Changing your subjects is a big decision, and you need to think carefully about it. You have to consider all possible consequences. Why do you want to change the subject? How will you cope with a new subject? How will it impact your options after school?


Before you decide to change your subject/s, consider the following:

  • Will you have time to catch up with the work that you have missed?
  • Will you be more motivated doing a subject that you enjoy? Or will you feel demotivated by all the work you need to catch up on?
  • Do you have support - a teacher, tutor or a friend - that can help you catch up on all the work that you have missed? If you change the subject at the beginning of Grade 12, you will need to catch up on 2 years of work!
  • Will the new subject help you to achieve the career you want? Can it help you get into a university or college programme of your choice? Remember, you can add an extra subject in Grade 10 as an 8th subject, to help you meet the requirements.
  • Are you changing subjects for an easier option? If so, maybe you should consider extra classes or tutoring first? Remember, your subject choices impacts your future.

Changing a subject is hard work. Make sure you understand the risks involved.

How to change your subjects:

To change your subjects you first need to discuss it with your subject teacher, career guidance teacher or Principal.


If you are in grade 10:

  • You are allowed to change a maximum of 2 subjects.
  • You must do this before the 3rd term begins.
  • Your Principal must approve your subject/s change and submit it to the district examination office.


If you are in grade 11:

  • You are allowed to change a maximum of 2 subjects.
  • You must do this at the beginning of the year.
  • Your Principal must approve your subject/s change and submit it to the district examination office.


If you are in Matric:

  • ONLY in special cases will you be allowed to change 1 subject. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS.
  • You need to do this in January. It can only be approved once your school has consulted with the Head of Department or delegated official. You will need the following documents to change a subject in Matric:

  1. A letter of motivation from your parent or guardian.
  2. A letter from your Principal stating the reasons for supporting or not supporting your decision to change your subject.
  3. A letter from your subject teacher that provides a programme plan on how to help you catch up on everything in the curriculum and all the coursework that you missed out on in grade 10 and 11.
  • If you are repeating grade 12, you are allowed to change 1 subject if it is your first time changing a subject in grade 12.


Before you make your final decision, consider the grade you are in and how much work you will need to catch-up on. Also, remember that subject changes can end up changing your tertiary options or career path. It’s important to think about how your choices may impact your future career options before you decide to change your subject/s.