Your choices at 14

Getting help choosing your post 13/14 options

To get help choosing your GCSEs you could ask your tutor, subject teacher, your parents/carers or perhaps even someone who has been through the GCSE choices process recently.

GCSEs are broad, general qualifications so whatever subjects you choose will be useful for the future. However, there are some important things to be aware of, so read the section on 'How your choices could affect your future'.

You might like to do a fun personality profile test to find out more about what is important to you, before you make decisions about GCSEs, other qualifications or particular careers.

You could complete the Careerpilot pre-16 Skills Map and see what skills you have and use these on applications later

Below you will find helpful tips on how to choose subjects to meet your needs and interests.

General tips before you choose

  • Find out what subjects you have to do and what subjects you can choose to keep or drop.
  • Use the support offered through your school - like option evenings, course information, school websites, careers library and careers software - to gather information on your options.
  • Check out your ideas with people who know you well like your parents/carers, older siblings or a careers adviser.
  • If you’re already thinking about a particular job or career, take a look at the entry requirements for that type of work using Job Sectors or talk to somebody who already works in that sector.
  • If you’re already thinking about a university course later then look at the entry requirements and work back from there - you can find some information about which post 16 courses to choose for specific university subjects through this link or visit the university's website.

How (and how not!) to make the right choices

  • Choose subjects that you think you’ll be good at and will interest you;
  • If you think you might want to do a science-related course in the future, choose at least double award science;
  • If you’re not sure what you might want to do after GCSEs, try to choose a good mix of GCSE subjects to keep open as many different future directions as possible;
  • If you’re considering a career related to languages, or art and design, having the relevant GCSEs will obviously really help;
  • If you are interested in a specific job sector, check out whether there are vocational GCSEs (for example Business Studies or Health & Social Care) on offer at your school;
  • Check out whether there are vocational qualifications on offer at your school, like a BTEC in Engineering or Sports Skills.

See the 'Useful links to help with choosing’ section to find lots of information sources that can help you make your post 14 choices.

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