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GCSE results 2013: What next?

More than 600,000 students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland collected their GCSE results 2013. Head teachers observed that changes in grades had caused “a lot of turbulence," while students had varied views.

Ruth Buckley - @RuthBuckley88 - tweeted: “at the age of 25 finally achieved my maths GCSE! Chuffed to bits!”

Natalie ‏- @_natalieegan - tweeted: “Most people I know are content but definitely a few unexpected lower grades from myself and others.”

So, what do you do next after you’ve collected your GCSE grades?

1. Further education and training

What you do after you collect your GCSE results 2013 is up to you. However, it is absolutely important to realise that the decision you make is one the most important you have to make. Some teenagers know exactly what they want to do after collecting their GCSEs, but others are not so sure. Regardless of where you fall in this case, it is useful to have at skeleton plan in place.

Further education and training is one of the best plans you can have at this point. It can improve your core skills and confidence in readiness for different jobs and situations in the future. You can pursue further education and training full time to acquire general qualifications, such as AS levels, A levels and the International Baccalaureate.

Newer diplomas that provide vocational training for full time students in disciplines like Media and Information Technology are also a good option for those who are academically minded and enjoy studying and doing coursework and exams.

2. Work-based learning

Another option open to you if you would prefer a non-traditional approach to leaning is work-based learning. Here you pursue apprenticeships, BTECs, HNCs/HNDs, NVQ/RQs and other work-based learning opportunities like the Cambridge Nationals and Technicals.

Many companies and employers of varying sizes offer these training opportunities across the country. You just need to find the companies and apply for open work-based learning opportunities.

3. Part-time or full job

If you can't find a suitable work-based learning opportunity after your GCSE results 2013, you can always apply for a part or full-time job. Choose an industry that interests you like marketing or engineering and apply for a job in the industry to gain valuable work experience.

Make sure you research different careers thoroughly so you pick and apply for work in the right industry. Also, consult your teachers and people already working in your chosen industry to further boost your chances of making the right choices in regard to your employment options.

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