Anyone familiar with the IGCSE syllabus would know that it offers a wide variety of subjects.
The IGCSE syllabus has been formulated to address the needs of the dynamic socio-economic environment we live in today.
Students can take between a minimum of 5 to 10 or more subjects from the IGCSE syllabus.
The subjects offered cover five main disciplines.
5. Creative, Technical, and Vocational
There are 2 mandatory subjects that need to be taken in the IGCSE syllabus.
They are Mathematics and English Language.
Apart from that, students are required to take at least 1 subject from each of the disciplines mentioned above.
Given the nature of the disciplines, it seems like the subjects are placed over a broad spectrum.
This often confuses aspiring IGCSE students.
It is after all an important milestone in their lives and requires a bit of planning.
Students are caught in a tug of war between trying to choose subjects that intrigue them and those that they want to pursue in the future.
What if you could do both?
This article on how to choose the right subjects from your IGCSE syllabus has 5 key points.
These 5 guidelines will clear your doubts and help you identify which subjects suit you best.
IGCSE Subjects Do Not Determine Your Future
Students spend hours thinking about which combination of subjects they need to choose for their IGCSE exams.
This process is peppered with certain doubts and confusion.
Firstly, students fear that they may pick the wrong subjects and that can affect their tertiary education choices.
Due to the above confusion, students hesitate to choose the subjects they like or want to learn about.
Secondly, they feel it is wiser to only choose subjects that they will follow through at a tertiary level.
Moreover, students think that the subjects they pick may not allow them to do a particular degree later on.
Yet, IGCSE subjects do not affect the future educational plans of the student.
You DO NOT have to pursue all the subjects chosen from the IGCSE syllabus at a tertiary level.
Moreover, IGCSE subjects WILL NOT STOP you from choosing your preferred degree.
As an examination requirement students have to pick ONLY 2 MANDATORY subjects these are Mathematics and English Language.
Apart from that, students can choose whichever subjects they prefer.
A student may wish to choose science subjects like Biology and Chemistry as those are his core interests.
But remember that a minimum of 5 subjects are needed.
So, in that case, the student can choose other humanities or language subjects like Geography and French if they are interested.
Choosing the other non-science subjects will not deter the student from pursuing a degree in Biology or Chemistry.
On the other hand, it may prove to be an advantage to the science student.
Since universities now seek students with broader academic skills exposure.
In a nutshell, students are given a variety of subjects in the IGCSE syllabus, so that they may choose what excites them as well as subjects that they would like to master in the near future.
Read The IGCSE Subject Syllabus Overview
Another way to choose the right subjects is to read the subject syllabus overview of that particular subject.
What is a Subject Syllabus Overview?
The subject syllabus overview provides the student with a summarized version of what the subject is about and the objectives or areas that will be covered.
Reading the subject overview is a crucial step!
Because, it provides the student with a rough idea about what the subject is going to be like, and if it is something they want to learn over the next 2 years.
All the subject syllabus overviews can be obtained from the official Cambridge IGCSE Subjects webpage.
The subjects offered by the IGCSE examinations board are listed there and once you click on the relevant subject you can access the Subject Syllabuses Overviews.
It covers the aim, objectives, content, assessment objectives, and methods as well as a guide to the learning resources for that subject.
Have An Idea Of Which Field You Want To Get Into
Secondary school is hardly the stage where students have a clear idea of what they wish to do in the future.
However, it is always better to be prepared!
It is important for students to have a simple plan or an idea of the type of degree they wish to study at an undergraduate level.
A student who wants to be a doctor has a clear plan to take the 3 main science subjects, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
Together with the MANDATORY English and Mathematics.
These are vital subjects for a Medicine student.
What about students who wish to go into the Commerce or Arts fields?
Students who wish to pursue such streams need to have a rough idea of the subjects they might need in order to enter their relevant programs.
And then work out which subjects they want to choose from the IGCSE subjects offered.
If a student wishes to enter the Arts or Humanities stream, they can choose subjects like Psychology, Art and Design, and Sociology.
They can also add in a Language if they really want to learn something new.
Ultimately, it all depends on the interest of the student and also the pathway they wish to take.
Somehow, at least 2 or 3 subjects linked to your future degree must be in the list of subjects you choose.
Based on the above example, with subjects like Psychology, Arts and Design, and Sociology, which pathway can a student take?
A student can choose to major in degrees like Psychology, Sociology, and Fashion/Graphic Design.
If you need more clarification, it would be best to speak to a counselor at the University or College of your choice.
Students can ask them the IGCSE subject requirements for a particular course or program that they want to pursue.
Make Sure You Are Interested In The Subjects Chosen
Prior to choosing any subject, a student should ask him or herself one important question.
‘How interested am I in this subject?’
If you are not interested in any of the subjects chosen, then you have already lost the battle.
Interest or enthusiasm in a particular subject is the key ingredient for success.
Parents and teachers may advise you on what choices to make, but your interest in a subject is important.
There are countless stories of kids choosing subjects under pressure and then finding them too difficult to cope with.
Therefore it is crucial that you choose the subjects that you like and feel confident about.
You do not have to be extremely good at it.
But you need to be sure that with help and hard work you can do better because you like the subject.
Be Realistic, Do Not Overload!
As tempting as it is to take around 8 or 10 IGCSE subjects, that decision should come from the student.
There are several students who take up to 10 IGCSE subjects.
They genuinely have the interest, confidence, time, and mechanisms to master all of them.
Hence, they pass with flying colors.
On the other hand, there are those who take up too many subjects due to peer pressure or overconfidence.
As a result, they perform poorly as they are not able to give equal attention to all of them.
Hence, it is always best to judge your capabilities and be true to yourself when choosing the IGCSE subjects.
Remember to be realistic and not take up too many, and then risk not performing well in the examinations.
The minimum number of subjects is 5, which is a good amount for students of all levels.
Some bright students take up 9 to 10 depending on their ability to cope with studying for all those subjects.
Some take up 6 or 7 IGCSE subjects.
It is always important to weigh your abilities against your extracurricular activities and priorities.
Then you can decide if you can manage everything.
Commitment to studying the subjects is also an important factor.
Most students forget that there is 2 years worth of work and knowledge to be learned and practiced.
Thus, it is wise to take up a number of subjects that you can confidently manage and perform excellently at.