As mocks are finishing, and the real GCSEs are approaching, now is the time to start knuckling down. But how important are GCSEs? It turns out they could be more important than you think.

Firstly, they can determine the next step your child takes. Entry requirements for most Sixth Forms are based on the GCSE grades achieved, and lower scores could limit the available options. Also some schools are extremely selective regarding which subjects a child can study at A-level; if a high enough grade is not obtained at GCSE level, it is unlikely the school will allow your child to study it to A-level.

Secondly, they might affect which universities you can apply to. Some universities have very specific requirements as to the grades achieved. To do certain courses some universities (for example, Durham) may be forced to look at your GCSEs and will expect a high proportion of A*’s or they require at least an A in the related fields at GCSE. Oxford say they look for a strong GCSE profile with a majority of A’s and A*’s. Contrastingly, Cambridge have no minimum GCSE requirements, with the exception for medicine and veterinary medicine. Clearly different universities have different opinions on the matter, but choice could be limited if grades aren’t high enough. Generally, the more exclusive and competitive courses require specific GCSE grades.

And lastly, they can even influence the career you end up doing. To do some vocational degrees such as medicine, veterinary sciences, and chemical engineering to name but a few, you are required to have extremely good A-levels and GCSEs will almost always be taken into account. Even when applying to jobs after university, many potential employers ask for your GCSE results in competitive industries.

If you feel like you need any help or guidance with GCSEs please get in touch, we’d love to help.