The next steps after GCSE results.

Choosing what to do after receiving your GCSE results can be difficult because there are so many options. Before making your choice there are lots of things you should consider. Good decision making is informed decision making. There are a variety of websites and resources which will help you make your choice about the next few years. Here are some tips for choosing:

• Talk to your teachers.
• Talk to a careers officer.
• Think about what you want to do with your life.
• Carefully read college and sixth form prospectuses.
• Research different careers.

There are many choices after GCSEs, the most obvious one being staying in school and studying A-levels. Before deciding the courses you want to study, consider these three pieces of advice.

Firstly select subjects you are passionate about. It is essential that you enjoy these subjects as you will be devoting a considerable amount of time studying them. Don’t simply opt for the subject you did best at in GCSE.

Secondly choose subjects that universities respect such as maths, English, physics and history.

Finally you should choose courses that are of direct relevance to the course you want to study at university. Here are some examples:-

• Accounting- maths and economics.
• Dentistry/Veterinary science- biology and chemistry.
• Law- English and history.
• Medicine- biology, chemistry and maths or physics.
• Engineering- maths and physics.

Another option is going to college which offers a totally different learning environment. One of the first things you will notice at any further education college is that the range of courses is much wider. However not all colleges offer the same mix of subjects so make sure you check what is available locally. There are different levels at college. Level one being the entry level and you usually work up to level three which is equivalent to A levels. This structure is used in vocations such as hairdressing.  Level one qualifications are fairly basic: They build confidence and provide an introduction to a subject, industry or area of work. This qualification is equivalent to GCSEs at grades D to G.

Level two qualifications give a deeper understanding of a subject or area. These qualifications are equivalent to GCSEs at grades A* to C. Many employers like young people to have a level two qualification as a minimum.

Level three qualifications include A and AS levels. This level is almost always required for entry to universities and many employers will be looking for a level three qualification for more technical or supervisory roles.  You can also enter at level three for some vocations such as engineering.

Most students choose college because of the vocational qualifications they offer. Vocational qualifications refer to work-based learning. They are designed to enable the learner to acquire knowledge and skills that are required to be able to perform a particular job. They also offer a different way into university through a level three qualification.

A further option after GCSEs is an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is a real job with training so that you can earn while you learn. Apprenticeships take between one and four years to complete and cover 1500 jobs in a wide range of industries. The key benefits to an apprenticeship are earning a salary, training in skills employers want, increased future earning potential, excellent progression opportunities, better long term salary prospects and learning at a pace suited to the individual with the support of a mentor.

Linking these courses is the option of getting a part time job. Being on a full time college course doesn’t mean lessons all week. Most full time college courses are on for two to three days per week. Therefore getting a part time job would be a beneficial management of your time. The main reason students get a part time job is because of money. However getting a part time job is useful in getting valuable work experience and helps you fill in your CV and UCAS form. A regular part time job shows persistence, teamwork, ability to communicate and key skills you are not taught at school.

A final option to consider is resitting your GCSEs. You should only consider resitting your GCSEs if your future or university course requires it. Most universities want Maths and English at grade C or above so please ask for help if you need to resit these.

Therefore to conclude there are plenty of options to consider before you make your choice. In order to make an informed decision you must first look into and research all the options that appeal to you and choose the course that will benefit you the most in the future.

If you feel like you would benefit from help to resit your GCSEs then get in touch via

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