New student blogger Emily advises on how your school choices could help shape your future

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 12:00 AM

Hello, My name is Emily and I'm one of the new student bloggers. I'm in Year 12 at John Bentley School in Calne, Wiltshire and I’m studying Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Further Maths. My first blog is about the choices that I have made over the past few years; ones that most of you also would have chosen or are going to be choosing.

When I got to the end of Year 9 I knew that GCSE subjects would need to be chosen soon and that I would be starting all of my GCSE subjects after the summer. I already knew that I would be taking the core classes – English Lit/ Lang, Triple Science, Citizenship, Maths, Statistics and at my school you got two choices and then also either French or ICT. I chose French, Geography and History; all subjects that I enjoy. I also knew that I didn’t want to go down the creative arts route because I’m not very good at Art, Drama, and Music etc. I’m also more of an academic person so these were the subjects that I felt I’d naturally want to progress to at GCSE.

Exam season of Year 11 came and went and after all that stress; all the emphasis was on A level choices. I knew that I wanted to go into Maths/Science based subjects but wasn’t entirely sure on what combination was for me. After a couple of nail biting months, results day came round I’d finally decided on;

  • Chemistry (my number 1 choice!)
  • Biology
  • Maths
  • Further Maths

I’d chosen these for a number of reasons including future university course/career ideas that I had and also the subjects that I’d done most well in. Also; I knew that these courses were ones that I’d enjoy and I got along with the specific subject teachers (the icing on the cake! Who enjoys subjects with teachers they don’t get along with?!)

Obviously as you get nearer to the spring of Year 12 the school starts doing more University related activities to get us deciding on whether uni is for us, what courses, what type of uni, where the uni you want to go to is… and more. I feel like I am the kind of person where university is going to be a good move for me so started looking into various universities.

I started to order prospectuses around March of this year and have narrowed it down to six universities that I would like to consider. In order to choose the uni course that I want to study I decided on the subject that I enjoy the most; Chemistry. I also enjoy international travel so I am swaying towards universities that offer a year studying abroad.

In order to choose specific universities I looked on league tables to find the best ones for Chemistry, I then looked at the standard grade offers to find a range of unis so that I have some ‘aspirational’ choices, some ‘realistic’ ones and some ‘just in case’ choices. I have then narrowed this down to six that I am planning to visit; along with my parents, over the summer term including Imperial, Durham and also UCL.

I hope my experiences could possibly offer guidance and advice to any of you at the same stage of education as me or even just younger.


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