How to choose GCSEs
Choosing which subjects to take in Year 8 is very important – it can affect your options for the future. The qualifications you gain in year 11 can influence what you do next, in terms of a career or further study.
Keep Your Options Open:
- So that you receive a good general education, the school will encourage you to study a broad range of subjects
- All GCSE subjects are demanding. Therefore, it is important that you choose subjects that you will enjoy and be good at
- Where you have the opportunity to choose between subjects, try to make a balanced selection in order to keep your options open for the future. Even if you think you know what you want to do in the future, that might change over the duration of your GCSEs. So think broad!
- Choose subjects and courses because they suit you, not because you feel pressured by other people.
- Don’t pick subjects only because your friends are doing them, or because you like the teacher; other subjects may be a better choice for you.
- If you already have a particular career in mind, check the suitability of your subject choices. Your teachers or the Careers Adviser will be able to help you. Some GCSE subjects might be required as acceptance for entry to that career. You can also look for up-to-date careers information on websites such as eCLIPS (ask the school for the password).
If you are thinking of applying to a college after GCSEs please be aware that many college courses will require at least a grade 4 in GCSE English Language, Mathematics and Science. There may well be other subject specific requirements so check carefully.
Find out, the answer to the question, “Can I take this subject in Sixth Form or at college if I do not choose it for GCSE?”
Find out, “Do I need this subject for my future career or university course?”
Consider, “Do I enjoy the way the subject is taught?” For example, Music is very practical.
Reflect on, “Does this subject mean that I have a broad selection?” Perhaps choosing all art based subjects is not a wise move for your future career.
How do jobs relate to subjects?
Download the document called ‘How Careers Relate to School Subjects’ using the below link to see a list of job titles arranged by school subjects – remember, these links should not be taken literally, but they do give you some ideas about where particular school subjects could eventually lead.
How Careers Relate To School Subjects
Further information can also be obtained through the eCLIPS website (obtain password from the school). Click on ‘Careers’ and then ‘View Careers’ and finally ‘Careers by School College Subject.’
Where do I get advice?
The choices are yours, but most people look for advice on important decisions. There is plenty available, but you should do as much as you can yourself to research all the options.
Subject teachers know exactly what studying a subject in Year 10 and 11 involves, and can advise whether it’s right for you.
Parents, carers, family and friends probably know you best, so talking to them can help you work out what might suit you. But remember that they won’t always know a lot about careers or courses you are interested in. If you are planning to work towards a particular career or college course, don’t be put off just because it means taking a different direction from friends or family members.
Mr Bingham (the Careers Advisor) can guide you towards advice about which subjects and qualifications are useful for particular careers. He is also available at Parents Events as well as during school time on certain days of the week.