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    Hello,

    Recently I decided to apply for an access to science course after dwelling on the idea for some time. (Hoping to eventually study Environmental Sciences) However,
    I'm really worrying over certain aspects of it.

    One of the worries I have is not taking in all the information. From what I read the course is incredibly full on and I worry that I could easily miss information, misinterpret information or outright not understand the information. Are the teachers clear and concise? Will they help you out if you're struggling or do they just let you get on with it so to speak.

    Another worry I have is the suitability tests, I've read from some people on here that It's incredibly simple stuff, in fact one person linked a similar 'mock' test which I passed with no difficulties. On the other hand though, I have heard some people say the tests are somewhat difficult and have advised revision.

    The BIG worry I have is my GCSE's, or rather, lack thereof. I'm wanting to take the equivalent of GCSE's alongside my access course (If I get in) however I'm worried about how universities stand on this. Does anyone know if generally speaking, universities accept the equivalent of GCSE's (Adult literacy and Numeracy)

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and an extended thank you to almost everyone who posts on this forum, if it weren't for reading the countless experiences of others on access courses I wouldn't have had the courage apply at all!

    CourtJester :jester:
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    Apologies for my awful punctuation.

    CourtJester :jester:
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    As most Access courses already contain level 2 English and Maths (GCSE level / equivalent), I would say there is little point doing separate level 2 courses alongside the Access course because you will just be duplicating the work. Some universities will not accept level 2 equivalents and insist on actual GCSEs - although this is unlikely. You should check with the universities you intend to apply to now, and if they do want actual GCSEs it would be worth taking those alongside the Access course.

    If you are doing Access to Science then obviously you will be covering level 3 (A-level equivalent) Science subjects. However, they will start you off slowly with easier stuff and then move on quite rapidly. You absolutely MUST ask questions straight away if you don't understand something, because the course moves on in a hurry and the same subjects are not covered twice.

    Keeping on top of the work load is the key to success in my opinion. Not having any previous qualifications should not be a barrier, as long as you stay motivated and work hard.

    At my college you will get help if you are working hard but still struggling, and the teachers are generally helpful and dedicated to getting everyone through the course. Don't expect to be spoon fed and have your hand held throughout though, a bit of independant learning is required to do well......... (At my college the number of people who seem totally unable to find solutions to very simple problems by doing 5mins of google or library research is shocking!. The first response to any problem is *I can't do it* and *ask / blame the teacher* - these people struggle).
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    (Original post by BigV)
    As most Access courses already contain level 2 English and Maths (GCSE level / equivalent), I would say there is little point doing separate level 2 courses alongside the Access course because you will just be duplicating the work. Some universities will not accept level 2 equivalents and insist on actual GCSEs - although this is unlikely. You should check with the universities you intend to apply to now, and if they do want actual GCSEs it would be worth taking those alongside the Access course.

    Thank you for the quick response, it has certainly put my mind at ease about GCSE's and I will contact the Universities in regards to whether or not they accept GCSE equivalents.

    If you are doing Access to Science then obviously you will be covering level 3 (A-level equivalent) Science subjects. However, they will start you off slowly with easier stuff and then move on quite rapidly. You absolutely MUST ask questions straight away if you don't understand something, because the course moves on in a hurry and the same subjects are not covered twice.

    I'm nervous around new people, I fear asking questions would make me look stupid and alienate me from the rest of the group however I'm sure this is something I can work on.

    Keeping on top of the work load is the key to success in my opinion. Not having any previous qualifications should not be a barrier, as long as you stay motivated and work hard.

    Once I get into something I go full on and dedicate all my effort and time to it so I'm sure this won't be a problem.

    At my college you will get help if you are working hard but still struggling, and the teachers are generally helpful and dedicated to getting everyone through the course. Don't expect to be spoon fed and have your hand held throughout though, a bit of independant learning is required to do well......... (At my college the number of people who seem totally unable to find solutions to very simple problems by doing 5mins of google or library research is shocking!. The first response to any problem is *I can't do it* and *ask / blame the teacher* - these people struggle).
    :eek: I don't see how people with that kind of attitude will last on such an intense course!

    Thanks again,

    CourtJester :jester:
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    (Original post by CourtJester)
    I'm nervous around new people, I fear asking questions would make me look stupid and alienate me from the rest of the group however I'm sure this is something I can work on.


    :eek: I don't see people with that kind of attitude will last on such an intense course!

    Thanks again,

    CourtJester :jester:
    Yep, I'm nervous around new people too and I could hardly get a word out the first couple of weeks - it was tough just to acknowledge people by saying 'hey' while waiting for a class. I mean, the whole reason I am doing the Access course is because I had dropped out of school by 14/15 due to a mixture depression, social anxiety and bullying. I'm find some days tough but generally it is going really well.

    If I get really stuck and just cannot bring myself to speak, then I find a good back up plan is to arrive early or stop late for lessons.... that gives me the chance to ask any questions or voice any concerns infront of maybe 3 people rather than the whole group. Alternatively, ask one of the louder members in the group if they understand something, if they do they will almost certainly explain it, if they don't they will probably shout out the question you are too shy to ask!

    At the start of the course many others will also be nervous and it will all be a bit awkward at first. However, after a few weeks the group will settle down and develope a bond/dynamic (whatever you want to call it), and as time goes on you will feel more comfortable and able to get stuck in.

    Just start off small and build up. Don't let a bit of anxiety / shyness hold you back, if I can do it anyone can.
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    That's really unfortunate man, I too have suffered from depression and anxiety (I used to have severe panic attacks if I even left my house and I was on meds for a few years, not anymore though!) I'm guessing that's why I still get nervous in social situations. It's good to know that you are coping with it and that you're doing well.

    Might I ask which course you are doing? Whatever it is I wish you the best of luck with it.

    CourtJester :jester:
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    (Original post by CourtJester)

    One of the worries I have is not taking in all the information. From what I read the course is incredibly full on and I worry that I could easily miss information, misinterpret information or outright not understand the information.
    Yes, this is my worry. Supposing I understand it in the lesson but have forgotton it once I'm at home? How am I going to remember everything when I struggle to remember peoples names? My plan is Google. Sometimes I find stuff easier to read and understand on the internet than I do out of textbooks. Will we be given text books? Or told to buy some?


    (Original post by CourtJester)
    Another worry I have is the suitability tests, I've read from some people on here that It's incredibly simple stuff, in fact one person linked a similar 'mock' test which I passed with no difficulties. On the other hand though, I have heard some people say the tests are somewhat difficult and have advised revision.
    Yeah, I passed that mock test with no difficulties too. How hard the tests are will depend on how easy you find English and Maths at GCSE level. I found the Literacy test easy, I flew through it in ten minutes when the alloted time was twenty and at the end it said I was working at Level 3. It was basic comprehension, spot the spelling mistakes, add punctuation, that type of thing. Easy for me but hard for some. The Maths I really struggled with. As I went through the questions I started to feel sick and shake. We did have some scrap paper but any revision I'd done I had done with my Windows calculator and although logically I know how to do long division and multiplication under those conditions I got panicky. There was also a right handed triangle question where you had to calculate the length of the long side. I had no idea but looked it up afterwards to discover it is really very easy (Side A squared plus side B squared = side C squared). I really like the Bitsize revision site, I'm working my way through the Maths doing the tests and if I don't get them all right I do the revision and activity. If I took the same assesement again next week I would do so much better. Thankfully I reached Level 1 which is what I needed to get to be accepted.

    (Original post by CourtJester)
    The BIG worry I have is my GCSE's, or rather, lack thereof. I'm wanting to take the equivalent of GCSE's alongside my access course (If I get in) however I'm worried about how universities stand on this. Does anyone know if generally speaking, universities accept the equivalent of GCSE's (Adult literacy and Numeracy)
    I think it would depend on the course and university. The most sensible thing would be to look at universities and courses you think you'd like to apply for, check their websites and e-mail the ones that aren't clear. I'm betting that you'll find enough that will accept the access course with equivalents to fill your UCAS form so you want to know who they are so you don't only apply for universities that won't accept it. Our access course offers GCSE equivalents in English and Maths for those who don't have the GCSE or can't provide evidence of it. I'm going to dig deep to try and find my GCSE certificates.

    CourtJester :jester:[/QUOTE]
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    (Original post by CourtJester)
    That's really unfortunate man, I too have suffered from depression and anxiety (I used to have severe panic attacks if I even left my house and I was on meds for a few years, not anymore though!) I'm guessing that's why I still get nervous in social situations. It's good to know that you are coping with it and that you're doing well.

    Might I ask which course you are doing? Whatever it is I wish you the best of luck with it.

    CourtJester :jester:
    I'm doing Access to Computing and I'm hopefully going to be studying Computing at Leicester Uni next year.

    It sounds like we have a very similar backgrounds in some respect. I'm certain I get nervous for exactly the same reason you describe.
    The point is it can be managed and the Access course is the perfect start really. Everyone will be in a similar situation for one reason or another and everyone has the same goal, which makes for a really supportive environment.

    I wouldn't worry about the lack of previous qualifications and the screening tests are usually fairly basic.
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    (Original post by CourtJester)
    Hello,


    Another worry I have is the suitability tests, I've read from some people on here that It's incredibly simple stuff, in fact one person linked a similar 'mock' test which I passed with no difficulties. On the other hand though, I have heard some people say the tests are somewhat difficult and have advised revision.

    CourtJester :jester:
    Hey jest
    i have been accepted on a access course for this september the initial test or assessment seemed to vary i applied at two different colleges one was just a general knowledge test it seemed to me everyone who was applying for any course at the college had to do and the other was a bit more difficult. however none of them where tasking the 1st one was easier but there was quite a bit of work you had to do at home to take to your interview i dont think you will have much problem i also had problems at school and droped out before doing gcse i am not overly bright either but managed both of them. im a maths guy and even the english didnt seem that bad,i got interviews at both colleges but didnt bother to attent the second one as the day after the first interview i got a call offering me a place
    good luck though
    and im sure you will be fine
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    (Original post by CourtJester)
    Hello,

    Recently I decided to apply for an access to science course after dwelling on the idea for some time. (Hoping to eventually study Environmental Sciences) However,
    I'm really worrying over certain aspects of it.

    One of the worries I have is not taking in all the information. From what I read the course is incredibly full on and I worry that I could easily miss information, misinterpret information or outright not understand the information. Are the teachers clear and concise? Will they help you out if you're struggling or do they just let you get on with it so to speak.

    Another worry I have is the suitability tests, I've read from some people on here that It's incredibly simple stuff, in fact one person linked a similar 'mock' test which I passed with no difficulties. On the other hand though, I have heard some people say the tests are somewhat difficult and have advised revision.

    The BIG worry I have is my GCSE's, or rather, lack thereof. I'm wanting to take the equivalent of GCSE's alongside my access course (If I get in) however I'm worried about how universities stand on this. Does anyone know if generally speaking, universities accept the equivalent of GCSE's (Adult literacy and Numeracy)

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and an extended thank you to almost everyone who posts on this forum, if it weren't for reading the countless experiences of others on access courses I wouldn't have had the courage apply at all!

    CourtJester :jester:
    Really don't worry about your current GCSE results and yes you can take level 2 equivalent alongside the access course.
    I'm currently doing an Access course in Engineering and 21 credits is in Maths. 2 of the best students on our course haven't got an A-c in Maths but yet are consistently getting over 90% in Maths assignments and are *expletive* hot on Maths.
    Uni's will ask for a level 2 (A-C) equivalent in English and Maths and if the college/school attend is any good they should be signing you up to course to get you those which run concurrently with the Access course.

    The biggest issue I identified in your messages was this:

    "I too have suffered from depression and anxiety (I used to have severe panic attacks if I even left my house and I was on meds for a few years, not anymore though!) I'm guessing that's why I still get nervous in social situations"

    You really really need to work as a team to get through the course. I know I owe many of my distinctions, especially in Maths, down to a collective goal of finding the answer.
    My last maths assignment (Differential Equations) was ridiculously hard but as a team we managed to cover all the answers and would explain to each other how to work through them.
    I can easily say, the students getting the distinctions are the ones that work in the team ethos. So if you can push yourself to mix with your fellow students it will reflect in the marks you get at the end.
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    (Original post by CourtJester)
    Hello,

    Recently I decided to apply for an access to science course after dwelling on the idea for some time. (Hoping to eventually study Environmental Sciences) However,
    I'm really worrying over certain aspects of it.

    One of the worries I have is not taking in all the information. From what I read the course is incredibly full on and I worry that I could easily miss information, misinterpret information or outright not understand the information. Are the teachers clear and concise? Will they help you out if you're struggling or do they just let you get on with it so to speak.

    Another worry I have is the suitability tests, I've read from some people on here that It's incredibly simple stuff, in fact one person linked a similar 'mock' test which I passed with no difficulties. On the other hand though, I have heard some people say the tests are somewhat difficult and have advised revision.

    The BIG worry I have is my GCSE's, or rather, lack thereof. I'm wanting to take the equivalent of GCSE's alongside my access course (If I get in) however I'm worried about how universities stand on this. Does anyone know if generally speaking, universities accept the equivalent of GCSE's (Adult literacy and Numeracy)

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and an extended thank you to almost everyone who posts on this forum, if it weren't for reading the countless experiences of others on access courses I wouldn't have had the courage apply at all!

    CourtJester :jester:
    Hey, in terms of GCSE's, before I started to apply to Universities, I emailed about thirty! Every one of them said I would need GCSE's in Maths and English - some only wanted the Maths.

    I'm studying English and Maths GCSE's alongside my Access course on Weekends and in the evenings and its definitely feasible. I've managed straight A grades in my English courseworks and my Maths tutor has entered me for the higher tier paper which must be a good sign.

    Definitely email all the Universities regarding the GCSE's. One invaluable peice of advice I can give you if you do enrol at another college for GCSE evening classes in Maths is to purchase the GCSE MATHSWATCH CD for revision. It's much better than using revision books.
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    My college's numeracy and literacy tests weren't too bad. When I phoned up to book it I asked if they could recommend what to read up on and they gave me this website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/. It's different to bitesize and covered all the literacy and numeracy that came up in the test. After a couple of hours cramming the night before I passed the numeracy 21/24 an literacy 22/24. Really wasn't anything to worry about though and I'd definitely recommend that site.
 
 
 
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