Friday, 10 February 2017

Picking Your GCSE Options

Studying for your GCSE's can seem like a really scary stage in your life. Believe me, I know how it feels. As someone who's getting ready to sit her first exams in just over 3 months, I feel as though those people in Year 9, who are about to choose their options could benefit enormously from this post.

Tip 1: Take everything you hear into consideration. I'm the sort of person that (although it may not usually seem like it) listens to other people's thoughts, experiences and opinions. If someone has already gone through something that you're inevitably going to go through soon, there's no harm in seeing what they have to say. It doesn't mean you have to follow their footsteps, but it could change your opinion for the better and it may clear up a concern that you had initially. Ask questions, weight up the positives and negatives, think about what you have heard and come to your own conclusion. That's what I did and it worked for me anyway!

Tip 2: Talk to the specific subject teachers. What I mean by this is explore the subjects that you want to study before you properly think about whether they are right for you or not. An example of this is when I was deciding whether I wanted to take Health & Social Care. At my school, we don't get taught it unless it's at BTEC level in Year 9, so I had to do my own research, ask around and read up about it in order to form my own opinion. Don't be afraid to ask questions at the options evening or during the interviews. Email the teachers, go and see them during your free time, talk to them about your future career prospects. Do whatever you can to ensure that you feel knowledgeable and certain about your choices.

Tip 3: Be confident when making your decisions. Before making any decisions, especially ones that will effect you for the next 2 years, you have to make sure that you know what you want. Even if you don't really know where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years, you can still choose GCSE options that will benefit you. From my experience, I'd say that you could consider taking a Humanities subject, such as Geography or History, possibly a language, a BTEC that could be Dance, Sport, Business or something else and I also considered a DT subject, so either Graphics, Textiles (if your school has that, unlike mine), Woodwork, Art or Food Technology. By considering these types of subjects and seeing which you enjoy, you're keeping your options open and also getting a variety of GCSE's as a result. If you know what path you want to go down, then pick your subjects accordingly after you have done some research and asked about.

Tip 4: Always remember to persevere. Since studying for my GCSE's, I've noticed the workload has gotten heavier and the actual content has gotten considerably harder too. If you enjoyed a subject throughout Key Stage 3, you will probably continue to enjoy it throughout Key Stage 4 too. This doesn't always work and you may end up getting put off from a subject that you once loved, but hey, you can't win everything! Just don't pick a subject that you don't enjoy, purely because of the fact that you get good grades. If the enjoyment isn't there now, it won't be within the next few years. You have to keep persevering to get the grades you need and deserve. Trust me on that one!

With things like this, you have to follow your heart and do what you want to do. If something doesn't feel right, then don't go through with it. Try taking a different route. Fight for what you want and don't give up until your happy with the final decision. This is quite literally your future in your hands and you're in control.

If you didn't already know, I take Geography, Business BTEC, Health & Social Care and Graphic Products. I'm happy to do separate blog posts on any of these options and any of the core subjects if you want me to, so just let me know in the comments below!

I hope this has helped some of you, but if you have any more questions, ask away.

Lots of love always

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