As the date for collecting your exam results looms, you may be feeling apprehensive about finding out your GCSE results on Thursday, 23rd August. In our blog, we explore why there is no need for a sleepless night before you steel yourself to open that envelope.
Remember, as you approach results day, you have already done all you can to affect the outcome. So, relax, take a deep breath and open your mind to the possibilities for your future. The next steps you take are entirely in your hands.
We will find a college place for you
Don’t despair if your GCSE grades are less good than expected. Exams may not be your strong point, but many college courses are assessed throughout the year using a series of assignments and projects. You can join college at the level that best reflects your current starting point and work your way up through the qualification levels.
There are many qualifications at Level 2 and below that you can take to help you to progress into work or on to Level 3. Or you can start an Apprenticeship at Level 2 and progress to higher levels whilst working at the same time.
You won’t miss out on maths and English
All students continue to study maths and English if they are aged under 19 and haven’t yet achieved a Grade 4 (the new C grade) or above. This could lead to GCSE re-sits or functional skills qualifications (often preferred by employers because they are so practical). If you have achieved a grade 4, you can work to improve this to a higher grade.
Higher education is still within your reach
At Level 3, there are many qualifications that you can take as alternatives to A Level. A BTEC diploma is the equivalent of three A Levels. These are highly regarded by industry and higher education organisations.
We know what students need to get a higher education place. Entry requirements are usually based on points and students need to be qualified at Level 3 or above. Points can be gained from any Level 3 qualification, in any combination.
Consider not going to university
Colleges present a much more practical alternative to universities and enable people to keep costs down by studying closer to home. The average distance between the home postcode and the learning location for college undergraduates is 17 miles, compared with 52 miles for those attending a university.
Our course fees are much lower than those of universities with the cost of a full-time HND just £5,950 per year. We also offer the opportunity to convert the qualification into a degree with one further year of study on some programmes.
Get wise to a whole new world of career choices
Choices of next steps and careers are just as wide-ranging as when a student follows more traditional routes. Tutors often inspire students with their own experience to think of careers that they had never heard of before. If you’re keen to start working immediately and earn while you learn, we can introduce you to local employers and you could start an Apprenticeship.
You will thrive in a college environment
You may be nervous about the prospect of exchanging school for a more dynamic and diverse environment in college. Don’t worry, we have a huge support network in college that helps with everything from practical issues such as finances and bus passes, to emotional problems such as anxiety, or helping new students to settle in.
If you are dyslexic, we have specialist tutors who will support you with developing your English and coursework. We look after students with special educational needs or disabilities so that they have the best college experience too.
Have a good night’s sleep
So, as the 23rd looms, you can look forward to your future career with confidence and rest assured that whatever your grades, your future will be bright.
Drop in to any of our campuses on Thursday, 23 August between 9am and 5pm. If you can’t make it that day, come in and see us on any weekday between 9am and 4pm and we can help you to explore your options and next steps. There are plenty of places available on college programmes, but these are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis so don’t delay or you might miss out on your first choice of study programme.
GCSE fact file
- GCSEs in England are in the process of being reformed and will eventually all be graded using a new scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade
- New GCSE content is becoming more challenging and it is expected that fewer grade 9s will be awarded than A*s
- The new grades are being brought in to signal that GCSEs have been reformed and to better differentiate between students of different abilities
- English and maths GCSEs were graded using the new numerical system from 2017 and another 20 subjects will have 9 to 1 grading in 2018, with most others following in 2019. During this transition, students will receive a mixture of letter and number grades.
The new GCSE grade equivalents are as follows:
- 9, 8 or 7 is equivalent to an A* or A grade
- 6, 5 or 4 is equivalent to a B or C grade
- 3, 2 or 1 is equivalent to a D, E or F grade
- A U mark is judged as ungraded.