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How To Choose Your IGCSE Subjects

Uncle Ben famously told Peter, “with great power comes great responsibility.” This may be the first time IGCSE students have the opportunity to drop subjects like one of the sciences and to discover new topics like economics. While that may seem like a blessing, it is important to make informed decisions. 

Here are 8 tips to help you deliberate on appropriate subject choices and yet keep as many doors open as you can:

  1. Introspect. Identify your academic strengths and weaknesses. Evaluate your personal abilities and aptitude. The subjects where you have a natural flair, strong grades or preference are likely to be subjects you enjoy, or could determine a future career choice. Make sure you know which ones they are!
  2. Strike A Balance. Try to aim for a broad spread of subjects. For example, even if you are sure you want to be a business person – don’t take both Economics and Business Studies. Learners typically take English, Maths, one or more Sciences, one or more humanities and a language.  
  3. Know What’s Compulsory. There are some subjects where you don’t have a choice so be aware of your options.    
  4. Review the Curriculum. Look at both the content of the course and the skills required. Speak to senior students. Review the books and exam papers. Decide if you are interested in the things you will be learning about and whether you can build on the skills you will use.
  5. Do Your Homework.  If you know what you want to study at a college level, then do some research on entry requirements and benchmarks at a handful of relevant universities.
  6. Communicate. Speak to your parents, teachers and counsellors so they can guide you through the decision-making process and prospects. 
  7. Be Happy. Ask yourself – do you enjoy this subject? Remember, you will be studying these subjects for the next two years.
  8. Think Long Term. It is most likely that subjects you take in the 11th / 12th grade will have to be part of your IGCSE options.  We know it can be overwhelming to think so far out, but even if you feel a career or subject could be an option in the future, make sure you try and factor it in today’s decision making.


You still maybe unsure of what you want to do in the future or if you have an idea, remember it could change over the next few years. You may also have more questions: What is the right subject mix? Should I take Additional Math? Business Studies and/or Economics? How important is ICE?   

If you would like to discuss and identify options that best align with your strengths, our counselling sessions can help steer you in the right direction. Schedule a session today! 



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