• Question: What GCSE's did you pick and why?

    Asked by anon-314219 to Luke, Jamie, Alex H, DrAlexB, Alex on 14 Mar 2022.
    • Photo: Jamie Smith

      Jamie Smith answered on 14 Mar 2022:

      Hi! Thanks for your question.

      I chose Triple Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) because I was really interested in it.

      Maths was compulsory – but I finished maths a year early so I also did Methods in Maths and Applications of Maths (which were pretty much exactly the same stuff so it wasn’t much more work)

      English Literature and English Language were compulsory and weren’t as interesting for me.

      Ethics and Philosophy – also compulsory but actually found it more interesting.

      The rest were all subjects I enjoyed and just wanted to continue doing – History, French and Drama. Drama in particular was very fun and very different from everything else I was doing which made it a great addition to the school day!

    • Photo: Luke Humphrey

      Luke Humphrey answered on 14 Mar 2022: last edited 14 Mar 2022 10:55 am

      Okay so I had the three compulsory ones:

      1. Maths
      2. English
      3. English Literature

      All good, not much to say as this wasn’t a choice, but I enjoyed these.

      Along with 2-3 sciences, I picked these two:

      4. Physics
      5. Biology

      I dropped Chemistry as I didn’t like the teacher or the way it had been taught up to GSCE. However, I got back into chemistry at university as it overlaps with physics a fair bit in topics like nuclear physics, materials, and quantum physics. I still consider biology to be the hardest of the three core sciences, but everyone has their own opinion. In retrospect, the divide is fairly arbitrary so just pick the ones you enjoy.

      At least 1 humanity, I picked:

      6. History

      Big fan of history. Science history in particular is really important to science, so it’s an underrated subject among scientists in my opinion. I’d strongly recommend history if you’re considering it, the skills you pick up regarding investigating sources and identifying biases is really transferable and you’ll develop your written communication skills to which is helpful in lots of areas.

      At least 1 modern language, I picked:

      7. French

      Not much to say. It’s really good to have at least one second language. I picked French as some of my family already speaks french. Spanish is generally more useful as it is the third most spoken language on the planet after Chinese and English (and Chinese is not usually an option in most schools as far as I know, but if you have the choice then do it!).

      And the rest were free choice, I picked:

      8. Drama
      9. Art
      10. Graphic Design

      I didn’t enjoy Art as I really disliked the teacher. However, drama and graphics were both hugely useful. Drama can be a bit cringey at times, especially when you’re doing your own scripts, but if you can learn to be okay on the stage in front of a crowd it will help you with public speaking of less cringey stuff in the future! If you have a good drama teacher at your school I’d highly encourage considering it, it’s also a nice break from more traditional subjects and can get your blood pumping when the school day starts to drag.

    • Photo: Alex Headspith

      Alex Headspith answered on 14 Mar 2022:

      Hi Amy,

      Again as well as the compulsory ones, which included separate sciences for me I also had to choose a language (German), a Humanities subject (Geography) and then two free options, so I chose a L2 Engineering Course and Music. I picked these as my preferred choices as I wanted to do them, and German and Geography were what I thought would be best as I had to choose them.

      Thus as follows:
      English Language
      English Literature
      Religious Studies (Short Course)
      L2 Engineering

      As long as you enjoy what you’re doing, that matters the most.

    • Photo: Alexander Cunningham

      Alexander Cunningham answered on 16 Mar 2022:

      Thanks for your question!

      The following GCSEs were compulsory for me, but I imagine I would have picked the sciences and maths anyway as I enjoyed the problems in these subjects and could see myself working in science in the future:

      – Maths
      – English Language and Literature
      – Physics
      – Chemistry
      – Biology

      You then had to pick one language GCSE. I chose German as it was the one I found easiest to understand.

      The remaining choices were free:

      – Geography: I chose this to learn about the climate, weather, volcanoes etc!
      – History: I really enjoy history, especially the ancient stuff like Romans and Egyptians.
      – Product Design: I liked how this subject had both design and practical elements to it. I designed and built a lamp in the end.
      – Art: Another thing I just enjoyed doing so thought I’d pick at GCSE.