Choosing Baccalaureate Subjects by Ellen Jones, BHASVIC
With summer fast approaching, it can seem difficult to manage the stress of choosing your high school diploma while repeating yourself for the GCSEs. But it doesn’t have to be! Despite the exam pressure, the end of 11th grade is an exciting time and there are countless options to choose from when it comes to your next steps. If you choose to follow an A-level route, here are a few things to keep in mind as you explore different subjects from a current A-level student.
1. Which subjects do you like?
The high school diploma is demanding. No matter how academically proficient you may be, there are some aspects of the jump from GCSE to A-levels that will be difficult for you – and what’s worse than struggling through a subject you don’t even enjoy? If you choose subjects that you primarily enjoy and find rewarding, college/sixth grade becomes that much more rewarding. Make sure you research the course content carefully to make an informed decision about it.
2. Think about your post-18 ideas (if you can!)
If you have an idea of a career that interests you, think about what qualifications it might require. It’s important to balance this with the subjects you enjoy – if you want to be a doctor but don’t like math, is it worth pursuing if you need it for medical school? You can use the UCAS website to research degrees that may interest you. Keep an open mind – if you want to write, don’t just research English courses, but any liberal arts you enjoy! This could lead you to subjects that act as stepping stones to your post-18 choices, be it a degree or a career. If you don’t have any career plans yet, that’s okay too! Choosing a high school diploma that you enjoy can help you discover what excites you and what might suit you. Cambridge University has some excellent webinars, The Subject Matters, which provide advice on A Level subjects as they relate to degrees.
3. Think about what you are good at.
Purposefulness and perseverance can certainly compensate for natural talent in a specialist area. And when they graduate from high school, everyone has to work hard to be successful, even those who sailed through high school with perfect grades. However, if you are struggling to make it through a GCSE course, it is important to consider whether you could succeed in an advanced course in the subject. Perhaps there are some taster activities from your future college or high school in this subject that could help you assess if it’s for you, or talk to your current teachers about where you’re going. Everyone finds some aspects of high school challenging, especially in the beginning, but it’s important to be both ambitious and realistic.
4. Be open-minded.
There are many high school diplomas in subjects you may not have studied before – don’t let that put you off! Be open to new subjects and consider how aspects of them might be similar to your GCSE subjects. The high school politics, for example, is not dissimilar to the story in some aspects. Read brochures about what these new courses offer and where they might take you, and ask teachers about them. Find school email addresses on the sixth form/college website or contact the college/sixth grade to ask questions about a new subject! They will be happy to help you.
5. Don’t worry!
Your main focus now should be your exams. High school graduation decisions are the exciting aftermath of months of revision. On Results Day, many people find that they have a much clearer picture of what their strongest issues are and what their best options are. You have time. It may not feel like it, but you got it. Many people switch courses in September when they aren’t feeling well, and while it might be uncomfortable, switching courses after a few weeks is entirely doable and okay. I wasn’t even sure of my courses when I started college; now i love them all! Trust that September will most likely find you in a positive position as you choose courses you are good at, enjoy, and find worthwhile. Much luck!
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23287344.choosing-a-level-subjects-ellen-jones-bhasvic/?ref=rss Choosing Baccalaureate Subjects by Ellen Jones, BHASVIC