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How to Know Which Career Track or Learning Strand to Take in Senior High School

One of the Department of Education’s aims when it developed the senior high school program was to address job mismatch by pairing incoming SHS students with career tracks or learning strands that suit them best. The question is, how is this decided and will you still have the final say on whether you would follow recommended tracks or strands or not?


Interest Assessment

The Department of Education helps incoming senior high school students choose an appropriate track by providing career counseling through the various public and private schools under their supervision.

The counseling session comes in the form of activities that help students figure out the things that they are interested in, the types of activities that they enjoy, the kinds of things that they would want to do or accomplish in the future, the things that they think they are good at, and the values that they place above all.


NCAE Results

For the most part, the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) is just meant to give incoming senior high school students an idea of which career track or learning strand might be good for them by assessing their aptitude for certain learning areas. Whether they will actually pursue the field that their NCAE results steer them to or not is up to them. This is true for the TVL track and the ABM, HUMMS, and GAS learning strands.

The sports, arts and design tracks as well as the STEM learning strand, however, do require students to have achieved a score belonging to the 51st and 86th percentile and above in their corresponding career sub-tests in order to be allowed to pursue them.


Academic Performance

Aside from meeting the NCAE grade cut-off, incoming senior high school students interested in pursuing the STEM strand need to achieve a final grade not lower than 85 percent in junior high school. The rest of the learning strands and career tracks have no similar requirements.


Skills Assessment

If students interested in pursuing the STEM strand have to meet additional grade requirements, students keen on going for the sports and arts and design tracks have to pass additional skills tests in order to determine if they would be a good fit for them.

These tests will be carried out by the senior high school that they will be applying to and may have slight variations.


Freedom of Choice

As have been briefly stated above, with the exception of certain career tracks and learning strands that have grade requirements and additional skill tests, whether you will pursue the career track or learning strand that has been recommended to you or not is for you to decide.

Similarly, the career track or learning strand that you will choose to focus on in senior high school will not keep you from pursuing undergraduate programs from other fields of study should you decide to continue studying (provided that you meet the admission requirements of the program that you intend to pursue).



Do you have any questions or other concerns about senior high school? You may get in touch with the Department of Education by calling (02) 636 1663 | 633 1942 or (+63) 919 456 0027 or by e-mailing You can also visit them at their official website


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