Your subject choices can have an impact on what you study at college or university and what careers are open to you in the future, so you probably have a lot of questions.

How will English help you? Will maths and chemistry be important in your career? Should you take music forward? We’ve put together a list of things to think about before making your decision.

Which subjects do you enjoy?

Think about which subjects make you happy. You're more likely to get better marks in subjects that you find interesting. Does the time seem to fly by in some subjects and go at a snail’s pace in others?

Which subjects are you good at?

If you know what you're good at it can help you pick your subjects. Think about the subjects that you get good results in. There may be some subjects that you've never studied before; My Strengths can help you see where your strengths lie. 

Which subjects suit your learning style?

‘It’s important to think about your track record in a subject, your preferred learning style, your skills and any career goals you have.’
Grace Arthur, careers adviser

We all like to learn in different ways. Do you like English and drama because you get to talk and listen? Or perhaps you like woodwork because you can get stuck in and learn with your hands? Working out how you like to learn can help you to choose the right subjects. 

Which subjects will help you in the future?

Do you have an idea of what you’d like to do after you finish school? Certain subjects can help you to get there. For example, if you want to be a journalist subjects like English and Modern Studies are going to be very useful or if you fancy engineering, maths and physics will be helpful. 

Careers A-Z can help you to find out more about different jobs and the subjects and qualifications you’ll need.

Avoid picking subjects just because…

  • You like the teacher – the teacher may change
  • There isn’t much homework – that will change
  • Your friends are taking the subject – you don’t want to get stuck studying something you don’t like
  • You think it’s a boy’s subject or a girl’s subject – there’s no such thing. Have a look at stereotypes and subject choices

Top tips

  • Speak to your teachers, a careers adviser and your family. They might have some ideas about what subjects would suit you
  • Find out more about each subject, particularly those new ones that you might be picking up. If you can, speak to someone who has already taken the subject you’re thinking of choosing
  • Make a checklist for each subject and tick whether you enjoy it, you’re good at it, it suits your learning style or it’s going to help you in the future. The subjects with the most ticks are the ones to choose

What next?

Have a look at our subject choices page for more help in making your decision.

Explore Careers A-Z to find out what subjects are helpful for different careers.

Try using the strengths tool.