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    Hi,
    My son is making his options choices and is somewhat torn between the subjects that he has left. He is down to take 3 science GCSE and has as his optons left the following, apart form option 1, all of the others are undecided, any advice on content, complexity, enjoyment, workload and expectations on the others would be most appreciated. He went away from his options fair last night completely shell-shocked.

    Options
    1 - ICT/Computing - definitely wants to do this

    Other options
    Drama, Music, Psychology, Media Studies

    Thanks in hope of anything that may help him, he doesnt have any real idea about future career-paths at this moment in time.

    Thank you.
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    What does he enjoy and/or have aptitude for?

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    (Original post by gdunne42)
    What does he enjoy and/or have aptitude for?

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    His Drama teachers are impressed with him, he likes music (listening etc) but has no real experience in playing instruments or singing, which in his school was pretty much spelt out that you would need to sing or play an instrument / take lessons to be successful.
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    How many of these options does he get to choose? When I took my GCSEs I had 4 free options, so if he only gets two that seems quite restrictive. Regardless, I will try to help as best I can.

    I took Drama at GCSE and whilst I didn't do as well as I had hoped (I got a B), it was a very enjoyable subject. Exact content will depend on the exam board but if he is considering Drama ensure that he knows it is more than just practical work- he will be required to write essays and if this isn't for him he may want to reconsider. Although it wasn't all fun and games all of the time, Drama was a nice break from my other subjects which had higher workloads and much greater pressure to succeed. However, enjoyment of the subject will also depend on your teacher, so whilst it shouldn't be the deciding factor if he likes his Drama teacher that might be something to consider as an advantage to taking the subject.

    Several of my friends took Music, and again it is a lot more challenging than you might expect. You need really to be able to play an instrument to grade 4 or 5 standard if you want to be succesful, so if he doesn't meet this requirement it isn't really an option. Again, enjoyment depends on the exam board. At my own school, I decided against Music because I didn't feel passionate about the content and felt that my grade might suffer as a consequence. There is often a composition aspect, which I know a lot of my friends found quite stressful, although GCSEs have changed a lot over the last couple of years so the way that this is done may have changed, so this is something to be considered.

    At my school neither Psychology nor Media Studies were offered at GCSE, but I would say that these are two subjects that you can generally take at A-level without prior experience, and so if he is not sure that he is interested then perhaps they aren't the best option. In addition, if he by any chance suffers at all from mental illness (anxiety, depression, etc) I would highlight the fact that in the study of Psychology there is often a view of 'otherness' placed on the mental illnesses discussed, especially at this level, which some people find upsetting or just annoying. In terms of Media Studies, I can't really contribute much beyond the fact that it isn't always the most respected of subjects. For these, I would recommend researching the content by finding the specification for your schools exam board online.
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    (Original post by giveupbeth)
    How many of these options does he get to choose? When I took my GCSEs I had 4 free options, so if he only gets two that seems quite restrictive. Regardless, I will try to help as best I can.

    I took Drama at GCSE and whilst I didn't do as well as I had hoped (I got a B), it was a very enjoyable subject. Exact content will depend on the exam board but if he is considering Drama ensure that he knows it is more than just practical work- he will be required to write essays and if this isn't for him he may want to reconsider. Although it wasn't all fun and games all of the time, Drama was a nice break from my other subjects which had higher workloads and much greater pressure to succeed. However, enjoyment of the subject will also depend on your teacher, so whilst it shouldn't be the deciding factor if he likes his Drama teacher that might be something to consider as an advantage to taking the subject.

    Several of my friends took Music, and again it is a lot more challenging than you might expect. You need really to be able to play an instrument to grade 4 or 5 standard if you want to be succesful, so if he doesn't meet this requirement it isn't really an option. Again, enjoyment depends on the exam board. At my own school, I decided against Music because I didn't feel passionate about the content and felt that my grade might suffer as a consequence. There is often a composition aspect, which I know a lot of my friends found quite stressful, although GCSEs have changed a lot over the last couple of years so the way that this is done may have changed, so this is something to be considered.

    At my school neither Psychology nor Media Studies were offered at GCSE, but I would say that these are two subjects that you can generally take at A-level without prior experience, and so if he is not sure that he is interested then perhaps they aren't the best option. In addition, if he by any chance suffers at all from mental illness (anxiety, depression, etc) I would highlight the fact that in the study of Psychology there is often a view of 'otherness' placed on the mental illnesses discussed, especially at this level, which some people find upsetting or just annoying. In terms of Media Studies, I can't really contribute much beyond the fact that it isn't always the most respected of subjects. For these, I would recommend researching the content by finding the specification for your schools exam board online.
    Thank you - he gets to choose 4 but his top 2 are the ones that he will most likely get, so he needs to be quite careful as to what he chooses. Some good advice there which I can share with him - thank you, most appreciated
 
 
 
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