Throughout our years of education, we are required to make two major choices: one, of which GCSEs to take, and the other later, for further education. To year 11s like myself around the country, we imposed with almost a looming decision - which future prospects are we to choose? But, while thinking about this, I wondered, is it even right for us to be making such decisions?


Let’s start with GCSEs. Although the choice may seem daunting at first, choosing only at 12-14 years old, this tends to be a bit more straightforward. By the time it comes to choose, students would have undergone two years of study and generally would have a fairly good idea on what each subject is like Furthermore, as many of the subjects are compulsory such as English, Maths and at least two Sciences, this only leaves 2-3 subjects for one to choose, which isn’t as difficult for most students.


However, post-secondary school education is more complicated. When considering the potential choices, rather than thinking just about exams, these options are more concrete, and involve future degrees or careers. As an example, taking neither Chemistry nor Biology for A-level would effectively rule out the option for a career in medicine. Another factor which leads to difficulty in choosing A-levels is that one can choose any mix of subjects, but generally only 3 or 4 subjects in total, which means that some career options become shut out. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that before year 11, schools tend to overlook the topic of A-levels, and students get little to no information in the matter, which can lead to panic later on. Due to a combination of these factors, pupils can be overwhelmed when presented with the choice due to the permanence and consequences of them. This creates difficulty for many students who may not have decided exactly which path they would like to 

choose, and so choosing at an early age means that it can be very difficult. Although there are methods to overcome this, such as choosing “facilitating” subjects such as Maths or English which leave many options open, they can leave many doors closed which isn’t ideal.


However, at the end of the day, it varies person to person. Some are sure of the path they are going to take while others may have no clue - both of which are completely fine. Some may want to make such decisions even earlier, while many others believe that too many options are closed off too quickly and wish for more time to make decisions, and overall, it completely depends on your own point of view.