Choices at 14: Choosing your GCSE Options

Tips for Choosing your GCSEs

Choosing your GCSEs is very important.  Take time to think about your decision. You will be studying the subjects you choose for the next two years and your choices can affect your options in the future. 

What do you need to know?

Teaching methods, workload and assessment vary between subjects so think about your skills and how you like to learn.

Choosing a balance of subjects will help to keep your future options open. The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is a performance measure for schools to see how many pupils gain a GCSE grade C or above in the core academic subjects (English, Maths, History or Geography, the Sciences and a Language). Choosing EBacc subjects may be useful as a guide to choosing subjects.

Find out more about new subjects.  Think about how your subjects fit together. If you have a lot of essay-based subjects, for example, it might be useful to choose a practical/creative subject to complement your other subjects and demonstrate a different set of skills.

If you have a career idea, research it and see what subjects are useful for this idea.  Remember that you may change your mind in the future so keep your subject choices broad enough to allow for this.

Most jobs have set entry routes.  Whether or not you intend to go to University, it may help to work backwards and look at relevant subjects for next steps when deciding what to do next. 

University courses may require certain subjects at A Level, you may need a GCSE in a subject to study it at A Level. You can check University entry requirements on

Who can help you?

Talk to a range of people to get different views.  Subject Teachers can tell you if they think it is a good idea for you to study that subject. Parents/carers, relatives, Personal Tutors, Form Teachers and pupils who are studying the subjects that interest you can give you advice. Fiona Wright (Careers Adviser) can tell you how subjects will help you in the future. 


Your Year 9 options should: fit your interests and abilities, be subjects that you are good at and think you will enjoy, complement each other and be broad.

Year 9 options should not be chosen because: your friends have chosen that subject, because you think it will be easy, you like the Teacher or just because someone else said it’s a good idea for you to do it.

Attend the school Options Evening and read the Options booklet thoroughly.

For further information on choosing your options:


Independent careers advice: there is a Careers Adviser (Fiona Wright) in school every Monday and Tuesday.  Call into the Careers Room at break or lunchtime if you want to discuss your choices.