Now you have the results in your hand what should you do? Well, this depends on the type of results you have. If you “passed” then congratulations are in order. If you did n’t do so well or as well as you expected then you should know this is not the end of the road. Whether you passed or failed here are some things to consider?
1 Things to consider if you are going the A Level Route
It has been the way of the world. You write your Form Four then move on to Advanced Level. It’s as natural as moving to Grade 2 after Grade 1. Form Four is like a fork in the road. You have to make the decision of what you want to be because the time for general learning is over.
Don’t let the pressure get to you though. You don’t really have to make a specific career choice now. You just need to make a general choice. Instead of deciding whether you want to be a doctor or not you can just decide on whether you want a career in medicine? You can end up becoming a nurse, doctor, dentist, optician, pharmacist, physiotherapist.
This will allow you to quickly settle on a combination or collection of subjects that will get you there without stressing too much. There are Universities out there that will allow you to become a doctor even if you did commercials but settling on a field is always ideal. Some professions like Law will simply require you to get a good pass without particularly caring what you did at A Level.
2 Should you even go to A level?
Pressure from parents and your peers might force you to go the A Level route but it doesn’t have to be. If it took you 3 years to get O Levels for example then you seriously need to think about your next step. Do you really want to waste another 3 years on A level for despite what they may have told you A level is not really easy?
Consider doing a vocational course depending on your interest and skills. Academics are not the only way to success. You can even join academic courses like nursing. You can join an apprenticeship course and become an engineer. There are plenty of tertiary courses that you can join using your O Level results without going to A level.
3 Should you rewrite failed subjects?
The decision is yours and yours alone. However, you need to be honest with yourself. Do an honest assessment and try and determine why you failed these subjects. Don’t just blame your teacher for example. Was it because you didn’t take notes during class? Was it because of your erratic lesson attendance? Or too little reading time?
Determining the reason before you jump on the rewrite wagon will help you avert disaster next time you write. If you were completely out of depth in a given subject then you really need to forget about rewriting it. There is plenty to life than Quadratic equations and you can live a normal life without knowing who heck the Mutapa were or why Hitler did what he did.
4 Combination or collection
We have already looked at this in point one. Some people scoff and laugh at those people who do subjects deemed collections i.e. an assemblage of subjects that are deemed to be not related. For example Maths, Shona and Computers. Don’t let people dissuade you from achieving your dreams. If you know what you want then go for it.
Doing a collection however will mean more work. Combinations have the advantage that skills and topics are shared between subjects. This saves you some serious study time. In any case, however, the approach to these topics is usually different. For example Economics, Business Studies and Accounting have different approaches.
5 Cambridge or ZIMSEC
Despite all the scandals, ZIMSEC is still an internationally recognised accreditation. I know people who have gone to places like Oxford University using ZIMSEC results. Often in times of scandal alarmists will peddle hysterical incidents to highlight that ZIMSEC is useless. That is not true.
Cambridge is a more recognized brand though, especially on the international scene. It is not better than ZIMSEC it’s just more widely known. It is predictable and stable, unlike ZIMSEC which has been in constant flux. Cambridge is however much more expensive.
You can read our article here where we compare ZIMSEC and Cambridge
6 Which school to go to for Advanced Level?
Should you stay at the school you attended Ordinary Level or should you be moving? Well, it depends on the school and your needs. Did you pass and do you think the school is the reason? Then staying might be your best option. Are you interested in sport and does your school not support sport that much? Then move!
Moving brings new experiences but staying means you are in a familiar environment and can quickly settle in for A level without distractions.