LEARNChoosing Your HSC Subjects: Tips and Tricks


Choosing your HSC subjects at the end of Year 10 can seem like a fairly simple decision for some people, and an absolutely daunting one for others.

If you’re wanting to head to Uni after school, then the main goal is to achieve an amazing HSC result, so it’s important to consider a variety of factors as to why you want to do certain courses.

Here are our top tips to help you choose your HSC subjects:

Choose subjects that you enjoy

This one seems obvious, but it’s the most important. However, its also the most ignored. If you don’t enjoy a subject, you’re not going to be motivated to study for it. If you’re not motivated to study, you won’t do all that well. Don’t choose a subject that you know you’ll hate, just because you think it scales well, and will therefore boost your ATAR.

Choose subjects that you are good at

Again, another obvious one. If you have particular strengths in certain areas, don’t be afraid to use that! If you’re good at something, chances are that you enjoy it, which will only make that subject more enjoyable for you!

Think ahead

Have a think about where you may want to go after you finish the HSC. It doesn’t have to be a definite plan, there are plenty of kids who don’t decide what they want to do until much later. But if you have a rough idea about where you want to go and what you might want to do, it’ll help choose subjects that can lead you on that path!

This one is also important, because some universities may have prerequisites, or assumed knowledge for their courses. If you don’t do a certain subject, you may not be eligible to enter into a certain course. For example, a large range of courses at the University of Sydney require you to do Mathematics in year 11 and 12.

Also, universities can change your selection rank based on the subjects you do and how well you do in them! This means that if you do subjects relating to the courses you want to do in the future, you’ll have a good chance of greatly assisting your chances of getting in!

It’s all about you

In the end, it’s your HSC. It isn’t your parents’, it isn’t your friends’, it’s yours. Don’t do a subject just because your mates are doing it, or because your parents are forcing you to do it. Make your own decision, because once you leave high school, you tend to do that a lot.

Talk to people

Just because your HSC is all about you, it doesn’t mean you should block out everyone else. Listen to the advice of your parents, friends, teachers and others you trust. Your school careers advisor will be your best friend if you’re having a hard time choosing your subjects, I know they were for me.

Don’t worry about scaling

Scaling is something that students tend to factor in WAY too much when it comes to these decisions. They just assume that because a subject is harder, that it will scale their marks up and get them that juicy 99.95 ATAR. However this is not the case.

Scaling is done on a year-by-year basis, depending on how well everybody doing a certain course does. While you can generally assume that it may be similar to previous years, it is not gospel. Choose your subjects based on your interests and strengths, not the scaling.

So these tips are just from my very recent experience with the HSC.  I’m no expert but this is my opinion.  What about you? What’s your opinion?

Share any helpful tips in the comments below …you know we’d love to hear them.

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