The choice of subjects after class X is a very crucial decision in a student’s life and is often met with a lot of anxiety and confusion both on the part of parents and students alike. This anxiety is not out of place since on this decision hinges the general direction that a student’s career is going to take.
It is a common practice to base this crucial decision on the marks that the student obtains in his class X examinations. So, a student who secures an 80% plus aggregate in his class X Board Exams, invariably heads towards the Science subjects and another student who secures a 60% in his Boards, assumes that Humanities or the Arts subjects is what he must be cut out for. Such generalizations often prove erroneous and students may end up disillusioned and unduly stressed.
While performance in the class X final examinations may be a fair indication of the student’s hold over academic subjects, it should not be taken as the sole indicator for the level of aptitude and interest in any given area. Take the case of Arpita, who obtained a 75 % in her class X Boards. It is reasonable to assume that her Board exam result has been a function of such factors as
- the level of preparedness
- exam taking skills
- and level of anxiety on the day of exam;
Motivation or interest per se is likely to have played a relatively insignificant role. However, the scenario will change 2 years hence when she will be looking at her Class XII
Board Exam results! Along with the factors listed above, her involvement with her subjects of study and her overall interest
in the same will truly reflect in her final performance. This is because studies in the higher classes (Class XI and XII) get tougher and success in the examinations at this stage can be attained only by a consistent approach and an inquisitiveness to learn that is best brought about an inherent interest in the subject matter. It therefore brings us to the central point of this write-up that the choice of stream (or subjects) in class XI should be arrived at only after taking an individual student’s interest and aptitude into account.
Some pointers to keep in mind while choosing the subject combinations:
- Know the subject combinations offered in your school at the +2 level. Typically the streams available in the schools and the subjects offered therein are:
- Science (Medical): Physics, Chemistry, Biology
Optional subjects: Math, Engineering Drawing, Economics, Computer Science, Informatics Practices, Biotechnology
- Science (Non-Medical): Physics, Chemistry, Math
Optional Subjects: Biology, Engineering Drawing, Economics, Computer Science, Informatics Practices
- Commerce: Business Studies, Accounts, Economics
Optional Subjects: Math, Informatics Practices
- Arts: History, Geography, Political Science
Optional Subjects: Economics, PsychologyOne language (English is usually a compulsory subject in most schools)
- Know your interests and aptitude. Co-curricular activities and inputs from friends & family can be valuable in this regard. You can also take the help of psychometric testing by certified guidance counselors.
- Have a Career Plan revolving around a minimum of 3-4 careers in place.
- Think it through yourself; what is good for your friend may not be good for you.
- Explore career options and discover new opportunities that may excite you (this process should indeed continue within the broad field throughout the two years of plus two studies).
- Be realistic and honest with yourself-no one knows you better than you do! If you know for instance, that you do not have a ‘Math-Brain’, do not fool yourself into taking Science.
- Pay heed to the advice from parents and other adults who know you closely. Their experience can often provide you valuable insights both about yourself and the world of work.
It is important that you think through before taking this decision. Do not take it in haste or feel pressured in any way whatsoever.