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Choosing your A-level subjects

The UK GCE/International A-levels are internationally recognized, publicly-examined secondary school (high school) qualifications accepted by tertiary institutions worldwide. Their main purpose is to access further and higher education but they are also useful for career development or studying purely for interest.

Online A-level study is particularly suited to those who: cannot access other schools/institutions to complete their exams; face mobility problems that make it difficult for them to attend mainstream schooling; do not wish to attend overseas boarding schools to complete their senior secondary education; are studying the IB, BTEC or other syllabus but wish to add an additional subject to improve their academic portfolio; are post-compulsory- school-age students not enrolled in another full-time secondary school who need formal qualifications; or adult learners wishing to enhance/or change their career or gain admission to university courses. 

In addition to taking A-levels, ITS will assist with UCAS applications for UK universities, counsel US College admissions and provide SAT support

Subjects supported: (for details of each course please visit the Edexcel website for International or GCE versions)

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English Language
  • English Language and Literature
  • Geography
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Psychology

Note: Students can either come to Hong Kong to sit their exams at an ITS school or ITS will organize an alternate venue more locally. We will help you to decide the best option depending on factors such as which country you live in, which passport you hold, what your budget is, what time you have available and what other exam venues may exist near you.

Once you have given some consideration to what A-level subjects you would like to take, ring +852 2116 3916 or email to make an appointment to talk to one of our course counsellors.

Here are some factors you SHOULD consider when choosing A-level subjects:

Career - make sure that the subjects you are choosing are appropriate to achieve the next step on your desired pathway. This is very important as some students reach the end of their A-levels only to discover they haven't done the correct subjects for what they want to study at university. Get your goal clear in your head and then work back from there to see what you need to do to achieve it. If you find you do not like any of the steps involved then you may need to rethink your goal or ask yourself whether you can handle some less desirable elements to get there. If you need help, consult those around you such as parents and teachers for their experiences. You can consult with an ITS adviser or career coach. But ultimately, the decision is yours.

Enjoyment – please, please choose subjects you enjoy doing. Even if you are good at a certain subject, you might not actually enjoy it. If you look forward to lessons, chances are you will approach them confidently and enthusiastically and happily undertake your additional personal study. The end result is that you will likely gain much better exam results. If you don't enjoy a subject you should seriously question why you are considering it.

Research - Look carefully at the syllabuses for the subjects your intend to choose. Edexcel provides ALL the information you can think of for International GCSEGCE A-levels and International A-levels.

Strengths - Read through the syllabuses for subjects you are considering doing to see whether they play to your strengths and your enjoyment [see above].

Traditional vv Non-traditional subjects – Some top universities will not consider certain subjects they deem too "soft". They will only consider academic subjects. Less rigorous subjects include Dance, Sports Studies, Photography and the like. Both Cambridge and the London School of Economics have published lists of these subjects on their websites, as they believe they are "less effective" preparation for degrees. So if you are planning to apply to top universities such as Cambridge, St Andrews, Imperial College or UCL, it is worth investigating whether your chances of being accepted into these institutions is reduced if you take one or more of these "soft" subjects. Check each individual course for the entry requirements.

Workload – Another good reason to read through the syllabuses of each subject you are considering is to check how they are assessed. How much coursework is there? How many tests/exams are there? Are there any practical assessments? How much reading is likely? These all effect how many hours of study you will need to put in.

Options – Most people do not have an idea of what career they would like to follow or even which university course they would like to do. Even more reason to do something you like. Go for A-levels you find interesting and are good at. This means you’re likely to achieve high grades, and still go on to a good university course, whether you apply immediately or if you choose to apply later on. Only very particular courses and careers require particular A-levels [such as medicine].

Visit our International GCSE/GCE/International A-level FAQ page

The British Council publishes a useful document titled: How to choose the right subject at GCSE and A-level

You can browse the 'How online education works' menu as well for more on the learning platform.

Flexible schedules including evening and weekend classes. 
All taught by international teachers.

For more information please call +852 2116 3916 or email

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