Unhappy with your GCSE or A-Level grades? Want to make yourself more employable? You’re not alone. If you want to have a second shot at nailing your exams, it’s never too late to try again.
There are numerous benefits to retaking GCSE or A-Level exams as an adult, namely that you could significantly broaden your life choices. Better grades can increase your eligibility to undertake further or higher education such as online degrees, add value to your CV, and enhance your employability and earning potential.
If you’re reading this, you’re already headed in the right direction, but there may be a few doubts creeping in, or you might not be entirely sure how to retake GCSEs as an adult or are even worried about how hard GCSEs are now.
Read on as we bust some common myths about adult education, look at why adult education is important, and how you can make your future happen.
Myth 1- Employers look down on adults resitting exams for children
Once a-level results arrive, or people finish secondary education, it can feel like it’s the end of the road if the results aren’t as good as you expected. With that in mind, some people can feel unsure of the education options they have available to them
This can lead to some workers worrying about chatting to their employers about time off or flexible working schedules to give them time to complete their studies.
However, this is far from the truth. Employers value people with a growth mindset who can prove they have the skills and commitment to do a job well. They will be less interested in when you got your grades and more interested in whether your qualifications meet their current criteria.
It takes courage and dedication to resit exams, and your employer may actually be pleased to see you taking on this new challenge. GCSEs and A-Levels can provide in-depth information that can help you to move into a new career or role, and it’s also worth bearing in mind that it can be quite common for people to have missed out on one or two GCSEs the first time round, so your employer may be quite sympathetic and understanding. For example, retaking your Maths GCSE can provide you with an improved skill set that can have an immediate impact.
Myth 2 – Online accreditations aren’t worth that much
This is a common misconception that can easily be debunked. If you choose an accredited course provider, online qualifications are worth the same as those studied at school or face-to-face.
For example, if you chose to study GCSE English Language online through CoursesOnline, your qualification would be recognised by the exam board, AQA, and your result would be an accredited GCSE grade. You’ll receive the same standard of qualification as someone who took an in-person course. Remember you’ll only be putting your results on your CV or application, not how you studied, so any employer wouldn’t even notice the difference.
In fact, there are numerous benefits to online study, as students who gain accreditations from leading providers via distance learning often develop independence, self-reliance and expand their skill-set.
Myth 3 – You have to learn by yourself
Self-motivation is a great quality to have when retaking exams, but if you’re worried about taking on this challenge solo, you needn’t be, as you won’t be doing it alone.
Course providers can allocate a 1:1 tutor who will give guidance and offer feedback on assignments. With online chat rooms and digital forums, adult learners often find that the virtual world makes them feel more connected and supported than in the classroom.
Courses can be structured for you to have easy access to clear guidance and plenty of learning and support resources. For some adult learners, studying online still gives a high level of support, but also grants them the freedom and independence they want to study in their own way.
Myth 4 – You have to study long into the evening after a hard day’s work
If you’re worried about having to fit in a huge amount of work into your free time, don’t be. It can actually be quite easy for you to take on extra learning whilst also maintaining a good work-life balance. When it comes to answering the question “what is adult education, and how should I go about it?” There are lots of ways to answer.
The benefit of studying online is that it gives you the freedom to work when it suits you. You can fit your online education around your work, childcare or social plans. Often, you can also be in control of the pace at which you study, so if you have a busy schedule, you can study over a longer period, reducing your workload.
Adult learning styles and habits are different for everyone. Some people function best late at night; others are more productive early in the morning. Online learning experiences allow you to choose when and how you do your studying.
Myth 5 – If I fail again, that’s it for my prospects
Fear of failure can be a common concern, especially if adult learners have had negative experiences of learning at school. But the fact you have had the courage to enrol in online courses shows that you are already committed to your professional development and ready to take on the challenge.
Online learning allows you a degree of anonymity and the freedom to go at your own pace. You will receive regular, constructive feedback so that you can monitor your progress, see how you are improving and take time to work on any areas of the course you are concerned about before you get to the exam or submission stage.
If you’re concerned about what to do after your GCSE exams, if you don’t do as well as you hoped, don’t worry, this isn’t school. You’re doing this for your own development, so you can take more than one go at getting it right.