For students thinking of taking four A Levels — or even five — online learning can be the perfect way to manage the workload without compromising on wellbeing or results.
For most students, three is the magic number when it comes to A Levels. According to government data, approximately 7 in 10 A Level students in the United Kingdom study three A Levels. This works out well as top universities usually make offers based on three grades — including Oxford and Cambridge, where average offers range between AAA and A*A*A.
However, some particularly ambitious learners do choose to go above and beyond. Each year, around 4 to 8% of UK students take fourA Levels, and some even opt for five.
Why take more than 3 A Levels?
When students are on the fence about their future goals, an additional A Level can help keep multiple options open. For example, Engineering degrees often require Maths and Physics qualifications, while Natural Sciences may call for Biology and Chemistry. Studying all four subjects gives a student more time to make a decision without jeopardizing one pathway or another.
Alternatively, some take four or five A Levels for a competitive edge when it comes to university applications. While UK universities will rarely ask for more than three A Level grades, many students at top institutions do have four or more A Levels.
Similarly, an additional A Level can also help students compete in the job market later down the line. Computer Science, Maths, and Physics make a great set of A Levels for a Robotics degree but adding a second language like French or Spanish could give your future résumé a boost.
Finally, for some, an additional A Level is simply a chance to explore an additional interest. If you love a subject like Film or History, for example, you don’t have to give it up just because it doesn’t fit into your STEM degree plans.
Why choose online school for 4+ A Levels?
Whatever the reason for taking four or five A Levels, there’s no doubt that balancing more than three is challenging — especially in a traditional Sixth Form environment. One way to make the workload work for you is by taking A Levels at an online school. Here’s how virtual learning helps students manage their study levels and work towards the best grades possible.
At the best online schools, students can participate in their lessons live en watch recordings of them later. These lesson recordings are one of the biggest benefits for students taking additional A Levels.
Keeping up with content for three subjects isn’t always easy, so adding a fourth or fifth to the mix can feel overwhelming at a traditional school. With lesson recordings, students can go back and relive any class they struggled with, so there’s no need to worry about falling behind during those busy weeks. Similarly, with round-the-clock access to past classes and materials, students can take a day off school for illness or external commitments without stressing about what they’ve missed.
Recordings are also invaluable when exams roll around. For many students, getting to hear a teacher’s explanation again can be a far more efficient way to study than reading through textbooks. Not only does this help those tough topics “stick” before exam day, it frees up more time in your revision schedule.
Motivation is another key concern for students with a high A Level workload. Study burnout is real, and it’s easy to feel disengaged with your learning when classes and assignments never seem to stop.
Top online schools help to mitigate this study fatigue by using technology to make learning more engaging. In a typical online A Level class, students may find themselves completing polls and quizzes, watching multimedia presentations, en learning through innovative simulations or virtual reality.
Listening to teachers’ lectures all week is bound to get boring. When students can get stuck into their learning with interactive activities, on the other hand, school no longer feels like a chore.
Enjoyable free time
There’s no doubt that taking four to five A Levels reduces a student’s free time. Of course, having that downtime is crucial for positive mental health. If you don’t have any time to enjoy yourself, learning quickly becomes a slog. Over time, that lack of leisure can lead to burnout, stress, and other common student wellbeing issues.
While students at traditional schools do usually have “free periods” during the day, it can be hard to make the most of them on school grounds. When you’re studying at home, on the other hand, those hours don’t have to go to waste.
Between classes, students can step away from their computers to enjoy whatever makes them happy — whether that’s going for a run, playing a video game, or sitting down with family. Plus, with lessons at your fingertips, there’ll be no frantic rush to get back to your classroom when that free period is over. Studying online in a comfortable environment is an overall more relaxed experience, making it perfect for reducing the overwhelm of extra A Levels.
Study A Levels online at King’s InterHigh
If your teen is thinking of taking more than three A Levels, check out leading online school King’s InterHigh. Bringing students expert teachers and over 16 years of experience, King’s InterHigh has more than 20 A Level subjects to choose from with exciting classes and 24/7 lesson recordings. Plus, students get guidance for their university applications and future careers.