‘I Have Chosen to Do So and So A-Levels Because They’re Respected’

starting university again

This title is pretty much self explanatory. I’m sure you’ve heard something similar to this before. A lot of individuals I know choose the standard, hard subjects, such as Maths and the Sciences. Individuals may opt to take on these subjects as it relates to a course that they would like to study at university. What, all three Sciences, Maths and maybe even Further Maths? Usually, the norm is four subjects. I’ve just exaggerated a bit to make a point. Arrogance is bliss, as they say.

Relating back to the main purpose of this article, some solely base their decisions on the prestige of each individual A-level. It’s fair enough that individuals want to aim for the very best, but is it sensible to take on something so vast when the likelihood is that this won’t illustrate the reflection of your true potential?

There may be an assumption that the harder the subject is, the more impressive it will look either on your UCAS form or CV, but I don’t agree with this at all. In fact, I’m going to take a step back. I’ve also seen this about choosing your options for GCSEs. You don’t know this at the time, but you can simply get away with writing ‘11 GCSES grading from A*-C’ on your CV. There’s no point in taking on hard subjects and then being predicted low grades. These days, universities ask for grades AAB or above, so if you’re relying on impressiveness, but not being able to attain the highest grades, think again!

Black listed subjects! I understand and, furthermore, am fully aware that universities have a list of subjects that they’re not particularly fond of. However, you have four options, some may take on more than four – I know, so use your options wisely. The aim is to get an offer and an unconditional place at the university of your choice.  How is it useful for you to take on subjects that universities actually love, but then not meeting their grade requirements?  Universities only state a few subjects that they’re not in favour of. There are so many other subjects to choose from, so many!! Now you may be thinking ‘What If the subject(s) that I want to study are blacklisted?’ One answer, one word is: RESEARCH! Phone the department or ask questions at university fairs or open days. Gain knowledge, an insight about these things, so that you can help yourself and younger generations.

Still on the topic of doing your own research, in relation to Science related degrees, do you need to take on a science that isn’t a necessity by that department? Some universities state that they, for example, require either Chemistry OR Biology. If you’re still unsure about this, then contact the department directly. Sometimes you need to go that extra mile in order to gain the results you want.

I’m going to stress this point again: you need to achieve the grades! If you happen to go through clearing, the university happens to have a space on a course and you’ve met the requirements, you’re in! Putting Science related degrees to the side, what A-level subjects you do doesn’t really matter. What matters is what you enjoy studying. A-levels are hard as it is, so why make it more difficult for yourself by taking on subjects that you know that you won’t be comfortable with.

Lastly, and on a final note, you won’t be seen as less of a person if you’re not taking the standard, traditional subjects. Who cares what anyone thinks, it’s only you that matters.


  • I took English Language, English Literature, Law and Religious Studies for my A-Levels and then went on to complete my degree in Business Excellence in Human Resource Management. I picked my A-Levels because it was my last chance to enjoy studying those subjects!

  • So you should! As long as you feel that you’ve made a decision based on the fact that you ‘enjoy studying those subjects’ then who can argue?