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    (Original post by oxymoronic)
    Maybe its time to start?

    Your parents aren't going to able to drive you around for the rest of your life so at some stage or other you need to learn how to use public transport and feel comfortable with it. Perhaps now is the time to start, as otherwise you're going to come up against this same issue when you're considering universities. If you're reluctant to even go into Liverpool on public transport, which university do you realistically think you would actually be studying at? Even Chester is probably going to be out of the question.

    Learning to use public transport is even more pertinent if you feel you might not be able to drive, although I would recommend considering getting a medical assessment to find out if/when you might be able to start learning, as this will help you forward plan.
    I suppose you right; I’m actually really upset with myself right now too. RE public transport well yer just my parents are really protective and you right I suppose I need to think this all though properly I mean I was basically thinking id be limited to Liverpool if I ever went to uni anyway and that’s not the best way to go about life is it, I’m clearly immature. To be honest I don’t want to ever drive after doing “drive survive” at college it’s really put me off even if I could.
    As for access courses there seems to be a limited range where I live and any I am interested in still say 5 A to C or require you to be working in the field or recommend it. That’s all I have to say for now I just don’t know what to do anymore sort of adding another year on redo GCSE’s and I’m not sure I could not get bored with it. I am just really angry and upset with myself right now, ever since being bullied I’ve always lived on “well at least I have my grades/qualifications” clearly while it’s been put to me that my college qualifications aren’t worthless, they only account for 40 ucas points and I’m not looking at anything vocationally. Its official world my life is screwed. Sob. I’m now even more worried than I was before I started this thread I don’t see I’m going to find any interesting access courses “locally” or that id even have the drive or confidence to gain success yet I hate myself for not being in university. So access courses not looking like too good an option retake GCSE’s even if its bores me to hell? Sorry for making this a long winded partial sob again I just find it hard to talk like this with my family and I just feel anger at the college, **** with myself. To clarify id be able to start using public transport to be clear I meant would need an assessment before I could even think of learning to drive.
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    (Original post by Sylar2010)
    I suppose you right; I’m actually really upset with myself right now too. RE public transport well yer just my parents are really protective and you right I suppose I need to think this all though properly I mean I was basically thinking id be limited to Liverpool if I ever went to uni anyway and that’s not the best way to go about life is it, I’m clearly immature. To be honest I don’t want to ever drive after doing “drive survive” at college it’s really put me off even if I could.
    As for access courses there seems to be a limited range where I live and any I am interested in still say 5 A to C or require you to be working in the field or recommend it. That’s all I have to say for now I just don’t know what to do anymore sort of adding another year on redo GCSE’s and I’m not sure I could not get bored with it. I am just really angry and upset with myself right now, ever since being bullied I’ve always lived on “well at least I have my grades/qualifications” clearly while it’s been put to me that my college qualifications aren’t worthless, they only account for 40 ucas points and I’m not looking at anything vocationally. Its official world my life is screwed. Sob. I’m now even more worried than I was before I started this thread I don’t see I’m going to find any interesting access courses “locally” or that id even have the drive or confidence to gain success yet I hate myself for not being in university. So access courses not looking like too good an option retake GCSE’s even if its bores me to hell? Sorry for making this a long winded partial sob again I just find it hard to talk like this with my family and I just feel anger at the college, **** with myself. To clarify id be able to start using public transport to be clear I meant would need an assessment before I could even think of learning to drive.
    Why don't you find an FE/6th form college that will let you take gcses next year? A lot of FE colleges have a variety of students, from sixth formers to mature students, so it'd be a good atmosphere and would be a safe step between being completely with adult learners and completely with 6th formers (as you'll be 20 you will probably have things in common with both groups of people).

    Did you retake Maths and English at your old college? I can't understand why they wouldn't have made you retake them.

    But looking at the wirral website I understand why you weren't allowed onto the L3 BTEC, as its entry requirements are 5 A*-Cs incl maths and English.

    All the access to HE courses seem to want 5 A*-Cs incl maths and English (and the science one wants a GCSE in Science too. You'd have to ask if your single science GCSE would be ok, they might want double science as all A level courses do and a lot of unis would too.)

    I think your best bet is to contact these colleges via email or phone, and ask if they take students for GCSE retake years (and the cost if they do, it may be govt funded). Then you could retake Maths, English Language, Double Science and maybe 1 other gcse. So you would gain 4 or 5 gcses. Add that to your 3 current gcses and you would have 7 or 8, which is a great foundation for Level 3 study. The wirral place you linked us to does gcse English and Maths. http://wmc.ac.uk/courses/search-cour...34000020127341, it's 3 hours per week in the evening so you could work full or part time too which is brilliant news. The maths link is http://wmc.ac.uk/courses/search-cour...34000020127379 they only do Intermediate maths (so the max you can get is a grade B) but that's still a really good foundation. They also offer GCSE Psychology.

    EDIT - that website says they do drop-in advice sessions which sound perfect! http://wmc.ac.uk/19plus/ - why not take all your certificates to one of those sessions and explain your situation? they seem really friendly and eager to help you.

    And if you get JSA then your courses are free and you just pay exam fees! Obviously it'd be much better if you got a job but at least if you can't find a job at the moment then you can still go to college.
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    I've had a quick look through the website and if you are interested in science I think this is your best bet:

    year 1 - Mon-Weds daytime, pre-access to higher education (science) course (Level 2) http://wmc.ac.uk/courses/search-cour...34000020127385

    plus 6pm-9pm (one day a week) English Language GCSE
    plus 6pm-9pm (one day a week) maths gcse

    So the total time = equivalent to 4 days a week which is perfectly ok timewise.

    Year 2:

    Access to HE diploma (science), L3 qualification.

    ------------

    The maths gcse course started last week so if you go in tomorrow they may be able to put you on that course. That would mean you could start that next week + get a job, and by July this year you could have your maths gcse and some work experience Then you would do 2 years at college (and working part-time too if you want) and you could start university in September/October 2013.
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    (Original post by angelmxxx)
    Why don't you find an FE/6th form college that will let you take gcses next year? A lot of FE colleges have a variety of students, from sixth formers to mature students, so it'd be a good atmosphere and would be a safe step between being completely with adult learners and completely with 6th formers (as you'll be 20 you will probably have things in common with both groups of people).

    Did you retake Maths and English at your old college? I can't understand why they wouldn't have made you retake them.

    But looking at the wirral website I understand why you weren't allowed onto the L3 BTEC, as its entry requirements are 5 A*-Cs incl maths and English.

    All the access to HE courses seem to want 5 A*-Cs incl maths and English (and the science one wants a GCSE in Science too. You'd have to ask if your single science GCSE would be ok, they might want double science as all A level courses do and a lot of unis would too.)

    I think your best bet is to contact these colleges via email or phone, and ask if they take students for GCSE retake years (and the cost if they do, it may be govt funded). Then you could retake Maths, English Language, Double Science and maybe 1 other gcse. So you would gain 4 or 5 gcses. Add that to your 3 current gcses and you would have 7 or 8, which is a great foundation for Level 3 study. The wirral place you linked us to does gcse English and Maths. http://wmc.ac.uk/courses/search-cour...34000020127341, it's 3 hours per week in the evening so you could work full or part time too which is brilliant news. The maths link is http://wmc.ac.uk/courses/search-cour...34000020127379 they only do Intermediate maths (so the max you can get is a grade B) but that's still a really good foundation. They also offer GCSE Psychology.

    EDIT - that website says they do drop-in advice sessions which sound perfect! http://wmc.ac.uk/19plus/ - why not take all your certificates to one of those sessions and explain your situation? they seem really friendly and eager to help you.

    And if you get JSA then your courses are free and you just pay exam fees! Obviously it'd be much better if you got a job but at least if you can't find a job at the moment then you can still go to college.
    (Original post by angelmxxx)
    I've had a quick look through the website and if you are interested in science I think this is your best bet:

    year 1 - Mon-Weds daytime, pre-access to higher education (science) course (Level 2) http://wmc.ac.uk/courses/search-cour...34000020127385

    plus 6pm-9pm (one day a week) English Language GCSE
    plus 6pm-9pm (one day a week) maths gcse

    So the total time = equivalent to 4 days a week which is perfectly ok timewise.

    Year 2:

    Access to HE diploma (science), L3 qualification.

    ------------

    The maths gcse course started last week so if you go in tomorrow they may be able to put you on that course. That would mean you could start that next week + get a job, and by July this year you could have your maths gcse and some work experience Then you would do 2 years at college (and working part-time too if you want) and you could start university in September/October 2013.
    Nope didn’t retake it only did key skills didn’t even know retaking GCSE’s was an option at college (come on Angel have you not got an idea of my college yet lol the tutors turning up 20mins late for everything was bad enough). English I’d love to give it another crack, Maths I am just not sure I can do but I’d be willing to try. I may well give Wirral Met a ring tomorrow, and or pop down not like I have anything else to do that’s anywhere near as important. Not keen on going the same campus given the 3 years traveling I’ve already done to it with parents. As for intermediate maths a grade B is far better than a D that’s for sure.
    Your say a GCSE retake year would be a really good foundation for level 3 study but I have done a level 3 course in the past and pass it I don’t know maybe it’s the whole points system that’s confusing me it’s all the jargon I don’t know why the people write the specifications and such have to make it all seem so hard it’s all getting to be Greek to me. As for funding I think I’m okay there.
    As for the science course you listed only problems with it are one according to the information it’s already over unless they just haven’t put it up for 2011 yet. And it has the potential to be spilt over two sites but I suppose if the course worked out it could be worked around. Another thing with it is none of the units really jump out at me or is this just a case of bite the bullet and get the qualification?
    As for the GCSE evening courses cool idea just not sure on the practical issues for me and family but I wouldn’t be against it.
    Main worry I have is if I now go down the science route for a year or two I could become just as disillusioned with it as IT that’s what scares me to hell. I mean I use to think I could literally be the next bill gates so I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from committing to a life path in any field just freaks me out.
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    (Original post by Sylar2010)
    Nope didn’t retake it only did key skills didn’t even know retaking GCSE’s was an option at college (come on Angel have you not got an idea of my college yet lol the tutors turning up 20mins late for everything was bad enough). English I’d love to give it another crack, Maths I am just not sure I can do but I’d be willing to try. I may well give Wirral Met a ring tomorrow, and or pop down not like I have anything else to do that’s anywhere near as important. Not keen on going the same campus given the 3 years traveling I’ve already done to it with parents. As for intermediate maths a grade B is far better than a D that’s for sure.
    Your say a GCSE retake year would be a really good foundation for level 3 study but I have done a level 3 course in the past and pass it I don’t know maybe it’s the whole points system that’s confusing me it’s all the jargon I don’t know why the people write the specifications and such have to make it all seem so hard it’s all getting to be Greek to me. As for funding I think I’m okay there.
    As for the science course you listed only problems with it are one according to the information it’s already over unless they just haven’t put it up for 2011 yet. And it has the potential to be spilt over two sites but I suppose if the course worked out it could be worked around. Another thing with it is none of the units really jump out at me or is this just a case of bite the bullet and get the qualification?
    As for the GCSE evening courses cool idea just not sure on the practical issues for me and family but I wouldn’t be against it.
    Main worry I have is if I now go down the science route for a year or two I could become just as disillusioned with it as IT that’s what scares me to hell. I mean I use to think I could literally be the next bill gates so I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from committing to a life path in any field just freaks me out.
    You will need maths grade C or above for jobs and uni so definitely retake it.

    Your level 3 course is only equal to one AS level so yes you did that but for a proper Level 3 course (ie equivalent to 3 a levels) you will definitely need more gcses. Also you will need 5 A*-Cs incl maths and English to get into 99% of universities anyway.

    Also, you have to remember that universities are so oversubscribed that you need more than the bare minimum. You will be competing for places against people who have got 10 good GCSEs at the first attempt and good grades in their ASs and A levels (depending on which unis you apply to, obviously some are a lot more competitive and require much higher grades than others!) So you really shouldn't think 'oh, I have the bare minimum so that's fine.' You need to make your application as good as possible.

    They probably haven't updated their website for all the 2011/12 courses yet, definitely go in and ask them.

    As for science, did you enjoy humanities (history, geography, etc) more at school? Remember science is a HUGELY broad spectrum. This course is really broad, and if you did a gcse in psychology too then at university you could do any of these things (and more!):

    Psychology
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Oceanography
    neuroscience
    geology/earth sciences
    pharmacology
    forensic science
    zoology/animal behaviour/conservation/animal welfare
    ecology/plant conservation
    sport science
    renewable energy
    environmental science/natural hazards
    finance
    accounting
    business management/business studies
    podiatry
    radiography
    occupational therapy
    nursing
    physiotherapy
    engineering foundation year (you do 1 foundation year at uni then are usually guaranteed a place on the proper engineering degree at that uni)

    And a whole host of other degrees that you don't need specific subjects for, including:
    anthropology
    sociology
    geography (at some unis, you may need to take an A or AS level in geography alongside the L3 access course)
    and many, many more courses.
    (may be better doing the access to social science course for them)

    The college also offers a pre-access to health and social care is that's more your thing.
    http://wmc.ac.uk/courses/search-cour...34000084352027

    Or a pre-access to humanities:
    http://wmc.ac.uk/courses/search-cour...34000020127345

    Whichever pre-access course you do, I think you can change subject area for the main (L3) access course anyway so it's not a binding decision!


    Perhaps you could get some work experience? That could really help boost your confidence and help you work out what you want to do. Try getting a job too, because universities will be expecting mature students to have been in work. I know you haven't followed the traditional mature student route as you've been at college, but you want to be able to show them that you haven't spent 4 years just trying new qualifications until you find one you are good at, but that you've been developing other skills at the same time. Getting involved in sport and societies at college is also a great way to develop teamwork/communication skills, etc - maybe you could get involved in the college student council? You'll need something to talk about on your personal statement when you apply to unis. Doesn't have to be a lot, just something/things to show that you don't just sit in the library all day!
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    (Original post by angelmxxx)
    You will need maths grade C or above for jobs and uni so definitely retake it.

    Your level 3 course is only equal to one AS level so yes you did that but for a proper Level 3 course (ie equivalent to 3 a levels) you will definitely need more gcses. Also you will need 5 A*-Cs incl maths and English to get into 99% of universities anyway.

    Also, you have to remember that universities are so oversubscribed that you need more than the bare minimum. You will be competing for places against people who have got 10 good GCSEs at the first attempt and good grades in their ASs and A levels (depending on which unis you apply to, obviously some are a lot more competitive and require much higher grades than others!) So you really shouldn't think 'oh, I have the bare minimum so that's fine.' You need to make your application as good as possible.

    They probably haven't updated their website for all the 2011/12 courses yet, definitely go in and ask them.

    As for science, did you enjoy humanities (history, geography, etc) more at school? Remember science is a HUGELY broad spectrum. This course is really broad, and if you did a gcse in psychology too then at university you could do any of these things (and more!):

    Psychology
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Oceanography
    neuroscience
    geology/earth sciences
    pharmacology
    forensic science
    zoology/animal behaviour/conservation/animal welfare
    ecology/plant conservation
    sport science
    renewable energy
    environmental science/natural hazards
    finance
    accounting
    business management/business studies
    podiatry
    radiography
    occupational therapy
    nursing
    physiotherapy
    engineering foundation year (you do 1 foundation year at uni then are usually guaranteed a place on the proper engineering degree at that uni)

    And a whole host of other degrees that you don't need specific subjects for, including:
    anthropology
    sociology
    geography (at some unis, you may need to take an A or AS level in geography alongside the L3 access course)
    and many, many more courses.
    (may be better doing the access to social science course for them)

    The college also offers a pre-access to health and social care is that's more your thing.
    http://wmc.ac.uk/courses/search-cour...34000084352027

    Or a pre-access to humanities:
    http://wmc.ac.uk/courses/search-cour...34000020127345

    Whichever pre-access course you do, I think you can change subject area for the main (L3) access course anyway so it's not a binding decision!


    Perhaps you could get some work experience? That could really help boost your confidence and help you work out what you want to do. Try getting a job too, because universities will be expecting mature students to have been in work. I know you haven't followed the traditional mature student route as you've been at college, but you want to be able to show them that you haven't spent 4 years just trying new qualifications until you find one you are good at, but that you've been developing other skills at the same time. Getting involved in sport and societies at college is also a great way to develop teamwork/communication skills, etc - maybe you could get involved in the college student council? You'll need something to talk about on your personal statement when you apply to unis. Doesn't have to be a lot, just something/things to show that you don't just sit in the library all day!
    Thanks for your continued input and support I do hope you got my PM. I suppose with hindsight I may have been able to work harder at GCSE but it simply wasn’t drilled into me for whatever reason how important they actually are. Maybe it’s the background I come from, I’m not really sure but for whatever reason it just wasn’t seen as a massive priority or must have by the people around me. I was of the view my GCSE’s where now obsolete after going to college anyway. As for university being completive and oversubscribed I suppose I took what I see on the news or political TV programs, all saying “everyone is now going to university” and “A levels are easier” and so on. Even this forum well a small select snap shot of the population seems to show that false truth you read these forums and every other persons seems to be going to Oxbridge or something. It’s amazing to me how this all pans out I always figured college was supposed to be job training and or university access on my BETEC clearly not and its seems I would be wrong to hold that expectation if I go to university but I hope you can understand why as you said before people find the idea of most of the top accounting jobs going to people who didn’t study accounting strange. I take it a personal statement is like the same for a CV where you sell yourself to them (not a concept I like really but I get it). As for getting a job medical reasons prohibit at this time. However I have done some volunteer work with the conservative party last election. Have not had a chance to go and see the college today due to unavoidable family engagements and not having found the right time to speak to parents. Lastly I am a grate believer that my personal life shouldn’t be a college’s university’s business as long as you do the work and turn up but I guess I’m just going to have to accept something.
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    (Original post by Sylar2010)
    Thanks for your continued input and support I do hope you got my PM. I suppose with hindsight I may have been able to work harder at GCSE but it simply wasn’t drilled into me for whatever reason how important they actually are. Maybe it’s the background I come from, I’m not really sure but for whatever reason it just wasn’t seen as a massive priority or must have by the people around me. I was of the view my GCSE’s where now obsolete after going to college anyway. As for university being completive and oversubscribed I suppose I took what I see on the news or political TV programs, all saying “everyone is now going to university” and “A levels are easier” and so on. Even this forum well a small select snap shot of the population seems to show that false truth you read these forums and every other persons seems to be going to Oxbridge or something. It’s amazing to me how this all pans out I always figured college was supposed to be job training and or university access on my BETEC clearly not and its seems I would be wrong to hold that expectation if I go to university but I hope you can understand why as you said before people find the idea of most of the top accounting jobs going to people who didn’t study accounting strange. I take it a personal statement is like the same for a CV where you sell yourself to them (not a concept I like really but I get it). As for getting a job medical reasons prohibit at this time. However I have done some volunteer work with the conservative party last election. Have not had a chance to go and see the college today due to unavoidable family engagements and not having found the right time to speak to parents. Lastly I am a grate believer that my personal life shouldn’t be a college’s university’s business as long as you do the work and turn up but I guess I’m just going to have to accept something.

    I did get your PM, thanks.

    It's a shame about your gcses but I think you do need to get out of the mindset that qualifications are only to get you to the next stage. To get the most out of university, and all your courses, you need to find something that you enjoy learning about for the sake of it, because it's genuinely interesting for you and you want to know more about it (google intrinsic motivation). Otherwise you will be so bored on your course that you won't do much work and thus don't do well. Also I guess there's a sense of personal pride - to want to be the best you can be. If your best is a D grade that's ok (as long as your aims/objectives for future study are compatible with that), but personally I never understand people who just don't bother, I'm the sort of person who wants to do the best I can, even if it doesn't materially make a difference (eg you only need 80% at A level for a grade A but I would never just aim for 80).

    Re working/personal life, you won't be writing down how you socialise! But the reasoning is twofold. One, degrees are harder than a levels/L3 qualifications. If you had to spend 18 hours a day in a library to get your A levels, you probably won't do very well on your degree.

    Two, university is about independent learning but also about group discussions. You will probably be doing group presentations, lab work will be in pairs, seminars in all subjects are a group of 2-12 students discussing a topic. They need to see you have communication and interpersonal skills.

    Also, they want people who will be really get involved in university life. A large part of university life is maturing and discovering what you are interested in by getting involved with a variety of things, whether that's sport, a society, volunteering, politics, etc. This is essential for getting graduate jobs (as I said before, employers look for evidence that you are good at teamwork, have taken responsibility (eg were treasurer of a society), etc.)

    As I said before, there are many more vocational university courses than there used to be. Even a lot of theoretical courses (eg Business Studies/management) now include a placement year and include a lot of case studies in your academic work.
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    (Original post by angelmxxx)
    I did get your PM, thanks.

    It's a shame about your gcses but I think you do need to get out of the mindset that qualifications are only to get you to the next stage. To get the most out of university, and all your courses, you need to find something that you enjoy learning about for the sake of it, because it's genuinely interesting for you and you want to know more about it (google intrinsic motivation). Otherwise you will be so bored on your course that you won't do much work and thus don't do well. Also I guess there's a sense of personal pride - to want to be the best you can be. If your best is a D grade that's ok (as long as your aims/objectives for future study are compatible with that), but personally I never understand people who just don't bother, I'm the sort of person who wants to do the best I can, even if it doesn't materially make a difference (eg you only need 80% at A level for a grade A but I would never just aim for 80).

    Re working/personal life, you won't be writing down how you socialise! But the reasoning is twofold. One, degrees are harder than a levels/L3 qualifications. If you had to spend 18 hours a day in a library to get your A levels, you probably won't do very well on your degree.

    Two, university is about independent learning but also about group discussions. You will probably be doing group presentations, lab work will be in pairs, seminars in all subjects are a group of 2-12 students discussing a topic. They need to see you have communication and interpersonal skills.

    Also, they want people who will be really get involved in university life. A large part of university life is maturing and discovering what you are interested in by getting involved with a variety of things, whether that's sport, a society, volunteering, politics, etc. This is essential for getting graduate jobs (as I said before, employers look for evidence that you are good at teamwork, have taken responsibility (eg were treasurer of a society), etc.)

    As I said before, there are many more vocational university courses than there used to be. Even a lot of theoretical courses (eg Business Studies/management) now include a placement year and include a lot of case studies in your academic work.
    Good news, just found out Wirral met has an open evening Friday and I could go and see advisors on Friday. That’s if Dad can take me he is normally working about then. I am thinking the best thing to do since I can’t get onto a university foundation degree course right away is to do as suggested and go back and get more and better GCSE results then. Just need a moment when mum and dad are both in, to discuss it not sure how they will take it yes it isn’t there life to lead but it would be supportive and good to have their blessing. I think the motivation will be there since I did them 4 years ago surely I can do better now and when I do at least that should show myself and co that I can improve.
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