Which GCSEs? complements Which A levels?, both written by Alison Dixon. Whilst only 112 pages long, it does a very effective job at what it’s aiming to do. The book starts off with ten pages of information, aimed at updating those parents, carers or students who quite understandably are not fully aware of how GCSEs have changed recently, or how the post GCSE landscape has changed – e.g. with higher/degree apprenticeships. Each of the 33 GCSE subjects are discussed in detail to demonstrate the content which could be studied (depending on exam board), how it is assessed, how it could be used after GCSE and related apprenticeships and careers. There were even a few ‘refreshers’ that I found useful too about which degree apprenticeships are available – an ever-changing range. Admittedly some of these 33 subjects are not as common as others – ancient history, citizenship studies and computer science are not as commonly offered in schools as others mentioned. But these and a few others mentioned, e.g. dance (often offered by ‘out of school’ clubs and providers) will be ones that careers advisers will come across once in a while.
The list of useful information at the end lists the exam boards available and a select number of websites, which will be a good starting point, without listing the most obvious ones which most people will know. This book is definitely worth a read and promoting to people who won’t have access to this type of information as part of their working lives. And if you think you know it all – there’s likely to be some gems in here that the author will still enlighten you with. And if you have a careers library to resource, this is one for your ‘must have’ list.
Mark Yates RCDP is a Freelance Careers Adviser and Writer. He is a member of the Careers Writers Association.