GCSEs are a set of compulsory exams that your child will go through when they reach the age of 15 or 16. There’s a lot for your child to get prepared for in this period: where will they go next? What will be your child’s next steps?
Thankfully there are plenty of different options out for your child when they finish their GCSEs. Your child could take additional exams to support their GCSEs, head on to study their A Levels, take up a BTEC course at a local college, take on an apprenticeship or head into full time employment.
Here are some of your child’s options that they could consider after they’ve finished their GCSEs.
Retaking vital exams
If your child is after a certain set of qualifications, and has to be of a certain grade, then they could look to retake some exams. If a child gets a D grade (grade 3 in England), for example, they may choose to retake an exam because they need to get at least a C grade (or grade 4) to qualify for the next level of study or employment.
A lot of students do this and there is nothing to be ashamed of in having to retake an exam. There are many reasons why exams are resat, such as illness, lack of revision beforehand or not being in the right frame of mind at the time.
Studying A Levels
A Levels can be studied at your child’s current school, in Sixth Form, at a private Sixth Form College or at another College. These will give your child the chance to enter the next stage of their studies, if they are able to handle the jump in their studies. A Levels can be seen as quite a large climb up from GCSEs which can cause a lot of stress for some teenagers.
Revising early on and preparing your child will be the best way forward when it comes to their final exams. These exams are one of the ways your child can get through to University.
Taking on a BTEC course
A BTEC course can be picked up at different levels. Level 2 is around GCSE level, where your child can enter a new course or develop their skills further in one particular area. A lot of students will head on to Level 3, which will work towards a qualification that will be the equivalent of an A Level, to take them to University.
The beauty of a BTEC course is that they are a lot more practical, and they don’t always have a heavy academic background to them. For example, Health and Social Care, Childcare, Public Services and Sports Therapy are just a selection of courses your child could choose to take on.
BTEC Courses are a popular choice for children that are after something different in their lives, which often aren’t on offer in traditional A Levels or through Sixth Form.
Taking on an apprenticeship
If your child has a clear plan in mind when it comes to their future studies, they may want to take on an apprenticeship. It’s something your child can use to really get immersed into learning about and take on more practical exercises as a result. Apprenticeships tend to be those that are looking for roles within construction, decorating, engineering, electrician work and much more.
Full time employment
There is also the prospect of your child heading straight into work and gaining real, practical experience. Your child could already be employed at a place of work, like a retail store or at a car garage, and your child sees their future there and is unsure what they could pick up in further study. At least in full time employment your child is still gaining valuable skills and work experience that can secure them more senior roles in the future.