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Chosing Yr 11/12 subjects


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#1 Lees75

Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:12 PM

Just thought I would start a general chat for those of us with kids in Yr 10, starting the process of choosing subjects for next year. We haven't had any information sessions yet, but I know they will commence at the start of next term. The kids have been doing PLP with the teachers to start wrapping their heads around it all.

DS15, Year 10, thought he had it all sorted out in his mind, and now he doesn't know. He is ultra bright, but has no idea what he wants to do (if his AFL career doesn't take off!), other than something in the sports industry.

The subjects he is definite on are 2xMaths and PE. Plus they have to do at least a unit of English, I think. But as for the 5th subject?  He was thinking Psychology, as this could be good for sports management or various health degrees, but LOVES history, so now is thinking about that, plus his drama teacher is begging him to do drama next year. And then he enjoys Chem, so is considering that (which surprised me, as he generally hates science).

I have been very good at fighting all my natural instincts of talking about what will get him the best ATAR, scaling, etc and told him if he doesn't know what he wants to do, then do subjects he enjoys.

We have also discussed that it is probably wise to look at the time commitments and homework load of different subjects, given his SANFL commitments. (Bye bye drama!)

I am really happy that at his school they haven't seemed to push him down the traditional "smart kid pathway" of 2xMaths, Physic and Chem. Lots of people, outside of school, ask him why he would do 2xMaths if he doesn't want to be an engineer (he hates computers), but he absolutely loves, loves, loves, Maths.

Where are other parents and kids up to in this process?

#2 LiveLife

Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:26 PM

As a uni course coordinator, I strongly recommend doing physics and chem if your desired course has any component of those in it.  Yes you can do bridging units etc etc but those kids just seem to constant,y struggle. A good grounding in those units seems preferable. So chem would be handy for dietetics (I’m thinking maybe he likes the idea of sports dietetics) or physics handy for Physio etc (just trying to think sports related industries).

My daughter is not picking one subject based purely on scaling but picking mainly on her strengths and interests.

#3 JBH

Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:27 PM

Hi OP. Warning: I am entirely unqualified to comment, having neither much idea nor a child in year 10, but given my own experience enjoyment is definitely important, but so is thinking of uni courses he may want to do and the prerequisites. Given his sporting interests, a science based degree could be good (noting maths is a science), so if he is interested in chem anyway it is a good choice. If he were to do an undergrad science degree he could keep his options open for a career that would be a good post AFL career (like physio) or a career that might enable him to work in a professional capacity with the AFL (psych, exercise physiology or even medicine).

#4 Arthur or Martha

Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:32 PM

DD is year 11, so we did this last year. In year 10 they did Set plan, senior education and training, has he done your state's equivalent?
She then ruled out what she didn't want to do, and picked 2 subjects and a certificate course. So she does maths, english, religion(catholic school), dance, biology and a cert in sport and rec. She doesn't really like bio but there was nothing she wanted to do on that line.
She then ruled out the subjects she didn't want to dSet plan, enio

#5 crankybee

Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:36 PM

"(Bye bye drama!)"? Really? History is a lot of work too, I'd pick Drama over that any day given how they assess it.

Are you in NSW?

#6 littlepickle

Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:41 PM

My DD is 1/2 way through year 11 completing 5 ATAR and 1 non- ATAR in WA. Public school so no compulsory sport or religion classes
Although she was able to select the top 2 maths subjects she decided to pick the lower ATAR one. This was primarily because she had crossed both Engineering and Medicine of her desired list.
As per the above poster she did select Chemistry to keep science options open.
English over English literature more because she thought she would enjoy the former
Biology because she lives the subject
Geography - as a parent I had to fight for them to offer more than one HASS subject as the only selection was politics and law ( no history, ancient history or economics). There were enough parent complaints that they offered Geography - there is only 1 class with less than 20 students.
This period of time can be very traumatic for some teenagers - my advice would be for them to select subjects that they enjoy and have a natural talent for. How a subject is weighted or the extra % allocated for some subjects should be at the end of the decision tree.

#7 MarciaB

Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:45 PM

If he is interested in sports related pathways ( Sport Science, Exercise Physiology, Dietician Psychology, Physio) I would encourage him to do one Science. Many NSW universities have one Science subject as a prerequisite for these courses.

Otherwise he should pick what he likes, including Maths.



#8 twinklingstar

Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:48 PM

My eldest is in Year 10 and about to start working on selecting year 11/12 subjects. We have an info night at the start of next term.

She is unsure what she wants to do but this week is thinking possibly computer animation.

How do you find out pre-requisites for uni courses? Does it vary between the uni’s?


#9 amdirel

Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:49 PM

DS didn't consider weighting/scaling. He picked subjects he enjoys and that are somewhat related to what he thinks he wants to do at uni.

Then unfortunately he was limited with timetabling issues, and had to drop a subject and pick an unwanted one because of it. He was pretty cranky.

#10 MarciaB

Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:50 PM

To answer your question, my dd is in Year 10 and doing traditional STEM subjects ( ext Maths, Physics, Chemistry, PDHPE, Adv English and geography). She does want to be an engineer ( Civil).

She will sit HSC Maths in Year 11 ( next year).

She is my youngest so I am relaxed about the process as my older dd finished school last year.

#11 MarciaB

Posted 29 June 2019 - 05:52 PM

View Posttwinklingstar, on 29 June 2019 - 05:48 PM, said:

My eldest is in Year 10 and about to start working on selecting year 11/12 subjects. We have an info night at the start of next term.

She is unsure what she wants to do but this week is thinking possibly computer animation.

How do you find out pre-requisites for uni courses? Does it vary between the uni’s?

Yes it does vary. Our school this year provided a list of Unis and courses where Advanced Maths ( and a band 4 result) is a pre-requisite. Otherwise, you can look at University web pages and they list the required knowledge by course.

#12 BusbyWilkes

Posted 29 June 2019 - 07:36 PM

View PostMarciaB, on 29 June 2019 - 05:45 PM, said:

If he is interested in sports related pathways ( Sport Science, Exercise Physiology, Dietician Psychology, Physio) I would encourage him to do one Science. Many NSW universities have one Science subject as a prerequisite for these courses.

Otherwise he should pick what he likes, including Maths.

This.

We've been looking at prerequisites for our son who is the same age. Most of the above have a science subject (choice of any) as desirable or prerequisite.

You mention your son loves maths, so doing the top 2 may be fine. Many kids we know in the last couple of years (who were strong in math in year 10) did 2 math or the hardest math and found they spent so much time on math that their other "easy" subjects suffered.

Mine is looking at 5 ATAR and 1 cert course (sports development in his sport of choice).

#13 Lees75

Posted 30 June 2019 - 01:16 AM

View Postcrankybee, on 29 June 2019 - 05:36 PM, said:

"(Bye bye drama!)"? Really? History is a lot of work too, I'd pick Drama over that any day given how they assess it.

Are you in NSW?
Yes, Drama won't be an option for him, as much as he loves it.  It is such a big commitment with all the out of school time requirements, and he will have no hope of managing it and his football trainings.
The workload in History is one of the main reasons he is leaning towards scrubbing that off his list as well.

#14 Nasty Poobah

Posted 30 June 2019 - 07:55 AM

View Posttwinklingstar, on 29 June 2019 - 05:48 PM, said:

My eldest is in Year 10 and about to start working on selecting year 11/12 subjects. We have an info night at the start of next term.

She is unsure what she wants to do but this week is thinking possibly computer animation.

How do you find out pre-requisites for uni courses? Does it vary between the uni’s?

Your school should help with this but a good place to start is your state tertiary admissions organisation (in Victoria this is VTAC, other states will have something similar). The website will have lots of clear info and links to get you started.

#15 ~J_WTF~

Posted 30 June 2019 - 08:27 AM

My daughter is in year 10 but she is already doing a year 11 subject, so her load will be lighter in year 12  but we got an email that said there is a year 11 info night coming up (I hate those things) and selections will be due in August.

She has and will be picking based on enjoyment and what she might like to do, which she really doesn’t know but Japanese will definitely be chosen.

We are pretty relaxed about the process and have stayed reasonably hands off and let her make the choices but then I am not a huge fan of locking kids into a career pathway so young.

#16 onetrick

Posted 30 June 2019 - 05:29 PM

VTAC publish a VICTOR guide every year with university prerequisites for when year 10 students will be at uni. So this years will be VICTER 2022. They are available online in August (usually a couple of days before we do course counseling!). It doesnt have any score info, just subjects.
I'm sure other states will have similar.
Most pre-requisites are obvious now (compared to years ago...), but you do get some that seem obscure (like year 11 maths for education courses- that trips up some future primary teachers of ours!).

I would (and do to my students) suggest looking at pre-requisites, then subjects they are good at/ enjoy. Pre-requisites (at least here in vic!) Wont take up the whole course of 6 subjects, so there will be room for stuff they want and stuff they need.

Cant help with other states as some sound quite different to here! But if in doubt, ask at your school :) (I mean, if I can help, I will... but course counseling online is tough, and EB is my tune out space so I'm not as articulate as when I'm at work lol).

#17 warriorsfan

Posted 30 June 2019 - 06:02 PM

Another thing to consider is what subjects are available on each line. My DS had a lot of subjects he wanted to do but they clashed with other subjects or were not available on the line he had the most flexibility with. He has ended up with all 3 maths and all 3 sciences.

#18 Expelliarmus

Posted 30 June 2019 - 06:27 PM

^ That's true. I had Dionysus help me wrangle some things for DD2 who had major clashes all over the place after Year 9.

DD1 had a very clear idea of which I had no part thankyouverymuchmum - what would you know about it anyway? :rolleyes:

Apart from that I have no idea what DS is planning ... he's in Year 10 ... I'm a bad parent I don't even know. I just know he knows what he's planning! He's doing a VET course this year so hopefully I will find out what that means for SACE at some point - DS knows. It's all good ...

#19 Coffeegirl

Posted 30 June 2019 - 06:47 PM

I’ve been through this already with DD who finished her HSC last year, and now we’re going through it with DS

Sadly they do need to think about the weighting for ATAR if they have a very specific Uni or course that they want to do afterwards.   Especially as some of the classes are two year classes and if the child doesn’t start the class in year 11, they can’t start in year 12

We know that DS needs to have extension maths as a prerequisite for the uni course he wants, so that’s been pick number one.

He is also leaning towards general maths, English, advanced English, physics, then tech drawing/graphics.

#20 BusbyWilkes

Posted 30 June 2019 - 07:09 PM

View Postwarriorsfan, on 30 June 2019 - 06:02 PM, said:

Another thing to consider is what subjects are available on each line. My DS had a lot of subjects he wanted to do but they clashed with other subjects or were not available on the line he had the most flexibility with. He has ended up with all 3 maths and all 3 sciences.

Isn't English (or lit) compulsory? I thought that was an Australia wide requirement; both for year 12 certificate and for an ATAR score.

#21 Lees75

Posted 30 June 2019 - 07:19 PM

View PostBusbyWilkes, on 29 June 2019 - 07:36 PM, said:


You mention your son loves maths, so doing the top 2 may be fine. Many kids we know in the last couple of years (who were strong in math in year 10) did 2 math or the hardest math and found they spent so much time on math that their other "easy" subjects suffered.


2 Maths is a definite for him. He loves it, and is currently averaging 100%. He is very quick, but even next year it takes longer, he won't mind.

But I've been having a look at the SATAC guide and it seems there is only 1 Maths needed in Yr 11, to be able to do Maths Methods and Spec Maths in Yr 12?  Any other SA people understand this?  Expelli?  Have I missed something?

#22 Lees75

Posted 30 June 2019 - 07:20 PM

View PostBusbyWilkes, on 30 June 2019 - 07:09 PM, said:

Isn't English (or lit) compulsory? I thought that was an Australia wide requirement; both for year 12 certificate and for an ATAR score.
In SA, you only have to do an English subject in yr 11 or in Yr 12.

#23 Ivy Ivy

Posted 30 June 2019 - 07:39 PM

I recall being in year 10 and my careers adviser looking at my year 11 subject choices and explaining "if you want x ATAR then you'll have to do these subjects (he then listed the subjects which got very scaled up).  So I did them.  But that required me to treat year 11 and 12 as a means to an end (i.e. getting the ATAR I needed) rather than a chance to do subjects which interested me.  I don't regret what he did, it worked career-wise, but I have often regretted my lack of a wider education which included languages and more humanities, and I fantasize about returning to uni to do an Arts degree and study subjects I've not formally learned about.

A PP made a great point when she wrote she wished the unis would get out of 2ndary education and just all set their own entrance exam.  I was struck by how right she was - high school should be about high school, but year 11 and 12 are about uni, and uni entrance marks, for lots of students.

#24 warriorsfan

Posted 30 June 2019 - 09:18 PM

View PostBusbyWilkes, on 30 June 2019 - 07:09 PM, said:

Isn't English (or lit) compulsory? I thought that was an Australia wide requirement; both for year 12 certificate and for an ATAR score.

You're right sorry, he is doing English, Specialist Maths, Maths methods, biology, physics and chemistry.

#25 Expelliarmus

Posted 30 June 2019 - 09:27 PM

View PostLees75, on 30 June 2019 - 07:19 PM, said:

2 Maths is a definite for him. He loves it, and is currently averaging 100%. He is very quick, but even next year it takes longer, he won't mind.

But I've been having a look at the SATAC guide and it seems there is only 1 Maths needed in Yr 11, to be able to do Maths Methods and Spec Maths in Yr 12?  Any other SA people understand this?  Expelli?  Have I missed something?
That sounds right. DD1 ditched Methods for General after Stage 1 ... I think ... DD2 did one semester of Stage 1 to meet numeracy requirements. I think DS is planning to do All The Maths Things.




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