In each student’s life comes a moment when they must choose the subjects they are going to study further. Depending on the education system, this may happen at the end of Y8, Y9, Y11 or from 8th Grade onwards.
Why is it so important what subjects are chosen at this early age? Isn’t the age when students discover their interests, their passions and when they extend their knowledge? Yes, it is. But it is also the age when the foundation for their further studies is built. The elective subjects, extracurricular activities, workshops, clubs, Summer Courses, may help students to discover new interests, to extend their knowledge and to expand their horizons.
That being said, to have a better understanding of why subjects matter, there are some guidelines that you should consider.
You must have a strategic approach and think with a few steps in advance. The subjects chosen for study now may be studied at a deeper level later. While the subjects that are being dropped, or studied at a lower level now, may be difficult or not allowed to be studied at a deeper level later, because there is no longer the necessary foundation for this.
The Baccalaureate exam or its equivalent (A-Level, International Baccalaureate HL, Abitur, Romanian Baccalaureate, AP exams, and so on) is sat on the subjects studied at a deeper level. The subjects you’ll have on your Baccalaureate exam are making you eligible for admission at specific university courses.
Let’s take the Natural Sciences, for example, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. You will have to sit your Baccalaureate exams, or its equivalent, in one or more Natural Sciences, in combination with other subjects, if you would like to be eligible for admission in Engineering, Dentistry, Medicine, Biosciences, Psychology, Sport Sciences, Geology, and so on.
Ok, it’s clear that some of the subjects studied during the high school/secondary education will allow you to continue your studies in a specific bachelor programme or not.
But what happens if you don’t know yet what would you like to study at university? Great question!
KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN
If you don’t know yet what you would like to study at the university, or if you may change your area of interests, it is always a good approach to keep your options open. How is this possible? Studying the facilitating subjects, such as English Literature, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Geography and languages.
After Y11 or Grade 10, some educational programmes will ask you to narrow down your subjects to a number of 3, 4 or 6 subjects. What happens now? Of course, you should choose subjects that you really like and you are good at, but don’t forget to check the university entry requirements for your desired bachelor programme, to see with what combination of subjects you will be eligible for admission. You should also check if your school will allow you to study those subjects, as you may be conditioned by your previous subject choices, academic records or exam results.
What happens if, after you’ve analyzed different careers and degree courses, you still don’t know what you would like to study at university?
- Speak with your teachers and take a look at the course books;
- Choose subjects that you like and may perform well at exams;
- Inform yourself! In what professions are your strengths and skills required?
- Discuss with your career adviser and take an aptitude test;
- Choose a range of subjects that will keep your options open. Combining humanities with Math and Sciences may be an option;
- Choose facilitating subjects instead of easy subjects;
- Avoid combining similar subjects, as Business and Economics;
- You may also want to take a look at those university courses that don’t require specific subjects.
MAKE YOUR OWN INFORMED CHOICES AND ENJOY YOUR STUDIES!