According to the current scenario around subject selection, more than 35% of students believe they choose the wrong subjects after Class 8 or Class 10 and about 80% of them believe an online tool for subject selection would’ve helped them make wiser decisions. The subjects chosen by a student for Class 11 determines the final grade in Class 12 and admission to colleges

As a career counsellor, how you should guide students on subject selection, how to make them understand the importance of choosing suitable subjects? What should be your approach?

Read this blog and get answers to all your questions.

First, let’s understand the common problems that students face in class 11 and 12.

Common Problems of Students

The common scenarios faced by students in Class 11 & 12 are not getting good marks in the chosen subjects, not enjoying the subjects chosen, not allowed to apply for specific courses/colleges with existing subjects. This means for the students who get lower grades, there are fewer chances of getting into a good college. This leads to dissatisfaction and loss of focus on studies that eventually affect their career.

I believe that a subject should match the student’s personality, strengths and future dreams. As we know that each child is unique; and there is a famous saying that one-size-doesn’t fits-all. This approach is really the best option for your child.

Factors for Subject /Stream Selection

The factors on which subject selection is done are parents’ expectations, peer pressure and societal influences. Ideally, it should be done on the basis of student’s strength and career aspirations. 

For guiding students on subject selection, it is better to use the Subject Selector tool by Univariety. It is recommended basically for CBSE/IB class 10 students and ICSE/IGCSE class 8 students. It is a scientific way for a child to choose the best subject combination after Class 10. This is a personalized tool that works according to the individual qualities and desires of students. It considers academic performance along with individual strengths, interests and dream careers. The tool provides insights into success stories of other students with similar subject choices and it takes a child from confusion to clarity with certainty.

Completing class 10 is a big feat, but the challenge doesn’t end right there. Students are stuck on questions like – what after 10th and what career options after 10th they can look for. Which path they should follow after 10th; which stream to choose, more and more.

While the confusion for the same persists, a one-stop solution to end all the career-related confusion is to go for unbiased career guidance after the 10th. Because taking an informed decision about which subjects or courses after 10th could make or break decisions for a student.

Most of the students transitioning from grade 10th to 11th have many visions about the future and they want to choose their streams to fulfil their dreams. While some give the career a serious thought, others are still in the fantasy world & not able to pick the right stream.

Doctor… Engineer… Lawyer… Pilot… Designer???

Many options cross their mind. Let’s begin by first saying, it’s completely okay to be confused about what to do. At least that means the student wants to find a career where he/she and their interests belong together, rather than settling for any job that comes to their ways. If they feel ‘profession-paranoia’ right now, wondering “Where they are heading in life?” and just can’t decide what to do, then counselling can get them the answers.

Recommended Read: Guide Students on Making Career Decisions

How to guide them?

There are probably thousands of options out there that students can choose from. But the key is not to be overwhelmed by it. The key is to analyze their strengths and interests. What is that one thing, or what are those 10 things that they love doing the most? Students think of various career paths but deep down, they know what they can do and what they should do. As a counsellor, you just need to figure out what drives them. Understand what they want to do. Just push them and make them say it out loud.

Stream Selection is not a daunting task

Now, students should start thinking about stream selection seriously. Tell them to list down the major streams they want to pursue and try to map them to their career choices and interests. At the outset, this may look daunting, but it’s not. Though they feel that the rest of their lives are based on these 2 years. But make them feel comfortable, calm and composed. Ask them to keep cool and get a comprehensive view of the streams.

Not clear?

Then let’s get to a step-by-step approach.

Firstly, understand the streams in class 11 CBSE – Science, Commerce, Arts/Humanities and the subjects that are part of these streams.


This is a stream that finds a place in every discussion. If you refresh your memory, you could listen to many advocates of the Science stream saying “Science is a universal subject”, “Science opens up many career avenues” & “Engineers and Doctors are also born out of Science streams”.

That gives you a different perception of the Science stream as the most sought after one.

Science entails Physical and Biological Sciences and impacts our lives too. It is practical-oriented and needs a research mindset. If your students are inquisitive and can prepare themselves for thinking faulty with logic, then Science is their cup of tea.

Subjects in Class 11

The Science stream has the following combinations

  1. PCM – Physics, Chemistry, Maths, English, Optional Subject
  2. PCB – Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English, Optional Subject
  3. PCMB – Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Biology, English

The most common optional subjects with Science are Psychology, Biotechnology, Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Home Science, Fine Arts, Physical Education, Engineering Drawing, and Fine Arts.

Career Options
1) Medicine Stream

– Medicine – MBBS

– Alternate Branches of Medicine – Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Dentistry

– Allied Medicine – Physiotherapy, Clinical Research, Audiology

– Biological Sciences – Zoology, Botany, Microbiology, Biochemistry

– Allied Sciences – Nutrition, Pharmacology, Psychology, Biotechnology

2) Non-Medicine Stream

– Engineering – Electronics, Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical

– Computer Science – Computer Applications, Ethical Hacking, Animation, Gaming

– Physical Sciences – Physics, Chemistry

– Architecture

– Aviation

– Defence

– Design


You might have had strange experiences with Commerce, people saying “Think about Commerce if you are not cut out for Science”, “Commerce suits for those who want to join family business”, “If you want to take the CA route, that’s really tough” and many more. But all these are myths.
Commerce is related to trade, finance and business. The subject deals with the exchange of goods and services, working on the economy, business operations, financial transactions, and more. It houses a wide array of career options and your students can touch success if they are number crunchers and can deal with a large amount of data.

Subjects in Class 11

  1. Accountancy, Economics, Business Studies, English, Mathematics (or optional subject) form the crux of Commerce.
  2. Accountancy covers expenditure, cash books, trading, profit & loss statements, and making balance sheets.
  3. Business Studies deals with types of businesses, international trade, business models, etc.
  4. Economics encompasses Demand and Supply, Economic tools, Budget, etc.
  5. For the fifth subject, students have an option to choose Maths or any one of these below:
    Physical Education, Computer Science, Informatics Practices, Multimedia and Web Technology, Fine Arts, Entrepreneurship, Psychology, and Legal Studies.

Career Options

– Chartered Accountancy (CA)

– Company Secretary (CS)

– Actuarial Science

– Management, Investment Banking, Stockbroking, Finance, Entrepreneurship


Humanities spring surprises with each passing day by adding many fields of study and career options under its ambit. The stream covers culture, relationships, society and systems at large.

If your student has an eye for History and wants to delve into social issues and world affairs, then Humanities can be the best choice. Though there are many myths surrounding this stream, the numerous options, and diverse career paths is putting it on a high pedestal.

Subjects in Class 11

Main Subjects:

  1. Geography
  2. Economics
  3. History
  4. Political Science
  5. Sociology
  6. Psychology

Some schools are flexible with subject selection whereas others have fixed choices. Students can choose between Economics and Political Science or History and Geography, etc.
Humanities with Mathematics is the popular option as it opens avenues in Business, Finance, and Economics for students.

Career Options

Traditional Careers:

– Law, Psychology, Design, Management, Economics, Journalism

– Civil Services, Sociology, Event Management, Hotel Management

– Mass Communication, Photography, Social work, and more.

Upcoming Careers:

– Public Policy, Public Affairs, Governance

– Policymaking, Art restoration, Gender Studies, etc.

Once you get a thorough understanding of the three major streams, map them with your student’s strengths and weaknesses. Ask questions like – Are they good in Maths, are they averse to Zoology, do they have a research mindset? and more.

In this way, you can knock off a few options for your students and suggest the best-fit choice.

If a student reaches out to you for guidance on subject or stream selection, assess their personalities and learning styles and accordingly suggest the stream in grade 11. 

Read these tips and help students in finding suitable streams and subjects for them.

If you are passionate about helping students in making the right career choices and want to enter the career counselling industry, become a Global Career Counsellor. This is an industry-ready program offered by Univariety in Collaboration with UCLA Extension. The program helps individuals to develop and sharpen their career counselling skills within 50 hours. The Global Career Counsellor Program has helped more than 5720 candidates to polish their counselling skills and transform their careers.

Know More About the Program

Anjali Drolia
Anjali Drolia
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This is Ms. Anjali Drolia, Senior Educationist, Teacher and trained Global Career Counsellor. Anjali has more than 16 years of teaching experience. When she was working as a teacher, she realized the need for guiding students on the right career path.

She noticed many students confused about their career decisions. Then she took the responsibility of guiding students and started helping them understand their strengths, interests, likes and dislikes. According to the personalities, interests, and other aspects of the students, she suggests them the right career direction.


  1. Avatar

    Impotance of awareness is getting ensured by reading this article.

    Thank you

  2. Avatar
    Dipanshi Bagaria Reply

    A very thorough and detailed explanation. Thank you 😀

  3. Avatar
    Parul Sharma Reply

    Hello Ms. Bagaria,

    Thank you for finding this article informative.

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