Blog: August 2018

Thursday, 23 August 2018

You don’t have to be at school to study a GCSE, try studying online with NEC


Did you know that you don’t have to be at school to study a GCSE? NEC courses are studied online, giving you the flexibility to study exactly where and when you like. There’s a wide number of subjects to choose from too, including all of the essential subjects such as maths, English and science, as well as some of the less common ones such as psychology and astronomy.

GCSEs for all

NEC students are not just school-aged, under the age of 18. You might wonder why someone who has left school might go back and study GCSEs again. We recently surveyed our students to find out why they chose to study their GCSEs with us, here are some of the reasons they gave us.

35% were looking to change career or to get a job.

Two of the careers mentioned most often were nursing and teaching. You need maths and English GCSE at grade C or grade 4 or above to be allocated a place. The flexibility of studying with NEC and the tutor support from a subject specialist were the main reasons students chose to study with NEC. If you’re thinking about a career in nursing or teaching, take a look at our free career tracks guides. They’re packed full of practical information for people thinking about becoming a teacher of a nurse.

One such student is Namja Khan. Namja has a degree in maths but still needed to gain a GCSE to go onto teacher training. You can see her being interviewed on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire show this morning

15% were planning to go onto further education of some kind

Studying GCSEs online with NEC helped Ben do just that. Ben became unwell with M.E. when he was 13, which caused severe fatigue making it difficult for him to study, particularly if he was having a bad day. He was unable to attend school for almost three years. Ben wanted to return to school to study at sixth form but needed GCSEs in maths and English to be accepted.

40% said that they planned to go into higher education

Julia was educated at home from the age of 15 and always planned of going onto study at university. Being able to study GCSEs at home put her on track to achieving that. She said: "It’s down to NEC that I was able to go to university and study the subject I have loved since being a child. I’m sure my life would have taken a very different course without home education.”

Whatever your reasons for study, rest assured that you don’t have to be at school to study a GCSE. If you’re inspired by any of our students to enrol on a GCSE this Autumn, get in touch with NEC’s expert course advice team. We’ll be happy to help.

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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

How will I get my A level results?

Studying at home

The summer holidays are a time to kick back and relax. Until this week, that is, if you’re waiting for A level results! A question we’re asked frequently at this time of year is ‘how will I get my A level results?’ We’ve put together some information to answer this and some other questions ahead of results day this Thursday.

I sat exams at an NEC partnership centre, how will I get my results?

The centre will email your results directly to you so keep an eye on your inbox. On rare occasions the email might go into your spam file, so check there if you haven’t received anything.

I sat exams at a centre that I arranged privately.

You should contact them directly to find out how they will send results to you. It might be by email, or by post.

I’m worried I didn’t do as well as I hoped. Will I still get my place at university?

If you’re worried about whether you’ll get into university with your grades or you need to know if you can re-sit your exams if you don’t get the results you want there are lots of places to go for information. UCAS is just one example of where to go, they will be able to help answer any questions you may have about getting into University.

I am feeling really anxious, any tips?

Look after yourself. It’s important to try to get a good night’s sleep but if you’re struggling to drift off try reading a book you really enjoy to take your mind off the next day. You could even try doing a bit of meditation to help relax your mind and body. There are some great apps out there like Headspace and Calm that guide you through letting go of your thoughts and focussing on deep breathing.

I’m away on results day, what can I do?

If you’re results are being sent by email, make sure you know where you get internet access wherever you will be. If you need to collect your results, let the school or college know that you’ll be away and see if you can arrange for someone to collect them on your behalf.

What are the pass grades for A levels?

A* to E grades are a pass.  A* to C grades are considered a good pass.

Will I get my certificate on results day?

Your certificate will be sent to you in November, on results day you’ll receive your statement of results.

What next?
Whatever the outcome, you’ve worked so hard getting this far so why not arrange a night in with friends or go out for dinner to celebrate finishing your A levels. Studying for any qualification takes a lot of steam and motivation which is why you should be proud of getting through it.

We wish you all the best of luck for your exam results and hope you get the grades you want. If you’re an NEC student please share your results with us by emailing

Let us know how you get on and what’s next in your learning journey at @NationalExtensionCollege on Facebook or @NEC_Home_Study on Twitter #ProudNECStudent

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