Sorry if this is in the wrong place etc, I’m new here so just getting the hang of things.
So I’m choosing my GCSE options this year and I’ve pretty much made my decision on what I want to take, but I just wanted to check up on a few things.
At the moment, my options look like this:
(My school allows four options in addition to the 6 mandatory ones)
Which leaves me with the dilemma of: what do I take for my fourth option?
I think I’ve narrowed it down to either triple science or computer science, with the situation being more a case of what will be more useful rather than which I prefer.
Here’s some background information:
Since I’m very bright for my age I’ve recieved a lot of pressure from family and school alike to study typically ‘harder’ academic subjects. The way my school works is that we were all given academic ability levels at the start of Year 7 which are supposed to serve as a guideline for what grades we should be aiming for/receiving (I’m not sure what the importance of this would be at GCSE level but it’s essentially what our teachers use to decide whether or not we have potential in a subject rather than using our actual grades. Stupid, I know). Since I’m in the top group for the former, I’ve been told by all three of my science teachers (we learn bio, physics and chem seperately) that, despite my constant low grades in science that probably place me in the bottom third of the class at least, I should study triple science. Whether this is because of the whole academic profile system, how it reflects on the school or just genuine opinion I really don’t know.
On the other hand, computer science is something I’ve loved since KS1 and achieve very highly in (I think in the last test we had I got the highest mark in our year of 200+ people). Since we learnt a lot above the curriculum in primary school and I took it upon myself to teach myself to code at around the age of 10 I also feel like I’d have somewhat of an advantage were I to take it over triple science. The only other problem I could think of with choosing this would be that I’ve had one particularly bad IT teacher at my current school. We didn’t learn anything from her in a whole year and she really didn’t seem to know what she was doing, I ended up finishing a five week scheme of work in the first lesson and being forced to spend the remaining lessons in the topic helping almost my entire class with work they hadn’t had explained and didn’t have any understanding of (I have about a 1 in 4 chance of getting her as a teacher for GCSE).
I also have very pushy parents (‘we’re moving you to the other side of the country just so you’ll be in the catchment for a high-achieving secondary which you’ve specifically said you dislike the environment and ethos of despite there being a perfectly decent one on our doorstep’ level pushy) who have told me that I stand no chance of ‘getting anywhere with life’ without a high grade in triple science (something they fail to realise is pretty much impossible on my part anyway).
As someone who has been told since primary school that I have a high chance of getting into Oxbridge for uni, the influences I’ve had leave me torn between achieving significantly lower grades in a subject that will supposedly be the only way I get into a decent sixth form/uni (shoutout to my Dad for shoving that mindset down my throat for the last three years) or taking a subject which I really enjoy and feel much more likely to achieve higher in.
(Also, bear in mind that I don’t plan on studying either subject at A Level although I would like to go into music producing which studying computer science could prove a useful skill for)
Which should I take? Would it actually limit my options down the line, and if so is it worth taking triple and risking recieving much lower grades?
GCSE options - help! Watch
- Thread Starter
I recommend you take computer science because it seems you have an interest in it. Dont take subjects you dont like because it will effect ur grades. Im in yr 10 now and i remember being in your situation. My mum wanted me to take geography because ibwas better at it but i already had rs and history in the bag so it was a big no no for me. I took drama instead which im quite good at.
Also dont worry if you dont take triple! You can still succeed if you dont take triple, it doesnt really make a difference lol.
My school has a similar grading system to yours and i used that as a guideline for gcse options. But i also used 'how enjoyable the subject was' to pick my options. My parents are kinda discipline like urs but its only cos they didnt have the same opportunites as me when they were younger so i have to make them proud and all
Sorry for the rant and mis spellt words (if there's any) im doing this on my phone. All the best and if you need anymore help dont hesitate to pm me. You can also ask more questions dont worry
- TSR Support Team
In your case I would definitely take computing!
If you've had an interest in it for that long then it's definitely worth pursuing, and it doesn't sound like you enjoy science much anyway.
Also, given it's unlikely you want to take science A levels, there's no need for triple science anyway and it's much better to focus on getting 2 great grades than 3 mediocre ones!
Later on in life if anyone cares about your GCSEs at all then they will care much more about the grades than about the subject and computing is well respected anyway so it would not matter regardless.
I know it's difficult to go against your family, but try to do what makes you happy (eg. Computing) rather than what makes them happy, you're the one who will have to revise the subject!
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