“Physical Education, Maths, Fine Arts, Computer Science, Economics…it is just so difficult to decide! I need help in choosing my optional subject”
If you are going through such a phase, don’t worry my friend, you are not alone. Choosing your optional subject is the same as choosing your stream. Both require a detailed brainstorming and understanding. And what if you choose a subject and later feel that it is not your cup of tea? There is a way out of it too!
Is it possible to change your optional subject in class 12th?
As of 2015, CBSE guidelines state that subject change is not allowed in class 12th, but can be done in class 11th. Before the subjects are finalized and submitted to the regional CBSE office, it is in the hands of the school to change the subject. But once your subjects are confirmed and communicated to the CBSE regional office, then you need to get it changed directly from the Regional office.
Recommended Read: Stream Selection after 10th: Choosing the Right Optional Subject
What are the CBSE rules for change of optional subject?
CBSE permits the change of subject but there are certain conditions. Here are the CBSE rules on the change of subject(s)
- Change of subject(s) in class XI may be allowed by the Head of the School but not later than 31st of October of that academic session.
- No candidate shall be permitted to change his subject of study after passing XI.
- The candidate shall not offer a subject in class X and XII which he has not studied and passed in class IX and XI respectively.
- Chairman shall have the powers to allow a change in subject(s) to avoid undue hardship to the candidate provided such a request for change is made before 30th September.
Read More: CBSE Circular for Change of Subject
Recommended Read: Stuck with the Wrong Stream? Expert Tips on How to Get Back on Track!
Should you change your optional subject in class 11?
The answer to this question depends on various factors. If you have chosen a subject and feel that you will not be able to continue with it, then there is no point studying it. But, such a decision cannot be taken in haste.
I have compiled a list of questions that you can think on before changing your subject.
1. Does the alternate subject match your areas of interest?
While choosing your alternate subject, make sure that you have an interest in it. Know about the subject in detail like what the syllabus is, whether it coincides with your expectations or not, if it is better than the subject you already have, etc. Ending up with another subject that you do not like will bring you back to point 0.
Problem: Sameer, a grade 11 student, chose Physical Education as his optional subject along with Physics, Chemistry and Maths just because his friends were taking the same. Sameer had an interest in Computer Science as he wanted to become a software developer, but felt stuck in PE.
Advice: Sameer should first check with the syllabus that has been covered in Computer Science. If he will be able to cope up with it, he should change the subject as soon as possible.
Recommended Read: 5 Students Who Chose Wrong Streams & What You Can Learn From Them
2. Is the subject in sync with your long-term goal?
Before deciding to change your subject, take some time and think about your long-term goal. Choose your subject when you are sure that it will certainly take you a step closer to your aim.
For example- If you are a student of Commerce and have subjects- Economics, Business Studies, Accounts, English and Fine Arts, but your aim is to become an Actuary, it is advisable to should shift to Maths as your optional subject as it will help you achieve your long-term goal.
Recommended Read: Stream Selection in Class 11: A Detailed Look Into All 3 Streams
3. Do you have time left for self-study and extra-curriculars?
If the subjects that you chose are taking up all of your time and leaving none for extra-curriculars, then you need to rethink. We cannot roll out the importance of extra-curriculars in our life. They help us in shaping up our personality. So, in order to maintain a balance between the two, evaluate the subjects you already have and trade off a heavy subject with comparatively lighter one so that you can get time for your outdoor activities.
For example: If you have chosen subjects Physics, Chemistry, Math and Biology just for the sake of keeping all your career options open, you would have less/ no time for your extracurriculars. Here, you first need to ask yourself what is your career aim and accordingly let go of one subject (either Math or Bio) that is unnecessarily taking up your time.
Recommended Read: Planning to Choose PCMB After Class 10? Consider these 6 Things First
4. Will you be able to cope up with the syllabus?
Well, this is one of the most crucial points to be kept in mind. The decision of changing your subject at the beginning of your session would not be a bad idea as not much syllabus would have been covered. Whereas, if you are thinking of changing the subject later on in the academic year, make sure you will be able to cope up with the syllabus otherwise changing the subject would not be a wise decision.
How can you avoid such a situation?
Although CBSE does give you a chance to change your optional subject during the academic session, all this hassle can be avoided if you keep the following points in mind while choosing your optional subject in the first place.
1. Do not fall to peer pressure
It is a dream come true to be in the same class as your best friend after your class 10th but that doesn’t mean you need to let go of your interest over it. You need to look at the bigger picture here. What if the subjects you are studying are not of your interest and as a result you start getting lower grades? So, while choosing your subject(s), make sure your interest and aptitude are the sole criteria.
2. Do not take a subject just because it is easy
Often students do not take the subjects of their interest because they think they will not be able to handle the pressure or cope up with the syllabus. It is important that you get rid of all confusion in your mind.
Go through the syllabus, seek the advice of your teachers/ parents/ experts/ school seniors on giving you an insight into the subjects. But most important of all, believe in yourself that you can do it! Don’t choose/reject a subject just because you think it is easy/hard.
Recommended Read: Every Question About Opting for a 6th Subject in Class 11th, Answered
3. Seek help to know your interest
It might be possible that you are confused between certain subjects and have a tough time choosing one between the two. In this situation, it is best to seek the advice of a career counsellor who can help you decide between the two.
To conclude, if you are considering changing your optional subject, try to give it some more time if you can. There can be a host of factors at play: probably the subject teacher is not good, or you are not able to figure it out because you have not given it enough time, or maybe it is required to pursue your career goals (e.g. maths for economics).
If despite consideration you think that the subject is just not right for you, then go for the change!
And if you are still in the process of finalizing your subjects and read this article to know your options, give this decision proper thought. As the old saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.”