It is important to choose senior subjects carefully as your decisions may affect not only the types of careers you can follow later, but also your success at school. Even though there are many factors to consider, choosing your course of study can be made easier if you go about the task logically by following a set of planned steps.
All year 10 students participate in a range of activities designed to address the major issues in subject selection. Students also complete their SET (Senior Education and Training) plans and are encouraged to access the following sources:
- Queensland Job Guide (provides information on occupations, careers and courses to access).
- The Queensland Tertiary Courses Prerequisites Booklet (provides information on the prerequisite/compulsory subjects required for entry to all University and TAFE full time Diploma level courses).
The Teachers, VET Co-Ordinator & Assistant Principal-Curriculum at Mt St Bernard College are the key people available to assist parents and students in the decision making process. Please feel comfortable to phone the school on 4096 1444 to make an appointment with any of the above school personnel.
- The Queensland Tertiary Courses booklet is available on loan from the Guidance Office. It is useful for information on University courses and TAFE Diploma level courses.
- Information on Apprenticeships and Traineeships is available from the VET Co-ordinator.
- Tertiary Prerequisites QTAC is issued to all Year 10 students.
- www.cis.qsa.qld.edu.au is an excellent Career Information Service site.
- www.myfuture.edu.au and www.jobjuice.gov.au also provide ‘job tests’, Australia wide information on careers and training as well as employment prospects in the jobs chosen.
- www.tafe.net gives information on all TAFE courses in Queensland.
- www.qtac.edu.au gives information on University and TAFE Diploma courses in Queensland. Through this site all QLD Universities and TAFE Colleges may be accessed.
A key question that must be answered prior to selection of your subjects is whether it is necessary for you to go to university to achieve your career goals as this answer will place some restrictions upon your subject choice.
When choosing your subjects for Years 11 and 12 it is important that you have a strategy. You need to choose those subjects that:
- Will assist you in reaching your career goals
- You have had success in during previous study
- You enjoy; and
- Will assist you in development of the skills, attitudes and knowledge useful throughout your life.
What Types of Subjects are Offered?
- Authority subjects are approved by the Queensland Studies Authority (QSA), and are offered state-wide in Queensland secondary schools. Many of the Authority subjects are academically demanding. Students not achieving a Sound to high level of achievement in a year 10 subject may find related Authority subjects in year 11 and 12 difficult.
Authority subjects are the only subjects which count towards an OP (Overall Position). Generally, an OP is needed for University entry.
- Authority Registered subjects are also developed by the QSA. They have QSA approved work programs, focussing on a strong vocational educational core. Authority Registered subjects place more emphasis on practical skills and knowledge and are designed to develop specific skills relevant to employment.
- Certificate Courses with TAFE may be offered on an individual basis. TAFE-SEC Courses have only material fees with no tuition fees.
School Based Apprenticeships/Traineeship
- A combination of senior studies (Authority or Authority Registered) with a school-based apprenticeship/traineeship
- Particular senior studies may be specified by the apprenticeship/traineeship industry area
- Students undertake work (on-the-job training), senior studies and off-the-job training (with a registered provider). These require employer agreements.
- The opportunities for these pathways is dependent on available employers on the Tablelands and in some cases the Cairns area.
Independent Learning Studies
(may be part of an enrichment course for QCE)
- Students may include other accredited/approved studies as part of their senior program such as music, speech or dance studies.
Check out each subject and type of subject
To do this, it is necessary to:
- read the subject descriptions and course outlines provided in this booklet.
- talk to the relevant Heads of Department and teachers of the various subjects – go to their staff room to seek information.
- look at the books and materials used in this subject.
- ask questions at subject selection evening.
- talk to students who are already studying the subject.
Decisions on Combinations
There are traps to avoid when selecting subjects:
- do not select subjects simply because someone has told you that they help you get good results and give you a better chance of getting into University and
- try not to be influenced by suggestions that you should or should not choose a particular subject, because a friend/brother/sister either liked or disliked it or the teacher when they studied it.
Consider taking some Authority Registered subjects if:
- you are interested in the content of a particular subject because it relates to future employment;
- success in the subject will give you advanced standing (credit) in a post secondary vocational course in which you are interested;
- your past results suggest that some Authority subjects may be too difficult.
For Students Interested in Tertiary Studies – Eligibility for Tertiary Studies
Students interested in pursuing tertiary qualifications usually need to be OP eligible. An OP (Overall Position) is calculated on a student’s best FIVE Authority subjects. In Year 11 students will select six subjects. This can be a combination of five Authority subjects and one Authority Registered OR SIX Authority subjects.
If you are interested in tertiary study (a University course or TAFE diploma), there are some additional points you will need to consider:
- Students aiming to maximise their chances of tertiary entrance are advised to:
- select the prerequisite subjects you need for your preferred course;
- check to ensure that you are eligible for tertiary entrance and have appropriate Field Positions;
- consider subjects in which you have both an interest and a demonstrated ability.
- To qualify for entry to most university courses, students will need to be eligible to receive an Overall Position (OP) at the completion of year 11 and 12. It is possible for applicants not eligible for an OP to gain entry to TAFE diploma courses and to a small number of university courses.
- Students who study at least four Authority and two Non Authority subjects (ie are OP ineligible) for each of the four semesters AND who sit the Queensland Core Skills test in Year 12 will be eligible for a Selection Rank. If the student meets necessary prerequisite subjects AND if the rank is high enough, University or TAFE entrance is still possible. A Selection Rank is an Alternate Pathway to OP.