Help to choose your course for next year



How good are you at a subject? How easily do you understand it? Your assessment results and your classwork should give you an idea of your ability. Be honest with yourself. Discuss your ability with your present teacher.  Be careful not to underestimate your ability – but be realistic.


Add your ability to your interests – the things that you enjoy doing. Reasons for enjoying subjects might be because of the type of learning, the skills involved, the teachers, or the learning environment. If you enjoy doing something, there is a strong chance you will be good at it. 

You may not know what you want to do when you leave school – most students your age don’t. But if you have some broad areas of interest, for example science, health, art, technology, then it pays to find out which subjects will be the most helpful in allowing you to achieve your goals. Make sure you do this. 

Go through the subjects in this guide carefully. TICK those that best apply to you and investigate them thoroughly. Use the resource people listed and career planning information to help you. 

If you are still unsure about what you want to do when you leave school, there are many places to seek help or research more. See the useful websites below for a starting point. Think carefully about your interests, strengths and values and do as much research as you can. There are thousands of jobs out there that you may never have heard about.


When choosing your subjects, it is important to check the entry requirement for each subject at each level. This will ensure you know what the correct pre-requisites are to be able to do that subject.


If you are thinking about tertiary study at a university, institute of technology/polytech or other provider, make sure you find out what the pre-requisites or entry requirements for their programmes are. You can do this by using the resources in the school’s Careers area or online. Most tertiary providers have excellent websites with current information, the opportunity to email or chat online with advisors, and call centres to answer any questions you might have. Be aware that each university or provider may have different entry requirements so check carefully.


Some courses will have suggested subjects to give a good foundation for further learning. Others will have more specific requirements such as Mathematics, Science or language-rich subjects. Courses in areas such as Visual Art, Drama, Music, Design and Architecture may require a portfolio of work or an audition. The most important thing is to be well informed, well in advance.

Useful Websites

This site provides a job database on thousands of careers in New Zealand. It includes information about skills and qualifications, working conditions, salary, future prospects and any required prerequisites. It also gives details about suggested subjects to study at secondary school which is very important to check out. Also on this website are many interactive tools to help in the career decision process. These include Career Checker, Career Quest, Skill Matcher, Subject Matcher, Study options etc. Career Quest is an online questionnaire based around your interests and preferences. It may give an idea or starting point for possible career options.

  • The most comprehensive careers site for New Zealand students is:
  • This is an interactive website with an extensive library of videos that highlight career possibilities across New Zealand today. It showcases videos with in-depth information about the jobs, their requirements, and the type of career progression you can expect.
  • This is a website where you can match up your skills and interests with degrees at NZ Universities.

If you are unsure or have any questions please contact:

Careers Counsellor, Miss Cotton: [email protected]

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