You’ve picked all your classes, started the year and realised that actually, Ancient History isn’t your strongest subject and every time you walk into class you want to put your head on the desk and have a nap because you’re so bored.
Or maybe you picked a subject that had a major work, and now you’ve got all these assignments flying in and you’re struggling to make any progress on it.
Or maybe you’re just doing terribly in the class because you picked a science subject because your best friend did when your strength is humanities and now you want to ditch it.
So, what do you do? Obviously there’s always the option of toughing it out, putting your head down and just getting through the class. It can seem like a solid choice to stick with it, especially if you’re worried about your marks in a couple of different subjects.
But, you also need to consider whether dropping the subject is going to be better in the long term. Here’s where we’re going to help you out and give you a couple of things to think about before you make any rash decisions.
Can you actually drop it?
First up, you need to work out whether you can actually afford to drop a class and still qualify for an ATAR. Usually you can, but if you’re doing VET subjects, or Extension classes, it’s worth chatting to a teacher to figure out where you’ll stand at the end of the year if you do drop a class. There’s nothing worse than going through all the stress of exams, only to realise that you were a unit short and don’t qualify for an ATAR anyway. Get on top of it.
Is it too much?
Think about why you want to get rid of the class in the first place–is it genuinely because there’s too much work? Do you have major works or other subjects that demand more time? Can you never get on top of the homework or study, so you’re barely spending time with your friends? Is it eating up all your study time so you have nothing left for anything else? All legitimate reasons for wanting to ditch it.
Are you flunking?
Another reason to consider ditching the class is if you’re barely scraping through with your marks. In some states, depending on the amount of units you’re doing, your worst subject won’t be counted towards your final ATAR anyway. Ask yourself if it’s worth hanging onto the class if it’s only going to stress you out and take up your time, without actually contributing anything to your academic results.
At the same time, you might hate the class because you seem to get the most homework or you’re not the biggest fan of the teacher, but absolutely smash everyone else whenever you have to do an exam. This is when you need to weigh up whether a little bit of short pain will be worth it in the long run.
Will it affect your after school plans?
While a lot of degrees won’t require you to do specific subjects prior to enrolment, it’s worth having a look at the area you’re interested in and seeing if there’s any assumed knowledge or prerequisites you need to do if you want to get accepted. Degrees like teaching and education might require you to have completed General Maths and while there’s always bridging courses and pathways, you’ll want to know what the most straight forward plan is before you drop a subject.
Who can sort it out for you?
You need to suss out who can help you make the decision to drop a subject, as well as the actual logistics of getting out of there. Chat to your favourite teacher, your year advisor or principal to figure this out. Once you’ve made your decision, there’s usually not a lot of ramifications that come with ditching a class (except maybe disappointing your teacher), but you need to make sure that it’s all done by the book so that you’re officially un-enrolled and it won’t count towards your final marks.
While most teachers will support you, don’t let yourself be intimidated by your class teacher if they’re annoyed you’re leaving their class. The last thing you need is to be talked into keeping the class when you’ve made the decision to drop it. At the end of the day it’s your education and your marks on the line, and you need to do what’s best for you. Stick to your decision and get out of there.