National Careers Service adviser Julie Taylor offers these useful tips on getting exam results news and thinking about what to do next.
Exam results that aren’t what you hoped for can be disappointing but needn’t be the end of the world. If you’re wondering what to do next, keep calm and read on.
Try to think of your qualifications as building blocks for the future.
A full Level 2 qualification (4-5 GCSE passes at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent) is usually a requirement for moving on to a Level 3 qualification (such as A Levels). At Level 2, Functional Skills (English and maths) passes are essential to your future progression, so from September schools and colleges must ensure that students are working towards these qualifications alongside any other study programme. If you missed out on a passing grade this could mean re-taking GCSEs or perhaps taking Functional Skills qualifications while studying a new course.
If you’re a student aiming to go to university
A Level students who are aiming for Higher Education should firstly check whether their firm choice university will still accept the grades achieved.
If not, you could use the Clearing system to apply for an alternative place; check www.ucas.com for up to date information.
Another option is to look for a Level 4/5 course (e.g. a HNC/HND) in a related subject and consider a full degree in the future.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
If full time education isn’t for you, you could build up qualifications via a work-based route. Apprenticeships combine earning with learning, or traineeships give valuable work experience and English and maths support if you’re not quite ready for employment. Most employers look for a great work ethic and a genuine interest in the job role above formal qualifications.
Check Find an Apprenticeship to see what’s available in your area.
Whatever route you’re considering, support is important. National Careers Service expert advisors are available by phone, webchat, email and text to help you think through your options.
Call free on 0800 100 900 or visit The National Careers Service and start planning your future.