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Subject Selection for yr 11& 12 (1 Viewer)


New Member
Jun 25, 2019
I am in Yr 10 and I am having trouble knowing which subjects to pick. I currently want to aim for an ATAR of 98.5 ish and attend Sydney Girls. I am also aiming to do something in the Technology or Business field.
I currently also take IPT (information processing and technology) at school right now and am ranked quite high but with a mark of only 93 which I am not sure will make it to my actual ATAR score because scaling for this subject is also low.

Currently what I am set to pick:

Ext 1 English (compulsory in yr 11 at my school)
Ext 1 Maths

The subjects that I have an interest in after going through the syllabus and HSC past papers: (ranked by interest)
1. Geography
2. Biology
3. Modern History

So I need 2 more subjects but I have no idea which combination I should be choosing to get my goal ATAR of 98.5 ish.
BTW, the science syllabus has changed so I am quite unsure about doing biology and physics.

And overall, what has your experience been like for each of these mentioned subjects because that would give me a good insight into the subject.

Also, how should I start preparing for Yr 11 like for English and study habits that you think I can start making now.

Which combination of subjects do you think I should pick?



New Member
Mar 22, 2017
English - Not much difference to the things we studied in the previous years, but there's a lot more focus on the theme of the module rather than a straightforward text analysis.

Maths - Advanced maths and to a greater extent extension maths is a big step up from year 10. It's challenging but a lot more interesting and there will a quite a few interconnecting topics. The extension topics (and ext 2 if you choose to take it) requires a bit of intuition and critical thinking as problems don't often involve straightforward solutions.

Geography - This subject is quite broad and encompasses a wide variety of topics. It's split into two parts: physical geography (the functioning of ecosystems) and human geography (demographic changes, the role of global cities and mega cities). The human geography component was very interesting. There is quite a lot of content including case studies for most topics.

Physics - Physics is probably one of the hardest topics in the HSC. There's straightforward maths components, but also conceptual ones. You learn about how time can slow down the faster you travel, as well as how electricity works. There's also an entire module dedicated to atoms where you learn about how scientists were able to model the atom and how atoms hold themselves together. I struggled quite a bit in physics, but I don't regret taking it as the content was really fun and interesting to learn.

General tips for Yr 11 and 12:
- Stay on top of your homework and revise regularly. This may seem obvious, but it becomes a lot easier to fall behind in Year 11 and 12. There's a lot more content and some teachers stop enforcing homework as much and expect you to manage your studies yourself.
- Notes and practise essays are important - It saves you a lot of time when revising, especially when your upcoming exam covers content from well over half a year ago. It's really handy when you have a bunch of practise essays from back then ready to go.
- Don't worry about year 11 too much. Only things you should focus on is working on having a good study routine with regular breaks as well as having good fundamental skills in maths.
- Don't stress too much. A little stress can motivate yourself to get some work done, but anything more won't be good for your mental health.
- Don't focus too much on the actual marks of your subjects but rather your ranking, that's what's important for your scaling. Being in a selective school really helps with boosting your HSC marks as the whole cohort generally does really well.

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