contact us

Marist Education in North Queensland

Senior School

Helpful hints for choosing senior subjects

Two major factors should be considered when choosing subjects for Year 11 and 12.

  • What are your academic strengths and interests, and
  • What type of career do you have in mind?

Ten years of formal education will have given you a good basic idea of your academic strengths and interests. Use this as a starting point when selecting subjects. 

While many students are unsure as to what career they will ultimately decide upon, most have some idea in which general area their future occupation will lie - in technical, scientific, language, social science, service industry etc. If you are uncertain as to what you wish to do, choose a broadly-based course which allows maximum flexibility. If you have a particular career in mind, make sure you find out first if you must study any subject in particular in order to qualify for entry into the field of your choice. The information is available from the Career Advisor in the College

Please note the following:.

  1. Some Senior subjects have recommended results for Year 10 Courses. This means that you should have reached a particular standard of achievement at the Year 10 level before you choose such subjects in Year 11. These recommendations will be considered in every case. Where they have not been achieved and enrolment in a particular subject is allowed in the first instance, continuation in the subject will be subject to review and might not be permitted if performance is not satisfactory.
  2. There are no 'easy' subjects in Senior. All require commitment and a high degree of effort if you wish to be successful.
  3. While every effort is made to satisfy students' subject choices, it is sometimes impossible to cater for each and every student. While the vast majority are catered for, inevitably a few changes are necessary. We reserve the right to direct students away from courses where past performance indicates little chance of success or where programming constraints make a student's choices impossible to satisfy.

Further Guidance for parents:

  • Your son's present subject teachers can give you an accurate guide on present performance and potential in his subjects.
  • The Year of Grades 10, 11 and 12 are experienced in most aspects of subject choice.
  • The Heads of Department  are well versed in the demands of the courses offered at the Senior Certificate level.
  • The College has a comprehensive Careers resource area and a careers advisor to assist you.

How do I qualify for university?

There are several factors that universities take into consideration:

1. Subject Results

  • The levels of achievement allocated by subject teachers on the basis of classwork, assignment work and testing.

2. Core Skills Test Results (QCS)

  • Your personal achievement in multiple choice testing, short response testing and the writing task administered by the Queensland Studies Authority in August of your senior year.

3. Overall Position (OP)

  • Your position relative to all other students completing senior and seeking tertiary entrance.
  • 1 is the highest position, 25 is the lowest position.
  • The College provides raw data indicating your rank among fellow students for each subject you study and the Queensland Studies Authority re-scales this raw data so that statistically valid ranking can be done using averaged re-scaled scores of all students.
  • Your Overall Position will be the most important result for your gaining the tertiary place you want (assuming you have studied the pre-requisite subjects for the course you have in mind).

4. Field Positions

  • This is your position relative to other students who have completed sufficient subjects involving significantly similar work.
  • 1 is the highest position, 10 is the lowest position.
  • You may qualify for up to 5 field positions:

Field A: Written Expression
Field B: Reading, Comprehension and Language Expression
Field C: Basic Numeracy
Field D: Complex Mathematical Problem Solving
Field E: Creative and Practical Art

  • The Queensland Studies Authority uses the same raw data as for calculating the Overall Position and again uses the average re-scaled scores of students eligible for the particular field position to rank those students.
  • If your Overall Position is one less than the Overall Position necessary to gain entry to a particular course, you might still be selected for that course if you are among the best students who just missed out, as indicated by your Field Position. e.g. Overall Position of 8 required for Engineering. You have an Overall Position of 9. QTAC may consider Field Positions "C" and "D" of students like you who miss out, and if so would look at your Field Positions for these two areas, and it might be that they select you because you had very high Field Positions for both these fields.
  • LEAVE CONSIDERATION OF FIELD POSITION UNTIL STEP 5 AS INDICATED lN THE "WHERE TO FROM HERE" SECTION because choosing the subject you do BEST and PREFER to do will give you your best chance for your highest possible Overall Position.

In the event that some adjustment to your subject choices becomes necessary for field eligibility purposes, you will be given the time and assistance you require to make the necessary changes.

Where to From Here?

  1. Read this website, consult widely with the relevant people - parents, teachers - think carefully about all that you learn from this process.
  2. Consider the subjects you do BEST and you PREFER to do, as you are likely then to achieve higher results for your Senior Certificate AND for Tertiary Entrance.
  3. Pencil in possible choices on the "Senior Education Training Plan"  as you become more certain about what you might chose.
  4. Check compatibility with your career preference.
  5. If considering tertiary study make sure any SUBJECT pre-requisites for courses you are interested in are included and check field position eligibility and "Tertiary Pre-requisites Handbook".
  6. Complete the relevant sections of "Senior Education Training Plan" and bring along to interview in Term 3 of Year 10.

Click here for a  version of the subjects offered