Top Tips for 2020 Subject Selection

Edval Choice Illustration-01[1]

Term Two for the 2019 Academic Year has now begun! Soon many schools will start the subject selection process, heralding the beginning of the construction of the 2020 school timetable. Experts in the art of timetabling, Edval Education, have put together some top tips for subject selection to help you not only timetable smarter, but help more students get their best choices.

Whether you use an automated subject selection tool like Edval Choice; which can make the process more streamlined and easier to manager, or are still using paper forms to collect students’ preferences, a little planning and preparation for this process can greatly reduce stress later. Reducing not only the amount student counselling required at later stages but also the accuracy and validity of the preferences given.

  1. Test the process

Get the form ready early and test, test, test. Test the rules and co-requisite requirements you are enforcing and ask other teachers to test the form too. You can always amend the form at a later stage if you need to or if things change. Just make sure you test again before sending.

  1. Emphasise the importance of the reserve preferences to the students

Make sure the students know that if they miss out on a main preference that their reserves may come into play, and as a result, they should think seriously about their reserve preferences and the order in which they give them. The reserve preferences can reduce the amount of student counseling you have to do if a student misses out on main preferences, so this can make your job easier as well as ensuring that the students get into the courses they want.

  1. Involve parents in the process

Many schools hold subject selection evenings where they talk through the process with both the parents and the students. If you are using an online subject selection module like Edval Choice, take the time to demonstrate the form and the process from start to finish.

  1. Ensure students select an adequate number of reserve preferences

Depending on the number of overall preferences you are requiring, ensure you collect an adequate number of reserve preferences as well. If you are getting the students to select 6-7 main preferences, then you should also collect at least 3 reserve preferences. If they are only selecting 2 or 3 main preferences, then 2 reserve preferences should be sufficient.

  1. Collect student preferences

Students should be given the opportunity to select subjects based on their relative importance to the student. For a student that wants to be an Engineer, ensuring they get their Maths and Physics preferences will be more important than getting their Modern History preference for example, so these should be listed higher in their priority order. This valuable information is lost if students are forced to select from pre-set lines.


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