Tips for choosing a sixth form

What students study at sixth form, determines what they go on to study at university

What students study at sixth form, determines what they go on to study at university - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Considerations for students when choosing a sixth form so that it works for them.

Many 16-year-olds will wait for their GCSE results before deciding whether to go onto a local college or sixth form that offers the courses they are interested in doing. says that although many teenagers will not want to think too far ahead, what they study in sixth form will determine what they study in university. It is important for your child to think about what career they would like, rather than choose their subjects based on what their friends are doing.

There are several options for school leavers; they can study at their own school's sixth form, the sixth form of another school, or at a sixth form college, which offer a wider range of options and are more relaxed. They also tend to be larger than school sixth forms.

Different to high school, students in sixth form have a lot more freedom, and are required to study independently. also advises: "You are not made to do your home work as much as you are in high school, the teachers expect you to do it because it is to your own advantage. It is crucial that you show dedication, as your grades will be what get you onto the course of your choice at university."

Students can apply to several sixth forms or colleges, which they can either do online, or contact the institution for an application form. If your child is interested in either a popular or specialist course, they should start applying in the autumn term of Year 12. For other courses, students can apply in spring. If your child is continuing on with sixth form at their school, they shouldn't need to apply.

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Open days and information evenings are one of the best ways to get a feel of a school. You will get to see the facilities, meet the staff and some of the students. Many further education colleges also have stands at careers fairs.

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