How to choose your high school subjects wisely

Preparing to enter a new grade and choosing the subjects that’ll see you through matric can be scary, but this is the first step to your future and you should approach it wisely. Choosing the right subjects will give you a chance at success in grade 12 and beyond. Here’s more.

Determine which study and career paths interest you

The first step is looking at which career path you’d like to venture into. From there, you can check out the websites of both public and private higher education institutions to find out their requirements for that specific course. Remember to have a plan B in terms of career choice. If you’re not yet sure about the future, you should choose subject combinations that’ll leave you with the best options.

Determine your interests

Determine your interests and talents when choosing subjects. Research how your favourite subjects (for example art) manifest in the working world. Some of us thrive in the different spaces (for example, creative spaces) so don’t be pressured into choosing subjects you don’t enjoy- those won’t benefit your long-term career goals.

Focus on your strengths

A good idea is to look at subjects that you excel in and explore career options within that space. For example, if you’re good at writing, you could choose a subject with a lot of essay work (eg. History).

Don’t sell yourself short

You may think you won’t stand a chance of getting the grades you need to enter university,  but keep in mind that the South African National Senior Certificate has three levels of pass. While one of them is the degree pass, you could also qualify for a diploma or higher certificate- these allow you to further your studies in a TVET college or an online institution such as UNISA, Damelin or Boston.

The key to making the best subject choices for your future self is to ensure you do your research, and make your decision at a comfortable pace- so don’t rush. Look at your interests and strengths, and take it from there. Even if that means being in a different class than your friends. Best of luck, Choma!

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).