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Home High School Guidance Grade 9 Subject Choices: How to Survive the Pressure

Grade 9 Subject Choices: How to Survive the Pressure

by Shirley Erasmus

The time to make your Grade 9 subject choices is upon you. Do you play eenie-meeni-miny-mo or do you know exactly which subjects to choose? Find out how to survive the pressure with a few tips from Shirley. 

Making your Grade 9 subject choices can be a stressful process. Selecting the right subjects to study, is a decision which is important to your future and can ensure that you are able to further your studies after school – if you wanted to.

No wonder the pressure is on! If you’re feeling the pressure around making the right decisions regarding your subject choices, you certainly aren’t alone.

Find peace in the subject choices pressure 

1. You don’t know what to choose

Your Grade 9 subject choices have a huge impact on your future careers and your tertiary study options. Part of the reason is that you might not know what you want to do in the future or you might not have the resources available to you to make an informed decision.

Your parents, teachers and peers may seem to know what you should choose, but you aren’t sure. This is a stressful time in your life and may be a decision you don’t feel ready to make yet. On the other hand, perhaps you think that all the fuss is unnecessary and you’ll just pick whatever tickles your fancy at the time.

Let’s break it down:

You will need to choose seven subjects to study from grade 10 to 12.

Four of the subjects are compulsory:

  • 1 Home language
  • 1st Additional language
  • Life orientation
  • Mathematics OR Maths literacy.

The choice between Maths and Maths Literacy may not be an easy one for you.  We have broken down the two options for you to help make this decision easier.  You can thank us later 🙂

The other three subjects are selective and often depend on what your school offers.

These include subjects like:

  • Economics
  • Physical science
  • Geography
  • Accounting
  • Life sciences
  • Business studies

2. You don’t know what you want to study

One of the most stressful aspects of choosing your Grade 9 subjects is the fact that you might not know what you want to study or do when you finish school. That’s okay. But it’s still important to make an informed decision rather than playing eeni-meeni-miny-mo with your subjects.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Browse different institutions you could see yourself attending.
  • Make a list of courses you’re interested in. Rank them from the most interesting to the least. List the requirements for these courses.
  • Narrow down the choices that are most versatile and show up the most. Once you have your list, have a look at the subjects that keep showing up.

Suggested resource: Tertiary Institutions Listing

Whether you have ten or two courses that you would like to study after school, it’ll help to know what you’re interested in. By making a list of the courses you think you might like, you’ll gain an understanding of what is available to you after matric.

Even if you don’t know what you would like to study, consider making an informed subject choice decision based on what you might want to study in the future. Go ahead, look at what’s out there. Do you want to be a lawyer? A veterinarian? A journalist? A chef? Spend an afternoon at the library doing some research and make sure you make the right decision.

3. You’re not sure what you’re good at

Perhaps the stress stems from the fact that you’re not sure which subjects you’re best at

Choose subject combinations that will leave you with options and a bit of room to manoeuvre. Making sure that you know what you’re best at is also very important because your marks also determine admission into various courses and institutions.

As you spend time at your desk every day, going from class to class, and completing your homework, be alert to which subjects make you come alive. Determine which subjects mirror your interests and career dreams, and include them. And carefully research how your favourite subjects manifest in the working world.

4. The great Maths vs Maths Lit debate

Some people think that Maths Literacy should only be considered as a last resort. Many courses require pure Maths and you could be rejected based on the choice you made in Grade 9. This decision should not be taken lightly, and should definitely not be based on whether you like or dislike maths. Make an informed decision about whether or not you may need Maths, in order to be accepted into a certain course.

Whatever your feelings about making your Grade 9 subject choices may be, it is without a doubt, better to make an informed decision rather than closing your eyes and making a choice on the day.

Check out this super helpful video about grade 9 subject choices:

Need some further guidanceWe’ve put all the information you need to know in an awesome infographic.  Best part:  you can download it for free!

EduConnect 2Cents

Take a week to think about what you want to study. Ask your teachers and older peers, and use whatever resources you have available to you to make sure you know what you should choose. Remember that even if you end up changing your mind about what you want to study after school, there are many options available to you, in order to help you study what you want to study and facilitate your future. Take the bull by the horns and be proactive about your future. You control your destiny.

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