How To Choose Your GCSE Subjects


During year 9 you will need to choose your GCSE subjects.  These are the subjects which you will study in year 10 and 11 and eventually get examined on.  Making the right choices at this stage can have a significant impact on your future opportunities and educational achievements.

English, Maths and Science are compulsory, but you have to choose at least one subject from the following categories:

  • Arts (including art and design, music, dance, drama and media arts)

  • Design and Technology

  • Humanities (history and geography)

  • Modern Foreign Languages

So what should you before making the choices?  What shouldn’t you do?  What factors affect year 9’s when they are making their choices?

Choose Subjects You Enjoy

GCSE’s are 2 year courses at school, so you want to make sure that you enjoy the majority of your time in lessons and if you like the subjects then you are more likely  to do well.  That’s why its important to choose subjects which you are interested in and the ones that you enjoy.  What if there is only one or two subjects you like?  How do you choose the rest?  Go through each of the subject choices you are given and tick off the ones you like, then think about why you enjoy them.  Is it because you like the way it is taught, for example do you enjoy science because it’s a practical subject, or do you enjoy history because you have an interest in the past? Then choose subjects which would also have these features, for example design and technology is a practical subject, and english literature also involves reading and learning about things which have happened in the past.

Choose Subjects You Will Need For Your Future Career

Do you have an idea of what you’d like to do after you finish school? Certain subjects can help you to get there. For example, if you want to be a journalist subjects like English and Media Studies are going to be very useful. The first place to start is the National Careers Service Website where you can actually search for the job you want to do.  The website will tell you about what sort of work you will be doing, the hours you will be working, the salary, the qualifications needed and the skills and knowledge you need.  Some careers have entry requirements at GCSE, for example it is recommended that you choose triple science if you want to do medicine.

Choose Subjects You Are Good At

Are there any subjects you don’t have to try very hard at but get good grades in?  Are there some subjects that your friends struggle with but you find easy? 

Never Ever …..

  • Choose a subject because you think it’s easy. 

  • Choose a subject because you like the teacher.  There is no guarantee that you will have the same teacher and the teacher may leave before you finish the course.

  • Choose a subject because your best friend is doing it.  Your friendship may not last!

Finally, speak to teachers, careers advisors and family members who might be able to help you choose. 

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