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    Hello everyone,

    I have a bit of a dilemma. I'm currently 16, out of school, and have been since 14 due to excess bullying.

    I've recently wanted to start doing something to actually get an education and since I left school at 14, I have no GCSE's, or any qualifications at all.

    I'm in Northern Ireland, and a local college does a "Access to Opportunity - Level 2" course, which will be full time 1 year, and at the end I'll have the "essential skills" (English, Maths, ICT) Plus any extra subjets I can chose from. Apparently they're the equivalent of a GCSE at grade C.

    I have two questions:

    1: If I take this course, what do I put on my CV? Do I just put GCSE or what? Will the employer who asks for GCSE's A* - C understand my equivalent?

    2: If I took this course, took 5 subjects (including the essential skills) at grade C, could I, at some point, take another course for an actual GCSE course and maybe try and get a better grade such as B or A? (Right now those courses costs money but the Access to Opportunity is free).

    I appreciate any help I can get.


    You should just state on your CV that you have a level 2 Access to Opportunity qualification. You should explain what that entails but don't say that it is a GCSE because it's not and that is lying. Most employers should recognise this qualification but may prefer actual GCSE students as they understand what they are.

    I'm sure you could but at that point getting actual GCSE's would be counter productive. You can do college courses at level 3 with level 2 qualifications so rather than paying for more GCSE's I would get in contact with your local college and talk about possible courses that you can do.

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