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Making the jump from AS to A2 years

Once you have your AS-level results, you're into your final year of A-levels. Find tips on what to expect from the year ahead!

As you proceed with Year 13, you'll soon realise that your AS results were more of a stepping stone on the path to either university or the world of employment. Your future just got a whole lot closer.

Search for a university course – enter your predicted A-level grades and a subject to see where you can study

Dropping a subject

You'll usually drop one of your AS subjects at the end of Year 12, and focus on the rest of your (probably three) subjects to study for the full A-level. When it comes to deciding what to drop, think about what you performed strongest in and what sparked your interest the most (and continues to).

If you have university in your sights, think about the entry requirements you'll need to meet for the courses you'll be applying to - are there any subjects you will definitely need the full A-level in? While the decision may be tough, once it's made, you'll find that you're focusing completely on the subjects which matter most.  

Working at A2 level

The beginning of Year 12 will have been structured to allow you to transition from GCSEs to the world of A-levels comfortably. However you won't find this same 'safety net' as you begin Year 13.

Your teachers will assume that you are now properly in 'A-level mode', plus there just isn't time for being eased in! Get ready to hit the ground running from day one. Your A2 year is all about building on what you did at AS-level; so expect more advanced material and longer assignments (with higher stakes).

Balancing uni prep and other activities

Year 13 will be a busy one, especially if you are planning to apply to university. Things will kick off almost immediately when you return in September as Ucas applications open.

In order to meet that January (or October, for Oxbridge, medicine and denistry applicants) deadline, you'll need to put together a winning university application (including perfecting that personal statement, sorting out references and so on), finding time to travel up and down to open days and interviews. And applications for student finance and university accommodation will soon follow that.

On top of all of that, you may be learning to drive and juggling a part-time job around your actual A-levels. Phewww! This is the year you learn to manage your time effectively, cutting down on any time-sucking activities (no more timewasting on Instagram...).

A-level reforms

Since September 2015 AS levels no longer count towards final A-level grades; instead your overall A-level grade is determined from your exam results at the end of Year 13.

 AS-levels still serve as preparation for that all-important following year so try and reflect on your performance in your assignments and evaluate what skills (e.g. time management in exams, presentation skills etc.) you need to improve on for when it counts the following year.

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