When talking to students about to make the transition from Year 11 to Year 12, this is one of the questions I get asked most often. And each time I counter that question with a series of others. Asking yourself these questions should help you decide whether studying A Level Maths is for you.

**Question #1: Do you **__want__ to study A Level Maths?

*to study A Level Maths?*

__want__It may seem like I am stating the blindingly obvious here, but all too often I have seen students choose A Level Maths for reasons other than enjoying Maths. “I need it for my chosen career/degree path” is the most common of these reasons. And whilst it may at the time seem like a good reason, it is very likely that during the two years of your sixth form study that your mind will change multiple times over your career/degree path.

**Question #2: Do you enjoy Maths?**

If the answer to this question is ** yes**, then you definitely ought to explore further the idea of studying A Level Maths. In particular, a love of algebra is imperative as most of the A Level Maths requires you to be able to manipulate algebra to a high standard.

If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t choose it as an option. Any A Level in any subject is a big commitment and a commitment that will last two years. Choosing subjects that you later find that you don’t enjoy could jeopardise your enjoyment of sixth form and almost certainly will result in underachievement.

**Question #3: What grades are you expecting at GCSE?**

Now we know that you want to study and enjoy studying A Level Maths, we can start getting into the grade requirements. In my experience, in order to study A Level Maths you should have achieved a grade 7 or higher in GCSE Maths. Students with a grade 6 or below tend to struggle with the basic concepts and this is apparent from the outset. But if you are currently working at grade 6, don’t be put off by what I have just said. You still have time to improve your grade and get that grade 7. But you really should be aiming for 7 or higher.

**Question #4: What mix of subjects are you wanting to study? **

A Level Maths is a subject that goes hand-in-hand with many others, in particular the sciences (Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Engineering among others). It is a very well-respected subject that opens a broad range of career options and degree paths. Don’t be put off, however, if you are wanting to embark upon a more varied programme of study. I’ve seen very successful students in the past study Maths in more unusual combinations of subjects including languages, art, music among others.

**Conclusion**

In summary, the right reason to study A Level Maths is because you want to, you enjoy maths and you have the prerequisite grades. But seek advice on your A Level choices from as many of your teachers as possible. They will know a lot about you both personally and academically and will be ideally placed to advise you on what the best A Level choices are for you.