August is always an anxious month for British teenagers as they await their GCSE exam results. Have you scored high enough to stay on at school for your A levels? Which A level subjects should you choose? Here is what not to do when choosing A level subjects.
Giving in to Parental Pressure
It is only natural to want to please your parents, who are undoubtedly proud of you for achieving good grades at GCSE. By all means listen to their advice on which subjects you should do, but do not allow them to make your decisions for you. Even though your dad may think chemistry, biology and physics are the best choices, do not sign up for those subjects just because your parents think these are the best choices. It is important to choose subjects that will suit your future needs as well as your current interests.
Choosing Subjects Your Friends Are Taking
Choosing the right A level subjects will impact your life now and in the future. While it is uncomfortable to start a new year in a class with other students you do not know, it is not best to choose subjects based on your friends’ preferences. Do your friends have the same career goals and aspirations as you? Will the extra time spent with friends in class lead to productive times or just another excuse to socialise? There is also the risk that you will quickly tire of subjects that you are not really interested in, which can make you fall behind with your work. It is actually beneficial to choose subjects that your friends are not doing so that you can concentrate more on your studies and use your free time to catch up.
Is your favourite Year 11 GCSE English teacher also teaching A level English? Unless you have a genuine desire to pursue A level English, do not choose this subject simply because your favourite teacher will be teaching the subject next year. Even if Mrs. Brown will indeed be teaching A level English, she may not teach it to your particular class in sixth form or she may accept a transfer to another school before the end of your A levels. You can never base your decision to choose an A level subject on personal teacher preference.
Some sixth formers are also coached by a teacher to take their class, as they have shown a proficiency in the subject. However, it would be wrong to take the subject just to please your teacher. An understanding teacher will overcome their disappointment and see that you need to pick the right combination of subjects for you, not for them.
Choosing the right combination of A level subjects is not always easy. Resist parental pressure to take subjects you do not feel comfortable with; do not just pick subjects you know your friends are doing and do not give in to teacher bias, which can sway you in the wrong direction.
Choosing your A levels