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Subject Choices

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Hi, so I am currently in year 11 and striving for a 99+ ATAR. I've always done well at school but this year specialist maths isn't going too great. I do every single question in the textbook and questions from other textbooks. I am always working super hard at the subject and studying since the beginning of term but i still only get 65% in the two exams this year. I got 100% in my assignment but this is only 20% of the final mark. I know it scales high but no one knows how high yet. Some people are doing less study and scoring 89% and I do not know what more I can do I am always making sure I understand but in the exams it just doesn't go well. I was thinking of dropping to bio or econ. But I just do not know what to do and it is causing me so much stress. I need a 99+ ATAR and I am doing well in all my other subjects. Should I drop to bio or chem or yeah? Any advice please... I can't make a decision because i don't want to regret anything. I feel i could do better next year but I am not sure what more I can do to study for it. I also thought I had definitely improved from term one because i did more study and more efficient study as well. However, i just went down by 1% despite how much better prepared I was.

Hey e_grace! Great to have you here. :)

Some general thoughts on your situation:

> To me, 100% on your assignment shows you have the capacity to do well in the subject, plus the fact that you've traditionally done well.
> I don't think it's uncommon for maths marks to dip a little bit through Year 11, even before the change to the ATAR system, which has complicated things a bit. To my knowledge, a lot of people are in a similar-ish situation.
> If you're feeling confident with the content but feel as though you don't perform as well as you could on exams, you have an entire year to work on that. You could skew your study techniques a little to focus more on doing practice questions under exam conditions, and things like that. Sitting exams is a skill in itself (you might like to read this article, too!).

In terms of choosing your subjects, this is what I'd be considering:

> Do you need any subjects are pre-requisites for university courses you wish to pursue?
> What subjects do you enjoy most?
> And, to a lesser degree, what are you good at?

On the flip side, I wouldn't be strongly considering things like scaling - as you've mentioned, it's impossible to know at the moment how certain subjects will scale. Even Specialist Maths could scale down (even though I think that's very unlikely)!

If you're keen on Specialist, and the main reason you're thinking of dropping it at the moment is getting lower marks this year, I'd be inclined to stick with it.

P.S. You say you need a 99 ATAR - what are you hoping to do after school, out of interest?

Thank you for this! I made the decision over the holidays to drop spec to bio as I am strong at memorising content and I do enjoy the topics studied in that subject. Also, I believe it will be less stressful and allow me to devote more time to my other subjects.

But, now it's two days before going back to school and my teacher has asked if I would consider staying in the subject as my 76% average (combined assignment and exam) is good for the state. I think I could stick with it and just know that it will be easier because I will have much more time than I had this year for study and prep. But it's honestly just a battle. It's either go with an option that may be easier and less stressful or stick with spec to ensure I have no regrets. I had made the decision but now I have been told to maybe just stick with it and go for it... so a bit confused ahah.

Also, your feedback did help a lot actually as it made me realise that the reason i would drop it would be because of the stress it caused rather than doing well as I feel ok with my other 5 subject marks.
Also, I am hoping to do undergraduate medicine and going for scholarships. 

Bri MT:

Do you know what unis you're interested in applying to for med? Some have biology bridging programs over the holidays so students who didn't study bio in high school can catch up.

What other subjects are you taking?  Making sure you meet prerequesits for med & back up options for med (e.g. biomed, science) is very important. 

yes, i have all my prereq subjects whether i choose bio or not. I spoke with heaps of unis and yes, most of them do have the bridging courses that I've looked in to. The unis I am hoping to go for would be those that offer undergraduate medicine first so griffith, JCU, monash, even maybe sunshine coast uni - but i will apply for as many unis as I can. 

My subjects are chemistry, physics, English, french, methods and either specialist or bio? Still undecided! HELP.
Really my subject choice is just what will be better for my ATAR at this stage, that's all I am basing it off. It's either i stick with specialist so I have no regrets in dropping it and know that it will scale well. The only issue was the amount of stress it caused and the time it took up. Or go to bio to have an amazing teacher and hopefully less stress and just work really hard at it.


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