Year 8 - 9

Making decisions about university might seem like a long way off, but it makes sense to give yourself the best possible chance of doing what you want when the time comes.

Think of your GCSEs like the first steps in a journey. In Year 8 or 9, the subjects you choose will influence your A-level choices. In turn, they can affect your options at university.

It is important to get a balance of subjects, as this gives you more choice later on when you to have to decide on future education and careers. There are certain GCSEs everyone has to take, such as English, Maths and Science, but you have a few other options too.

So how do you know which GCSE subjects to choose?

If you are unsure of a future job/career...

  1. Choose the GCSE subjects you like most and feel you’re good at, as your future interests and talents will probably follow a similar path.
  2. As you work through your GCSEs, your best subjects will become more obvious. This will help when it’s time to choose your A-levels – and when you decide whether uni is for you.

If you are sure of a future job/career... 

    1.  Find out if a university degree is required to do the job you're interested in.
    2. Find out which A-levels you need to get on your chosen university course.
    3. Find out which GCSE subjects and grades you need to study those A-levels.


Places to go for GCSE advice


GCSE Grading

GCSEs are now marked with numerical grades instead, with nine being the highest score. Many universities will be looking for grades four and above, others may be a lot higher. For example, if applying for economics or accounting, then a university may ask for GCSE Maths at grade 8, if Maths A-level is not being studied.