What to do if your GCSEs or A-levels didn't go as planned
PUBLISHED: 15:49 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:49 21 August 2019
4 top tips including retakes and where to turn for expert advice
If recent GCSE or A-level exams resulted in disappointed faces rather than great grades, it doesn't mean the end of the road for your child's education and future prospects.
Assim Jemal, Principal at St Albans Independent College talked us through his top tips for what to do if your A-levels or GCSEs didn't go as well as expected, or if results day brought with it a total rethink of your future goals.
Tip 1: GCSEs are a great base to build on
Even if your child hasn't achieved the number of GCSEs or the grades needed, it could be worth taking the next year to get a minimum of five GCSEs completed.
Assim explains: "Having five GCSEs with a grade A* to C or equivalent will set you up for a great start to your future career or further education. Taking the time to get these, even if it means studying for another year, may be the difference between achieving your future goals or not."
St Albans Independent College offers a one year, accelerated course to complete a minimum of 5 GCSEs, or to improve on the grades you currently have. Class sizes are limited to no more than seven students which means everyone receives personal attention. Each student is also assigned a mentor to provide guidance and support to help them achieve their potential.
Tip 2: Don't limit your future options on one set of exam results
Want to do A-levels but don't have enough GCSEs?
"It's possible to study for two A-levels and work towards retaking any GCSEs needed. Just because you can't immediately go on to study three A-levels doesn't mean you can't still work towards that by improving your GCSEs at the same time," said Assim.
He adds: "We're an adult learning environment for young people and students are treated as such. There's no uniform, students are on first name terms with teachers and we try and instil in our students that there's more to life than exam results. The students run a number of successful community projects and our 'Learning for Life' programme enriches the lives of the students and gives our young people the skills to improve their career prospects."
Tip 3: Talk to your local College
Your local college can provide expert advice for any number of different scenarios following results day. Assim explains: "We've had students come to us thinking that their dreams of University were over because they didn't get the grades they needed in Maths or English GCSE.
"At St Albans Independent College we offer specialist resit courses - think of us as a stepping stone to help you get from where you are to where you really want to be. We provide the type of environment to get the best out of students who could be feeling demotivated or needing a confidence boost and refocus on direction."
Tip 4: Take positive action - don't dwell on what went wrong
"The time immediately after GCSE and A-level results is really important. Don't waste valuable time dwelling on what went wrong and instead focus on the future that you want and the best people to help you. We're here to listen to where you want to be and then work with you on the best plan of action to help you get there," says Assim.
St Albans Independent College is here for you
"It's not too late - we're interviewing potential students now for the start of term in September. I'd recommend using our online form to contact us and we can organise a time to talk through the best options," said Assim.
If you're not sure about what your options are, or want some expert advice on the best education pathway for the future, contact St Albans Independent College through the online form, or call on 01727 842348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
St Albans Independent College, 69 London Road, St Albans, AL1 1LN.