Sharing some of my thoughts (tips?) regarding the hot debate - subject combinations for upper secondary
1) Schools offer subject combinations based on various factors.
A) Physical facilities - classroom sizes, special rooms etc.
B) Teachers and Support staff - what they are trained to teach and conduct lessons for
C) Previous combinations - some subjects have been more popular so the school offers year after year
D) Timetabling - this is somehow related to facilities and teachers. Sometimes the school just can't fit too many subject combinations into the timetable, otherwise school will never end.
2) There is no innately easy or difficult or light or heavy subjects. All subjects are unique - they are all part of academic disciplines and form the foundation of education in a national education system. Although students get to choose their subject combination, secondary school education is still considered GENERAL education. Both breadth and depth are still important at this stage because teenagers have a long way to go in exploring their interests and capabilities. This is why all teachers and tutors would say that parents and children need to sit down to talk about the choices.
3) Find out more information about the subjects. Be concerned about the content, topics, skills required, and the links the subjects have to higher levels of education. Examination formats or level of difficulty should not be our first concern - it is also difficult to ascertain what "difficult" means (refer to point 2 above).
What should we be doing? Go to the bookstore or ask seniors or schools for the textbooks and assignments. Check the SEAB website to see the syllabus scope for each subject. You can even head to Popular to take a look at assessment books and study guides. Talk to students who have done the subjects - all of them have their views to offer.
4) Ultimately it is the student who will be studying the subject combination, so the student must be aware of his / her responsibilities. Don't go with herd mentality - it often ends up as regret.
5) Be aware that while schools do their best to provide options, there will be some students who won't get the first choice. Appeal if there's a chance, just remember that we can only hope for the best.