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GCSE results: What you can do next

Got your results, so what can you do next? Credit: PA

The wait is over and you've got yourGCSE results, so what are some options are open to you?

Further full-time study

For some students the next step is to go to sixth form or a further education college.

  • A levels

Many will offer A levels in a wide range of subjects.

Entry requirements to study three or four subjects, are usually five GCSE subjects at grade C or above,including English Language.

In addition, some courses will also have specific entry criteria.

  • International Baccalaureate

There is also the option of a subject-based qualification such as an International Baccalaureate.

The IB qualification has two levels for students aged 16-19 - the IB Diploma and the IB Career-related Certificate - and is recognised around the world.

Sixth form and further education colleges offer a variety of courses. Credit: PA
  • BTECs

Some sixth forms and further education colleges may offer a wider range of courses, including vocational qualifications, like BTECs.

BTEC's are vocational qualifications in subjects ranging from business studies to engineering. Level 3 BTEC's are the equivalent of A levels and are accepted by many universities if you want to study further.

  • NVQs and Cambridge Pre-U's

A National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is work-related and designed for you to gain the skills and knowledge needed to do certain jobs

Another alternative is the fairly new Cambridge Pre-U's. These can be done alongside or instead of A levels and there are 26 subjects to choose from. You can take up to four subjects at a time and each is a two-year course with exams at the end.

  • Apprenticeships

If you want to work, earn money and gain a qualification at the same time then an apprenticeship could be for you.

Hairdressing is just one of over thousands apprenticeships available to you. Credit: PA

There are over 1,500 jobs you could do from becoming a fitness coach to working in fashion or social media.

Each apprenticeship lasts from between one to three years and should pay the national minimum wage, holiday and bank holidays.

To do one you need to be:

  • Aged over 16
  • Have up to five GCSEs at grade A* to C including English and Maths but entry requirements vary
  • Demonstrate you have the ability to complete the programme
Fancy a job in construction? An apprenticeship could be for you/ Credit: PA

Traineeships

If you didn't do as well in your exams or don't have much work experience then a traineeship could be for you.

Introduced in 2013 to help 16-23 year-olds become work ready, they can lead to a job or apprenticeship and last from six weeks to six months.

They are suitable for those who:

  • Have little work experience, are unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week
  • Are aged 16-19 and have less than the equivalent of two A levels grade A to C
  • Are aged 19-23 and have less than the equivalent of five GCSEs grade A* to C

Volunteer or work abroad

If you want to travel when you have finished your studies then there are a number of schemes which allow you to get work experience as well.

Students can volunteer abroad through some charities. Credit: Global Vision International

You may have to be 18 to do some of them but there are schemes run for 15-17 year-olds such as Global Vision International which last from two weeks up to one month.

However, many of these have to be paid for as they are run by charities so check the criteria before applying.

Others include:

  • The International Citizen Service - once in a lifetime opportunities for 18-25 year-olds to volunteer in Africa, Asia or Latin America
  • Camp America- work on one of thousands of summer camps in America and have fun as well as adding to your CV
  • Projects Abroad- short-term voluntary work placements for 16-19 year-olds from building toilets in India to looking after animals in Argentina
Projects Abroad offer short-term voluntary work placements. Credit: PA

Not achieved the grades you need?

  • Find out if your papers can be re-marked

If you've failed to get the grades you need and believe they may be wrong or do not reflect your ability, you can ask for your papers to be re-marked.

There are options open to you in the event you fail to achieve your desired grades. Credit: PA

Requests will need to be made through your school or college. The Joint Council for Qualifications has guidelines on the post-results service.

  • Re-sits

The option to re-sit one or more of your exams may be open to you, so in the first instance seek advice from your school to find out if your are eligible and how to apply.

Resits in the current English, English language and maths exams will be offered in November and in summer 2017.

For other current courses, examination boards are allowed to offer a single resit opportunity in the year following the last scheduled sitting.

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