School's out! It's time to start making plans for your future...

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The Independent Online

A very warm, sunny welcome to 2006's edition of Exam Results. Much like a bulging picnic hamper it's packed with lots of goodies, but with the added benefit of not having to put up with any wasps! Now that you've finished school there's a lot to think about in terms of your career and what you want to do with your life, and hopefully this magazine will help you make your mind up. We might not have all the answers but we've certainly got a lot of them!

Our Higher Education section has advice and information on Clearing, budgeting and getting help at university, not to mention an interview with the all-new Lara Croft, Karima Adebibe. Anything she can't tell you about surviving in the real world probably isn't worth knowing!

The Course File includes an introduction to some of the more unusual subjects that you could study, including puppetry and fishery studies (they're separate courses by the way; they don't come as a joint honours degree!). There's also information on what an HND entails and the lowdown on degrees in science, history and archaeology, zoology and business. Should be enough there to keep you going!

If you fancy taking a break from education then you'll find a section for that too: everything you need to know about studying or volunteering abroad is in our Time Out section. A gap year's a great way to see the world, meet new people and gain a nice little addition to your CV, so it's well worth considering if you think it's something you'd like to do.

Your final port of call where Exam Results is concerned is the Career File. If you haven't done as well at A-level as you expected then don't worry. Instead, have a glance at our article about the options available to you. One of the alternatives is to do an apprenticeship and there's a separate section on that very subject for you to get your teeth into.

By now you'll hopefully know how to dress yourself! But if you've never been to an interview before then take a look at our article about what to wear for that very occasion.

With the inside story on what careers in construction and accountancy entail to polish things off, you've got all the revision notes you need on where to go next, now that school is all done and dusted!