7 Tips to help with Year 10 Subject Selection

7 Tips to help with Year 11 & 12 Subject Selection

It IS confusing, you’re not alone


Year 10 is an exciting time, but with it comes some big decisions.

Staying on to complete your high school certificate? Great news. Now you’ll have the freedom to choose which subjects you’d like to study in Years 11 & 12. The pressure might feel huge.

Take a breath, it’s ok if you don’t know what career you want yet – you still have plenty of time to decide and plan for your post school options and pathways. We’ve put together some tips to bear in mind, they could help you with your Year 10 subject selections.


Taking the next step


Your schools and careers advisors will help you out, they’ll guide you through the process and can give you great advice. Ultimately though, it’s your decision.

Ponder Careers have also put together a handy workbook which can walk you through the process and take away the pressure – get it here.

Here’s our top 7 Tips to help with your Year 10 Subject Selection


  1. Build solid foundations

What do we mean? Well, no matter what you do after high school, there are some fundamental skills you’re going to need like communication, writing, resilience, critical thinking and problem-solving to name a few.

Working hard at school now and choosing a cross section of subjects could ensure that you’ll have better developed skills across the board when you leave Year 12.


  1. English is important

Yep if you’d like to be a teacher, writer or journalist then you definitely need your English to be great, but it’s also important elsewhere.

Your ability to communicate can impact on every part of your life. Making a great first impression really counts, whether it’s face-to-face, over the phone, in an application, email, or letter.

So the better your grip on the English language, the easier your path to success could be.


  1. So is Maths

It’s hard to imagine when you’re struggling over an algebra equation in the classroom how you’re ever going to need strong maths skills after school. But you will.

Studying maths could help you develop logical reasoning, analytical and interpretive skills. Maths will also be important in most areas of your life from cooking, banking, and budgeting, to saving for holidays.

Science and Finance based jobs are clearly going to require strong maths skills, but the reality is that decent maths abilities will benefit you in most jobs.

Maths plays an important part in other school subjects including science, social studies, and even music and art.


  1. Create opportunities

If you love science in Year 10 and you only do STEM courses in Year 11 & 12, you might be narrowing down your options for courses you can take at uni. Which is no bad thing, unless you have a change of heart about your career prospects.

Choosing a broad range of subjects could help you cover more bases, giving you more options to pursue at the end of Year 12.


  1. Find out what you’re capable of

Tempted to take the easy options that’ll mean the least number of exams, assignments or just plain thinking? Maybe you’re hoping that you’ll do better if you take easier subjects and boost your ATAR?  Please don’t.

  • For a start there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a better ATAR
  • You’ll be limiting yourself both in the courses you’ll be eligible to apply for after high school, and in what you think you’re capable of achieving
  • You won’t develop those useful skills we mentioned earlier like problem solving, critical thinking and resilience if you always take the easiest route
  • If you’re not challenging yourself at school you’ll be bored, time will drag on and you could even be less motivated and end up achieving less.

Ultimately you might just be cheating yourself.


  1. Do what you love

It’s important that you enjoy school, pursue your hobbies – who’s to say you won’t go on to have a career in those areas, and have a good balance of work and fun in life.

Take subject selection seriously, but don’t discount art, music, or sport because you think you “should” be doing something others might consider more valuable.


  1. Keep an open mind

For most of us it’s hard to predict what we’ll be doing in 12 months, let alone 5 or 10 years from now.

Try new things, apply yourself, leave yourself open to more options down the track and you could be rewarded with more choice and greater opportunities.

Most importantly do your research, there’ll always be different pathways to get where you want to be, you never know what you’ll discover along the way.


Need more information to help with Year 10 subject selection?


Have a look at some of the resources on offer, they might help you with your decision making and offer a bit of reassurance about the options you’d really like to choose.


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