshing A-level subjects which aren’t commonly available at GCSE, such as psychology and law. Shake things up a bit after a decade of studying the same subjects!

Watch now: Choosing A-levels the right way

4. Don’t be scared to spread your wings

Look at what A-level subjects are offered by other colleges and sixth forms in the area which your current school doesn’t. While it may seem terrifying to leave your comfort zone, in two years you may well be making the much bigger move to uni – this can be good practice for those inevitable changes that life brings! 

Learned something useful?
Get more tips for applying to uni, right when you need them most. Add yourself to our email list.
Our emails are packed with advice for getting in and getting on at uni, along with useful information about other Which? Group products and services that can help you make good decisions.
  • No spam and you can unsubscribe at any time - see our privacy policy.
    Close panel
    Thank you!
    You’re all signed up. Look out for your welcome email from us shortly.
    Oh, no!
    Sorry, there's been an error. If you experience persistent problems, please contact us at whichuniversity@which.co.uk
    Try again


    5. Don’t just take it for a teacher

    We all have that one teacher we love regardless of whether we’re actually any good at their subject. Don't be blinded by your adoration for them and take their subject just because. Would you feel as engaged if someone else was teaching the same subject?

    Ultimate guide to A-levels and AS-levels

    * Data source: Which? University Student Survey 2016

    Where could your A-levels take you?

    Enter your A-level choices below to find out

      Add another subject

    Search Which? University

    Find further advice or search for information on a course or university

    Expert tips for uni - straight to your inbox
    Free to students, teachers and parents
    Sign me up