Pupils confused by ‘preferred’ A-levels

“Pupils as young as 16 are worried that the A-level subjects they choose may harm their chances of a university place later on. Why is there no clear information for them?

With record demand for undergraduate courses, universities have tightened their admissions policies. Some have started disregarding subjects such as general studies, while others publish lists of “preferred” or “less preferred” A-levels. Year 11s who are intending to apply to university need to research qualification requirements now – but there are growing complaints that the information they need isn’t easily available.

“It’s hard to know exactly what universities want from us,” says Amanda, who wants to study journalism or languages. “I tried to research what A-levels would give me the best chances of getting on to those courses, but it wasn’t easy to find. I spent ages on the websites of Cambridge, Oxford, Leeds, Liverpool and Bristol. Cambridge was the clearest, but on many of the others I just found lots of links, with the information all over the place, or not there at all. Because there was often no clear list, I ended up looking up lots of individual courses, even though I’m not yet sure exactly what I’d like to do.” “

Click here to read the article by Lucy Tobin in full


Our View

Never has IAG  (Information, Advice & Guidance) been so important to students. It is essential that students receive accurate information about career paths and the relevant qualifications required from staff in schools & colleges. In addition, it is important that universities are ‘open and honest’ about their criteria for entry – in order to give all students a chance to succeed.

What are your experiences? Do you think staff are given appropriate training to ensure that the IAG they provide is accurate? We’re interested in your views so post your comments using the box below.


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