Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

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 they will take you next
 

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. 

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!

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! 

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?

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