A Levels: The next steps to University

Student stories

Salomen's Story

Student writing

SalomenI was an exceptionally good science student in my secondary school and always wanted to continue with my science subjects at A Levels as I wished to study medicine at University. However, this was not my fate. After careful consideration of my personality, my academic and non-academic weaknesses and strengths, I decided to abandon my science subjects and make friends with subjects who would help me to study law at University.

I chose economics, geography and sociology at A-levels as I confirmed with my research and various university advisors that these were the kind of subjects to be studied at A Levels to be able to secure my place in a law course at University.

Writing skills developed during the course helped me write my personal statement for my University applications. Although I was unable to get the best grades due to personal circumstances, my personal statement reflected the skills I gained during the course. This helped me to secure a place in my chosen course at this fantastic university called, ‘The University of Northampton’.

Studying at University is different from studying at A Levels in many ways. At University, students are expected to be more independent and responsible compared to studying at sixth form. Students can pass or can even get the top grades at A Levels by relying on the limited resources suggested by their tutors, however, to be successful at University, you need to refer an extensive list of reliable sources, which you may need to source independently.

Unlike A-levels, University education is not about regurgitating information or facts, it is about questioning their reliability and relevance. Unlike sixth form tutors, University lecturers expect students to cite every source in the correct referencing convention followed in that discipline to get credit for their work. University tutors act as students’ facilitators, guiding them about research methods rather than spoon feeding information to students to pass their examinations.

Overall, studying at University is more challenging and wholesome as compared to A Levels. I feel fortunate of having this opportunity to get such a holistic experience of studying at a University.