Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Posted in: College admissions, Home schooling, Professional tutoring associations

Not all A grades are equal – Students and parents continue to misunderstand the value of ‘hard’ A-Levels, Tutors International reports

Adam Caller, founder of the leading global private tutoring company, commented this week that when choosing which A-Levels to take, ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ subjects are not being due consideration.

Research [1] conducted by the Institute of Education at University College London, concluded that the top British universities were showing favour to those choosing traditional core subjects, such as English, History, and Mathematics, over career-specific ‘soft’ subjects, such as Drama or Psychology.

In his statement, independent education consultant, Adam Caller, offered his own advice for students choosing their A-Level options.

Mr Caller commented: “If you’re serious about an application to Oxbridge or other good universities, you must think about your competition for that place. Even though a university might say they want an AAB, or AAA, it is clear that not all As are equal. Three A-grades in “Facilitating” subjects such as Science or Mathematics, or English Literature or History on the Humanities side, will always be more attractive to an elite university than A grades in two hard subjects and one soft. Think about the university you want to go to right at the start, and check with them as to what A-Levels combinations they recommend for the course you want to pursue.

These observations align with statements made by researchers, who found that students applying to top universities to study Law, Accounting, and business-related degrees were, in fact, less likely to be accepted if they had studied the subjects at secondary level.

Mr Caller, however, went on to stress that passionate students could still study their desired subjects, with some mindful tweaking to their timetable.

“For example, if you wish to do a degree in English, and were planning to study English Literature, Drama, and Maths, swap Drama for English Language. Similarly, choose Economics over Business Studies, Maths over Accounting, and so on. If you’re passionate about a softer subject, by all means, study it at A-Level, but it makes more sense to study it in addition to three hard subjects, rather than replacing a potentially essential grade. If you’re worried about timetable issues and clashes between subjects, another option is to study for that A-Level at home with a private tutor.”

Tutors International has been helping children and families all over the world to tailor their academic curricula to their own specific needs, interests, and career aspirations, since 1999. A talented private tutor, expertly matched with their student, is able to use the subjects and topics a child is most interested in, and design a curriculum that keeps them engaged and focused, whilst also keeping them on track for a successful university application.

To find out more about the services offered by Tutors International, visit Tutors can browse the latest vacancies and submit an application by visiting

[1] Students choosing A-Levels in career specific subjects are less attractive to elite universities, new study suggests. Harry Yorke, The Telegraph, 13 August 2017.

About Tutors International

Tutors International is a worldwide organization providing experienced private tutors to work with children of all ages and nationalities. Tutors are available for full-time tutoring positions, for major support and tutoring outside school hours, or for home-schooling. Tutors International provide provide a bespoke service to find the right tutor that suits the child’s needs and aspirations, and if a live-in tutor is required, it is essential that the assigned tutor is the right match for the family and fits in the environment.

Tutors International was founded by Adam Caller who has tutored students of all ages. He has received specialist training in dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder and is very sensitive to children’s educational difficulties. He has now turned this expertise to recruiting, training and placing other tutors to help families.

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