Many year 9 students and their parents are currently mulling over GCSE choices. Making the right decisions is important. Increasingly, GCSE results are used as a measure for accepting pupils onto A level or IB courses. It is not uncommon for schools to require at least a B grade at GCSE in any subject which a pupil would like to study in the sixth form. Increasingly, employers and universities are looking at GCSE grades, in addition to sixth form predicted grades, so choosing the right ones is important. Here are a few tips to bear in mind to help with this process.

Review your child’s past exam results and reports. When making choices, two things are important. As well as identifying talents in certain areas, enjoyment of the subject is critical, as this will lead to a more enthusiastic approach to study.

Reviewing past results in each subject is a good indicator for potential success for your child. Your school will probably have specialisms in particular curriculum areas. This is often linked to the quality of teaching in a well-resourced environment, as well as teachers with the personality and passion to inspire enthusiasm for their subject.

Core subjects of Sciences, Maths and English are compulsory. Dual award or triple award science is an important decision to reflect on, especially if your child has ambitions to pursue a career in Medicine or Engineering for example.

Breadth is important. For most, a mixture of creative and academic subjects will develop a whole range of important life skills. However, if your child has ambitious aims for further education, choosing a humanity and an additional language, as well as one creative or practical subject should work well.

Attaining at least 7 A* grades in what are widely considered to be more academic subjects, in one sitting, will be an important factor for those aspiring to top universities.