‘Why Study A Levels?’ is a question we are frequently asked by students looking at their next steps. Especially those who aren’t yet sure if they want to go on to University just yet. A Levels are one of those qualifications that hold value for a long time. So, even if you fancy taking a gap year or you decide not to go to University just yet, having A-Level qualifications will help you in the future should you change your mind.
In fact, even if you have absolutely no plans of going to University, you should still look at gaining the qualifications as they are recognised and valued by all employers. Holding A Levels can also open doors to other career paths such as joining the Police or Army Officer Training. Having been introduced to the education system in 1951, and originally starting as just Pass or Fail qualifications, A Levels are well established and Internationally known. Which means you can use the qualifications around the World should you wish to.
What Age do You Take A Levels?
Usually A Levels are studied at age 16 and completed by the time a student turns 18. But with that said, it doesn’t mean there is a set age at which you have to take A Levels. The qualifications themselves can be taken at any age should a student decide they want to take them. So for example, if you’re an adult looking to take A Levels, it is perfectly feasible for you to do so.
If you opt to return to learning to gain A Levels, then you will be classed as a Private Candidate. This means you are studying independently of a school or college. The process of learning the subjects themselves is still very similar to being a traditional student, but you will need to register with an exam centre to sit the actual exams for the courses.
Online A Levels or Traditional A Levels?
The truth is, there is very little difference between the two. Whether you study online A Levels or attend a school or college, you will get a certificate from the exact same Awarding Body. The differences with they types of courses come in when it comes to the actual learning of the syllabus. If you opt to take online A Levels, you will have much more freedom with your learning. There are no set classes or term times for you to adhere to. So you can pretty much spread your 350 hours of study time however you wish. If you opt for the traditional route, then you may have to drop other commitments like work to be able to attend classes full time.
Whether you do online A levels or traditional A Levels, you will still need to sit your examinations in the summer exam period to complete your qualifications.
What A Levels Should I Study?
Now this question is a little more tricky to answer fully, as it depends on what you want to study at University. For example, if you wanted to study Medicine, then you’re going to need all the sciences and then one more additional A Level, which can be in any subject. But if you wanted to study Business, then you could access a Degree in that with three subjects in various combinations.
If your plan is to gain A Levels, but then not go onto University, you should try and study subjects that are far reaching in nature. So for example, a combination of English, Mathematics and Business would give you access to a wide range of Degrees in the future.
Examples of A Level combinations that work well for popular degrees include the following:
- Business Degree:
- Engineering Degree:
- Psychology Degree:
What is a Good A Level Grade?
Aside from the obvious A* grade, which is the highest you can achieve for any A Level. A good grade is anything from a grade B. This is the usual minimum requirement set by universities for offers on places. The usual combination requirement is 112 UCAS points in total, which in grade terms is A,B,B.
Is it Easy to Fail A Levels?
If you don’t put the work and effort in, then like all things you can risk failing. A Levels are known for being hard, but also perfectly achievable if a student puts the work in and revises well before their exams. Each subject takes the average student 350 hours of study time, so even if you’re looking to fast track your studies, provided you put the hard work in, there is no reason for you to fail.
What is the Easiest A Level?
As A Levels are all benchmarked to a certain difficulty, they are all about the same level of difficulty. But there are some variations in subject focus and requirements that can make some subjects harder than others. For example, A Level Biology, Chemistry and Physics, all come with practical elements students need to be able to do. A Level History comes with a requirement for a large piece of coursework to be completed and submitted with the written exams.
Other subjects have less requirements and so could technically be classed as easier to study. For example, A Level Sociology has no additional elements and the exam questions require shorter answers. And the same applies to Religious Studies and Classical Civilisation.
Ultimately, the ease of any A Level depends on the student and where their strengths and abilities lie.
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