A Level Thinking Skills Tutors

A brief overview of the A Level Thinking Skills syllabus, requirements and further study options from The Profs

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Why study A Level Thinking Skills?

A Level Thinking Skills is a skill-based course which helps students to think more critically, become more analytical in their thinking and use a variety of skills to solve problems and to debate and reason. It covers a wide variety of topics from across the arts, humanities and sciences, looking into ethical, legal and societal issues.

Two examination boards offered this A Level; AQA and OCR, but it is not currently offered by either board. Comparable to an A Level in General Studies, it was seen as a ‘lightweight’ A Level which could be studied in addition to, rather than instead of, other academic subjects. It was therefore typically a fourth or fifth A Level choice.

The skills gained from the course offer significant value in the real world, and should it return, any student should consider opting for this. It offers an excellent preparation for university education where critical thinking is necessary and also teaches lifelong skills in problem-solving.

What is covered in A Level Thinking Skills?

An A Level in Thinking Skills from the AQA was divided into four units:

  • Foundation Unit
  • Information, Inference and Explanation
  • Beliefs, Claims and Arguments
  • Reasoning and Decision Making

The OCR A Level in Thinking Skills had a similar syllabus, also organised into four units:

  • Introduction to Critical Thinking
  • Assessing and Developing Arguments
  • Ethical Reasoning and Decision-Making
  • Critical Reasoning

A Level Thinking Skills assessment

100% of the A Level mark was assessed via final examinations.

What GCSEs do I need?

Typically students were required to have attained a level 4 GCSE in English Language and Mathematics.

Where can I use A Level Thinking Skills?

This A Level can help students progress onto an undergraduate degree course, as it equips individuals with the kind of critical thinking skills required for the next tier of education. It also teaches key skills which are useful in a wide range of careers including business, law and politics.

Many students found that the skills they learned on this A Level also helped them in life in general, making them better problem solvers and rather more fair and balanced thinkers. These skills may help individuals to become better leaders or managers or help them to work more effectively in a group. It can also help when it comes to putting forward ideas and framing your side of an argument in a reasoned way.

It’s important to note that A Level Thinking Skills was not always considered by universities or UCAS when it came to entry requirements. This is one of the reasons it is no longer available to study.

Is A Level Thinking Skills right for me?

The A Level in Thinking Skills is not currently offered by any exam board, but a similar skill-based A Level may be an option for students embarking on A Levels in the near future. Alternatively, A Level General Studies may cover some of the same themes if it’s available at your chosen school or college. If you want to study for an A Level which covers a wide set of themes and helps you to gain key lifelong skills, then A Level General Studies may be right for you. Another useful and available skill-based course is an A Level in Statistics.

Any skills-based thinking course is valuable for those who want to progress to university education and especially for those considering careers in law, politics, the humanities, engineering or business.

At The Profs, we can help you achieve the grade you need in your A Levels. Our professional tutors offer A Level tuition on a face-to-face or online basis.

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