As students approach the end of their secondary education and initiate their A-Levels at Sixth Form or College, they are for the first time faced with the task of narrowing down and subsequently preselect their career paths or professions. Unlike GCSEs where they still have a variety of choices and higher flexibility, A-Levels restricts their path towards higher education significantly. For that reason selecting the subject the students desire to take and pursue throughout their future is critical to their success.
With many students receiving their A-Level results recently, the pressure to get accepted for a university degree has become more apparent. The number of students being accepted based on unconditional offers has also increased, which partially releases the pressure for some but may also negatively impact their performance due to unconscious bias.
Whilst there are many examples where the individuals have made it far in life and become successful without A-Levels, dominantly through starting their own business or simply taking on apprenticeships to begin with, it is fundamentally clear that successful completion of A-Levels serves as a secure backbone in future. This is not only true when applying for universities but also when applying to any job which requires fundamental skills in both English and Maths.
It goes without saying that there has been another rise in students taking Maths for A-Levels (precisely 2.5% increase from last year and a 26.8% from 2010). With a major focus being on technology and innovation another maths related subject which has been heavy favourite was ‘Computing’. The percentage increase in the number of students taking ‘Computing’ was almost 24% within the space of 1 year alone. Furthermore, another noticeable trend that could be identified was that almost one third of all A-Level entries were STEM related. It goes to show how much importance students place on a Mathematics related career.
Students who did not perform well or did not meet expectations set by their university of choice would still be considered for clearing and UCAS has a dedicated team to support them with the process if that scenario should arise. There are many web resources providing step by step guidance and advice under these circumstances. See below for more details on subject trends and guidance.