Getting Started with Course Selection

Choosing Your Subjects

Your college years are a time for exploring ideas and possibilities, and finding out more about yourself. Plan to keep your courses as broad as possible for as long as you can. Talk with a wide range of people about your selection – parents and whānau, teachers, mentors, deans, the careers advisor or Careers New Zealand advisors.

Keep in mind the following:

INTERESTIt is important that you are interested in and enjoy the subjects you choose.

  • Which subjects do I like doing now?
  • Which subjects am I interested in doing next year that I haven’t already studied?
  • What do I like doing outside school (e.g. playing music, helping people, thinking creatively)?  Do any subjects include these activities?


GOOD AT: It is important to consider subjects that you will do well at.

  • Which subjects am I strongest in?
  • What subjects do others say I am good at?


NEEDED FOR THE FUTURE: It is important to consider which subjects you need for your future career ideas.

  • Which are the must-have or most useful subjects for each of your career ideas?
  • Some subjects which are not strongly related to a particular job may provide a base for a lifelong interest or hobby.
  • Some subjects develop specific and generic skills, not just content knowledge.



  • How do the subjects contribute to my overall Record of Learning?
  • Can I complete NCEA Level 1, 2 or 3?
  • Am I meeting literacy and numeracy requirements?
  • Can I achieve University Entrance?
  • Am I meeting the requirements for tertiary courses/apprenticeship opportunities?

Remember, it’s OK if you're unsure about what you want to do in the future, studying a broad range of subjects will keep your career options open.

Keeping up with English and Mathematics is highly recommended.


Please note the following:
  • Some students’ courses may not fit the timetable when it is prepared, so you may be contacted and asked to make other choices. 
  •  If you do not make sufficient progress in the remainder of the year (i.e. in your entrance exams, course work and the end-of-year exams), you may not be accepted into the subject of your choice.
  • You are encouraged to plan carefully and consult widely as you choose your subjects for the senior school. In making your choices, you should be realistic about your ability (skills,) interests and, most importantly, you need to consider the goals and aspirations for your career and further study.
  • Subjects have entry requirements that you need to attain before you can opt into them. See details in this handbook or ask the teacher in charge of the subject. Students who do not meet the published entry requirements should apply to the relevant Head of Department.
  • Subjects will proceed depending on the number of applicants and the availability of staff and facilities. See note re: e-learning.
  • Some courses have costs for materials that the students can take home to keep. We request a contribution towards these costs/materials from parents/caregivers. 
  • Consult the Careers Department, your Dean, subject teachers and your Mentor early in the subject-selection process if you are unsure of the subjects you should be doing.