The Wisdom Voyage Series- Episode 3

“Life presents many choices, the choices we make determine our future.” – Catherine Pulsifer

Tips for Choosing the Right School and Right Stream for Class 11

It’s All About Making the Right Choice

Life’s journey towards success frequently meanders through unforeseen twists and turns. These unexpected challenges can serve as valuable lessons, offering opportunities for growth and resilience, eventually shaping the unique and fulfilling story of one’s life. Adopting these twists with adaptability, grit, perseverance, and determination can lead to greater accomplishments than any road that is known.

Let us wade through a few striking examples of the same…

Our beloved former Captain of the Indian cricket team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni  was not always into this sport. He was a Train Ticket Examiner (TTE) at Kharagpur railway station from 2001 to 2003.

Ameesh Tripathi worked in the financial service industry for fourteen years in various organizations post his postgraduate degree in Management from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta before following his dream career of being an author.

Chetan Bhagat, Author, Columnist, Youtuber and Producer, is an alumnus of IIT, Delhi.

These stories teach us that it’s never too late to step onto a new path. When it comes to choosing the right school for Class 11, one must consider their passion and aspirations. In this blog, we’ll explore essential tips to guide you through this crucial decision-making process, ensuring your educational journey aligns perfectly with your dreams and ambitions.

Choosing the right School, Stream and Subject for Grade XI is never an easy decision.

Major problems currently faced by the higher education system in India include:

(a) a severely fragmented higher educational ecosystem;

(b) less emphasis on the development of cognitive skills and learning outcomes;

(c) a rigid separation of disciplines, with early specialization and streaming of students into narrow areas of study;

(d) limited access, particularly in socio-economically disadvantaged areas, with few Higher Education Instructors who teach in local languages

Ref: – NEP, 2020 (page 33)

In this context, top schools in Gurugram, like Manav Rachna International School, known for its commitment to education, play a crucial role. Manav Rachna International School, Sec-46, Gurugram, is the torchbearer of the quality education movement initiated by its Founder Visionary Dr. O.P. Bhalla. We foster the future and hence can proudly claim we offer immense possibilities to our children. School is a happy playground where children are motivated and nurtured through experiential learning at all stages.

Choosing the stream, subject combination, and the right CBSE affiliated school is a decision that becomes responsible for further studies, and career post Grade X. This decision has an irreversible impact on our life, and making a change at a later stage is a costly pronouncement.

Not everyone is as lucky as the individuals mentioned earlier and hence it becomes even more important to make the right choice. The tips we’ll explore in this blog will help you navigate this critical decision-making process and ensure that your education aligns with your aspirations and the changing landscape of higher education.

Key factors to Consider For Class XI Admission

Look for a school which is able to provide:

  • Flexibility and choice of subjects available at school
  • Counselling, assessment tests and mentorship are available at school premises
  • Alumni Network for shadowing someone in a desired field

While making a choice child should

  • Explore areas of interest, passion and values
  • Look for parental guidance, mentor’s suggestions
  • Purpose of life
  • Make changes and amendments on time
  • Be realistic in expectations

For the holistic development of children, we must empower students through flexibility in Stream or Course choices. Students should be given increased flexibility and choice of subjects to study in Grade XI.

Making the right choice for a child should depend on their purpose of life and the life path they choose and not the rigid discipline offered by the top CBSE schools in India.

Holistic development and a wide choice of subjects and curriculum year to year will be the new distinguishing feature of Secondary School education, as per NEP 2020. We at Manav Rachna International School are offering a plethora of choices to our students. The available subjects at our school are divided not as per particular Stream but as per feasible groups. Students are able to choose any subject from the group. These combinations are provided by many International Boards. At Manav Rachna International School, the best school in Gurugram, this good practice has been adapted for the larger good of our Senior Secondary students.

Example: For a Humanities student, only two subjects are compulsory, i.e. English and Sociology, and there exists a choice with the remaining three. A child has to pick anyone from the list without repeating any subject.

A child may pick Economics from Elective 3, Mathematics from Elective 4 and Psychology from Elective 5. Economics is in the list of Electives 3 and 5; hence can be picked up from any one list without repetition.

Similarly, a child can create his/her own preference of subject choices depending on area of interest, prospects, purpose of life etc. There is no hard separation among ‘Arts’, ‘Humanities’, and ‘Sciences’, or between ‘Vocational’ or ‘Academic’ Streams.

Subjects such as Physical Education, Painting, and Vocational skill subjects like Legal Studies, Computer Science, Information Practice etc., are incorporated throughout the Senior Secondary School Curriculum, with a consideration for what is interesting and safe at each age, as suggested by NEP 2020. The plan will be implemented in schools in the coming years, but the same has been running successfully for the last two years at Manav Rachna International School, Sector 46, Gurgaon branch. There is a plan to increase the choices for upcoming batches of class XI with subjects like Fashion Studies, Media and Technology, Food Technology etc. in the coming years.

This futuristic approach to the holistic development of children definitely makes us the Best International School not just in the city but in the country. We adapt the best practices from various National and International Boards for the benefit of our students.

Children should make well-informed decisions, and he/she should not be afraid to try new things. And most importantly, they should not feel like they have to make a decision that will lock them in for the rest of their life. To become conversant, here are a few tips

  • Guidance of parents, trusted mentors and guides, Alumni
  • Psychometric tests, Know thyself Assessments
  • Counselor’s talk

To begin with, a heart-to-heart conversation with Parents, Teachers, and Counselors might help a child understand the available options. Furthermore, a child should do a SWOT ( Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis for self-assessment of the chosen career.

SWOT analysis is a strategic management technique that may also be used in the preliminary stages of decision-making processes to help a child identify his/her

  • Strengths: characteristics that a child feels are advantageous.
  • Weaknesses: characteristics that might play as disadvantageous relative to others
  • Opportunities: elements in the environment that the child could use as an advantage
  • Threats: elements in the environment that could cause trouble in future.

A small word of caution while using SWOT is that it’s a preliminary analysis and can not be used to achieve competitive advantage or at later stages, nor does it tell about how to achieve desired results.

Psychometric Tests are an important tool that might help a child narrow down choices of stream, subject and career. Manav Rachna Schools use this as a compulsory tool for class XI admission and stream selection process.  A child should self-evaluate about the ability and skill needed for the stream and subject chosen.

Helping and watching someone who is already working in the desired field might give a firsthand look at what the career entails and whether it’s a fit for the child. Our school has a very strong Alumni Network where the child can reach out and shadow its alumni and make a well-informed decision.

Students should not be afraid of making changes, Grade XI registration doesn’t happen in the first month of admission. Hence if the child is not able to cope with a subject or Stream, (s)he should raise a red flag as early as they know it. A lot of time, energy and resources are invested in the subject choices. Each subject and the combination opens up a new door for the future, hence, before getting into the irreversible dip, the child should be able to make a U-turn if needed. It takes a lot of courage and determination at the secondary school level to make this decision, but a wrong one causes discomfort not just for oneself but for near and dear ones too.

Dream career/ college/ course should always be researched well in advance. There are colleges and universities which ask for a specific subject combination for a particular course. Hence children should visit the site, and look for those combinations well in advance.

Also, there are certain eligibility criteria that the colleges revise each year. The child should regularly look for these updates and make amends as and when needed. Asking for help from the school counsellor, the Career Development Cell of the school is a good option in case of the slightest confusion.

Most importantly, once a well-informed decision is taken, a child should put in his/her best. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to make a successful career. Hence, we should always answer one’s calling, and choose a career that best fits with the areas of Interest, Passion and Values. A career where we have a purpose larger than self, a field where one can make a difference and touch lives for the better.

We may choose the best subject or college stream as per our choice, but one thing that stays common for all is a combination of three things for being successful in life.

  • Hard work: There is no substitute for hard work; the only way is to work through our goal.
  • Sacrifice: There are no free lunches, leisure time, resting time, social media time that must be sacrificed for the greater Sacrificing the time which was not productive is an easy choice. Some of us must sacrifice and make choices on the basis of opportunity cost. Being the best in the field chosen is always a better decision than being a jack of all trades. In all cases, self-happiness should never be compromised.
  • Consistency: Todd Brison once said success comes through sustained effort. The key word in the statement isn’t effort, it’s sustained. Whatever subject or stream a child chooses, regular and consistent effort will make the child excel. The patience of being consistent is the single effective strategy to outperform the toughest competitor.


Children from the best schools in India must understand that putting in their best efforts will gradually help in their overall growth for well rounded development and that’s the way to succeed. Nevertheless, there is a lot of time, energy and resources involved in the decision. If the child believes and understands that (s)he cannot be the best in the same, he/she should rightly decide when to quit and shift to the subject where the child can be his/her best.

At the end, I quote Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  Similarly, choose the Stream you love or want to really pursue and wade through the galaxy of success.



Authored by:  Ms. Sandhya Arora, Academic Coordinator – Senior School, MRIS 46, Gurugram