There a few key principles when it comes to choosing the right subjects;
- If you like and have enjoyed a particular subject so far then put it down on your list.
- Apart from the mandatory ones like Maths and English what other subject has to be there.
- Look ahead at any career or course that appeals to you by checking it out on Qualifax (for apprenticeships look on CareersPortal) to see if a ‘specific subject or course requirement’ is listed – this means you must have it in your Leaving Cert. eg Nutrition & Dietetics and most of the Medicine courses look for Chemistry or the normal* requirement for a 3rd language on most Arts/Humanities/Commerce at the NUI colleges. (*exemptions sometimes apply)
- Sometimes it’s wise to be brave and take a subject now rather than avoid it because it forms a significant part of the course you’re aiming for. Click on the ‘School’ icon on CareersPortal, go to the ‘Leaving Cert’ section and click on ‘Leaving Cert Subjects’ descriptions – this is how to get more information.
- Look at the thinking and learning that each of your preferred subjects involves and be honest with yourself as to your suitability for it – will it build on your strengths or will you have to put in a lot of extra work to do well? We all learn differently so the important thing here is that you know how you learn best and how committed you are to it. The insights from aptitude tests and skills questionnaires can be of help with this if you are unsure.
- It makes sense to bundle 2 or 3 subjects together if you have an interest in a particular area as this can better prepare you for what’s ahead i.e. by taking more than just 1 STEM, Arts/Humanities or Business subject, etc you give yourself a much better base for a course or career in that sector.
- Your successes will come from your attitude as much as abilities, your willingness to do whatever it takes, your drive to learn faster and develop yourself. It’s important to enjoy the sense of challenge in what your doing.