A Level Grades: Do They Matter at University?

A Level results day has just passed and I can’t stop thinking about how I felt this time last year. I had just gotten my results, gotten into my first choice University and was initially filled with excitement and wonder about what the year ahead would hold. However, it didn’t take long for the nerves and uncertainty to set in along with an overwhelming sense of self-doubt

I chose to study English Literature, Psychology and Music at A Level along with an advanced Welsh Baccalaureate (which is compulsorily in Wales) and managed to achieve ABBC overall.

I was happy with my grades as I knew I had worked as hard as I possibly could to achieve them. However, I did start to wonder whether my grades would reflect how well I would do in my degree.

I am studying Psychology at University and for my Psychology A Level I got a grade B. I was initially thrilled until I started to hear and read a lot about how in order to do well in your degree you should study a subject that you did the best in at A Level or that a grade B at A level was the equivalent to less than a fail at University. Naturally, I began to panic and question whether I had chosen the right thing.

I am writing this blog to tell you that I absolutely did the right thing and to reassure you. Do not listen to the things you hear from people or read online.

There is so much pressure put on young people in today’s society and the best advice I can give to prospective students is that you know yourself, you know what interests you and what you have a passion for.

I chose Psychology not only because I have career ambitions in music therapy and clinical psychology but because I find it truly fascinating. I have chosen to study a subject that I sincerely love learning about not something that I was necessarily the best at in school.

The learning style at University is completely different to that in sixth form or college. You aren’t spoon fed resources and taught from a textbook in order to answer set questions. You learn through many different mediums and have to work independently.

No one chases you for deadlines and you are in charge of your own study and way of working. Your work ethic will be what determines your success, not the grades you have achieved previously.

Another important point to note is that no one at University will judge you based on your grades. I was so concerned that everyone I met would have been top of their class in Psychology and I would be falling behind when in reality the topic is never bought up or if it is it isn’t really significant.

The friends I have made on my course all support each other and get along regardless of the grades we achieve.

The overall message of this blog is to reassure prospective students that regardless of your A Level grades your University experience is what you make of it.

Don’t get me wrong good grades are great and marks are important for self-improvement and to measure our progress, but in reality disappointing grades really, really don’t matter once you get here.

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