How Important Are A-Levels? Insights from a 2nd Year Student

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Teachers always seem to drill into students the importance of A-Levels. So much pressure and importance are given to these two years of work, with those looming exams at the end of Year 13 seeming even more scary the closer you get to them. However, is it true that A-Levels are that important? It’s true that they may help to get better jobs but are there other options?

A-Levels are extremely important because they can open doors for students, allowing them to get better jobs. However, A-Levels are not the be all and end all. There are plenty of other routes students can take to get jobs which are equally well paid. The importance of A-Levels often depends on each individual and what career they want to have in the future.

If you want to discover more about whether A-Levels are important or not and whether it really matters if you fail them, check out the rest of this article!

How important are A-Levels?

As you probably already know, A-Levels are subject based qualifications which students study for in sixth form or college.  You can discover what A-Levels actually are if you check out this article from Think Student.

Normally, students will take about three A-Levels, in different combinations. You can discover many great A-Level combinations in this article from Think Student.

However, some students may take four or even five A-Levels! This isn’t as common because they require a lot of work. Some students may even decide to take an AS-Level, which is equivalent to half of an A-Level. You can discover more about the differences between A-Levels and AS-Levels if you check out this article from Think Student.

Regardless of which A-Levels you take and which combination you choose, A-Levels are seen as an important qualification. This is because they can open many doors for individuals that take them.

This article from UCAS highlights how A-Levels can help individuals greatly in the future. They allow students to get into university, apply for top level apprenticeships and get better jobs if you want to go straight into employment!

In my opinion, A-Levels are extremely important because employers value employees who are well educated. However, it must be noted that A-Levels are not the most important asset for an individual to have.

Employers may prefer a certain personality for example, over grades. Also, if you do fail A-Levels, there are always other options! This means that if you don’t get the A-Levels you really wanted, this isn’t the end of the world.

However, there is no hiding from the fact that A-Levels can open many doors for one’s future. A-Levels – or equivalent qualifications – are essential in order to get into university.

Are A-Levels the only route to get into university?

It is true that A-Levels are the most popular route to get into university. This is because A-Levels are widely offered by different colleges and sixth forms. Often, students think that A-Levels are the only route to get into university.

However, the truth is that there are alternatives. A couple of these alternatives include BTECs and T-Levels. Click on the respective links to learn more about each option.

BTECs are becoming increasingly popular and are also readily accepted by universities. You can find out more about taking A-Levels and BTECs if you check out this article from Think Student. However, it is true that some universities do prefer A-Levels.

BTECs often link to a specific job area, such as health and social care, instead of taking an A-Level in biology for example. You can find out more about alternative qualifications and BTECs if you check out this article from UCAS.

Students can also get into university if they have completed an access to higher education diploma. However, this is normally completed by students who have had a break from studying. You can find out more about this qualification on the Access to Higher Education website if you click here.

Do A-Levels matter after university?

For many individuals, A-Levels do not matter after university. This is because employers often focus on an individual’s most recent qualifications. This would be their university degree.

After all, A-Level exams are usually taken by students when they are 17 or 18 years old. A student’s knowledge will develop much more after they have completed a degree, in comparison to when they sat their A-Levels.

However, it is true that some employers do require their employees to have certain A-Level grades as well as a degree. This is the case according to this article from the William Clarence Education website.

Are A-Levels important to students?

Achieving a set of A-Levels is mostly seen as a route to get a good career. However, I believe that A-Levels do much more than get you a place at university.

A-Levels can actually help students develop the skills they need to enter the world of work. A-Levels require a lot of work and dedication. As a result, they can help students improve their organisational and time management skills.

A-Levels also allow students to develop their critical thinking skills, which will be looked at favourably by employers. Therefore, A-Levels are not only important in generating grades to get a place at university, but they are also important for improving students individually.

How important are A-Levels to employers?

A-Levels are relatively seen as important to employers. This is because they can show an individual’s hard work and determination, also displaying how they perform under pressure during tough exams.

You could impress employers even more if you choose to sit A-Levels which are specific to the industry your employer specialises in. Sometimes, having good A-Level grades specific to the job role can put you above other candidates.

You can find out more about the importance of A-Levels to employers if you check out this article from Studying Hood. However, A-Levels are not the only thing seen as important to employers.

This mostly depends on the type of job that you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a job where you will have to be sociable, employers will probably favour personality over grades. If you want to discover what employers actually look for in graduates, check out this article from UCAS.

Do employers look at A-Level results?

Whether an employer looks at an individual’s results depends on the individual employer. Some employers see A-Level grades as important, whilst others only care about one’s most recent qualifications.

If the job a candidate is applying for is academically rigorous, this may result in an employer taking a look at their A-Level results. As already stated, an employer may value a candidate’s personality more than grades, so won’t look at an individual’s A-Level results.

This employer mindset depends on the job being applied for.

Are A-Levels important for getting a job?

As already stated, how useful A-Levels are for getting a job depends on the type of job you are applying for. For less academically rigorous jobs, such as becoming a waitress or working in retail, you will probably only need a set of GCSEs.

However, some jobs see A-Levels as essential. This is because the results can be used by employers to identify candidates who are the most academic and skilled. Good A-Level grades can also show an employer that the individual has valuable skills, such as being good at thinking critically.

You can find out more about the importance of A-Levels in this article from Learn Direct.

Can you get a good job if you fail your A-Levels?

If you fail your A-Levels, you can still definitely get a good job! As already stated, some employers prefer personality over grades for certain jobs.

If you are a people person, you could get a really well-paid job if it involves being extremely social, even without good grades. There are always other options you can take too if you do end up failing your A-Levels.

For example, you could take an apprenticeship which is equivalent to A-Levels. Alternatively, you could go straight into employment in a job which only requires GCSEs. The longer you work in this job, the more likely you are to get a good promotion.

If you stay for long enough, you could end up getting a managerial role for example and get really good pay – without any A-Levels! However, it isn’t really the best if you do fail your A-Levels, as having a set of A-Level grades can lead to potentially better jobs.

If you want to hear some tips about what to do if you are feeling that you are failing your A-Levels, check out this article from Think Student.

What do you do if you fail your A-Levels?

If you do fail your A-Levels, there is no need to worry. It is not the end of the world! If you still really want a set of A-Level grades after failing, there is always a chance to re-sit your exams. This is especially useful if you only failed one A-Level.

All you have to do is wait for the next year and ask your school or college to enrol you for the A-Level exams again, so that you can re-sit them. You will have to wait a year to re-sit your exams. This is because A-Levels are only assessed in the spring.

This can be seen as a positive because it gives you an extra year to prepare! You could also attend lessons in the subject you wish to retake with the year below. Do not be put off by doing this! Don’t think for a second that it will be embarrassing to attend classes with the year below.

It could be extremely useful and other students should respect you for trying your hardest to get the grades you deserve. If you want to find out more about retaking A-Levels, check out this article from Think Student.

When you receive your grades on A-Level results day, you may believe that you have failed because you haven’t achieved the grades that you needed for a particular university. However, the grades you have received may be more than adequate for other university courses.

You can discover if this is the case by applying to another university course through Clearing. In this way, you could be given a place on a course which requires lower A-Level grades, so even if you didn’t do very well in your A-Levels, you could still get into university! You can find out more about Clearing in this article from UCAS.

Can you do an apprenticeship if you fail your A-Levels?

Alternatively, if you don’t want to resit exams and don’t want to go to university, doing an apprenticeship is definitely a great option! If you got lower grades than expected on your A-Levels, there will most likely be apprenticeships available which will accept these, even if a university course won’t.

You could apply for a Level 3 apprenticeship with these slightly lower than expected A-Level grades. However, if you do completely fail your A-Level exams, apprenticeships are still an option!

You could apply for a Level 2 apprenticeship instead of a Level 3. Apprenticeships are great options for individuals if they have failed their A-Levels, as they can be great stepping stones for well-paid jobs.

If you want to find out more about apprenticeships and what the different levels mean, check out these two articles from think student here and here.

Which A-Levels lead to the highest paying jobs?

Saying which A-Level subjects lead to the highest paying jobs can be difficult. This is because whether an individual gets a well-paid job or not could depend on many other factors, such as experience and personality, as well as their A-Levels.

However, this article from Tes magazine revealed that on average, A-Level Further Maths leads to the highest earning careers. This is followed by A-Level Physics, A-Level Economics and A-Level Engineering.

However, don’t worry if these don’t sound like your kind of subjects. I am definitely not a fan of maths! There are plenty of students who took A-Level English for example, and still have respectable careers.

It is best to choose A-Levels you think you will enjoy the most and are good at, instead of choosing those which apparently lead to making the most amount of money.

What are the most respected A-Levels?

Whether an A-Level is considered to be respected or not depends on each individual and their strengths. For example, if a student finds A-Level Physics difficult, they may respect other students who take it.

If you want to find out what the general opinion for the most respected A-Levels is, as decided by students, check out this article from Think Student. The data in this article found that students tend to respect A-Level Maths the most.

Regardless, each A-Level subject should be respected. Each A-Level is difficult in its own way and even though some subjects may be looked down upon, they are still extremely hard. You should be proud if you have a solid set of A-Level results.

Are A-Levels more important than GCSEs?

A-Levels can be seen as more important than GCSEs because they are used to help students get into further education. Without a set of A-Level results, or equivalent qualifications, you would not be able to get into university. In this sense, A-Levels are more important because you cannot get into university with just a set of GCSEs.

Not everyone has a set of A-Levels. However, nearly everyone will have at least some GCSEs. This means that having A-Levels can help individuals stand out, stressing the importance of this qualification in getting a career.

However, GCSEs are still important qualifications. This is because they are needed in order to get most jobs and of course, they allow students to get into different sixth forms and colleges. If you want to discover the main differences between GCSEs and A-Levels, check out this article from Think Student.

How should you choose your A-Levels?

Choosing your A-Levels can be a difficult task! After all, you will have to study these subjects for two years and then be tested vigorously on them at the end. A-Levels require an immense amount of work. Therefore, it is important that you choose subjects that you genuinely find interesting or think that you might enjoy.

When considering which A-Levels to take, it could also be useful to think about what career you want to do in the future, or what university courses you are hoping to apply for. You could then tailor your A-Level choices to these.

If you want to discover more tips on how you should choose your A-Levels, check out this article from Think Student.

Hopefully, this article has outlined to you the importance of A-Levels. Good luck to you if you do decide to take them! However, if you fail your A-Levels, there is no need to worry because they are not the most important things in the world. After all, grades do not define you.

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