Choosing your HSC subjects 

Perhaps the most exciting thing about the HSC, although many would view the entirety of the HSc as the antithesis of exciting, is having the opportunity to have complete jurisdiction over your subjects for your 2 last years of highschool. Subject selection, for many, is a highly stressful and worrisome experience. Choosing 5-7 subjects which you will not only have to learn but also be examined on for the entirety of 2 years (and will also influence your atar and subsequently your options for tertiary education) is no simple task. However, this blog post isn’t meant to scare you, but rather provide a guide in order to help you navigate your selection of subjects and make the process slightly less stressful.


  1. Choose subjects you ACTUALLY enjoy

You’ve definitely heard this one before. I have no doubt that all of your teachers have given you the annual spiel about the importance of choosing subjects which you have genuine interest and passion in. However, despite it’s cliche and self-explanatory nature, it is imperative that you keep this in mind when selecting your subjects. Consider:

  • Your personal likes and dislikes 
  • The general area of study (pretty obvious from name of subject)
  • The content of the subject- look up the syllabus and take a closer look at what you will actually be learning and if you would enjoy it
  • Your future career goals (if you are unsure of your future pursuits, don’t stress as many students are in the same boat. Just stick to what you enjoy)
  • Whether your current interests and passions are long-term and have been present in your life for a long time

It is most -likely that you have already been considering what subjects you would like to do in year 11 and 12 prior to selection. Usually the subjects you initially gravitate to are the ones that will suit you the best. Trust your gut and intuition. 


  1. Don’t let anyone else influence your choices.

Again, another cliche. Teachers will tell you constantly to not let a single sole influence your subject selection in any way. This may seem very obvious, however, you may be surprised how you are subconsciously influenced by the people around you and what choices they are making. Even a fear of judgment for peers or parents may hold you back from doing what you truly want to do. Allowing the opinions of others to infiltrate your selection will be your downfall for the hsc. If you aren’t participating in subjects that you enjoy then your performance will inherently be minimised. A lack of motivation stems from disinterest, and motivation is the key to studying hard and achieving success. 


  1. Scaling does matter

Scaling does influence your performance in the HSC and, contrary to what teachers tell you, should be considered to a moderate extent when determining your subjects. This DOES NOT mean you should choose all the subjects which are high scaling even if you are not confident in those subject areas. You should prioritise your interests and abilities regardless of the scaling respective to the subject. However, many people during subject selection choose the subjects which they believe are ‘easy’ or a ‘bludge’ which end up not being as easy as they thought and also lowering their opportunity at achieving their best possible atar. Of course, if your passions and strengths are in subjects which are typically considered low scaling, such as Art, Drama and Technology subjects, definitely choose those subjects regardless of scaling as that is where you are likely to achieve your optimum results. 

Ultimately, subject selection shouldn’t have to be stressful or daunting. It is a fun opportunity to narrow your studies to purely subjects that you want to learn. Trust yourself above everyone and everything else. No one knows you as best as you do. Don’t forget that help is always available. If you are interested in receiving tutoring with First Choice Tutoring, feel free to contact us and book your trial lesson today.

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