Age 13-14

Updated Friday 17 March, 2017 by

In year 8/9 you will need to choose which subjects you would like to study in Years 10 and 11.

GCSEs are the main qualifications that young people do in Key Stage 4, usually in Years 10 and 11, but some Schools/Academies start in year 9.

You will need to check with your School/Academy what they offer and when you need to make your choices. 

-          You will have to study English, Maths and Science as part of your GSCE programme (these are called ‘compulsory’ subjects. Depending on which school you are at, there may be other subjects you have to study. Other subjects you will be able to choose.

-          Schools/Academies offer lots of varying subjects. It is important that you find out what is on offer and the combinations available at your School/Academy.

-          Depending on your School/Academy, as well as GCSE’s you may be able to go to college or begin an apprenticeship or have an extended work placement. You may also have the option to study an applied course such as Engineering.

-          Studying a range of subjects at this stage is useful, so that you have a wide range of options for later study and career choices.

There's lots of support and information to help you choose 

Visit your school's option choice evening;

  • Your teachers will tell you about the qualifications on offer, what they cover and how you will be assessed as part of the course
  • Your school/academy careers adviser will also be there to explain how your choices can affect your future career plans.
  • You will get information about your options in school lessons too.

Think about...

-          The subjects you enjoy and do well in, also new subjects that may be on offer and the importance of each to your career ideas.

-          The way you learn; do you like exams, prefer course work and ongoing assessment?

-           The type of person you are, rather than what your friends want to do, the teachers you like or whether you are a boy or girl.


  • It’s always important to do your research into qualifications and careers.
  • Not all GCSE subjects will be offered by your school but most will.

Further Information

The Government is encouraging more young people to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects because they will give you the skills you need for a wide range of jobs. Check out websites like this; to see the vast range of careers available when you study science and maths.