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Choosing A Levels

Posted: 20th May 2019

The A level subjects you choose will help shape your degree choices for university so it’s not a decision you should take lightly. There are a variety of things to consider when making your selection and it would be best not to choose a subject just because your friends are studying it, or parents are telling you to follow a particular path.

One place to start is by thinking about what you want to do as a career once you’ve left school or college. The majority of Brampton College students apply for university in the UK, but not every 18 year old is 100% clear on what they’d like to do as a job. If you are certain, then your decision on which subjects to take at A level will be a lot easier. For example, if you want to become a doctor, it would be wise to study Biology, Chemistry along with one other subject. Similarly if becoming an engineer is your goal, then Maths is crucial and Physics is nearly always obligatory as an entry requirement. If you want to be a lawyer, essay-based subjects are considered a good platform.

Our careers advisers, Sarah McWatters and Bina Mervana, are highly experienced in helping students make these crucial decisions, and they encourage you to choose subjects that you are motivated by and have ability in.  If you are unsure of your ultimate career goals, then it is important to remember that over 70% of graduate jobs do not depend on the degree that you study.  In other words you could still become a lawyer if you study Chemistry at university and you can forge a career in the financial markets starting with a degree in History.

Keeping options open will help if you are undecided, so if you are proficient in both sciences and humanities, you could combine your A levels to reflect this.  For example studying Biology, Chemistry and English Literature would allow you to apply for all Health Sciences degrees as well as Literature and Law.

It’s also worth choosing subjects that you enjoy. The more you enjoy a subject, the more likely you are to find studying easier and try harder – consequently getting good grades. If you are an enthusiastic reader, English Literature is probably a suitable option for you. If you love speaking to people in their own tongue then having a second language is a highly desirable skill with employers.

After thinking everything over and over, you might still be unsure which subjects to pick. If that’s the case then talking things through with students in the year above may help you decide whether the subject is for you or not.  In addition you could ask for guidance from the careers advisers and your teachers.

The important thing to remember is that at Brampton College there is always help at hand, and we are keen to see you both enjoy and succeed at your goals.

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