Want to tell us about your experiences using The Mix and be in with a chance of winning a £200 Amazon Voucher? Click here to go to our survey!
We are now trialing a points system in an effort to be clearer about the consequences for breaking community guidelines. Head over to this thread to find out more and give your feedback :)

A levels

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
How did you choose your A levels - what influenced your decision? What you were good at? What you enjoyed? Which ones did you do / how many?

Anyone regret their choices?

(I will come back and answer my own questions, just wanting some other people's expereinces. Ta.)

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The best thing is to do what you enjoy. You'll find it really boring if you just do what you need in order to get a certain job.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did Law; Economics and Business; Government and Politics; and General Studies, although I withdrew from Government and Politics just before starting the second year.

    I chose these on the basis of fascination and excitement (except the mandatory General Studies), although they are also very suitable for my future career.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am taking Chemistry and Biology because they are my best subjects and favourite ones. I had a choice between taking Psychology, Govt and Politics, or Philosophy at A2, but I decided to go with Govt and Politics because it had nothing to do with my other science based subjects, and I thought it sounded more interesting than the other two, in terms of international relations being more up to date and everything. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did economics, history, english literature and general studies.

    I choose economics because I had done GCSE Business Studies and got 94% in the final exam. Our sixth form did not offer A level business studies so I took the next best thing. At first I did not enjoy it - I found it complicated and I was just "ok" at it. However, my teacher started to encourage me and gave me extra work and I thought it was great!

    I choose history because I love it. The teachers were nice and I knew the class would be small. I enjoyed it so much - everybody got one really well with one another and we went on lots of class trips. I miss those lessons most of all. :(

    I choose Eng Lit because I love reading - not just books but poetry, non fiction etc. It was challenging because I didn't like the some of the teachers but I enjoyed it because I read some books I would never normally have picked up! I also gained invaluable skills - mainly the skill of evaluation.

    I choose general studies because it was mandatory for anybody who they thought would pass! We didn't have lessons as such - we just did old exam papers and pissed about a lot! I was the only one in the year who got a grade A. Seems nobody really cared about it - indeed nobody takes it seriously as a "real" A level. The thing was it was geared towards those who did science, geog, maths etc.... and I didn't do any subject that would have helped me out, except maybe eng lit.

    Phew, sorry about that ramble!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Last year, in my first year of A Levels I did:

    AVCE Travel & Tourism
    AS Media Studies
    AS English Language
    AS Sociology

    I dropped Travel & Tourism part of the way into the course as I didn't find it very interesting and I felt that it was poorly taught, although I initially chose it as I thought I would find it interesting and fun.

    I chose Media Studies and Sociology as I thought they sounded interesting and I chose English Language as it was one of my favourite and best subjects at GCSE.

    This year, in my second year of A Levels I am doing:

    A2 English Language
    A2 Sociology
    AS Psychology
    AS Law

    I ended up dropping Media Studies after AS because the department is useless and the second year didn't sound very interesting.

    I decided to pick up 2 extra AS Levels so I will end up with 2 full A Levels and 3 AS Levels, although I regret not doing Psychology in my first year instead of Travel & Tourism so I could have ended up with the standard full 3 A Levels.

    I find Psychology very interesting but I find Law very difficult and not as interesting as I thought it would be.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by *hellie*
    I find Law very difficult and not as interesting as I thought it would be.

    I found law exceptionally fascinating, but that is a subject about which I am very passionate.

    Smash - this goes to show that chosing which subject to study is a very personal choice, and should be really be based upon fascination and excitement = more motivated because you'll enjoy the work = in theory a better grade.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did:

    History: because I have always been interested in it.....

    Maths: Ditto and because I have always been decent at Maths...

    Geography: Marginal choice, enjoy it and my mate wanted me to do it also was the only subject got an A in at GCSE (which was suprising and changed my initial decision)

    Business/Economics: Took a risk, had never done anything like it before, enjoyed it and now I'm doing an economics degree........:D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Am doing for A2 at the moment:

    English lit and language - I love english and could never imagine not studying it. It's really good apart from Chaucer. Middle English just does not initiate any excitement, whatsoever.

    Sociology - I was going to do biology but changed to sociology after realising I hate science. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made and I now love sociology. It expands your mind and has lead me to a keener interest in world affairs and politics.

    Psychology - It's all so very fun and interesting until you have learn a gazillion studies and strip the essence of it all to text book answers. I'm good at it but I am now starting to detest it, I'm sick of it.

    I did history at AS but I dropped it because our course was really disappointing. The teachers can't be bothered to change the syllabus they've had for years to a more contemporary one. I really like history, but I wanted to study more modern and relevant history.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sociology A-Level it's good but there are a lot of things to remember.

    English Lit. I find this quite interesting but the fact that our school is teaching the same stuff it did in the 60's really irritates me.

    Music. This is the most frustrating subject i do. There's loads to do and if you don't play piano (like i don't) then you are at a HUGE disadvantage.

    Psychology AS- So glad i chose this. It's what i'm going to do as a degree. I just wish i could have done it in the first year but my school didn't offer it so i had to do a night course at college.
    Anyone regret their choices?

    Definately regret music. It is a really hard subject and a complete waste of my time. Wish i could have done full psychology A-Level.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Initially, I chose :

    GNVQ Business Studies - because I'm better at coursework than exams (had never done BS as a subject before, just liked the sound of it)
    AS English Language - because I liked it at school and I thought it would be useful and look good
    AS Maths - because it was my fav and best subject at school
    AS Psychology - chose it on a whim at the last minute of my induction day
    AS General Studies and Key Skills - had to do it (tho it's no longer compulsory for new students at my college, because of the hash they made of teaching us lot it!)

    During the first few days of starting college, I switched from the GNVQ to AS Business Studies, because the GNVQ took up three blocks of my timetable, whereas the AS only took one - I'm sure I could have coped with it, but the teachers weren't too keen!
    In the following few months, I dropped both English Language and Maths - my fault, I obviously made the wrong choices... If I'd chosen English Lang & Lit, I think I would have found it more interesting and would have been more dedicated, and with the Maths, the teachers chose to teach us the hardest bits of the course first, which scared everyone off in droves! Eight classes of 30-ish, went down to three within the first two months!

    I enjoyed Psychology as a subject and I had two different teachers for it - one I got on with, and one I shared a mutual hate with. When I moved into the second year, I ended up having the teacher I hated full-time, which contributed to my downfall, and me leaving with a Grade E at A2. Obviously, in hindsight, I know I should have just gotten over it and made a real effort, but it just didn't seem that easy at the time! :rolleyes:

    Business Studies was great - both the subject and the teachers. I went to lessons for half the second year, but I ended up missing a couple of months worth due to illness (depression) - even if I went to the lesson, it just didn't go in, so I decided there was little point in me being there! I'd chosen to resit a couple of my first year exams, so in the end I didn't take my A2 exams, and chose to concentrate on my AS exams instead.

    General Studies and Key Skills weren't too bad... We had proper classes for them (tho only about an hour a week) - we had three different teachers for GS, some made the effort and seemed to enjoy teaching it, but others seemed to be of the opinion "if half the class isn't going to make the effort, why should I?". My Key Skills teacher was jailed half way thru the year (for four years, for the rape of two 14 year olds) so the teaching went a bit haywire for a while!

    I also picked up AS Economics in my second year.... That one was a bit up and down - one minute I thought I understood what he was talking about, and then then next, I didn't have as clue! :( Got on with the teacher alright tho, cos he was one of my old Business Studies teacher. When it came down to it tho, on the day of the exam, I was obviously having one of my "not getting it at all" days, cos I failed the whole thing! :( (that was the only one I was really gutted about too!)

    Sorry for waffling! This prob hasn't helped anyone at all! :rolleyes:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: A levels
    Originally posted by Smash
    How did you choose your A levels - what influenced your decision? What you were good at? What you enjoyed? Which ones did you do / how many?

    Anyone regret their choices?

    (I will come back and answer my own questions, just wanting some other people's expereinces. Ta.)

    I chose my favourite subjects English and French as I was good at them and I enjoyed them. I also chose media as a change to what I'd done before and absolutely love the subject. Now i'm doing English and Media at uni I wonder what made me choose them. It just goes to show an occasional risk is worth it for happiness.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    At AS i did:
    Geography
    Geology
    Chemistry
    Music
    Originally posted by emj
    Music. This is the most frustrating subject i do. There's loads to do and if you don't play piano (like i don't) then you are at a HUGE disadvantage.

    I dropped music, for all the reasons stated above. I did kind of enjoy it, but there was soo much work! I just scraped an A by 4 marks and packed it in. I dropped it before the results came out-against school policy ;) because i was so sure that no matter what the result was i wouldnt want to put myself through it again!

    As for the others, i love geology and geography, chemistry is interesting but can be hard in places but over all i enjoy it. They complement each other well and should all come in useful at uni.

    In a way i regret taking music since it was a close call between that and biology and i think the latter would have been more helpful, but it was nice to have some variety and do something creative rather than just learn facts and figures etc all the time.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I initially chose AVCE ICT, and AS Computing... with which I was accepted.

    By the time I came to enrol, I was told the courses were 'too similar' and that I needed 2 AS's alongside the AVCE (which is worth 2 A levels after 2 years).

    So I chose AS English Lang & Lit (Combined subject) and AS Business Studies, because I enjoyed them both at high school and got B grades in each. I chose English also, because it is coursework free :D

    I dropped Business Studies simply due to the amount of work they were setting, and the attitudes of the teachers... it started to feel like school and that's not the objective of college to me! Also, I found out friends had been allowed to choose Computing AND ICT and I wasn't :mad: lol

    Now I'm just coming to the close of my first year, and I'm going to carry on with all my subjects all the way through Year 2 as well. It's been hard, but because I enjoy the subjects, I've worked harder and therefore hopefully I'll get the grades I need to carry on. :) After 2 years, I'll leave with the equivalent of 3 A-levels, which is what Uni's look for, and it's good coz I only need equivalent of 2 A levels to do what I wanna do (Retail Management Trainee program)

    Any advice I would give is take the subjects you enjoy, and work hard at them while you're there. There'll still be plenty more time for fun and games after lessons coz you won't be in college half the time you were in school!!


    Edited because of my poor, poor spelling :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I initially chose French, German, English Lit and Philosophy. I chose the first three because I enjoyed them and was good at them, philosophy had always fascinated me and it was something new and interesting to try.
    After my first year I gave up German, because it was the one I was least enjoying, due to a really boring teacher etc.
    I kind of wish I was still doing German, but I don't think I would have survived another year of it!! I'm still really enjoying the other three and am glad I chose them.

    I think being interested by the subjects is the most important thing, because you're not going to enjoy them if they don't appeal to you and if you're not keen to learn more. Just go with whatever YOU want to do, don't do what you think you should be doing, or your parents or anyone, you're more likely to do well if you've decided based on your own likes/dislikes etc.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    On the advice of the director of one of the courses I wanted to at the college of my choice, called Soundwell college, I first wanted to do AVCE Health and Social Care combined with AS Level Human Biology because at that time I really wanted to be a Health Visitor.

    But oh no, a few months after my application, i got a letter from them saying that my course (the AVCE) had just been scrapped due to lack of enough interest, but a BTEC National Diploma in Care, a very similar course, was going to be available at another college, City of Bristol at College Green, in the month of my enrolment, September.

    I was at my wits end. I wanted to do Human Biology because I really enjoyed the subject, it was the only Science I excelled in at school, and I still wanted to go to Soundwell because one of my friends at school was going there, and a friend of mine, Sam, had been there years before and really enjoyed it there. I told my mum about my predicament and asked me how I was going to go to two colleges (even though they were merging that year) because they're both far away from me and eachother.

    I called both colleges every day, making enquiries. I went on their website every day. They took ages to respond, to give me a clear answer. They eventually told me that the AS in Human Biology was being run at night. How convienient; me, a 16 year old unchaperoned girl travelling to Bristol every night...I think not.

    My friend going to Soundwell, Deborah, shocked me. It was the day of our final exam. She lived far away from our school, so I let her come back to mine before we started it. As soon as we got back up there, she ran off with some Year Tens and started laughing at me, saying how she never liked me! Fuck that!

    I decided to just do the BND in Care at City of Bristol. It's equivalent to 3 A-Levels anyway which is good enough for me. I'm not one of those boffins that have to do at least four or five (no offence to the boffins).

    So....

    Final Choice: BTEC National Diploma in Care.

    And here I am. It's okay, apart from all the assignments which I am currently tearing my hair out over! :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Rar, you people rule. (I like rambles!)
    And key skills must die.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Smash
    And key skills must die.

    Agreed. Wankest thing ever invented.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Smash
    Rar, you people rule. (I like rambles!)
    And key skills must die.

    I don't have to do Key Skills :p :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by TempleOfDreams
    I don't have to do Key Skills :p :D

    Me neither! :D I don't have to do General Studies either.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by *hellie*
    I don't have to do General Studies either.

    :eek2:

    I did the old G.S. exams and coursework. I vividly remember one exam in which virtually everything was difficult maths! Is that 'general'? However, the other paper was all essays on contemporary topics, all of which being fine.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by *hellie*
    Me neither! :D I don't have to do General Studies either.

    I don't do General Studies either :confused:

    Maybe my college isn't as bad as I make it out to be :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I took

    English (combined)


    I chose this because I did well at GCSE and it was one of my favourite subjects.

    Theatre Studies

    I did Drama GCSE and am very into theatre, hence choosing this but not many places offer it. It was 50/50 practical and theory, we got to see a lot of plays and I loved it.

    Law

    I started off doing Biology but was put off by the Maths involved so changed to Law, which I found very interesting and useful, although there are a lot of facts to learn. It was probably my weakest subject but I worked very hard and got an A which I was pleased with.

    I enjoyed doing A Levels.

    No one ever went to Key Skills, it hasn't stopped me from doing what I want to do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm currently doing Government & Politics, Economics and History for A2 and I did English Literature for AS.

    Politics was always my major choice because I love it well except for the American politics we're doing this year but it's not that bad. Mainly because we're a small class and have all got on reasonably well.

    Economics I did because after my GCSEs I just thought it was Politics with a bit of maths, which it is in some units but in others it isn't. But it's a good compliment to Politics and is one of those subjects where you're presented with differing perspectives and the facts of those choices and left to make up your own mind about it.

    History at A-Level is totally different to GCSE, much better for it too in my opinion. You don't learn nearly as many facts and it's much more opinion based and about arguing your perspective on a question which I find a lot more interesting.

    English Literature I was disappointed with, the teachers were excellent, but I got rapidly sick of just analysing the text to death and by the end of one book - you spend about a term on each book - you hate it and never want to see it again!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Geography at AS and dropped Chemistry. Did those cos i was interested in them at GCSE and thought they would be good. Regret doing them but there we go!! Only 14 days left doing them. Did key skills for about 2 weeks then school gave up and started giving us CLAIT. Never mind... no one ever turns up to it. Had General Studies last year but not this and dont have an exam :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Im gonna sound like a bit of a geek but im doin

    AS Maths
    AS Further Maths
    AS Computing

    and i did AS Phyisc but droped cause it sucked, gonna carry on all three for A2
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Art - Because i love it and am good at it, planning on going to Art College.

    English Language - Because i dont mind it and im not bad at it.

    Art History - Its close to Art, but i havnt really enjoyed it hugely. It is pretty hard.

    These are my As ones im doing currently. Think i will drop Art History.

    Just chose what you enjoy! :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Smash
    Rar, you people rule. (I like rambles!)
    And key skills must die.

    Yes, i completely agree, Key Skills must be destroyed! Its a bitch cause the AS subjects i chose dont apply to it much which means more feckin' work for me! And my teacher thought it relevant to tell me that i had no chance of gettin' into uni without it... the liar!

    Anyways, i chose:
    AS Psychology - Always fascinated me so i figured what the hell?!
    AS History - I was always good at it and figured i'd find it worth while
    AS English Literature - Was always good at this too and i find it interesting, i'm a bit of a book worm at times *cringes* how geekish! i'm not that bad i promise!

    I'm in the middle of sitting my AS exams for them too, which is a bitch... But oh well, oh! and i'm carrying them all on for A2...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did:

    AS Sociology (really interesting, but didn't do it to A2 level because of the immense amounts of coursework required at A2)

    and:

    A2 English Literature (loved it, was good at it)
    A2 Spanish (ditto)
    A2 Art History (wanted to do something new)

    Am now doing English Language & Literature at uni, though most days I wish I'd gone for art history instead... oh well...

    :)
Sign In or Register to comment.