The best advice you’ll get for choosing electives

Boy points at screen choosing electives
Senior High School Student choosing course using virtual screen

There are literally loads of subjects to choose from when year 11 and 12 roll around. Here’s some advice choosing electives from students who have made the call.

Check out these hot tips from students who’ve been there if you’re looking for some insight.

Emma: first year Bachelor of Architecture

Year 11/12 electives: 2UMaths, 2UEnglish, Design and Technology, Earth and Environment, Agriculture

Hot tip: “Find out if your subjects have major work requirements.” As part of her design and tech course Emma invented the Ezylift and scored a finalist spot in the BHP Science and Engineering Awards 2020 for her efforts.

CWS: Did you know you wanted to study STEM?

Emma: “I had an idea I’d study a STEM subject – something to do with design and technology.”

 CWS: Any prerequisites for your degree?

Emma: “An assumed knowledge of maths but some courses offer bonus ATAR points for relevant subjects studied in high school and extra points for Band 5 or 6 results, which can help you get into some courses.”

CWS: How have the skills you learnt from your electives applied to your current degree?

Emma: “The most beneficial thing was design thinking. Understanding the fundamental design process and the methodology to achieve successful design has been very helpful and given me a foundation to apply it at uni.”

RELATED: What’s your STEM + X?

Hugo: Year 11

Year 11/12 electives: Biology, Chemistry, PDHPE, Ancient History, Maths (Advanced), English (Standard)

Hot tip: “Talk to your friends and teachers. There are heaps of electives and it’s good to know what might link to the ATAR you need for a degree.”

CWS: We’re looking for advice choosing electives. Can you tell us why you chose your electives?

Hugo: “They’re subjects I enjoy. They also overlapped with my interest in a vet science or animal research-based degree at uni.”

CWS: Any prerequisites for uni?

Hugo: “Maths (advanced) is required for most science degrees at uni. Biology and chemistry were highly recommended as base subjects as well.”

CWS: Did your teachers offer advice?

Hugo: “My science teacher highlighted what she thought I’d do well in and my careers advisor helped me link subjects that complemented each other. Like biology and PDHPE.”

CWS: What else did you find helpful in deciding your electives?

Hugo: “Work experience is a good way to see if what you’re interested in translates to the working world. I did mine at Taronga Zoo and at a local vet. It was great to be hands on.”

RELATED: This is how you should choose your Year 11 and 12 electives, according to Australia’s Chief Scientist

Looking for more inspo? Check out our Choosing Electives digital special for Year 11/12 and look out for our uni prerequisites special coming soon!

Or, you can download specific job info in our range of Job Kits, including future careers like Robotics and Automation, or Space and Defence Specialist!

Or check out our quizzes, mags or YouTube channel to find out more about STEM careers.

Pippa Duffy

Author: Pippa Duffy

Refraction Media’s Deputy Editor, Pippa has a passion for sharing cool, interesting information and spreading the STEM message.

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