This year is even more stressful than last. Last year exams were cancelled, nobody was really sure what to do or what to expect.
Students, this is for you, and how can you turn this experience around, make the most of it, manage your expectations, and look forward to a bright future.
Although your results feel like one of the most important milestones in your life right now, it is not forever.
If you have received the results you were hoping for or exceeded your goals, it will be a massive relief and cause for celebration… your plans can go ahead.
If you have not received the results you wanted, you might feel angry and sad that the results do not reflect your capabilities. Just remember, what is out of your control is just that; it is what you do now that will count toward your next steps and your future.
First off, you can appeal, and your school will have given your parents ways to do this. However, if you don't want to do this, you need to look at your options. Talking about parents, they might be disappointed, but this will be for you, not them. Ultimately all parents want their kids to be happy and will try to help. If this is not the case, talk to your college, social worker or a careers advisor.
If university was your plan, many Universities offer alternate courses. Once you have started studying, there can also be opportunities for changing your course. Discuss your options with the Universities of your choice and see what might be available, try and be flexible as there might be similar courses at other places. You can also discuss your options with UCAS, who can help you navigate clearing which can match your course of interest with a university
You could also take some time out, start a job or an apprenticeship, and test out how working life suits you. If you then decide you would like to go to university, you can re-apply later. If you need certain A-Levels for a specific course, you can also re-sit them even in a year or so.
If you completed your GCSE's your college or school choice might not offer you the course you were hoping for, but get in touch with them as soon as possible. Remember, you can retake GCSEs at any age at any 6th form college or school. Discuss with them how to retake your GCSE alongside your A Level's or BTECH.
The slightly less good news here is that if you didn't manage to get a grade 4 or above in Maths or English, you'll need to keep studying these subjects until you're 18.
The good news is that if you have decided you have had enough for education, even if just for now, you could also look to do an Apprenticeship. Training providers can include Functional Maths and English as part of your Apprenticeship course, so if you don't have the grade you need, you can achieve GCSE grade 4 equivalent or higher within your Apprenticeship. Even better, you will earn a wage whilst learning.
You can start an Apprenticeship from aged 16+. There are over 500 Apprenticeship standards and hundreds of Apprenticeship vacancies available with small and large companies. You can look for these on the National Apprenticeship Service website, Indeed, Reed, Not Going Uni, or contact a local Training Provider. Colleges also work with employers and have some vacancies.
Training Providers and colleges deliver training in different ways, and many specialise in specific courses, so do your research. We have put a guide on choosing the right Apprenticeship for you, which gives an overview of the levels, the course delivery, and learning options. We also have some helpful Apprenticeship resources to make your research easy.
We have seen many young people come to us for advice on where to go next. Although we are an Apprenticeship Training Provider, we care about helping young people start their careers. You can call us if you want to talk to us about your options or find out more about how Apprenticeship's work.
The main thing is that you know you have options no matter what your grades are. In the future, it will be your work experience, attitude to work and willingness to learn that will matter more than your grades.
14 Aug 2021