Choosing subjects to prepare for your post school studies


It can be hard trying to work out what subjects to pick for Years 11 and 12. You need to ensure you will meet the relevant university or vocational education and training (VET) entry requirements but you may still be unsure of what you want to do as a profession.

A good starting point when picking your subjects is to think about which ones you are interested in and which ones you are good at.

Think about whether the subjects will give you the foundation skills for a job that you are interested in, or if the subjects will prepare you for a university or VET course that you want to do.

VET courses

Entry requirements for VET courses aren't based on a mark but are usually set by the training provider. They can be either compulsory or just recommended. They may include:

  • the requirement to complete a lower level VET qualification first (e.g. you may need to do the Certificate III before you can do the Certificate IV for some courses). Maybe you could complete the lower level qualification while you’re at school?
  • a literacy and/or numeracy assessment (e.g. a training provider may require a certain level of proficiency in Maths to do a course).  It helps if you know this so you can determine what level of English or Maths you will need to complete at school to meet this requirement.

University courses

For university, you will need an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or an ATAR-equivalent. The ATAR or ATAR-equivalent required for a particular qualification is university specific as it is set by the university. Your school will advise you how many subjects you need to complete, and which subjects you can choose from, to be eligible for an ATAR.

Some university courses may also have other entry requirements in addition to the ATAR. These could be compulsory entry requirements, such as an entry exam or interview, or recommended entry requirements, such as any two units of English.

These tools can help you: