There are many things to consider when choosing your A levels. Will I enjoy physics? Will I be any good at economics? Which subjects do universities prefer? What will my university course requirements be? Do my choices narrow my degree options? These are common and sensible questions you may be asking yourself.

The answer to all these questions obviously depends on you, what course you choose to study and the universities in question. If you already know which degree you want to do, make sure your choices are compatible with any course entry requirements. You can check these out on university websites. If like most, you’re still unsure degree wise, you may want to pick subjects of interest conditioned with having at least a couple of ‘facilitating subjects’ among your choices. These are:

  • biology
  • chemistry
  • physics
  • geography
  • history
  • maths and further maths
  • modern languages
  • English literature

Facilitating subjects are highly respected by universities and the more you take, the more degree options you keep open. Note that maths is a requirement for many degrees (not just maths!) so be aware of the consequences if you decide against taking maths.

Obviously, if you’ve already decided you want to pursue an arts degree/course, music, art etc will be more relevant than say history (despite its facilitating subject status) to making that happen.

When making your choices, bare in mind that some universities do not make offers based on A-levels such as critical thinking, citizenship studies and general studies. For example, a AAA offer from UCL will not accept an A in A level critical thinking towards meeting the offer. It might be an idea to only take these subjects as extras if you think you can handle it. If you have a particular university in mind, many universities have a ‘preferred subjects’ list you may want to check out.

Getting advice and talking your choices through with teachers and parents is a good idea, but ultimately it’s your decision. (don’t let others decide for you!)