Explore your options

Options for your GCSEs

In year 8 or 9 you will be asked to choose what GCSE’s you would like to take. The following section will help learn about the options, the things you should consider and where you can go.

GCSE’s, what are the facts?

These are the general qualifications you will do in year 10 and 11 but some schools start in year 9. 

You will choose your GCSE subjects and then study these until the end year 11.

You are likely to study between 7 and 9 GCSE subjects depending on your school, and are assessed by exams taken at the end of the course.

There are some subjects that you have to chose such as English, Maths and Science. There are others you can choose to continue with or not, such as Art, History or PE. You may also be able to choose work related qualifications such as Health and Social Care, Business Studies and Engineering.


This short video from CXK Marketing will explain more about your options. 


When you are considering what options to take, it's important to:

  • Research the subjects you are interested in by speaking to teachers and reading course options information
  • Look at how the course is assessed i.e. exam or coursework and think about what suits your learning style best.

When making choices look at the subjects:

  • You enjoy and are good at.
  • Which could link to a future career or a course you’d like to study after GCSE.
  • If you are looking for a future career or course in science then choose double or triple Science.
  • If you want to have a career in art or design in the future, then choose an arts focused GCSE.
  • if you want to deal with customers from other countries or work abroad then a language.
  • You would like to study for 2 years or more.

Try not to:

  • Choose the subject just because your friend is doing it.
  • Choose the subject based on the teacher you have now, as that could change.

If your own school is not the best option for you anymore there are some schools that take children at a different age to the typical 11-16 secondary schools. You can consider moving to one of these schools, if the GCSE options choices are better suited to you. 

To see where these schools are and to find more information out about them visit our Options @ Year 8/9 page.