GCSE students

Colleges and sixth forms have generally always asked for GCSE grades of B or higher in order to continue studying subjects at A-level. This helps ensure students are able to keep up with the harder syllabus, and be less likely to drop out.

In addition to this, students have needed five GCSEs at grade C or above, in order to be let into most colleges and sixth forms.

Following the changes to the school and grading systems, there is no clear answer to this question, so our advice would be to check with the college or sixth form that you are looking to attend.

It is likely that a 6 would be needed for you to study a subject at A-level, but always check with each institution. Even if you were to just miss out on the required GCSE grade, they might still let you continue studying the subject at college or sixth form.

What if I don’t get the GCSE grades I expect, or fail?

If you don’t achieve the grades you were looking for, then remain calm. It isn’t the end of the world.

There are no guarantees, positive or negative, upon failing your GCSEs; it’s best to be open and honest with those in charge of your next step, and see what they suggest.

It is unlikely that you will be offered a place on an A-level course with anything less than a 5 or 6 in that subject at GCSE, but exceptions may be made depending on individual circumstances.

Most colleges offer a chance to take GCSE resits alongside any further qualifications that you are pursuing, so it may be necessary for you to do this in addition to your course, in order to be given a place.

While it may seem hard at first, the key thing is to remain positive and endeavour to work even harder going forward.