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Future Voices: Do you regret your A-level choices?

PUBLISHED: 11:00 14 April 2017

File photo of a student taking an exam. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

File photo of a student taking an exam. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire


Do A-Levels teach you how to pass a test rather than important life skills? Or, are you happy with your A-Level choices?

I interviewed two students with opposing views about the first few months of year 12, hoping to gain an insight into the views of other sixth form students.

SB: In your opinion, what is the best thing about sixth form?

Student one: “My favourite part of sixth form is the study periods, because I get a lot of my work done there.”

Student two: “I really enjoy specialising in subjects I am passionate about and having teachers who can help with the extra information beyond the standard.”

SB: What has been the worst thing about sixth form in your experience?

Student one: “Where should I start? The amount of pressure on us students from our mocks is the biggest thing. Also, the education system in general doesn’t include enough practical activities – it doesn’t teach you how to actually do the work and understand it – instead of just studying for a test.”

Student two: “There isn’t really a ‘worse thing’, I’m loving it all.”

SB: If you could give your younger self one piece of advice regarding A-Levels, what would it be?

Student one: “Make sure you know every opportunity before you sign up to college. Look into all colleges -- even if they have particular reputations – because they might offer a course you really like.”

Student two: “I would say: do not set your heart on specific subjects too early and to give others more thought before making a final decision.”

SB: Are your current A - Levels too exam-based?

Student one: “My two favourite subjects rely on a lot of coursework – however the rest of my subjects rely heavily on exam results. This is making it very stressful for me.

“Mainly, this is because I passed my GCSEs through my coursework, and my exam grades brought me down. I can’t remember names and dates very well. I’m most worried about the sheer pressure that’s on my shoulders.”

Student two: “I do not think they are too exam based as each of my subjects has elements of coursework except one, however I am generally good in exams and therefore this is not an issue for me anyway.

“They are subjects that I am interested in enough to put in the time and learn them fully. I am, however, nervous about having to achieve the required entry requirements for university and that I will flunk them at the last moment.”

SB: Are you happy in college?

Student one: “No, [laughing] I’m being serious!”

Student two: “Yes, absolutely.”

• Do you regret going to sixth form, or are you in your element? Comment below.

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