Congrats — you’ve made it through unscathed. You’ve just ended the chapter on five years of walking the same hallways, attending the same assembly and ignoring the same teachers every day.

Maybe you’ve had enough. Or perhaps you’re more of a multipotentialite, but your current school forbids mixing subjects such as Physics and Drama.

Whatever your reasons, you’ve been toying with the idea of jumping ship. Just choose wisely, young Padawan — your CAPE scores could be at risk.

Don’t be hasty

Before you start begging at the door of every principal’s office in town, take a second to think: Are you running to a better option, or away from an undesirable one? Research your options — including your current school — before you decide to run out screaming. Ask for a meeting with your form teacher/dean/principal to explore your best options, and try auditing your new choices as well. The key is to avoid trading the best option for an experience that could end up as a disappointment.

Find a good fit

Want a purely academic sixth-form experience? Or would you prefer an environment that allows you to take on extracurricular responsibilities that will look great on university applications, like a house captaincy? Be honest with yourself about what you want — two years is a long time to be stuck in an experience you hate.

Stay open

Subject groupings for CAPE vary from school to school, depending on how an institution does their timetables. You may not be able to find your dream combo at one school. That’s OK — A-level subjects can be done outside of a single school setting. If you’re great with time management, consider taking one of your subjects at a private institution.

Focus on your passions

Some people have always known what they wanted to be in life. The rest of us are a bit more undecided. Your best option is ultimately the school that allows you to pursue your passions — after all, we tend to apply ourselves more to the things we love. Research everything you can about your proposed career path and see how it aligns with the decisions you’re making now.

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