A Parents’ Guide to A Levels

This is a collaborative post

Once a teenager has finished their GCSEs at the end of Year 11, there are various routes they can take to progress in their education. Some students opt for an apprenticeship, but A Levels are the more popular option and can lead to entrance into university. A Levels are available across a variety of subjects and are studied across a two-year period, much like GCSEs. Students tend to study four A Levels in the first year and then as they move into the second year, they typically drop one of the subjects. As a result, they end up with one AS qualification and three full A Levels.

Parents should try and educate themselves as much as possible on A Levels so that they are in a good position to support their child through this challenging process. I have teamed up with a private college in Somerset to share some guidance.

Choosing A Level Subjects

First of all, you will need to be there for your child when the time comes for them to choose their A Level subjects. Ultimately, it’s their decision, but you should try and give them some advice where possible. Encourage them to think about which subjects they are good at and likely to enjoy. There’s no point studying something they hate just because their friends are doing it or they like the teacher, as they won’t be engaged in the course content and will end up with sub-par results. 

Ask them to consider their future plans, such as what career they’d like to get into or whether or not they’d like to go to university. This should help them make smarter decisions in terms of their A Level subjects. For instance, if they want to become a doctor, they will need to study science-based subjects at A Level. Do some research together and find out what qualifications are required for different jobs or university applications. 

Independent Stud

A Levels are far more complicated and in-depth than GCSEs and require a lot more independent study. That’s why most students tend to drop one of their subjects after the first year. This will be a challenging time for your child and it’s important that you are patient with them and provide them with a shoulder to cry on should they need it. Provide them with positive reinforcement and ensure they are making healthy lifestyle choices to keep their mental and physical health in optimum shape. Make sure your child has a suitable space in your home where they can study. This space should be quiet, free from distractions and equipped with all of the necessary study supplies, like stationery and textbooks. 

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