5 Top tips for GCSE students from award winning apprentice

GCSEs are hugely important qualifications that you spend most of your school career preparing for. But how important are they later on in life when you’re choosing your career? For me, my GCSEs were really important in helping me decide what sort of job I wanted. I work as an Apprentice Scientist now at MedImmune and my journey started when I was doing my GCSEs. So here are my top tips for you to think about when doing your GCSEs, which are all things I wish I knew.

Tip 1. Remember that your GCSEs are NOT the most important thing ever!

When you’re at school it is really easy to believe that your GCSEs will define your life and everything you ever do will need your GCSEs, but this is not always the case. It is really important to make sure you put your best effort into your GCSEs but remember that employers and universities also look at you as a person. If you have completed a Duke of Edinburgh Award, a CREST award, an Arts Award, or if you are really good at sport, or drama, or music… all of this is also really important! Your GCSEs are only a part of you, so it is super important to remember that you should be a well rounded person too!

Tip 2. Try to pick a range of subjects.

English, Maths, Science and usually IT are all compulsory subjects at GCSE. If you have the option to pick different subjects to study, try to pick a range. As a scientist now, you wouldn’t believe that I studied GCSE Art and GCSE History… and history was actually one of my favourite subjects! You might surprise yourself and enjoy a subject that you didn’t know you liked. Try to pick subjects for yourself and not just because your friends are doing them. This will also give you the opportunity to meet many new people!

Tip 3. If you have a passion, then follow it.

I loved science at school, but I never thought I would be able to work as a scientist when I was older. I thought that you had to be a genius like Einstein to do that. My school wanted me to study double science at GCSE, but I was passionate about science so I asked to study triple science. I followed my passion and now I work in a job that uses things I learnt in GCSE biology, every day!

Tip 4. Your GCSEs will give you options later on in life.

It might be helpful to think of your GCSEs as a stepping stone that help you step onto the next stone, which continues and continues. Your GCSEs will allow you to study A Levels, or BTECs or pick apprenticeships. Most jobs and apprenticeships ask for passes in GCSE English and GCSE Maths. All universities consider your GCSE results as a part of your application, and even as an adult with a degree, when I apply for jobs I am asked for my GCSE certificates. Try to think about that when you’re struggling for motivation to revise.

Tip 5. Remember to have a balance.

Studying for your GCSEs can be hard and stressful at times. Trying to fit a revision plan in as well as seeing your friends and family can seem almost impossible, but it is really important! I spent a lot of time studying for my GCSEs and lost touch with some friends in doing so. I also spent a lot of time feeling unhappy and very stressed. It is vital to have a work/life balance as a student. Try to schedule regular breaks, call your friends, visit your family. Make sure you don’t spend all of your time with your head in a book… it will help reduce your stress and make you feel good too! Overall, my GCSEs helped as a stepping stone for me to study A-Levels and then pick a degree level apprenticeship. I wish I knew to have a work/life balance and that GCSEs aren’t the most important thing in the world… ever! GCSEs are really important, but having a balance and following your passions will help you in the future.

Georgia as a guest blogger at HireHigher is willing to help out those just behind her on the life ladder, so if you do have any questions feel free to contact the team