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What GCSEs to choose?

Currently studying physics, chemistry, and economics as electives, and will be studying Year 11 in UK the next school year. I've been worrying of failing to cover the GCSE syllabuses in one year, and not sure of which GCSEs to choose. Is it true that 9-10 GCSEs should be taken? To my way of thinking, english, maths, physics, chemistry, biology would be the only certain ones for my choices, and it seems impossible to learn another language in just one year of time. For my future career, I'd probably in science related jobs, with being a chemical engineer as some improbable dream of mine. May I please have some advice?
Hi Kun Kantara,

Just so I'm clear... you're currently studying outside of the UK (or have been so far) and are going to be studying in the UK from Sept 2022.

You are right in that most students will be taking 9-10 GCSE's at the end of Year 11, but you haven't really given enough information for anyone to really give you good advice.

Which country have you come from? Is there a syllabus that you have been following so far? Are you just studying those three subjects, or are you studying more subjects but have been allowed to choose those three in addition to mandatory subjects covered?

Which school will you be attending? What Exam Board do they use? This is important to know as different schools have different rules about what you study at GCSE. Some will require all 3 sciences studied separately, some with only require 2 of the 3 sciences studied, and some with require only double science to be studied... the rules will also decided what other subjects you cover and whether a language is mandatory or not. They will also decide whether they think you are able to cover the relevant material in the time you have left.

To be honest, unless you are home educated, and are choosing every subject you take, then you will only have a limited choice as to what you study and the school will decide the rest. It is probably best that you discuss this directly with them, as they will have the best information for you.

Regards,
GF
Original post by Kun Kantara
Currently studying physics, chemistry, and economics as electives, and will be studying Year 11 in UK the next school year. I've been worrying of failing to cover the GCSE syllabuses in one year, and not sure of which GCSEs to choose. Is it true that 9-10 GCSEs should be taken? To my way of thinking, english, maths, physics, chemistry, biology would be the only certain ones for my choices, and it seems impossible to learn another language in just one year of time. For my future career, I'd probably in science related jobs, with being a chemical engineer as some improbable dream of mine. May I please have some advice?



Are you moving to England and have you found a school? You need to check what the requirements are for sixth forms you might go to.

No need for a MFL to those you can add Economics - in one year Eng Lit is probably not achievable but Eng Lang should be OK.
Original post by GeronimoFrankie
Hi Kun Kantara,

Just so I'm clear... you're currently studying outside of the UK (or have been so far) and are going to be studying in the UK from Sept 2022.

You are right in that most students will be taking 9-10 GCSE's at the end of Year 11, but you haven't really given enough information for anyone to really give you good advice.

Which country have you come from? Is there a syllabus that you have been following so far? Are you just studying those three subjects, or are you studying more subjects but have been allowed to choose those three in addition to mandatory subjects covered?

Which school will you be attending? What Exam Board do they use? This is important to know as different schools have different rules about what you study at GCSE. Some will require all 3 sciences studied separately, some with only require 2 of the 3 sciences studied, and some with require only double science to be studied... the rules will also decided what other subjects you cover and whether a language is mandatory or not. They will also decide whether they think you are able to cover the relevant material in the time you have left.

To be honest, unless you are home educated, and are choosing every subject you take, then you will only have a limited choice as to what you study and the school will decide the rest. It is probably best that you discuss this directly with them, as they will have the best information for you.

Regards,
GF

I've been following the HKDSE syllabus from Hong Kong. The three subjects are in addition to the core subjects (chinese, english, maths, citizenship and social development). Not sure which school I'll be attending, as I've only applied to the council for a school place in Rugby. I'm really worried that I wouldn't be able to catch up for the content taught in year 10, for I'd probably be studying a lot of new subjects.
Hi Kun Kantara,

What kind of hours do you currently have in your timetable at school, do you have any free periods, and what work do you do outside of school as both homework and your own personal learning?

Be honest.

Regards,
GF
Original post by GeronimoFrankie
Hi Kun Kantara,

What kind of hours do you currently have in your timetable at school, do you have any free periods, and what work do you do outside of school as both homework and your own personal learning?

Be honest.

Regards,
GF

Currently it's 7 lessons each for English, Chinese and Maths, 3 lessons for C&SD, 6 lessons each for Physics, Chemistry and Economics, and 3 lessons for Extended Maths in 1 week. No, I don't have any free periods as it wouldn't be allowed unless you drop a subject. I have only been attending violin lessons in weekends. For personal learning, I haven't been really learning anything but only attempting to pick up GCSE Biology recently.
Hi Kun Kantara,

How long are your lessons, and how much time outside of school do you study?

Regards,
GF
Original post by Kun Kantara
I've been following the HKDSE syllabus from Hong Kong. The three subjects are in addition to the core subjects (chinese, english, maths, citizenship and social development). Not sure which school I'll be attending, as I've only applied to the council for a school place in Rugby. I'm really worried that I wouldn't be able to catch up for the content taught in year 10, for I'd probably be studying a lot of new subjects.

You can probably take Chinese too. Even if the school doesn't offer it you can be entered for the GCSE. Are you in the UK now - many LAs won't allocate a place until you have an address.
Original post by GeronimoFrankie
Hi Kun Kantara,

What kind of hours do you currently have in your timetable at school, do you have any free periods, and what work do you do outside of school as both homework and your own personal learning?

Be honest.

Regards,
GF

Currently it's 7 lessons each for English, Chinese and Maths, 3 lessons for C&SD, 6 lessons each for Physics, Chemistry and Economics, and 3 lessons for Extended Maths in 1 week. No, I don't have any free periods as it wouldn't be allowed unless you drop a subject. I have only been attending violin lessons in weekends. For personal learning, I haven't been really learning anything but only attempting to pick up GCSE Biology recently.

Original post by GeronimoFrankie
Hi Kun Kantara,

How long are your lessons, and how much time outside of school do you study?

Regards,
GF

It has been 35 mins per lesson for 10 lessons per day, and I study about 2 hrs a day.
Hi Kun Kantara,

Generally in the UK for GCSE's you will study 5 hours per day, 25 hours per week, of actual teaching time within school and are generally expected to do 1-2 hours of homework per week per subject (most don't do nearly this amount). You are already exceeding this (at 5h50/day), and the fact that you are studying for 2 hours each evening puts you in the top 10% of GCSE students (a lot of which won't do nearly this amount of work).

I wouldn't worry about not being able to complete the courses.

You have already done work in most of the subjects you will be taking, and probably don't need any further "catch-up"... but feel free to check the syllabus for each subject if you're worried. Most schools will do AQA for the sciences and Edexcel for Maths.

If I were you, I would get a copy of the syllabus you have been working to in Hong Kong. You can then check this against whichever Exam Board your new school uses for each of its subjects. Google is your friend... there are tonnes of past papers around for you to check your learning, and see where you need extra practice as you go.

Your main probems are going to be Chinese and Economics at GCSE, because not every school will offer these subjects (and I don't what C&SD is, sorry), and Biology... some schools will allow you to take only 2 sciences, but most will give you the option between Triple Award (1 GCSE per Science, 3 GCSEs total) or Double Award (2 GCSEs with 2/3 of the content for each Science from Triple Award (If that makes sense?)).

Original post by Muttley79
You can probably take Chinese too. Even if the school doesn't offer it you can be entered for the GCSE. Are you in the UK now - many LAs won't allocate a place until you have an address.


I would check this with whichever school you end up at, as most won't allow you to simply take an exam in subjects they don't offer. This is because they don't know your level of learning, can't assess your level of learning because they don't have the teachers to do so, and don't want you to get a bad grade that reflects badly on them and their Exam Tables, which is used to judge them by OFSTED.

But you can take them privately, for a large fee, somewhere between £200-£400 if I remember correctly.

If you haven't covered any Biology for awhile then this is where I would suggest you start. Use resources like BBC Bitesize and the AQA syllabus and past papers to give you an understanding of what to expect, and make sure that you have a good grounding in Key Stage 3 (KS3) material (learned from Year 7 to Year 9) to help you understand the more complicated aspects at GCSE.

Regards,
GF
Original post by GeronimoFrankie
Hi Kun Kantara,

Generally in the UK for GCSE's you will study 5 hours per day, 25 hours per week, of actual teaching time within school and are generally expected to do 1-2 hours of homework per week per subject (most don't do nearly this amount). You are already exceeding this (at 5h50/day), and the fact that you are studying for 2 hours each evening puts you in the top 10% of GCSE students (a lot of which won't do nearly this amount of work).

I wouldn't worry about not being able to complete the courses.

You have already done work in most of the subjects you will be taking, and probably don't need any further "catch-up"... but feel free to check the syllabus for each subject if you're worried. Most schools will do AQA for the sciences and Edexcel for Maths.

If I were you, I would get a copy of the syllabus you have been working to in Hong Kong. You can then check this against whichever Exam Board your new school uses for each of its subjects. Google is your friend... there are tonnes of past papers around for you to check your learning, and see where you need extra practice as you go.

Your main probems are going to be Chinese and Economics at GCSE, because not every school will offer these subjects (and I don't what C&SD is, sorry), and Biology... some schools will allow you to take only 2 sciences, but most will give you the option between Triple Award (1 GCSE per Science, 3 GCSEs total) or Double Award (2 GCSEs with 2/3 of the content for each Science from Triple Award (If that makes sense?)).



I would check this with whichever school you end up at, as most won't allow you to simply take an exam in subjects they don't offer. This is because they don't know your level of learning, can't assess your level of learning because they don't have the teachers to do so, and don't want you to get a bad grade that reflects badly on them and their Exam Tables, which is used to judge them by OFSTED.

But you can take them privately, for a large fee, somewhere between £200-£400 if I remember correctly.

If you haven't covered any Biology for awhile then this is where I would suggest you start. Use resources like BBC Bitesize and the AQA syllabus and past papers to give you an understanding of what to expect, and make sure that you have a good grounding in Key Stage 3 (KS3) material (learned from Year 7 to Year 9) to help you understand the more complicated aspects at GCSE.

Regards,
GF

I see. Thanks a lot for your time and advice.
Original post by GeronimoFrankie

I would check this with whichever school you end up at, as most won't allow you to simply take an exam in subjects they don't offer. This is because they don't know your level of learning, can't assess your level of learning because they don't have the teachers to do so, and don't want you to get a bad grade that reflects badly on them and their Exam Tables, which is used to judge them by OFSTED.

But you can take them privately, for a large fee, somewhere between £200-£400 if I remember correctly.


I'm a teacher we often have students take subject we don't teach - especially languages - many schools do this and offer GCSE Economics.
At schools in the UK, there is not much choice beyond the mandatory subjects, but students study maths, english, a language, one of the humanities either geography or history etc. It depends on what school you are studying at on how much choice you will get.

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