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    Hello,

    I'm thinking about getting back into Education - specifically to go to university.

    I'm now 20 years old and will be unemployed when I take-up A-Levels again.

    I stopped school after my first year of A-levels. So, I have 3 AS-Levels at a C grades in Business Studies, Geography and Psychology.

    As there are no colleges around my area that accept over 19s - I'm looking into distance learning and I have a few questions about it.

    1. Am I able to pick-up from where I left off?
    2. My A2 Geography course has fieldwork - which I believe will be difficult to carry out by myself - is it possible to switch exam boards between AS and A2 Levels?
    3. Am I entitled to any funding. I will be 20 years and unemployed at the time I take these.
    4. As I'm looking to go to university. How do distance learning providers generate predicated grades?
    5. Is it just the normal A-level exams with distance learning, or are there other requirements?
    6. Which distance learning providers would you recommend?
    7. What are the tutors like? Is it mostly by yourself or do you feel like the tutor is there with you all the way?

    Thanks,

    Alex
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    I can only answer with regards to the Open University as that's who I'm studying with myself, but I'm sure other distance providers will offer similar if not the same things.

    1. Am I able to pick-up from where I left off?
    They will normally start everyone off on the same footing at a relatively easy level to allow people with different levels of education to all get to the same point.

    2. My A2 Geography course has fieldwork - which I believe will be difficult to carry out by myself - is it possible to switch exam boards between AS and A2 Levels?
    There are usually in-person tutorials and day schools. It's not compulsory to attend these but they are very useful and a good opportunity to meet some of the other students on your course.

    3. Am I entitled to any funding. I will be 20 years and unemployed at the time I take these.
    You can take out a Student Loan to pay for your tuition fees, and the OU also offers financial support for students on certain benefits and/or with disabilities.

    4. As I'm looking to go to university. How do distance learning providers generate predicated grades?
    Their grade boundaries are set out so you can see them for yourself. With the OU you have to achieve over 40% to pass; 70% or above will get you a 2:1; 85% or above will get you a 1st/Distinction.

    5. Is it just the normal A-level exams with distance learning, or are there other requirements?
    The OU don't have any requirements as such to study with them. They accept people from all levels of education background.

    6. Which distance learning providers would you recommend?
    I can wholeheartedly recommend the OU for the standard of work done and support in all aspects of study.

    7. What are the tutors like? Is it mostly by yourself or do you feel like the tutor is there with you all the way?
    It is mostly by yourself but if you have any questions at all your tutor is only a phone call or e-mail away.

    Hope this helps.
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    Hi Alex,

    Have you heard of the NEC (national extension college)? They offer A Levels in sections so I'm nearly 100% sure you can just go back and do your A2 with them. They are a distance learning college who offer A levels and tuition, via email, phone calls and letters. When you take up a course with the NEC they will assign you to a tutor in the subject you're taking and 18 months of their services, course materials etc sent to your home. From searching the internet (a lot) they seem to have the best reputation for distance learning A Levels. Also OOL (Oxford Open Learning) have good reviews too. I am hoping to take up three A Levels with them soon, they are also reasonably priced as I found a lot of other colleges charging 1000's for just one A Level. (NEC cost around 400£ per subject, will be cheaper if you're just taking A2, £200-300). They also guarantee spot in one of their 5 exam centres that they are partnered with, although exam prices are not included with your course tuition fees! Each exam will cost between 80-100£ to sit them. I would encourage you to email them with any questions or worries you might have before signing up with them. I have emailed them with all my concerns and they have been very fast at replying (within the same day usually) and have made me feel confident in achieving my A Levels with them. I wish you all the best in your studies and if you do decide to go with the NEC drop me a message and maybe we can keep in touch through our distance learning! As it can be a daunting thing to go back and do on your own.

    Katie


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    (Original post by katie191)
    Hi Alex,

    Have you heard of the NEC (national extension college)? They offer A Levels in sections so I'm nearly 100% sure you can just go back and do your A2 with them. They are a distance learning college who offer A levels and tuition, via email, phone calls and letters. When you take up a course with the NEC they will assign you to a tutor in the subject you're taking and 18 months of their services, course materials etc sent to your home. From searching the internet (a lot) they seem to have the best reputation for distance learning A Levels. Also OOL (Oxford Open Learning) have good reviews too. I am hoping to take up three A Levels with them soon, they are also reasonably priced as I found a lot of other colleges charging 1000's for just one A Level. (NEC cost around 400£ per subject, will be cheaper if you're just taking A2, £200-300). They also guarantee spot in one of their 5 exam centres that they are partnered with, although exam prices are not included with your course tuition fees! Each exam will cost between 80-100£ to sit them. I would encourage you to email them with any questions or worries you might have before signing up with them. I have emailed them with all my concerns and they have been very fast at replying (within the same day usually) and have made me feel confident in achieving my A Levels with them. I wish you all the best in your studies and if you do decide to go with the NEC drop me a message and maybe we can keep in touch through our distance learning! As it can be a daunting thing to go back and do on your own.

    Katie


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    Hey Katie,

    I appreciate the response. I've been researching different learning providers since I posted this topic and I've actually come to the same conclusion as you did. I have actually already contacted them with all my questions and they were very helpful. I will be enrolling shorty as a result - starting in September following the normal academic year structure. I will have 6 exams to do so I just need to decide whether to take these at an external exam centre or to go to one of their exam centres.

    Thanks,

    Alex
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    Hey I too am about to embark on A levels with NEC, History, English lit and Sociology.

    when do you plan on taking your exams? I was hoping to take them next summer with the intention of going to university in the September, however ive been made to think that 3 A levels in 1 year is abit optimistic?
 
 
 
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