1. Follow your curiosity, not your passion – GCSEs are an opportunity to understand the world around you better. Think about what interests you in life, and what you want to know more about, rather than focusing on ‘Sciences’, ‘Humanities’, ‘Languages’.
  2. Explore the specifications online. The GCSE 9-1 specifications are published online by AQA, Edexcel and OCR. If you are unsure about a subject, read them to find out about the course content and how it is examined. Students taking Computer Science are sometimes surprised by the amount of theory involved.  Equally, putting together a Design and Technology, or Art GCSE portfolios are very time consuming. It’s useful to know about this up front.
  3. Get some first hand feedback by speaking to students in Year 10 and 11 – what do they like or dislike about the courses? Try not to let teachers influence your choice too much. Teachers can change but the course won’t!
  4. For academic students, take a wide range of subjects to develop transferable skills such as essay writing, debating, critical thinking, and mathematical agility. This keeps your options open when it comes to choosing A Levels and then a university course.
  5. For less academic students, choose GCSE subjects where the curricula overlap, for example, Geography and Biology, or French and Spanish. Consider taking Combined Science to ensure the workload is manageable.

Please contact us if you would like any advice on choosing GCSE options – we’re happy to help.