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Retaking a GCSE - Help and Advice please

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    Hello everybody!

    I'm writing this in this forum as I don't think the GCSE forum is the right place in all honesty.

    Basically, to sum it up, I really want to re-take my GCSE in Maths, as I only got a D in it when I did it in 2001.

    The reason I want to do it is because although I have a degree (2.1) - I graduated last September, many of the graduate jobs/schemes that i've applied for are asking for a minimum of Grade C in GCSE Maths and English. Luckily I have the English GCSE.

    I did an Access course in 2008 which involved the GCSE Maths Equivalent but employers are not interested in that and prefer to have the real GCSE. The reason I got a D in GCSE Maths way back in 2001 was a family tragedy that occured which really affected my last year in school and I know that I am capable (with some hardcore revision too) of doing better. In my degree we covered a lot of Maths and I found those modules were my favourite.

    Anyway, I really want to study at home for a GCSE and take the exam at a college or something but have no idea about how to do it. Also, I realise that the current GCSE exams are coming up pretty soon and I may have missed the deadline for applying this summer? But I really don't want to have to wait until next summer to take it as it will have been 2 years since I graduated. I am applying for many graduate jobs that havn't asked for GCSE results too but I don't want to fall if I ever got to the interview stage or something and they picked up on it.

    Does anyone have any idea of what the best solution is for me? How to apply? etc.

    I do think it's pretty ridiculous that I have a degree but fair enough my GCSE Maths (even though it was 10 years ago) isn't up to scratch. Help please
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    Hiya

    I'm doing mine at the moment

    I decided to go with a company as I though it would be the best step; getting help whenever I needed it. However, I feel like I have just about wasted £220!

    I am very grateful for the advice I have received but in all honesty, it's mainly been self-study.

    I can tell you exactly what books to get that will help & what course to take where there is no coursework required.

    The course I'm taking is split into 2 exams which I'm taking in January (you can sit them Jan or June).

    Would you like the links to what books I have used & details of the courses etc? I have a LOT of info :lol: :lol:


    I wholeheartedly believe that paying anyone is a waste of time, it's very easy to teach yourself with the material available x
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    Yes please that would be brilliant. Thank you.
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    No worries

    You've obviously studied at a higher level already and wont need the basic stuff, but I'll write a list of everything I've used so far that's helped, no matter how lame :lol: :lol: I'll let you know what I've found particularly helpful etc.


    The course is AQA's 4365.

    Course specification.

    Private Candidate info.

    List of centres that may take private candidates (need to ring round - you have to do this even with a tutor )

    Resources:

    Books:


    The first is really to make sure you remember all the foundations of maths (was a lot bloody more than I remembered :lol: I remembered the hard stuff, it was this basic stuff that threw me!). The second book is very good for explanations etc. They both have answers in the back.

    CD-Roms (these are fantastic!! Best help so far.):


    I started with the green one (foundation) first then moved onto the brown (higher) one. These are best to use in conjunction with the books & anything you struggle on, great to just watch too & they have a little test at the end. Really cannot recommend them enough.

    Websites:


    I'm sure you're familiar with the last one :lol: It really does help sometimes though

    The ixl one is very, very good but you only get a certain amount of free turns a day. Inexpensive to sign up tho, far less than an online tutor



    January 2012 past paper.
    So you can see what kind of questions are asked really. If you Google 'AQA past papers' or 'AQA 4365 past papers' etc. you should come across quite a lot of them


    I'm being sent some past papers soon :rolleyes: I'll copy them all & email them to you once I get them & anything else 'useful' my tutor decides to send

    Really hope this helps & if you need anything else then just give me a shout x
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    Thank you so much for your help. Really appreciate it. The only thing i'm worried about is the "Private Candidate Info" form as i'm not sure who I can get to sign it on my behalf. I guess I could ask my old University Tutor but I'm unsure they're willing to provide their home address on the form. Ah, this is so complicated
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    (Original post by ColdCase)
    Thank you so much for your help. Really appreciate it. The only thing i'm worried about is the "Private Candidate Info" form as i'm not sure who I can get to sign it on my behalf. I guess I could ask my old University Tutor but I'm unsure they're willing to provide their home address on the form. Ah, this is so complicated

    If you have a driving licence or passport then you don't need to fill it out I only realised this by accident.

    It states:

    This form must be completed on behalf of candidates who are not known personally to the staff of the
    accommodating centre and who do not possess a current, valid passport or driving licence with
    photograph.
    On another page it states:

    You must make your entry in person at the centre and be identified by the Head of the centre by one of the
    following procedures. Where appropriate, you must agree to the arrangements for identifying those
    candidates wearing religious clothing, such as a veil, as described in the JCQ Instructions for conducting
    examinations (available from www.jcq.org.uk).

    Either

    (a) If you are known personally to the staff of the accommodating centre, no further action needs
    to be taken to prove identification at this stage, provided that you can be identified by the
    Invigilator at the beginning of each exam, including any speaking and practical exams.
    or

    (b) If you are not known personally to the staff of the accommodating centre, but have a current
    and valid passport or driving licence incorporating a photograph, you should show this to the
    Head of the centre at the time of making your entry. No further action needs to be taken to
    prove identification when your entry is made but you must produce your passport or driving
    licence for inspection by the Invigilator at the beginning of each exam session, including any
    speaking and practical exams.


    or

    (c) If you are not known personally to the staff of the accommodating centre and do not have a
    current, valid passport or driving licence incorporating a photograph, then the following
    procedure must be adopted:

    (i) you must obtain two passport-sized photographs taken at the same time in the last 12
    months.

    (ii) you must take one of the photographs to someone who knows you and who is in one
    of the following categories:
    • the Head of an educational establishment
    • a medical practitioner
    • a minister of religion
    • a magistrate
    • a solicitor
    • a bank manager
    • your employer.


    This person must witness the photograph by signing the reverse side and must also
    complete and sign the Private Candidate Identification Form, which is included in the
    appendices at the back of this booklet.

    (iii) you must take the completed Private Candidate Identification Form, the witnessed
    photograph and the second photograph to the accommodating centre. The Head of
    the centre will keep the Private Candidate Identification Form and the photographs so
    that the Invigilator can confirm your identity at the start of each exam session,
    including any speaking and practical exams.
    So you should be fine if you have the right I.D.

    Hope this helps x
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    Brilliant I have a Driving Licence and Passport. I'm going to download all the forms now, and see whether I can make it this June.
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    Another quesiton, whats the difference between Foundation Tier and Higher Tier? What should I be doing?
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    Foundation you can get grades G-C & Higher tier you can get grades C-A*

    Up to you which one you want to take, just be aware that you can't get above a C on foundation but if you don't get at least C on higher you will get a U x
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    Brilliant, thank you. Also another dumb question, but i'm looking at the "AQA-GCSE-PRIVCAND.PDF" and it states 2 different types of Maths GCSE.

    First is Mathematics (4360) which is in 3 Units; Statistics and Numbers, Number and Algebra, Geometry and Algebra.

    The other is Mathematics Linear (4365) which lists two exams (Calc and Non Calc).

    What is the difference between them and which one should I be looking to apply for?
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    It's the latter AQA 4365

    2 papers & no coursework.

    If you do manage to get to sit the exam in June then be prepared to pay a LOT on fees as AQA doubles the price (and some) after February as you'll be classed as a late candidate. I tried calling every centre & even ones not listed, but there was no space anywhere and only one place that even accepted mature students!

    I was willing to pay the extra and I started looking in March, but was too late. You need to apply at the end of September for January ones, think they're quiet around that time.

    Still, you can but try, good luck
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    Hi there. I am doing the linear higher paper in June. It has been self study ( I got some books off the internet) I understand totally why you want GCSE Maths. I too am doing the access course ast the moment but, the fact that I got a D at GCSE maths 12 years ago has set me back. Job wise and university wise it is essential.

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll do great!
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    Thank you, I've read a few of the AQA booklets and am going to phone up a few colleges on Monday to see if they will accept me (I know i've gone way past the deadline though, and apparently the don't like 'mature' students coming into schools as private candidates). I believe the next opportunity is November though?

    I'll be so relieved once I get the C that I desperatly need and can start applying for more Graduate jobs. I never thought after I finished Uni last year that I would have to go back to college to re-take a GCSE.
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    (Original post by ColdCase)
    Thank you, I've read a few of the AQA booklets and am going to phone up a few colleges on Monday to see if they will accept me (I know i've gone way past the deadline though, and apparently the don't like 'mature' students coming into schools as private candidates). I believe the next opportunity is November though?

    I'll be so relieved once I get the C that I desperatly need and can start applying for more Graduate jobs. I never thought after I finished Uni last year that I would have to go back to college to re-take a GCSE.
    No problem at all Glad I could help.

    It used to be November, but from 2012 it changed to January; I wasn't very happy about that myself to be honest. Can't wait to get it done & out of the way

    Good luck anyway chicken; I really hope it all works out for you! It may even help your applications if you state that you are currently working towards your Maths GCSE pass - explain on your CV (or equivalent) that you have a level 2 already, but are currently trying to improve your CV with a GCSE. You never know

    If you ever need any help then just give me a shout, I'm always here x
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    Not sure if SweetiePie82 comes on here anymore, but I thought i'd let you know that I'm due to re-take the GCSE in two weeks time. Very nervous and not sure if I have got my head around it all (I keep forgetting the most simplest of things).

    Hopefully i'll get that C that I desperately need

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