What A Levels Should I Take?

Deciding which A Levels to take but not sure where to start? It’s an exciting time, but it’s daunting too! If you’re tired of hearing about how this is the biggest decision of your life, look no further. It’s your future, and you’re in charge. Read on for all the information you need to make tackle a level options.

How many A Levels can I take?

If you want to go on to study at university, you’ll need to take at least three A Levels to meet the minimum requirements. You can add extra A Levels or AS Levels too. If you’ve got a particular university in mind, check out their undergraduate requirements to help you decide.

School pupils grouped around a table: what a levels should i takeDon’t put yourself under pressure to choose four full A Levels rather than three – this won’t always put you at an advantage and it’s much better to take on a manageable workload and end up with three good A Levels than four average ones.

Choosing a subject

Choosing what A Levels you should take when you may not have a clue what you want to do as a career isn’t easy, but don’t worry! Most people haven’t decided on a career when they choose their A Levels, so you’re definitely not alone.

Here are our top tips on how to make the best decisions to keep your career options open:

  • What are your favourite subjects? Sounds obvious, but start by looking at your predicted GCSE grades and consider choosing those subjects you know you will excel in. Good grades open doors and will give you more choices at university level.
  • What subjects do you enjoy most? If you dread essay-based subjects but thrive in a more practical subject, go with your instinct. The more you enjoy a subject, the more effort you will naturally put in to help you achieve your full potential.
  • Universities look for students who not only have good grades, but grades in the right subjects for the course they want to apply for. If you already know what you want to study at university, you should think about choosing subjects which give you the best possible preparation for your chosen degree course. If you’re not sure what you want to study at university yet, it’s important to choose subjects which will leave as many options open as possible.
  • Some advanced level subjects are more frequently required for entry to degree courses than others. Certain subject are called ‘facilitating’ subjects because choosing them at A level leaves open a wide range of options for university study. These facilitating subjects are: Biology, Chemistry, English Literature, Geography, History, Physics, Modern and classical languages, Maths and further Maths.
  • Each university and each course will have its own entry requirements. Some institutions publish a list of preferred A level subjects which are acceptable for general admission, as well as specific requirements for individual courses. It is advisable to check the guidance given by institutions very carefully. This information should be easily accessible on universities’ websites or in their prospectuses. Read more about making Informed Choices.

Still not sure about your A Level options? In that case, choose a mix of subjects and give yourself the best possible choices for university and beyond. Choosing Maths, English Literature and History, for example, opens up a huge range of opportunities. You’ll be able to learn a whole range of skills with these subjects – and that’s exactly what universities and employers want to see.

Where can my A Levels take me?

Maths and Physics are your gateway to an exciting future and we’ve got some news for you. There’s never been a better time to pick Maths or Physics at A Level to kick-start a brighter future.

Here’s why:

  • Maths and physics students in white lab coats: what a levels should i takeChoosing Maths and Physics at A Level will open doors to some of the most rewarding careers available. If you’re picturing Maths and Physics leading only to desk-based accountancy or endless hours spent in a dark laboratory, take another look. How about computer science, developing new apps, astrophysics, astronomy or designing market-leading games? These careers could take you across the globe, and perhaps even into space! Many of today’s most sought after jobs have their foundations in Maths and Science. So if you want your pick of the best careers, you’ll need to opt for Maths or Physics at A Level.
  • We all know that our digitally-driven world is changing fast and ahead of us are developments in technology that we can’t even imagine. If you choose Maths and Physics at A Level, you could end up with a career that’s responsible for shaping our latest technology. The UK needs a new generation of young people who can put Britain at the forefront of technological development – you could be part of this.
  • Both Maths and Physics are facilitating subjects, so the UK’s top universities love them. If you choose Maths or Physics you’ll have more options at university. Don’t forget that you don’t have to drop other subjects you love – you can combine Maths or Physics with another subject as a joint honours degree.

More jobs, better earnings

Sound good? Choosing STEM subjects like Maths or Physics at A Level means you’ll have a better choice of jobs and you can earn more money.

The job opportunities are there: 58% of all new jobs will be related to STEM subjects. STEM graduates are sought after and there are plenty of exciting opportunities to link with employers and find out more about the superb range of jobs on offer.

Maths and physics earnings infographic: what a levels should i takeIf you pass just one STEM subject at A Level your earnings will be boosted by 15%. If you opt for a STEM career after university, you could earn as much as £250,000 more than an average graduate throughout your whole career. But it’s not just about the money. How about career opportunities across the globe, international travel and your pick of the most exciting roles? That sounds like a very bright future.

Deciding which A Levels to take may seem like a big decision, but it’s also a chance to take the first steps towards an exciting career. Whether you know exactly what your dream job looks like or you haven’t a clue, choosing Maths or Physics at A Level gives you the foundations you need to thrive in our fast-moving, digital world.

Still asking yourself the question ‘which A Levels should I take’? Stay ahead of the game and find out more about science and maths careers by signing up for more information here.