Taking GCSEs as an External Candidate...

#1
...Basically, I do not have any GCSEs. I do, however, have a 2:1 BSc (Hons) International Relations with a 1st Class Distinction in dissertation. I got to University via an Access to HE course which, I've come to realise, means Jack Sh*t to the Army for some reason. The very unhelpful RLC recruiter tried explaining to me that GCSEs are of higher value than a degree, but that's another story in itself... Therefore, it seems that I have no choice but to sit 5 GCSEs.

My queries are: has anyone had any experience with sitting GCSEs as an external candidate? Do you think it's realistic to sit 5 GCSEs before this Summer is out? I've contacted AQA and my local college, but have heard F-all back.


Cheers.
 
#2
Try going above the recruiter's head, as usually they have **** all idea of what they're actually talking about. Ring up army recruiting HQ and explain your story to them, you might get some relief there, as each case is assessed on its individual merits.
 
#4
Try going above the recruiter's head, as usually they have **** all idea of what they're actually talking about. Ring up army recruiting HQ and explain your story to them, you might get some relief there, as each case is assessed on its individual merits.
Thanks. Do you mean to ring the Int Corps recruiting team themselves, or someone else?
 
#8
I'm fairly sure that a 2:1 will trump a few GCSEs particularly since they can now be passed with a combination of coursework and multiple re-sits of exams until you achieve the grade you want. Alternatively, there is probably a nice chap in Delhi who will knock out a handful of A* s in your chosen subjects for a small fee.
 
#9
I'm fairly sure that a 2:1 will trump a few GCSEs particularly since they can now be passed with a combination of coursework and multiple re-sits of exams until you achieve the grade you want. Alternatively, there is probably a nice chap in Delhi who will knock out a handful of A* s in your chosen subjects for a small fee.
Honestly, when the recruiter said that there was no way and that I'd need GCSEs, I nearly sh*t myself with disbelief. How could a few GCSEs outweigh a bloody degree!?!?! This is truly an insane policy and seems to represent a "tick box" culture...

I would have been better off getting my GCSEs and not doing my degree.
 
#10
Honestly, when the recruiter said that there was no way and that I'd need GCSEs, I nearly sh*t myself with disbelief. How could a few GCSEs outweigh a bloody degree!?!?! This is truly an insane policy and seems to represent a "tick box" culture...

I would have been better off getting my GCSEs and not doing my degree.
No, you would not be better off with GCSE's and no degree. Don't be daft. Stop complaining, and get this sorted.

Speak to the INT CORPS recruiting team, as has been mentioned. They will either have the answer or will be able to find it. Remember not to rely only on the degree itself, as it's possible your Access To Higher Education qualification can be used in the stead of GCSE's or A-Levels.

Don't get gobby with anyone on the phone or in the Careers Office about the validity of your qualifications over those required on paper. Don't approach the topic with exasperation. Explain the situation and ask politely if they're aware of a precedent, or if they know of anyone who might.
 
#11
i'm sure common sense will prevail when you get to speak to somebody sensible. i was once looking into something which required a degree, but i explained that i had jumped straight from GCSE / O level study to doing a Masters, without going through the standard A level / Bachelors degree route. they said a masters would do fine, even though the black letter of the law said i had to have a bachelors degree.

i assume you're going for the INT CORPS? if not, let me know and i'll move it somewhere more appropriate for you.
 
#13
No, you would not be better off with GCSE's and no degree. Don't be daft. Stop complaining, and get this sorted.

Speak to the INT CORPS recruiting team, as has been mentioned. They will either have the answer or will be able to find it. Remember not to rely only on the degree itself, as it's possible your Access To Higher Education qualification can be used in the stead of GCSE's or A-Levels.

Don't get gobby with anyone on the phone or in the Careers Office about the validity of your qualifications over those required on paper. Don't approach the topic with exasperation. Explain the situation and ask politely if they're aware of a precedent, or if they know of anyone who might.
Noted and taken on board.

Cheers
 
#14
i'm sure common sense will prevail when you get to speak to somebody sensible. i was once looking into something which required a degree, but i explained that i had jumped straight from GCSE / O level study to doing a Masters, without going through the standard A level / Bachelors degree route. they said a masters would do fine, even though the black letter of the law said i had to have a bachelors degree.

i assume you're going for the INT CORPS? if not, let me know and i'll move it somewhere more appropriate for you.
I am indeed going for the Int Corps. And I too hope that common sense will prevail.

Cheers
 
#16
Although the degree is indeed higher than GCSEs it is a specialist qualification... ie GCSE shows a broader (yet not as deep) knowledge.

If the OP wanted to become a teacher what would he ahve to do? That's right, sit a GCSE Maths and English exam and get higher than C.

I had to do exactly the same. Left school with a D in English, so had to retake, despite having a 2:1 BSc (Hons), no chance of starting a PGCE without.

I think the recruiter is being mis-quoted when it is said they said the GCSEs are higher value, unless they were specifically on about the rcruitment process.

If the HE Access course isn't recognised by the Forces, then it isn't recognised. The criterian and sylabi need to be checked an dput on the 'OK' list, the same for Unis and other work areas. You could have rocked up at McDonalds, and if they didn't know the course, they'd have said so.
 
#17
I think the recruiter is being mis-quoted when it is said they said the GCSEs are higher value, unless they were specifically on about the rcruitment process.
There's no misquote. The guy literally argued that GCSEs are better than degrees for employment purposes (in terms of being of greater value), while degrees are "just certificates to say you can learn." Needless to say, I was rather baffled by this.
 
#18
External entry as a GCSE candidate is actually quite expensive. I think it was about £200 when I looked at doing it through an adult education college for a course.

Some employers get funny, and it becomes your GCSEs and then your A-Level results rather than your degree (as long as you had a 2:1).

They like it for fast streamers (minimum of so many UCAS points and so forth), you know; the sort of ultra-bright high performer who has brilliant exam results throughout their lives.

Hopefully they won't lock themselves in their kit bag at some point (loads of brains, no common sense, etc, etc).
 
#19
There's no misquote. The guy literally argued that GCSEs are better than degrees for employment purposes (in terms of being of greater value), while degrees are "just certificates to say you can learn." Needless to say, I was rather baffled by this.
Well, they do say that the degree subject doesn't matter so much as the degree (ie it does say you can learn and digest data).

As I said, your problem is you obviously need GCSEs or similar for your intended job. The 'similar' is where it is going wrong, because your equivalent 'similar' is obviously not recognised/acredited by the MoD.

You need to either 'go higher' to find out if it is just your recruiter who doesn't recognis them, or if they are indeed 'not worth the paper they are writtn on' you need to sit some GCSEs... easy enough. I just booked my exam with the local Colege.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top