At this stage in your school career, you, with your parents, will have to choose the subjects you are going to take in the Leaving Certificate. It is important to consider the implications these choices may have on your future third level and career choices. There are twelve option subjects on offer in the Leaving Certificate cycle in the school and you will be required to choose three of these. No students will be prevented from entry into any third level course by the options structure.
What you have to do is choose subjects which will give you a good balance, or mix, in order to keep as many options open as possible for your future career choice. It is recommended that you do not over specialise, e.g. take all three Laboratory Sciences unless you are sure that this really is the area you want to specialise in when you leave school and that they are course entry requirements. Very few young people of 15 or 16 years of age are sure of what they want to do after school, and may change their minds about possible future careers a number of times over the next couple of years.
You can help yourself to make the wisest choice if you keep in mind that entry to many courses and careers from the Leaving Certificate depends, very often, on the standard of the results you achieve, rather than the subjects in which you achieve those standards. It would also help to ask yourself the following questions:
What subject am I most interested in?
Which subjects am I likely to be best at?
What subjects will I need?
The answers to numbers 1 and 2 will probably be quite closely linked. Generally, if you are interested in, and like something, it is easier to do well at it. To see what subject you will need, get a sheet of paper and list any career, third level course and career areas you are even slightly interested in, find out the entry requirements, and list them. This exercise has become increasingly important over the last few years.
When you have done all that, remember it is important to make a balanced choice of subjects.