With the new academic year approaching fast, I thought that because most of my followers are still in high school I could write a little post if you’re someone who’s not sure whether they should go to College or Sixth Form.
I did a strawpoll and asked on Instagram if people thought this would be helpful and the majority said it would be.
All schools are different. The way you pick your GCSE options, the year in which you start them can be different and all of that can affect your decision.
For me, we started GCSE’s when were in year 9! We were an experimental year in which the school had never done this before so by the end of year 11 I was mentally drained from exams and GCSE revision.
So your 2 main options after high school are either Sixth Form or College. There are other options like apprenticeships but that’s not something i’m going to talk about.
A lot of high schools have Sixth Form’s within the school, but some don’t. For me, I was quite set on going to Sixth Form within my school only because the fear of going to college alone was so daunting. Making new friends, having to talk to people can be quite scary and it’s a normal thing to fear but honestly don’t let that stop you.
I pretty much knew that if I went to Sixth Form I was going to study Media, Sociology and English language. But there was one problem; they were ALL in the same option block. There were 3-4 blocks in which you had to pick a subject from each and if two or more were in the same you’d have to pick a different subject. I wasn’t going to study an a-level for the sake of it. However, this might not be the case at the Sixth Form you’re looking to go to- make sure you get all the information like leaflets and attend open evenings so you get all the information you can.
It’s very common with teachers at high school to tell you to go to Sixth Form, they make college look bad and I honestly think this is so that the school and the Sixth Form get a good reputation of students staying on.
From someone who’s been to college, what they say is a load of rubbish.
I’m obviously going to be quite bias towards college just because I went through it, but having friends who stayed on at Sixth Form have said to me it’s so much more work and revision than GCSE. I can totally understand that it’s a huge step-up and a lot of people don’t . I know that because I hardly revised for my exams, A-levels would’ve been the death of me.
I understand that if you aren’t entirely sure what career route to go down, Sixth Form gives you the options to study different A-levels whereas college is subject specific. This means you have a variety of A-levels which you can then use to decide what you want to do if you go to Uni.
College definitely gives you a lot more freedom than Sixth Form does and there’s a lot more independent work, but the tutors at college support you just as much as the teachers at Sixth Form would.
The other great thing about College is no exams. It’s all assignment work and/or practical depending on what course you take. You don’t have to remember loads of content for exams and I think that takes the stress off people to just enjoy the course.
There’s also the fact that a lot of people think that because at College you study a BTEC, it’s lower than an A-level. Wrong. A BTEC is equivalent to around 3 A-levels and you have just as much chance getting into University at College as you do at Sixth Form.
As mentioned before, going to new place and having to make new friends can be extremely difficult. Especially if you’ve got anxiety or you’re just not comfortable around new people. But honestly do not let that stop you from going to College if that’s the only reason you don’t want to go. Everyone is in the same boat as you and you’ll make friends most likely on the first day.
Some people know what they want to do and I admire those people, choosing whether to go to Sixth Form or College had me stressed for such a long time but whatever decision you make, base it off what you want to do in the future career wise.
College have such a variety of courses, some that are very specific towards a certain career type and others that are quite open and can lead you down a few different career paths. Sixth Form offer the basic subjects like maths, science, English and only have a few that are quite specific like Sport and Media.
I hope this has helped some people in thinking about that important decision when it comes to year 11.
Don’t forget to talk to people about this decision; your family, friends, teachers.
You can always comment below questions!