How to Select Your O-Level Subjects in Pakistan

Choosing your O-Level subjects is an important step that shapes your academic journey and opens doors to future opportunities. With careful planning, you can pick a subject combination that aligns with your interests, strengths, and career goals.

Understanding O-Levels in Pakistan

  • International Qualification: The O-Level (Ordinary Level) is a globally recognized qualification offered by Cambridge Assessment International Examinations (CAIE). It’s equivalent to grades 9-10 in the Pakistani educational system.
  • Subjects Available: CAIE offers over 70 O-Level subjects. Schools in Pakistan typically offer a selection of the most popular options.
  • Number of Subjects: Students usually take 8-9 O-Levels subjects, depending on their school and capabilities.

Compulsory vs. Elective Subjects

  • Compulsory Subjects: Most schools mandate the following:
    • English Language
    • Mathematics
    • Islamiyat
    • Pakistan Studies
    • Urdu
  • Elective Subjects: These let you tailor your studies. You’ll choose subjects based on your interests and potential career direction.
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Selecting Subject Categories and Future Paths

Here’s a breakdown of common subject categories, the future degrees they open pathways to, and associated career options:

O-level Science Subjects:

The Science group focuses on developing strong analytical, problem-solving, and observational skills. It prepares students for highly sought-after careers in medicine, engineering, technology, and scientific research.

SubjectsFuture DegreesCareers
Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science, Additional MathematicsMedicine, Engineering, Natural Sciences, Technology, Data ScienceDoctor, Engineer, Scientist, Software Developer, Researcher

O-level Commerce/Business Subjects:

The Commerce/Business group builds foundational knowledge in accounting, economics, and business principles. It sets students on a path toward careers in finance, management, entrepreneurship, and related fields.

SubjectsFuture DegreesCareers
Principles of Accounts, Business Studies, Economics, CommerceBusiness Administration, Accounting, Finance, Marketing, EconomicsBusiness Owner, Accountant, Financial Analyst, Marketing Manager, Economist

O-level Humanities/Arts Subjects:

The Humanities/Arts group fosters critical thinking, creative expression, and understanding of human culture and society. It opens doors to degrees and careers in law, social sciences, education, journalism, and the arts.

SubjectsFuture DegreesCareers
Literature, History, Sociology, Psychology, Geography, Art & DesignLaw, Journalism, Sociology, Psychology, Education, ArtsLawyer, Journalist, Social Worker, Historian, Educator, Designer

Key Factors to Consider

  • Your Interests: What subjects fascinate you and spark your curiosity?
  • Your Strengths: Do you excel in certain areas like mathematics, analysis, or writing?
  • Career Aspirations: Research what subjects are prerequisites for your desired future degree programs.
  • University Requirements: Check websites of universities you might apply to, ensuring you meet their O-Level subject requirements.
  • Workload: Consider the challenge level of specific subjects. Be realistic about balancing your studies effectively.

Additional Tips

  • Seek Advice: Speak to teachers, counselors, and older students for their perspectives on different subjects.
  • Don’t Just Follow Trends: Choose what resonates with YOU, not simply what your friends are choosing.
  • Flexibility: A mix of subjects keeps your options open for different future degree paths.

Yes, but it’s crucial to note that O Level exam dates in Pakistan can slightly change year to year. Here’s a breakdown of the general timeline and where to find the most up-to-date information:

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Typical O Level Exam Schedule in Pakistan:

Understanding the O Level exam schedule in Pakistan is crucial for successful planning and preparation. Typically, you’ll have two major exam series: the May/June series and the October/November series.

  • May/June Series:
    • Registration Deadlines: Usually fall between January and February
    • Exam Period: May to June
    • Results: Released around August
  • October/November Series:
    • Registration Deadlines: Usually fall around July/August
    • Exam Period: October to November
    • Results: Released around January/February of the following year

Where to Find the MOST Accurate Dates

  • British Council Pakistan: The primary administrator of Cambridge O Level exams in Pakistan. Visit their website for the specific year’s dates:
  • Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) Website: Check their ‘Timetables’ section for global exam dates. While the Pakistan series aligns closely, slight variations are possible:
  • Your School: If you’re enrolled in a school offering O Levels, your teachers and administrators will have the most accurate information on exam deadlines and dates.

Important Tip: Register WELL before the deadlines to avoid late fees and ensure your place in the exams!


Your O-Level subject choices lay the foundation for your future. Invest time in researching, prioritize your interests, and seek guidance when needed. Choose the combination that lets you learn, excel, and unlock exciting possibilities!

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