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Making the jump from AS to A2 years

Once your AS-level results are done and dusted, you're into your final year of A-levels. Read our tips on what to expect from the year ahead.

As you proceed with Year 13, you'll soon realise that Year 12 was more of a stepping stone on the path to either university or the world of employment. Your future just got a whole lot closer...

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Dropping a subject

You'll usually drop one of your AS subjects at the end of Year 12 and focus on the rest of your subjects (usually three) to study for the full A-level. When it comes to deciding which one to drop, think about what you performed strongest in and what sparked your interest the most (and continues to).

If you have university in your sights, think about the entry requirements you'll need to meet for the courses you'll be applying to. Are there any subjects you will definitely need the full A-level in? While the decision may be tough, once it's made you'll find that you're focusing completely on the subjects which matter most.

Working at A2 level

The beginning of Year 12 will have been structured to allow you to transition from GCSEs to the world of A-levels comfortably. However you won't find this same 'safety net' as you begin Year 13.

Your teachers will assume that you are now properly in 'A-level mode', plus there just isn't time for being eased in! Get ready to hit the ground running from day one. Your A2 year is all about building on what you did at AS-level, so expect more advanced material and longer assignments (with higher stakes).

The A-level exams that you’ve spent two years working towards, take place at the end of Year 13. Remember, if you take AS-levels, these won’t actually contribute to your overall final grade for that subject, thus making your exam revision for these biggies all the more important! 

Balancing uni prep and other activities

Year 13 will be a busy one, especially if you are planning to apply to university. Things will kick off almost immediately when you return in September as Ucas applications open.

In order to meet that January (or October, for Oxbridge, medicine and denistry applicants) deadline, you'll need to put together a winning university application (including perfecting that personal statement, sorting out references and so on), finding time to travel up and down to open days and interviews. Plus, applications for student finance and university accommodation will soon follow that.

On top of all of that, you may be learning to drive and juggling a part-time job around your actual A-levels. Phewww! This is the year you learn to manage your time effectively, cutting down a bit on any time-sucking activities.

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