A-levels, getting a job, applying to university and getting a degree may feel far off now but they are worth keeping in mind when it comes to picking your GCSEs. The GCSE options you choose and how well you do can influence the sixth form you go to, the qualifications you can take next, the university course you do and your career prospects. Therefore, it is important to choose the right subjects for you.
How to decide what to choose
Maths and English are compulsory in every school along with a form of Science (either single, double or triple) these are the most important subjects to pass with a minimum of a 4 being required for Maths and English. Some schools will have other compulsory subjects such as Religious Studies or a language, these will vary from school to school and so will the optional subjects you can choose from. If you feel your school doesn’t offer a wide enough range of options for you, or you don’t like all the compulsory subjects, it may be worth looking what other schools in your area offer. There are also a range of independent colleges that offer more flexibility allowing you to choose from many different subject options.
Speaking to your teachers and family will help you think about what options might be suitable for you, whilst their advice is important you should also make sure to make choices for yourself. Try not to make choices based on the teachers of different subjects or what your friends are choosing as if it’s not a subject you have genuine interest in or know you can do well in you will not enjoy the two years of doing it and may struggle. Consider the subjects you do well in and what you may want to study after secondary school. You may want to research how each subject is marked as more creative subjects such as Art are likely to be largely coursework based whereas others will be based solely on exams.
What to do if you failed your GCSEs
GCSE results day may feel overwhelming, it is the first proper exam process and results day you go through and if you didn’t achieve what you were hoping for it can feel disappointing. However, don’t panic as there are plenty of options for you to consider…
Talk to teachers
Firstly, talk to your teachers as they will have plenty of experience in this area, they will be able to advise on whether you should appeal your grades, resit exams or choose a different sixth form.
Getting your papers remarked
If you and your teacher genuinely believe there could have been an error in marking, you can request that your paper is remarked. This could bring your grade up, but it could also go down so you should only request a review if you feel confident there’s been an error. The request must be submitted by your school on your behalf, so you organise the process with them.
Talking to college or sixth form
If you have narrowly missed your required entry grades you could still be offered a place at your chosen sixth form or college. They may refer you to different subjects or courses that better suit your grades or refer you to a better suited college or sixth form.
You may wish to retake your GCSEs, for Maths and English it is compulsory that you achieve a pass to continue further study. Some independent colleges offer intensive GCSE courses which help and support you get the best possible grades with smaller classes and one-to-one support. Resitting could be the best option for you if you want to continue education with confidence and with a variety of options out there for you.