To Keep or Drop Extension Units

At the end of year 11 you have the choice of dropping subjects as you can go down from 12 units to 10. As such many students tend to drop their extension units as they believe it is too hard to continue with them and take time away from other subjects. However, on the other hand, Extension subjects are incredibly rewarding and scale incredibly well.

Why Consider Dropping?

When you want to drop an extension unit, there are so many things you should consider. Here are a couple things you should ask yourself if you are considering dropping the subject:

  • Do you enjoy studying it?
  • Do you have more than 10 units?
  • How long are you spending studying for it?
  • Are there any subjects that you’re struggling with?
  • How were your marks in year 11 with the extension unit?
  • Do you feel stressed and under pressure when studying the extension unit?

Ask yourself these questions and at the end of them you should have a pretty clear understanding of your perception of the unit. If you answered negatively to any of those questions you should probably drop the subject. That being said, there is no right reason to dropping a subject, but you need to find at least one reason that justifies it.

If you’re still undecided here are some pros and cons of dropping the unit.

Dropping the Unit


A lot less content to deal with – Every extension unit has a whole load of content you need to study, learn and perfect. Many of them might even equal the same amount as the main unit’s content. As such once you drop a unit, all this extra work is gone!

With less content, you have more time for other things- Need time to study another subject? Now that you have 1 less unit to deal with, you have more time to sfocus on other subjects that you may be struggling in.

A lot less stress and pressure to deal with – Due to the workload associated with extension units, dropping one will probably reduce any stress and get rid of any pressure to do well that you may have been dealing with. You’ll have a little more time to relax as well as the fact that you don’t have to face studying a subject that you don’t particularly enjoy.


Having less units is risky – Your ATAR is calculated from the best 10 units, and if you only have 10 to play with all of them are going to count. Say you kept your extension unit, you’d still have a spare unit as a backup, and with the ridiculous scaling associated with extension units, it might just end up counting.

Doing something harder, makes other things easier – Doing an extension unit will give you a massive edge in the base level of that subject. This is because due to the difficulty of an extension unit, you should be able to complete any task in the base level quite easily. This is most prevalent with Extension 1 Maths.

With less content, you have more time for other things – With more time for other things, chances are you’re just going to end up relaxing and procrastinating in this time. If you lack solid time management, you may find yourself still struggling in that tough subject even though you dropped an extension unit just to study for it.

Finally, no one can tell you whether you should keep or drop a unit besides yourself. However, before you make snap decisions consider the pros and cons listed above as well as the questions at the start before continuing with your decision. At the end of the day you are in control of yourself and your decision is only going to affect you.



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