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Preparing for GCSE's

Updated: Jan 14, 2020

This is the time of year for making GCSE choices and for many this can be an anxious time as they are unsure of which subject to pick to see them onto the next stage of their education. At Carfax, we are familiar with guiding and advising students on the best way to make these important choices.

Below, head of Carfax Education, Fiona McKenzie discusses her top tips for preparing for the big move into GCSE's.

Please contact us on for more information about how we can help.

Choose subjects you enjoy

The question of ‘what GCSE’s should I take?’ often depends on a combination of things; this is probably the first time the student has been in the driving seat and can choose their own path, which can be very daunting. They should focus on the subjects they enjoy, whilst also keeping in mind their future and what they may want to continue as a career, for example, if they are interested in going to a top University or doing a subject such as Medicine, their GCSE’s will be considered by Universities.

Make sure you have a good spread

Most pupils study between 8-10 GCSE’s which allows them to have a broad spread of subjects. However, in reality, many of these choices are predetermined, with compulsory subjects such as English, Maths, Sciences and, in some schools, a Modern Language. Once you have factored these in, taking up approximately 6 of the slots, the free choices are rather limited. This means some tough choices trying to select 2- 3 subjects out of a possible range of Humanities, Arts, Sport, ICT and additional languages. Do you keep Geography or History? Is it sensible to do Drama and Art? If you are thinking of doing Maths A Level could you consider Further Maths at GCSE?

Think ahead

This is the time to do some guess work and look towards the future and think about possible career choices further down the line. For example, if you think your child might enjoy a science-related job then make sure they take double science. Or if they dream of studying abroad in the future, it would be a good idea to take a foreign language.

However, this can be more of a precise science than guess work, by using Carfax’s online student profiling tool. The online assessment, which takes about 45 minutes, can be very revealing. It matches a student’s interests and abilities with suitable career families and then goes on to look at a range of jobs that come under that sector with an introductory description and a range of recommended resources to investigate further. Whilst this is not a test to decide a concrete job for your child, it does open their eyes to the possibilities out there and also helps them to understand how their current education fits into the larger picture.

To find out more about our student profiling call Shelly on 00971 44385276

Armed with this information it is then a simple process to work through the GCSE choices and identify the ones that will provide the most opportunities to open doors into future career pathways, alongside your child’s passions and enjoyments. It also forms a valuable discussion document for the family to really think about their child’s education and how it will shape their future.

Please contact us on for more information about how we can help.


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