Year 11 and 12 subject selection guide and tips for Year 10 students

Year 10 student selecting subjects

Subject selection is a tricky process, especially when it's for your senior high school years. Here are our top tips for Year 10 students that will help you get on the right track.

You want to plan for your future – without knowing exactly what that future looks like, which can be a bit scary. But with a thoughtful and strategic approach, you can nail subject selection in Year 10 – starting here. Plus, we have developed a Year 10 course guide that you can download.

Questions to ask yourself during the Year 10 subject selection process

What do I love?

It’s important to follow your passion. Don’t select subjects because you think you’re “supposed” to or because they “scale better”. Whether you’re considering NSW, VIC or QLD subjects, or any subject anywhere, the key to success is choosing what you love. Think about the classes and topics that excite you the most, and use them as the starting point for your Year 11 subject selection process. It’s a lot easier to commit your brainpower and energy to something that interests and inspires you.

Have I done my research?

If you have a strong idea of what you’d like to be in the future, a great way of selecting your subjects is to find out what you need to know. Some uni courses have assumed knowledge or prerequisites (we don’t for the most part), so do your research to figure out a pathway to where you want to be. Having an end goal will help you make better decisions now. (Bonus tip: it’s OK if that end goal changes between now and then – just because you wanted to be an astronaut when you were seven doesn’t mean you want to be one at 17.)

Am I keeping my options open?

Of course, not everyone has a clear idea of what they love studying or the career path they’d like to follow. If that sounds like you, we recommend spreading your choices wider. Select a few different subjects to explore different interests and see what fits. Over the next two years, you’ll continue the process of narrowing things down and having that broad foundation will be a big help. In the meantime, you might discover a talent or passion you didn’t know you had.

Have I considered my workload?

You only have so many hours in a week, and you don’t want to spend all of them on schoolwork (there’s also eating, sleeping, gaming, exercising, doom-scrolling, hanging out with friends). Time limitations are especially relevant when it comes to subjects that feature major works. How many of these do you want to commit to completing in Year 12? Find out how much attention and energy you’ll have to put into that artwork, extended essay or live performance, then decide how much you’re willing and able to tackle.

Final tips to making subject selection in Year 10 easier

Challenge yourself

There’ll be plenty of external challenges over the next couple of years but that doesn’t mean you should always take the easy path. There are huge personal rewards to going above and beyond the bare minimum, especially if you’ve got a competitive streak. Aim high, expand your horizons and discover what you’re truly capable of. (Bonus tip: if it turns out you’ve taken on too much, you can always drop down a subject in Year 12.)

Don’t stress

This is an important point to keep in mind. No matter what you select now, there are many different ways to get to where you want to be in life. Year 12 exams is important, true, but it’s not the only path to finding that career you love. If you want to know more about alternative pathways over the next two years, you can always chat to one of our Future Student Advisors about the different ways of getting in to university.

Learn more about our Early Entry Program
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