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Picking your GCSE options may seem like the most daunting time in your education so far and you’re right it’s a pretty big deal but it’s time to use this to your advantage. You may be choosing these subjects Year 9, but in some schools, this can happen in Year 8, so even if you're in Year 7 it's not too early to start thinking about your options! However, don’t scare or rush yourself into a decision because ‘I have to do this subject or I won’t get the job I want in the future’, pick your options because you WANT to learn more about that subject, you’re good at the subject and most importantly you ENJOY the subject. There’s no better motivation that enjoying something; in school I really struggled with Biology but I LOVED it and so I was willing to put in the revision to get better & there was no better feeling than enjoying a subject and working hard to get the grades you wanted at the end of it. Let’s think about some of the questions you should be asking yourself when picking your options:

Do I enjoy this subject?
Enjoying your chosen subjects is vital! Compulsory subjects differ from school to school but we know we have to study Maths, English & Science as these are three of the most important subjects you will study at GCSE so you’re going to need to work hard at them. The extra subjects you get to choose should be something you enjoy to break up the lessons that you may not enjoy as much (if you love Maths, English AND Science, you’re already on to a winner).

Am I good at this subject?
There’s no reason to force yourself into a subject if you know you’re going to struggle, pick subjects that are right for you and it will make your time revising for them much easier. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stretch yourself it just means DO NOT stress yourself studying a subject that you know you’re really going to struggle. Now is the time to pick subject to show off how great you are!

Do I prefer practical or written work?
It is important you work this out sooner rather than later as the higher you get in education the more the structure of subjects can differ; you have GCSEs, BTEC’s, A-Levels, Apprenticeships etc. and they are all structured in different ways to suit different learning needs. Two courses with the same name at different Universities can be made structured completely differently so the sooner you know what works for you the easier decisions later on will be

What skills will I learn from this subject?
What skills do you already have? What skills do you feel you need to work on? What are you really good at and why?

How could I use these skills in later life?
Think about your future, what skills do you feel will help you get to your next step. That step could be up to College, into an Apprenticeship, it could even be a more personal goal you have… What skills will help you get there?

So, what now?
Make a list of all of the subjects you’re interested in, try to answer the questions above (and more if needed), give yourself enough time to think & make your decisions. Pick subjects you know you feel you will enjoy doing for the next 2/3 years and MOST IMPORTANTLY, ask questions to those around you, you’re not alone, don’t stress yourself out. 

Good Luck!

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