Your GCSEs are over, but what on earth will you do next? From further study to the world of work, read on to start exploring what's right for you.
Talk to your form tutor
Whatever your results, it's worth chatting to the one person (other than your parent/s or carer) who has kept a professional eye on your educational progress. Your form tutor can help you to go through the options available, including the possibility of staying on to study at sixth form (if you have one at your school).
Consult a careers advisor
Whatever you choose to do, it's important that you feel you've considered all the choices available. It keeps regret to a minimum, and gives you every chance of developing your skills and life experience in a way that suits you. Long before your GCSE results are in, your school careers advisor can go through your options and help you to make an informed decision.
Depending on where you live will depend on who else you can talk to:
- In England you can get in contact with Next Step services. They provide telephone, online, or face to face advice.
- In Scotland you can contact the Young Scot helpline on 0808 801 0338.
- In Wales you can talk to someone at Careers Wales.
- In Northern Ireland you can talk to someone at Careers Service Northern Ireland.
Study at sixth form
This is your chance to continue in education with a view to qualifying for higher education (i.e. a degree course) at 18, or pursuing a vocational course that gives you vital skills when it comes to entering the job market.
Sixth form may be an option at your school, in which case it's pretty much a question of heading back through the gates for the autumn term. You'll know what to expect in terms of the working environment and teaching staff and you'll usually find that, as a member of the sixth form, you are treated as more of an adult, too.
Study at college
Alternatively, you can enrol at your local college of Further Education (FE). The courses on offer may be similar, but in general FE colleges offer a more relaxed atmosphere in which to learn. The dress code is practically non-existent and timetables often build in a lot of 'home study' time.
This may sound appealing, but much depends on your personality and drive as you will be left to your own devices a lot more than at school. If you do opt for college and learn how to motivate yourself, however, it is a great dry run for university, where it is expected that you will be driven to push yourself.
Choosing the right qualifications
So, you've decided where you are going to study, now it's time to decide what to study. If you already have a game plan for your future degree or career, it's important to find out what A-level qualifications you need to get there.
Otherwise, think about what you enjoyed studying at GCSE and whether further study in that area appeals to you. It's not always about academics, though. Vocational courses or apprenticeships are a great way of learning a particular trade and can be just as useful and rewarding as going the university route.
For more detailed information about the options available to you, here's our breakdown of the main post-GCSE qualifications on offer.
The world of work
Maybe you're through with education. Perhaps an apprenticeship doesn't appeal. It could well be that you're busting to start earning a proper wage, or would just rather start working your way up the job ladder now. If so, here's our comprehensive job section to help you with applications, interviews and making a great impression in your new workplace.
Read the comment policy
Use our free question and answer service and speak to an expert!
You might have missed...
Is it good to argue? How do I get a date? Can I move on? Answers here.
You may've noticed the more obvious affects of alcohol, but what else does it do?
They've changed. So here are the new ways to get support in an emergency.