By now you'll have had your GCSE results. For many of you this is great news - you'll be off celebrating your results in the summer sun. But for those who've not done so well, for whatever reason, this can look like a bleak period. But don't panic, it's not the end of the world.
My results weren't very good!
There could be all sorts of reasons behind you not doing as well as you expected, hoped, or could have done. Perhaps you missed lots of school through illness, perhaps you cracked under the pressure, perhaps you just didn't try hard enough, or perhaps you just found them too hard. What's done is done, there's no way to turn back time. But, what you can do is be positive, and move on from here in the right direction. Just because you didn't get great GCSEs, it isn't the end of the world. Don't let anybody tell you this. If youre results were because of lack of motivation or commitment, then this should be a kick up the backside to make you take notice. And now is the time to take notice.
What can I do now?
Well, here's what not to do - give up. Don't let that thought cross your mind. And if it does, silence it. Only you have the ability to put it to rest and take the next step that's right for you.
- The first thing you should do is talk to your parents. I know, I know, they're your parents; but they are adults, and they have experience when it comes to sorting things like this out. They may be disappointed, but if you display the right attitude, then they'll surely stand by you as you attempt to get your life back into groove. As well as this, talk to your school. It might be the summer holiday but the teachers will be there on the day you get your results so you should be able to speak to them then. They will know the school's policy in these situations and there's every possibility that you will be able to retake some GCSEs alongside an A-Level (or two depending on how far below standard your grades fall). If it's a case that all of your GCSE's were bad, then maybe they'll just let you resit year 11.
- Of course, studying your GCSEs while all your friends are doing their A Levels might be hard to stomach, and studying with the year below might be even worse. If you feel these options wouldn't be good for you, then don't despair. Lots of people study GCSEs at local colleges - this might be a better environment for you, where you will likely be surrounded by other people in your position, or even older people returning to get the qualifications they gave up on years ago. Colleges should have someone to contact around the time of GCSE results to deal with students with offers for that college maybe not doing as well as they should have. Again, talk to your parents, they will be able to get into contact with a local college that could be suitable for you.
- If your results weren't good enough to get you into a local institution, but you feel you attained to your full capacity, then there is another alternative. You could study for the new government diploma. Designed in collaboration between schools, colleges, and workplaces, a diploma combines classroom study and practical experience, and, you can study at three different levels: foundation (equivalent to 5 GCSEs D-G), higher (equivalent to 5 GCSEs A*-C), and advanced (equivalent to 3.5 A-Levels). To find out more about the government diploma, read our diploma article.
You still have options open to you, so it's vital to stay calm. Use your experience for the better; whether that's knowing you need to revise more before you take your exams, or simply putting more effort in across the year. There's nothing stopping you from getting the qualifications you need to move on.