I have no GCSEs what can I do?

by Anita Naik

Not getting the GCSE results you need for A-Levels and University can feel catastrophic even though are many reasons why you might not have done well. A weak revision plan, lack of subject knowledge and even bad exam techniques can all be to blame. Whatever the reason, don't let it stop you from trying again.

The good news is there are many ways to secure a place at university beyond gaining traditional GCSEs grades, which means your learning is far from over.


A BTEC, or 'Business and Technology Education Council' is a practical-based, vocational qualification that can be studied at schools and colleges.

These allow you to gain hands-on experience in a field or subject and are an alternative to the more academic GCSEs and A-Levels. And can be studied at GCSE and A-level too. Though you will need at least five GCSEs to get on to a level 3 BTEC course, so you need to do Level 1 and 2 if you have no GCSEs.

· BTEC Level 1 and 2 = equivalent to a GCSE

· BTEC Level 3 = equivalent to an A-level

There are 2,000 qualifications across 16 sectors, meaning you can study everything from animation to computing or engineering. These are then assessed via regular coursework and projects throughout the course with the benefit that you gain the practical experience.

After Level 3, you can progress to university and apply for access to a degree in the first year.


If you're unhappy with your current results, or you need a specific grade as a minimum requirement for further education, you may want to consider a retake.

There are so many reasons why you may have low grades, and this is where a tutor can help you. Not only will they sound out your content knowledge but also look at your tactics around revision and taking exams.

If it's poor exam and revision technique, this is the easiest to fix, while content knowledge will take longer, but it can be done. For tutors in all subjects and maths, English and Science we can help.

If you've recently taken your exams, always approach your college or university first, to find out whether you can put in for a re-sit right away. If it's been a little longer, or you need to refresh your knowledge on the subject, there are a number of courses at local colleges.

If you're looking to start from scratch, it can take between 12 months and 24 months to earn your GCSEs.

Become an apprentice

Apprenticeships are ideal if you have a clear idea of the career you'd like, and you're willing to commit to work and study. To be considered for an apprenticeship programme in England​, you need to be:

· aged 16 or over

· living in England

·, not in full-time education

Intermediate apprenticeships are Level 2 and generally considered to be the same level as five GCSE passes. They are a great way to take the first step for those aged 16 as they offer an alternative to staying at school. What's more, after taking the intermediate level, can go on to complete advanced and higher apprenticeships and go to university.

Tags: GCSEs Retakes
Categories: BTECs Apprenticeships