Choosing GCSEs and A level subjects


If you are yet to choose your GCSE or A level subjects, there are some important things to consider when making your choices (whether you have a university course or career in mind or not).

With help from TheUniGuide, we've compiled some useful advice about the things you should consider when making your school subject choices – as well as some of the things to avoid when deciding which subjects to take forward.

Do...

  • Consider 'facilitating' subjects
    If you're not totally sure on what to choose, these subjects will generally open the door to more university courses (biology, chemistry, physics, English, geography, history, mathematics and modern and classical languages).

  • Find out if your chosen course requires certain A levels
    If you have your heart set on a particular course, make sure you know early enough in advance if there are certain A level subjects that are required.

  • Find out the facts directly from universities
    Rather than going on myth or rumours, by contacting universities directly you can get a more accurate idea of whether you're on the right track with your subject choices.

  • Keep your options open
    Studying diverse A level subjects can be a platform for you to study many different university courses and can help to keep your options open when the time comes to apply. It's also worth bearing in mind that your subject interests can change over time.

Don’t...

  • Don’t follow the crowd
    Choosing school subjects can be the first step toward a dream career. It’s important to take responsibility for your own path. It can be easy to follow your friends but you should focus on your own ambitions.

  • Don’t shy away from new subjects
    For A levels, you may find new subjects become available which you’re unable to study at GCSE level. It may be worth considering a new subject to freshen up your learning.

  • Don’t rule out subjects that may not be taught at your school
    Consider A levels delivered at another school. This could help you get you out of your comfort zone and feel more confident about the jump to university.

  • Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture
    It’s important to consider that the choices you make for GCSEs and A levels can affect the path you can take. Studying diverse or ‘facilitating’ subjects can give you more options.