In the UK, young people aged 13-14 are expected to choose the GCSE subjects they wish to study until they leave secondary school at age 16. But is choosing subjects for a career path at such a young age really a good idea?

According to a neuroscientist, the answer is ‘no’. The study claims that children’s brains are not fully developed by the age of 14 so forcing them to decide a career path halfway through secondary school causes unnecessary stress and pushes a lot of responsibility onto immature teenagers.

Many students and adults alike are arguing that choosing subjects at a young age hinders opportunities for young people in the future. For example, if a student takes art but then realises their passion for history, they are unable to take the subject for A-level as they do not have a GCSE qualification in it. Reasons like this are why many are campaigning to delay the choosing process so the students are fully informed about the subjects and the consequences of choosing those subjects for GCSE.

Choosing GCSE subjects should really be a decision made later in teenage years, opposed to earlier years when young people are not as mature as they would be in the future. Students shouldn’t have a pathway closed on them because of the subjects they chose when they were too young to know any better.