• Aug 04, 2021 . 2 min Read
  • Tips on choosing A’level combination

Tips on choosing A’level combination
Conan Businge
Education Editor @New Vision

With results for Senior Four students out, parents must be contemplating on which schools to take their children. But most important also is the decision on the career path that their children want to take.

The decision depends on the examinations results of the student.

The state minister for higher education, Dr John Chrysostom Muyingo, says the subject combination forms a very important part in the career journey of a child.

At university level or even in technical institutions, the subjects that a student does at A’level are instrumental in securing a programme (course).

For instance, a student cannot be allowed to do a course in medicine and surgery if he or she did not do chemistry and biology at A’level.

Just like medicine and surgery, there are several programmes which require one to have done a specific set of subjects or subject combination.

A student who intends to become a doctor must have biology and chemistry as essentials and physics and mathematics as the relevant subjects.

Medicine, pharmacy or other medical-related courses done at the university require good knowledge of the human body and other animals, medical technology and the medical related calculations. These are covered in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, respectively.

Muyingo advises that choosing a combination should be handled with proper guidance since it strongly determines the students’ career paths at higher levels of education.

Unlike in O’level, where students have a collection of various subjects to study, at A’level, they are expected to start specialising in their studies through subject combinations.

There are also standard procedures followed by all students in private and government-aided schools when selecting a subject combination.

Students now have to select their combinations from the available and determined 14 arts and only seven science or technical subjects.

A maximum aggregate of 18 will be the baseline for an A’level combination of three principal subjects.

All students now offer a maximum of three principal subjects in any given subject combination, one subsidiary and then General Paper. This will form a basis for admission in universities.

Students doing science combinations or combinations having economics must do sub-mathematics. However, those doing mathematics will be exempted from sub-mathematics.

Close to the end of A’level, students will be expected to fill the Joint Admissions Board forms.

Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, the former vice-chancellor of Makerere University, says the application form for admission to all public tertiary education institutions is to be completed by Senior Six leavers who wish to be considered for admission under government sponsorship to public universities and other tertiary education institutions.

He says the form will be used to collect information on applicants, which will later be processed on a computer.

Muyingo says no student is allowed to do a subject combination that is not prescribed by the curriculum experts.

If a student is doing any arts combination, he or she must do Information and Communication and Technology (ICT).

Government-set standard combinations

The Government has also prescribed possible combinations which can be done. The ones for sciences are PCM, PCB, PCA, PE(economics) M, PE(entrepreneurship)M, BCA, BCG, BCF (Food)&N (Nutrition) and PMTD (Technical Drawing).

In arts, there is HEG, MEG, HED, HEI (Islam), HEL, DEG, HEG, LEG and FEG.

The subject combination selection procedure must be followed by all students in private and government-aided schools in the country.

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