Choosing high school subjects to prepare for a university future

Preparation is said to be the key to success. For your teen, building the right foundation for their future means starting while they’re at high school. Good subject choices at secondary school can support the transition into tertiary study, ultimately leading to the career of their choice.

Whether your child has their future mapped out, or they’re still deciding what their goals are, it’s important to keep in mind that the subjects they choose to study at school will help to prepare them for university.

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Year 11 students have a wide range of compulsory school subjects which provides an opportunity to find the areas they enjoy and are passionate about. Year 12 and 13 students should focus on more specialised subjects as they may need to take them through to Level 3 NCEA to gain University Entrance.

If your child has an idea of what type of career they would like to seek, this should influence their secondary subject selection. If they remain unsure, they could choose to keep their options open by selecting to study a wider range of university approved subjects. Take a look at the NZQA website for more information about approved subjects for University Entrance.

If your child is conscientious, willing and open to learning they’ll be able to succeed at their degree of choice at AUT. Students find it easier to learn if they choose the areas of study they are naturally interested in as they are more likely to be motivated to achieve.

What do you need to get into a bachelor's degree?

The minimum requirement for admission to a bachelor’s degree at AUT is University Entrance. Some bachelor's degrees may also need specified admission requirements that include specific school subject portfolios. NCEA Level 2 results are important as tertiary institutes can use these results to select students for particular courses.

Find out more about University Entrance (UE) for bachelor's degrees

Taking relevant subjects helps build confidence

Taking relevant subjects while at high school can give your child confidence for their future. Your teen may adapt or change their original plans as they learn new interests and discover more about their strengths and abilities.

If they do change their subject of interest later at NCEA Level 3, most universities also offer foundation, or certificate and diploma programmes to bring students up to speed. If they start university with a solid secondary school education, then they have a great knowledge base to support their tertiary learning. Goals are dreams with plans attached!

Choosing the right study pathway can be tough for teenagers. If they can select something they enjoy, it’s more likely to lead to their future success. Career options are endless and if your teen knows what they would like to do, they can start working towards that goal while they are at high school.

If your teen is still unsure what kind of career they would like, it may be that they choose to focus on what they like to learn about and diversify their school subjects to keep their options open.

How you can support your teen in their choice

Encourage them to:

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