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Uni applicant diaries: what I wish I'd known about Year 12

Just started your A-levels? We asked last year's lower sixth students and applicant bloggers Catherine and Hannah what they wish they'd known about Year 12...

For more A-level advice, see our article on what you should know about your A-level choices

"Taking subjects you enjoy is SO important..."

- Catherine Jones

Before going into Year 12, I felt so focused on getting the right AS grades and getting into university that I wish I had known that it's not the end of the world if your grades aren’t the best - they need to be the best for you.

I am now taking art, geography and physics; I changed from taking maths because I realised that you have to take what you actually like studying. It doesn't matter if they don’t 'match' or if you don't know what you want to do yet. I wish I'd known that lots of graduate-level jobs aren't specific to a certain degree, so it's really worth taking what you enjoy.

It's not always just about the grades, either. As I'm looking to study fine art, it's also about the portfolio. I wish I'd known this earlier, so I would have had more time to work on it - along with the extra reading that's important for the courses I'm looking at, too.


"Six AS-levels is a LOT to take on..."

- Hannah Hawken 

I wish that I had been warned more strongly not to choose too many AS-levels. It is a very important year, and six was too many for me (English, history, French, Spanish, art, critical thinking). The AS-level I've dropped is English, as I have started a lot of literature in French and Spanish this year, and feel that is sufficient preparation for studying those subjects at university.

I also would have liked to have spent more time reading around all of the topics in each subject; it makes for a much richer understanding.

Finally, it would have been nice to know that some universities require written work for specific courses. I would have had more time to improve my technique, rather than having to revisit them after summer!


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