Starting Year 13
Term may have only just started but it’s already time to start thinking about what you’d like to do next!
If you’re in your second year of A Levels or on a Level 3 course, you should start to think about making plans for when you finish. As of right now, your main options are going to university, starting an apprenticeship or undertaking a gap year.
Applications for university started at the beginning of September and for the majority of courses, the closing date is 15th January. As you have to have a reference from your school or college in your university application, make sure you don’t leave it until the last minute! You should aim to have applied by the end of October.
Some courses have earlier deadlines, for example, medicine, dentistry or veterinary science courses and courses at Oxford and Cambridge have to be applied for by the 15th October. Some art courses are open a few months longer to give you time to develop your portfolio. Closing dates for performing arts courses at Conservatories can vary so check now.
If you’re thinking about applying for an apprenticeship, you can start looking now as some larger companies will advertise vacancies this term so make sure you check their websites regularly.
You can also sign up to the government apprenticeships website to search for vacancies locally and nationally.
You should start working on your CV so you can use it as a starting point for application forms. It’s always good to have a CV handy for when you need it. If you’re unsure what you would like to do, do some work experience or shadowing to help you decide.
Gap years aren’t just for university students. If you’re not sure what to do after you’re A Levels or Level 3 course or are just in no rush to go into university, an apprenticeship or a job, you can spend time out of education reflecting and researching your options. Make sure you do something positive you could travel; do voluntary work at home or abroad; get work experience to try out different jobs or earn some money. It’s probably best to do a mixture of these things so that you have a lot to put in your cv and talk about in job or university interviews.