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What to do if you think you've taken the wrong A-levels

What to do if you think you've taken the wrong A-levelsWorried that the courses you've chosen won't get you where you want to go? Find out what to do about it.

Make sure you really have a problem

Don't make assumptions about the qualifications you need to get into a particular course or career: do your research. For example, you might become interested in studying law and worry about not taking law at A-level. But in fact, A-level law isn't required at university. Other courses might let you in without the usual A-levels as long as you do a foundation year to get you up to speed.

Look at the entry requirements on university websites and talk to teachers, careers advisers and university admissions offices to make sure you actually have a problem before you try to solve it.

Investigate your options

There's often more than one route to where you want to go. For example, it's possible to get into medicine or law by taking a conversion course after an unrelated degree. Qualifications for other careers, such as accountancy, might be available through a trainee position. Think carefully about your long-term plans to see if there's an alternative way to get there with your current A-levels.

Can you switch?

If you really have made a mistake, the most obvious solution is to switch one of your A-levels to another - but this won't always be possible. Your school or college might not allow it, because catching up can be extremely difficult, and until you're up to speed with the rest of the class you won't be able to follow what they're learning and could fall even further behind.

How likely you are to be able to switch depends on how soon you try, the course you want to move to, and where you are studying. Talk to your school or college to find out whether it's possible and decide whether it's the right option for you.

Private study

Another option is to take any A-levels you're missing privately. You could do this as part of a gap year, combined with part-time work or work experience. However, it will take a lot of work, and you'll need to be able to pay for course materials, exam entry and living costs while you study.

If you're thinking about this approach, remember that you can still apply for university in your second year of sixth form, using this as a backup plan if it doesn't work out.

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