Wednesday, 7 September 2016

GCSEs not what you hoped: What Next?

I remember those tentative few moments when I held my breath taking my GCSE results from the teacher.  It’s such an anxious time really, it's been drummed into you how important it is to get good grades for the next step, the assembly line from college into university then the world of work.

Fortunately I was happy with what I achieved and quickly let out a sigh of relief!  I wasn’t an A* student but I had managed a healthy mix of As, mainly Bs and one C.  But if you haven’t achieved what you hoped for don’t despair, there are other options available to you.

Depending on where you live in the UK it will affect the choices available to you.  In England you have to stay in some form of education until you reach 18, whilst in Wales you can finish at 16 and start work.


Some colleges will let you re-sit whilst you start your A-levels – so it's worth asking them once you have your results.  That way you can keep up with your peer group rather than re-sit the last year at school.  This happened to a boy at my secondary school and he understandably found it very difficult adjusting to being left behind whilst we all moved on to pastures new.

If you can do this considering an experienced personal tutor like those at Fleet Tutors would be a good idea because you will have additional workload juggling your new subjects alongside revising for the re-sits.  You really want to aim to get those core subjects English, Maths and a Science subject.

Access to Apprenticeships

If you didn’t get the core subjects you need it might be worth researching Access to Apprenticeships courses as a stepping stone to a full apprenticeship.

Get a job

If in Wales you can do this immediately, there have been successful people without qualifications so if you are determined and motivated you might carve a career that way.  You could always return to a formal education when you are older and more accepting of a classroom environment.  In England you can work but only alongside some form of education or training until you reach 18.

Appeal an exam result

If you really think your results do not sound right you can challenge them and make an enquiry into your results.  A hearing takes place within two months but again this is taking up time and might not come back with the outcome you want anyway – if you are unsuccessful you might also need to pay for the appeal!

You can get lots more information about what to do next at the National Careers Service website.

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