GCSE options

Which GCSE options should I choose?

During years 10 and 11 you’ll study for GCSEs, you will have choices over which subjects you want to keep studying.

Need to know 

First of all, there are some subjects that are compulsory at GCSE level. These are:

  • English (English Literature and English Language or a single English GCSE)
  • Maths
  • Science (Combined Science or Individual Sciences)

GCSE Science

Separate science GCSEs – you will get a grade from 9 to 1 in each subject.

Combined Science – incorporates content from Physics, Chemistry and Biology and you will get an award that is worth two GCSEs which consist of two equal or adjacent grades from 9 to 1 (for example 9-9, 9-8, 8-8, 8-7, 7-7 to 1-1). If the two grades are different, the highest number will always be written on the left

Some useful online guides

  • Studential – choosing your GCSE Options
  • Youth Employment UK –  19 questions to ask yourself when choosing GCSE options
  • BBC Bitesize – everything you need to know about choosing your GCSE subjects
  • Careerpilot – your choices at 14
  • UCAS – entry requirements for Apprenticeships in England

Still unsure?

  • Ask teachers about what that subject is like at GCSE
  • Which subjects do you enjoy?
  • What are you good at?
  • Talk to your family and see the careers advisor at school

What is GCSE study like?

In most courses you will take a final exam at the end of year 11. You will be graded from 1 to 9, where 9 is the best grade you can achieve, 4 is a pass mark, and 5 is considered a strong pass.

Moving on to post-16 education

If you have not achieved a grade 4 in Maths or English you will have to retake them during your post-16 study.