With GCSE results scheduled to be released on Thursday 21 August, you're likely to be waiting with baited breath to see what the last two years of your life has amounted to.
All those hours sitting in lessons, taking on hoards of information and writing frenzied notes will hopefully have paid off and your results will act as a stepping stone to the next stage of your academic career.
GCSE results are used to determine which A-levels will be available to you, and are likely to be looked at by universities if you decide to take that route in the future. However, if you do not do as well as you hoped, there are alternative options available to you such as re-takes and re-marking. So don't be disheartened if, come results day, you're looking at letters lower down the alphabet than you would have liked.
If you are planning on doing A-levels, you will usually need at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C and at least grade B in the specific subjects you want to study. A grade C or above in English and Maths will also be helpful and may be obligatory for the course you wish to study at university.
A-level Student, Carys Jones clearly remembers the day she received her GCSE results: "I felt nervous on the day as I was dreading finding out what I got and going into school where we'd open them with everyone. When I opened them, I was shocked to see all As and my A* was in my worst subject - French! I was ecstatic and relieved as I could then go to the college of my choice and begin the A-levels that I wanted."
If you get receive the results you were hoping for then great! Don't forget to confirm your place at the college or institution that you are planning to go on to. If you don't get the results you were hoping for it's OK - there are plenty of other options available to you and this is by no means the end of the road.
Mitesh Bhimjiyani, founder of Success at School, says: “Getting your GCSE results is a nerve-racking time and, if you didn’t achieve the grades you wanted, you’ll probably feel lots of different emotions, including fear, stress and guilt. The most important thing is not to panic – you do have options.
“There are lots of different pathways into a career and it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your dream job. If you really want (or need) to do A-levels, there’s no reason why you can’t resit the GCSEs you didn’t do so well in and take them the following year.
“But A-levels are not the only choice available to you, so do make sure that you have a look at all of your options, including apprenticeships and vocational courses. You may find that a pathway you had never considered before turns out to be the ideal choice for you, and gives you a chance to really reach your potential.”
Peter Jones Foundation CEO Alice Barnard added: “As much as results day is about celebration, it’s also about decision making. At a time when employers across the UK are reporting a shortage in key employment skills, we believe that it’s important for young people to consider all of the options available to them.
"While a sixth form and university-based academic education is of course the right option for many, it’s certainly not for everyone, and there are plenty of other, often more direct routes to a great career."