Top tips for choosing your GCSEs and A Levels - Flo

Flo - 5 things I wish I'd known about Assurance

If you’re thinking about which subjects to choose for your GCSEs and A Levels, EY trainee Flo's top tips can help. Flo is a UK&I Assurance Trainee, working in Cambridge.

My name is Flo and I joined EY in September 2013. I work in the Cambridge office in the Government Public Services part of Assurance. Prior to joining EY I studied Business, Mathematics and Economics A Levels at St Mary’s Sixth Form in Cambridge. Here are my top tips for when it comes to the difficult decision of picking what subjects to take! 

1. Choose subjects you love

When doing my GCSE’s I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was older. All I knew was that I loved Maths and that I was good at it. Therefore I chose subjects based around that (Maths, Further Maths & Economics) and then somehow got it into my head that I had to take a science as well – I chose Biology as this was my favourite.

2. It is actually never too late

I was extremely fortunate when it came to my A Level choices. After results day in Year 12 it was clear that my original A Level choices weren’t appropriate as I had expected. I hadn’t done as well in Biology as I would’ve hoped as the course was mainly plant biology whereas I preferred human. I was also beginning to struggle with my Maths after being diagnosed with dyslexia. My school offered me the opportunity to drop Further Maths and focus on improving my Maths and dropping Biology and taking up Business Studies. This actually worked out perfectly for me but only because I put in just as much effort as my teachers.

3. Know your strengths/weaknesses

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. My strength, maths. My weakness, subjects which involved essay writing (despite the fact two of my subjects involved essays).  Identifying your strengths and weaknesses and using these to help choose your options gives you a better chance of excelling in your A Levels. If you like writing essays and enjoy keeping up-to-date with the elections then politics could be the perfect subject for you!

4. Don’t let other people pressure you into a decision

When choosing my GCSE’s I had to make a lot of compromises with my mum to do the subjects I wanted. Luckily by the time I  decided on my A Levels my mum respected my decision more and I wanted to choose academic subjects like she wanted me too. If I hadn’t discovered my love of maths then I probably would’ve wanted to pursue drama more. Other people may not always agree  with your choices but if you are confident you can do it, go ahead and do  what feels right for you.

5. Saying that, listen to other people’s advice

Nobody knows A Levels better than the people who spend year after year teaching them. Listen to your teacher’s advice on the course. If they say it may not be the subject for you, take into consideration why and see if there is a way to overcome it. Also talk to people who have recently sat their A Levels. Speak to the upper sixth as they have the most experience of what it is like. Just remember to take their advice with a pinch of salt.

I’m always really happy to talk to school leavers researching their career options so feel free to tweet me at @EYUK_Flo

“I’m focusing on #myfuturenow so why don’t you?”

EY have just launched a great new campaign to help school leavers who have chosen to start a career in business to take the path that’s best for them. Click here to find out more. 

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