Things to consider when choosing your A Levels

There are a few things you need to know before making your final A-level choice. Choosing a handful of subjects to take at A-level is not a decision you should take lightly. The A-levels you pick now can impact what you do later, namely the courses you can apply to at university.

If you don’t know what you want to do in the future, you can still make smart choices now, that will leave you in the best position in two years’ time.

1 Check university requirements

If you decided to go to university, the main question you should ask yourself is: ‘Do I know what I want to study?’. Your answer will dictate which subjects you should choose for A Level. So, if you have clear ideas about what you want to do in life, you should check whether your plans require specific subjects. A lot of courses will specify at least one subject you’ll need to have studied at A Level. Some examples are listed below:

  • Economics: Mathematics is the only A-level subject that is required. You can take Further Mathematics in addition to Mathematics. Economics is preferred if your school offers it.
  • English language and literature: English literature, English language or modern language
  • Engineering / Computer science: Mathematics, Further Mathematics, and Physics or Chemistry (for an engineering course)
  • Pharmaceuticals: Chemistry is a compulsory subject, in addition you can choose Mathematics, Biology or Physics
  • Medicine: Chemistry and Biology are compulsory subjects
  • Architecture: Physics, Mathematics and Art are the most appropriate subjects
  • Law: Any subjects can be chosen, however, you will need to show that you have the skills that will enable you to be successful in your law degree (eg writing essays, analyzing facts). Subjects such as History, Law and Politics are the most appropriate for this course.

Things to consider when choosing your A Levels Read More »

Virtual University Fair

There is a unique opportunity for all potential university students – participating in a university fair virtual event from the comfort of your own house. Meet the Russell Group is a collaborative virtual event with all 24 Russell Group Universities in association with UK University Search. The event will be going live on Wednesday 10 February, and you are welcome to visit anytime between 12:00 – 19:00, and spend as long as you need to at the event, collecting information and talking to representatives and ambassadors. You can register and look at the timetable here.

Please contact us for professional advice: [email protected]

Tel. +44 79307 32407

Elena Colquhoun, MSc, PGCE, ACIL

Director of Best Start Education, qualified teacher and examiner


Virtual University Fair Read More »

Celebrating with our students

As everyone knows, entry into Oxford University has become even more intensely competitive.

Best Start Education is delighted to announce that one of our students, Polina, secured her place at Oxford University last week.  We have been Polina’s guardians for 5 years. Entry into such a prestigious university reflects our student’s talents, ambition and hard work, as well as the support and encouragement of her family and teachers. Well done Polina!  Well done to all our students!

Celebrating with our students Read More »

Free activities from Concord language school

The language school Concord is going online this summer, delivering free activities, learning opportunities and challenges that students of all ages can do from home (recommended age 13-17). All activities will take place on social media, with the opportunity for safe & secure online meet ups with friends (supervised by staff), and a dedicated platform to view detailed activity information and upload photos & videos of completed tasks.

What’s more, not only is the programme completely free to join, each submission of completed tasks (there are 20) generates an entry to the ‘End of Summer Prize Draw’ for a chance to win a free place at Concord Summer 2021. So that’s potentially 20 chances for each student to secure a place in the 2021 summer courses (T&C’s apply).

Free activities from Concord language school Read More »

Things to do during summer holidays

The summer is here! There are so many fun things to do during summer holidays. We have gathered them and listed below.


Getting lost in a good book can pass several hours of your day, which can come in handy if you are struggling a little during summer break. Reading is also a great way to relax and de-stress. If you have already read all your books and don’t fancy re-reading them, now is the perfect time to escape into the world of online books.

Check out the following:

BBC sounds – more than 100 short stories are available to listen to for free as well as many books such as Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson and Silas Marner by George Eliot. There are also 15 children’s stories, including The Children’s joke by Louisa May Alcott and Finn and the Scottish Giant by Harold F Hughes

Things to do during summer holidays Read More »

Online tuition

We live in a digital world. The easiest way to learn anything nowadays is joining online lessons and you can take them anytime, anywhere, and in any subject.

Online learning has been on the rise in recent years, and it’s really not hard to see why. On the one hand, online learning has become hugely popular by the simple virtue of being so much more convenient than traditional face to face tuition. There are lots of benefits of studying online, such as:

  • Convenience and flexibility
  • Variety of programs
  • Individual approach
  • More comfortable learning environment
  • More interaction and greater ability to concentrate

We offer tutoring for ongoing academic needs and for school entrance tests.

Online tuition Read More »

Schools are teaching children how to navigate global issues

When I worked as a teacher, I participated in running of two environmental clubs.  It was a few years ago, but already at that time children were very interested in the topic.  Recently it became the big movement.  Below I will share with you some information from the media on how schools react to it and incorporate this topic into the curriculum.

Should pupils bunk off school to attend climate protests? This year, the swelling ranks of teenagers joining environmental demonstrations posed a dilemma for teachers. On the one hand, they want pupils to become engaged and active world citizens. On the other, they want to keep them safe and in school.

Schools are teaching children how to navigate global issues Read More »

Comparing A Levels and IB

A Levels

A Levels are known for developing in-depth subject knowledge and the English National Curriculum (of which A Levels are a part of) still remains the most popular curriculum choice with international schools around the world. Students usually choose three or four subjects, and take two years to study for these A-levels between the ages of 16 and 18. Pass grades are A* (the top grade), followed by A, B, C, D and E. One similarity between the IB Diploma and A Levels is that both qualifications are assessed by exams at the end of a two-year study period.

IB Diploma

The IB Diploma is for students aged 16-18 and requires no specific preparatory classwork, so can be undertaken directly from GCSEs. It offers a broad curriculum made up of six subject groups – students usually study three at a higher level and three at a standard level.

Comparing A Levels and IB Read More »

UK work visas for foreign graduates to be extended to two years

International students are to be offered a two-year work visa after graduating from a British university, the government announced in September, overturning a key plank of Theresa May’s restrictive immigration policies.
Currently, graduates with bachelors or master’s degrees are allowed to look for work for only four months. From next year all international graduates could qualify for a two-year period to work in the UK, increasing their chances of finding long-term employment after studying.

UK work visas for foreign graduates to be extended to two years Read More »

A level results

A level results came out last week.  The overall pass rate remains the same as last year at 97.6% for students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Girls narrowly reclaimed the lead from boys, with 25.5% achieving A* and A grades compared with 25.4% of boys.  The figures, released by the Joint Council for Qualifications, also show that – for the first time – the number of girls taking the three sciences has overtaken boys at 50.3% compared with 49.6%. There has been a big push to increase the take-up of sciences among girls.  Although far more boys – 30,159 – still took physics A-level, compared with 8,799 girls.  Six weeks after the last A-level exams were taken, more than 300,000 18-year-olds have ended the anxious wait to learn their A-level results.

We look at different scenarios

A level results Read More »