Sometimes, A-Levels can just seem too much! Students are given a mountain of homework and revision to do, often with strict deadlines. Therefore, it is no surprise that some students dream of reducing their workload and hope to maybe detach themselves from one of their A-Levels. However, can this actually be done? After all, you would have signed up to do a certain number of A-Levels, committing yourself to seeing the end.
It is possible for you to drop an A-Level in Year 12 and Year 13. This is completely the student’s decision. However, it is advised that each student fully researches the pros and cons of dropping an A-Level before they decide to do so. Depending on the sixth form college, teachers may discourage you from dropping an A-Level.
If you want to discover more about dropping A-Levels and whether this could be an option for you, check out the rest of this article!
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Can you drop an A-Level in Year 12?
You can definitely drop an A-Level at any point in Year 12. It was your choice to do A-Levels in the first place, so it is your choice whether you want to drop any!
That being said, it is not simply a case of stopping going to those lessons. Your teachers will have to discuss this decision with you, and ultimately approve your decision to drop the subject.
They may even ask that you keep the subject for a while. For example, if you want to drop it very close to Christmas, they may want to see it through until the end of the term.
Ultimately, though, dropping an A-Level in Year 12 is certainly possible. A-Levels are optional, and are only right for certain people, as shown in this article from UCAS.
Year 12 is probably the best time to do it too. Otherwise, if you wait until Year 13, you would have done a whole year of work for nothing.
It is more common for students to drop an A-Level in Year 12 than Year 13. This is because, let’s be honest, you probably don’t need a whole year to figure out that you don’t like one of your subjects.
Can you drop an A-Level at any point in Year 12?
As mentioned, you can technically drop an A-Level at any point during Year 12 – but it is more common for this to happen in the first few weeks of the year.
Students can use the start of Year 12 to test out the subjects they have chosen, then change one of them if they find that they don’t like it. This was the case in my sixth form, as we were given a two-week window in the September of Year 12, where we could decide whether we wanted to stick with our chosen subjects.
You can discover how late you can leave it before you change A-Level subject if you check out this article from Think Student. Alternatively, you could use the start of Year 12 to drop one of your A-Levels, if you discover that you have taken too many on and there is too much work!
After all, transitioning from GCSEs to A-Levels can be tough. If you want to discover how to best prepare for A-Levels from GCSEs, check out this article from Think Student.
Can you drop an A-Level in Year 13?
You have to be in education legally until you are 18 years old. However, you are still able to drop an A-Level in Year 12 or Year 13 as long as you are being educated by other means. You may still be doing other A-Levels, or alternatively, an apprenticeship.
Therefore, you can still drop an A-Level in Year 13. Some students are 18 years old by this point too, so can fully leave education. However, from personal experience, I can say that teachers will do all they can to prevent you from dropping an A-Level in Year 13.
After all, you would have done a whole years’ worth of work already and Year 13 isn’t even a full year! This is dependent on the student of course. If the teachers truly believe that you will pass all your A-Levels, they may persuade you not to drop them but if they don’t, they may support your decision to stop them.
Which A-Level should you drop?
If you are really considering dropping an A-Level, maybe because the workload is too much, you need to make sure that you are choosing the right one to drop!
There are four main factors to take into account when deciding the answer to this question. The main one is identifying which subject you are scoring the lowest grades in. Ultimately, you want to get the best grades you can – so you might not want to complete an A-Level if you know that you aren’t going to be doing very well in it.
You could also maybe drop the A-Level that is the most demanding and uses up most of your energy and free time. Alternatively, you could drop the A-Level which isn’t relevant to your dream career or university course.
Finally, if you are still struggling to decide which A-Level to drop, choose the one which you enjoy the least. You will be studying A-Levels for two years after all, so it is best to stick with the ones that you don’t mind and – dare I say it – even like!
Check out this article from Snap Revise for more tips on choosing which A-Level to drop.
Should you drop an A-Level?
This question depends on each student and their individual situation. After all, A-Levels are optional. There are plenty of other options you could take in education if you don’t really want to do them.
The best advice for this question is to make yourself a pros and cons list, for and against A-levels. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly, as it could determine your whole future!
Consequently, it is best to take your time and fully reflect on whether you should drop an A-Level or not. If you are struggling with the workload, talk to your subject teachers or tutor about it. Surely, they will be there for you and offer support.
Additionally, if you are struggling specifically with exam stress, check out this article from Think Student for some tips on how to deal with it. If you really believe that dropping one or all of your A-Levels is the best thing to do, then go for it. You know yourself the best.
However, it is also important to look at all of the benefits A-Levels can lead to if you do decide to take a sufficient amount. Check out this article from Think Student if you want to discover how important A-Levels actually are.
What do you do if you have dropped your A-Levels?
Some students may have just had enough with all A-Level subjects. This is especially true if they are not very academic or don’t enjoy having to write pages and pages.
If this sounds like you, it may be worth considering an apprenticeship, which you can find more information about if you check out this article from Think Student. However, if you have just dropped all of your A-Levels, it can be scary when figuring out what to do next.
After you are completely sure you have made the final decision of opting out of A-Levels, it is time to research your options! You could go to college and maybe start a BTEC course which is often more practical based. If you are already 18, you could go into the world of work.
Alternatively, as already stated, an apprenticeship is a fantastic option. If you want to discover how to actually make the decision of dropping your A-Levels and what next steps you should take, check out this article from Career Pilot.
Can you drop an A-Level after you have completed it?
Some students may not be very happy with the results they receive for one or more of their A-Levels. Consequently, they may want to detach themselves as much as possible from the grade they received.
However, it is not possible to dissociate yourself from an A-Level grade once you have achieved this. Of course, you can re-sit the A-Level if you really want to and replace the grade with a higher one. However, you can’t drop a qualification which you have earned.
Even if you have failed one of your A-Levels, you have to list it on UCAS. You can find out more about this if you read this article from Think Student. You also have to list any courses that you may have started but didn’t finish on your UCAS application.
Therefore, if you do drop an A-Level in Year 12 or Year 13, you may have to list it. More information about filling in your education history on UCAS can be found on this page from the UCAS website.
How many A-Levels are needed to get into university?
For most students, three A-Levels are needed to get into university as a minimum, as shown in this article from Think Student. As a result, if you are currently studying three A-Levels but want to drop one, it may be worth thinking about the consequences in regard to university.
However, if you are already doing four or five A-Levels, dropping one A-Level probably won’t make much difference to most universities. If you want to discover how many A-Levels you should do, check out this article from Think Student.
You are able to just do two A-Levels at sixth form or college. However, to get into university you will most likely need to combine these with another qualification, such as a BTEC.
Despite this, you must remember that there are other routes you can take to get into university. If you don’t have enough A-Level qualifications to get in, you can always sign up to do a Higher National Certificate for example. If you want to find out more about HNC qualifications, check out this article from Think Student.