A levels are usually started at the age of 16 when pupils have completed their GCSEs. Students who stay on at school and study for their A levels in the sixth form often have to achieve at least five grade C’s or above in order to pursue their chosen pathway. Sixth form colleges often have lower entry requirements. What are some key factors you should take into consideration before choosing your A levels?
The subjects offered at sixth form and sixth form colleges varies between places, so it is worth doing some research into what is actually available for you to take before you make any firm decisions. Compare what is available at your sixth form and then look at what the local sixth form college offers. Does your sixth form offer a wider range of subjects that you are interested in pursuing or would it be best to go to a sixth form college instead?
Don’t Take on Too Much
Sixth formers generally take three or four A levels over a two-year period. It is not necessary to take five or more subjects at A level. Not only will you be multiplying your workload by taking on extra subjects, but if you hope to get into university after completing your A levels, the university entry requirements will not ask for more than three or four A levels. If university is your goal, concentrate on working hard on three or four A levels, rather than stretching yourself thin on more subjects and missing out on your first choice of university.
Research Exam Boards
Another factor that students need to bear in mind is the difference in exam boards’ papers that you will be sitting for each subject. Exam board papers vary between schools. That is why you may want to do some extra research to find out a little more about what to expect when it comes time to sit your A level exams. According to Studential.com, the main A level examining boards are AQA, Edexcel and OCR.
Take your time before you choose which A levels you will choose. Look at what is available locally in your school’s sixth form as well as local sixth form colleges. Do not take on too much. Remember that if you hope to go to university, the entry requirements will be for just three or four A levels. Next, research different exam boards to get a taster of what to expect come exam time.
Choosing your A levels
AQA – Awarding Body for A levels, GCSEs and other exams
Edexcel advancing learning, changing lives
OCR Recognising Achievement