The head of the Russell Group, which represents 24 of the UK’s top universities, says students must choose A-Level subjects wisely, as they will have less chance to trial a subject at AS Level when new changes take effect.

The BBC reports that the group’s new Informed Choice guide has warned students that their desired university course should inform their subject choices. It states:

“Up to 15% fewer students are taking AS-levels after changes mean they [AS-levels] no longer count toward A-level grades.

Students therefore may have less opportunity to try a subject before taking it to A-level and their choices now bear more weight.”

Director General of the Russell group, Dr Wendy Piatt, said:

 “We are wholeheartedly committed to ensuring our doors are wide open to talented and able students from all backgrounds, but our universities can’t offer places to those who do not apply or do not have the right grades in the right subjects.

Too often, students disadvantage themselves by choosing a combination of subjects that will not equip them with the appropriate skills and knowledge for their preferred university course.

Subject choice at GCSE and A-level or equivalent affects everyone’s options for degree courses, so we make sure that the most useful and relevant information is available to students everywhere, through Informed Choices.”

Changes to sixth form education two years ago, mean that AS- Levels, studied in year 12, are a standalone qualification, and no longer count to final A-Level results. Newer, tougher two-year A-level qualifications, with exams at the end, are being rolled out over a three-year time frame.

The consumer group Which? Have reported that 28 percent of students they surveyed in April this year, wish they had taken different subjects at A-Level, and 41 percent admit they should have considered the usefulness of their subjects before choosing them.