Life after GCSE results

Today students up and down the country are collecting their GCSE results. Some will be ecstatic, some will be crestfallen, and others will simply be worried about what to do next – so let’s look at life after GCSE results.Should I do A-levels after my GCSEs?A-levels will be the right choice for lots of young people. They are a route into higher education, into higher level apprenticeships and onto school-leaver programmes. It is important to pick the correct combination of A-levels though.What A-levels do universities want me to have?Some university courses require particular A-levels as entry requirements, so always check on the university websites to see that they want you to have studied.How to combine A-level subjectsChoosing the right combination of subjects is important and many A-levels complement each other. This can make your life easier when it comes to developing a deep understanding of subjects and also at revision time, where there is a crossover of topics.How many A-levels should I study?Generally you will be expected to have studied four AS-levels, dropping to three at A2. You want your combination to support your university application and also to help develop a range of skills, so if you are heading for a future career in science, it might be beneficial to combine Chemistry, Biology and Maths with a humanities subject such as History, which includes developing skills in extended writing. The most important thing is to be smart about your choices, check university websites and think hard about the skills that you want to develop to be successful.Are there some A-level subjects that are more useful than others?Facilitating subjects are those that are frequently required for entry to Degree courses. If you really don’t know right now what you want to study at university then including two facilitating subjects in your combination will stand you in good stead for the future.Facilitating Subjects include: Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, History, Geography, modern and classical languages and English Literature.I haven’t got the GCSE results that I need, what should I do?Maybe you missed a maths or English GCSE grade and so can’t do the course that you wanted to. There is always the option of getting a re-mark but hey take a while and you need to get sorted for the start of year, so the best option is to get yourself on an alternative course and if your re-mark comes back improved then great...you will probably be able to switch course at this point (check with the college).Dealing with disappointmentIf it doesn’t or you missed the grade by quite a bit then all is not lost — you will be able to take an alternative course (maybe at level two instead of three) and re-take your GCSE at the same timeWhat happens if I can’t carry on at school doing what I want to do because my GCSEs aren’t good enough?If you need or want to move to a different place to study then you can go through a process called late admissions. It’s a bit like clearing but for colleges.Late Admissions — what is it?The late admissions process is something that colleges will offer after GCSE results are released. If you have done better or worse than you were expecting to then you will be wondering what to do about it. You may be thinking of changing course based on your results or you might be panicking about not getting the results that you needed to do the course that you had planned on.How the late admissions process worksSimple — you just ring up the college (you don’t have to have applied to it already) and ask for the admissions department. Tell them your situation and they will arrange an interview for you as soon as possible. Remember that courses start soon, so be prepared to go in at a moment’s notice!What if I don’t think that A-levels are right for me?There are plenty of options after GCSEs that are not A-levels.Vocational studyThere are full time vocational courses that you could do, such as NVQs or BTECs. These will be in areas of study such as business, hospitality and catering, childcare, IT, media, engineering – you name it and they teach you the skills that are relevant to that area of study or industry. There provide a pathway to university just like A-levels do if that is what you want to do after your level 3 study.ApprenticeshipsYou can apply for an apprenticeship from the age of 16, so another option after GCSEs is to apply to be an apprentice. You can do this by searching for apprenticeship jobs or by going to a local training provider who places apprentices.Part time studyAs long as you remain in some form of education or training you are okay – it is possible that you could work part time (this can be voluntary or paid) and study part time if that is what you want to do.So, life after GCSEs…there are plenty of options available to you. To read our full results day guide simply click here.

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