Mojza Blog

The Ultimate Subject Selection Guide

by Maryam Attique | 20 August 2023


One moment you’re sitting on your couch, watching your favorite Netflix show, and the next, a notification pops up on your phone. What is it? OH NO! It’s the list of subjects you have to choose for the next academic year! It’s natural to panic about something like this. After all, it is crucial for how the future is going to play out for you. Though, no pressure — let us guide you through it! 


The O levels result is what matters most when it comes to getting into colleges, which means that you have no choice but to put your heart and soul into getting those grades. Choosing subjects that you know you can manage is crucial; do not make this decision in haste, only to set yourself up for failure. Remember, this decision is yours and the potential base for your career.

What you have to work with

There are essentially four major areas you can choose between: Medicine, Business, Engineering and Arts. Your minimum requirement is three, and we’d recommend not going over five because you don’t want to overwork yourself.

Your career plans for the future are what may help you decide which group you can go into. Even if you don’t have the faintest idea what you want to do, you may pick according to what interests you and ask the question: “Do I see myself continuing this into a career?” This self-assessment will help you figure a suitable option out.


The Combinations

Now that you have an idea of which group you might take, here are the old-school combinations that every other student takes:

  1. Physics, Chemistry and Biology (Medical) – perfect for a career in medicine.
  2. Additional Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science (Engineering) — at times, this combination is also taken with Chemistry.
  3. Economics, Business, Accounting and Commerce — these subjects serve in the business field. Commerce is oftentimes not available or avoided by students; however, it is an easy subject to score an A* in.
  4. Literature, Sociology, World History and Arts — suitable for students who want to go into the artistic field of media, writing etc. Literature and Sociology are excellent for the Psychology field.
  5. Physics, Art and Sociology — mostly for Art students, but sometimes students can also take this combination if interested in architecture.

Note that subjects such as English and Maths are compulsory in Pakistan and have to be chosen alongside any of these combinations you opt for.

Important Advice

The subjects should complement each other rather than be completely different from one another, e.g. Biology, Arts and Computer Science do not work together as they point towards completely different areas.

Physics, Economics and Computer Science are considered to be the golden subjects and can prove useful in a lot of combinations. They provide an important base for your subjects. Remember, it is essential that your subjects prove to be advantageous to your future.

Do not take too many subjects unless you can handle them; this may hinder how well you do in all of them. You can also refer to Mojza’s other blog “How to Manage Extra Subjects” in case you find yourself tackling too many.

Some Subjects to consider

Sociology: It gives a wonderful overview of society and can be a great subject in many fields ranging from psychology to welfare jobs. It will also get you an easy A*.

Additional Mathematics: If you are planning to take math in A levels and it aligns with your field, then this will help ease the load of your A level studies. The O level Add Math syllabus is pretty much the same as the basic level math in A levels, hence less stress for you later.

Computer Science: It is an intellectual subject and provides a wide scope in the future.


In A levels, you have to select three subjects but without any of those daunting compulsory ones. Cambridge offers a wide range of subjects that you can choose from, and these, too, rely on your career choices and passions.

What you are working with

Similar to O levels, you can go into either of these groups: Engineering, Medicine, Business and Humanities. At this stage, you might have a much clearer idea of exactly what it is you want to pursue as a career, hence the subject group you may opt for.

The Combinations

  1. Physics, Math and Computer Science for Engineering, or otherwise, Chemistry instead of Computer Science.
  2. Business, Accounting and Economics are ideal if you are interested in the business field. However, Economics, Accounting and Maths can also be considered for finance and banking.
  3. Physics, Chemistry and Biology for all those interested in the medical field.
  4. If none of these appeal to you, humanities is a good option. The availability of humanities subjects varies from institution to institution but English Literature, Sociology, Media and Arts are a few common ones which students pick from.

Important Advice

Referring to our YouTube video – which you can view here – keep in mind that one A level subject is as hard as three O level subjects combined. Therefore, it is better not to pick more than the minimum number of subjects required.

It is ideal to continue with the subjects you took in O levels, as you would have developed a foundation in these subjects, and it will make your A level experience smoother. A levels is the time to participate in extracurricular activities and build your college profile. Keeping this in mind, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Completely switching from Sciences to Business, although doable, is not a very smart decision because it will be difficult to adjust to.

Read Mojza’s blogs on some good extracurricular activities you can pursue and explore every opportunity. Take subjects that you can manage well in A levels and make your college application shine.

Manifest what you’d like your future career to look like and choose accordingly. Give your 100% to the subjects you pick. The decision is up to you. Good luck!



Author: Maryam Attique

Proofreaders: Farheen Pervaiz, Maryam Farhan and Syed Muhammad Shaheer Ali


About Mojza

Mojza is a student-led organisation aiming to provide quality resources for Cambridge students.

Other than such weekly blogs, Mojza offers resources for your O levels, IGCSE, and A levels journey. We have notes from reputable teachers, our own original notes and a library of other helpful websites and resources!

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Published: 20 August 2023
Last Updated: 20 August 2023
Written by Maryam Attique