This article analyses the mechanisms that contribute to differences in educational choice in the transition from the second to the third stage of secondary education in Flanders, a highly tracked educational system. The study programme chosen in the eleventh grade, besides being quite predictable from the educational position in the tenth grade and school performance, is also affected by social class, ethnic background and gender. Using data gathered from pupils, their parents and their teachers, this study (N = 4389) tests a broad range of factors put forward by rational action theory, cultural reproduction theory and the Wisconsin status attainment model. As proposed by rational action theory, relative risk aversion affects educational choice. However, it does not explain the SES effect. Pupils’ academic self-esteem and their time perspective do have some potential to explain SES differentials in educational choice, as hypothesised by rational action theorists, and as can be expected from cultural explanations for educational inequality as well. In addition, expectations of significant others (parents, as well as teachers) are important predictors for subsequent educational choice and explain part of SES differences. Finally, classic cultural indicators of the parental home do not seem to affect educational choice beyond their effects on performance.