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    Hi,

    I was wondering if I could trouble you lovely people for advice.
    I've just turned 24 and want to go to university, I've been considering studying with the Open Uni for some time but I dropped out last october due to last minute nerves. I've always wanted to go to a 'proper' uni and have always thought I could get into a good one if I tried hard enough, unfortunately I didn't try too hard at 16 (you don't realise how lucky you are at that age!) and got 3 Bs and a D in subjects I would rather not study at uni now.

    Long story short, I was wondering if anyone else has done or is doing a-levels or fast track a-levels with a distance learning website? I checked to see how much it would be to go to an adult college and it's around about the 15k mark which I of course can't afford but there are courses online for £350 each! The only worry is booking the exams, has anyone got any experience with this either?

    Thanks very much in advance!
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    (Original post by Acquien)
    Long story short, I was wondering if anyone else has done or is doing a-levels or fast track a-levels with a distance learning website? I checked to see how much it would be to go to an adult college and it's around about the 15k mark which I of course can't afford but there are courses online for £350 each! The only worry is booking the exams, has anyone got any experience with this either?

    Thanks very much in advance!
    Hi, I considered doing this last year (had to withdraw from Y13 due to medical reasons). However, most of the distance learning websites have had APPALLING reviews - e.g. no communication, taking weeks to reply to emails. Tbh, if you are savvy about your subjects choices, I really would recommend just buying yourself the textbooks/revision guides, paying to do the examinations externally and perhaps paying for a private tutor once in a while. Distance learning is a huge waste of money imo.

    With regard to examinations, you can just find a local examination centre (a quick google search will usually do it). Make sure to look around though - different examination centres will charge different rates. Make sure to E-mail or telephone the examination centres by early December to ensure that you do not have to pay any late fees. The costs do add up though :rolleyes: Resits at my school were £30 per module.

    Have you considered degrees with Access courses?
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    tnetennba pretty much nailed it. Plus the exam boards provide you with everything from the exam spec, scheme of work, list of resources, past papers, mark schemes, exam reports etc. All learning companies do is charge you for photocopies of stuff AQA and Edexcel provide for free. I did an ICS course YEARS ago and for £400 I got photocopies of a textbook I already owned.

    If you think you might need a tutor then go find a tutor.

    I recently sat my science exams and in the hour before the exam pretty much everyone was trading distance learning war stories.


    (Original post by Acquien)
    Long story short, I was wondering if anyone else has done or is doing a-levels or fast track a-levels with a distance learning website? I checked to see how much it would be to go to an adult college and it's around about the 15k mark which I of course can't afford but there are courses online for £350 each!
    15k? My local college charges £300-400 for each intensive A' Level. Look around, use hot courses, ask your local colleges via email/phone etc. You definitely won't be paying £15k.
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    With effort and concentration you will be amazed at how much you can learn on your own armed with the exam board specification and a decent textbook plus access to other online resources. A lot of self learners in fact find it easier to learn themselves without all the distractions of classrooms and teachers, particularly in subjects like maths. A lot of those folk also discover they can learn much faster and something a school or college learns over a term can be knocked out in a few afternoons. As stated here long distances learning courses are without exception expensive and very poor value for money. Why not enrol at evening classes and self learn as well. ?
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    OP, be warned that this poster (
    (Original post by tnetennba)
    With regard to examinations, you can just find a local examination centre (a quick google search will usually do it).
    ) was quite lucky. It can be hard to find a centre and, as he says, you need to try and sort it out before Christmas. The actual entry deadline for the summer is 21 February but a lot of centres that accept private candidates will close their books way before that. (There are no longer any exams in January in England).

    What subjects do you want to do? Those without coursework are much easier to find a centre for than those with, as, with coursework, you need to find someone to authenticate the coursework as yours.
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    (Original post by tnetennba)

    With regard to examinations, you can just find a local examination centre (a quick google search will usually do it). Make sure to look around though - different examination centres will charge different rates. Make sure to E-mail or telephone the examination centres by early December to ensure that you do not have to pay any late fees. The costs do add up though :rolleyes: Resits at my school were £30 per module.

    Have you considered degrees with Access courses?
    Thanks for this, I thought that it was possible to do them without a tutor/college but I was very worried about it, I'm a huge worrier so not having any 'official' guidance scares me as I'll be constantly worried I'm missing something, but I never really considered it before so I will now. So I can study in my own time so long as I just book the exams in time for that year? I have but I wasn't too sure about access courses either.
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    With effort and concentration you will be amazed at how much you can learn on your own armed with the exam board specification and a decent textbook plus access to other online resources. A lot of self learners in fact find it easier to learn themselves without all the distractions of classrooms and teachers, particularly in subjects like maths. A lot of those folk also discover they can learn much faster and something a school or college learns over a term can be knocked out in a few afternoons. As stated here long distances learning courses are without exception expensive and very poor value for money. Why not enrol at evening classes and self learn as well. ?

    Thanks for this, I've been wondering about studying on my own and this does give me more confidence, booking exams still terrifies me though. That's a good idea I'll have a look for some classes.
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    (Original post by Compost)
    What subjects do you want to do? Those without coursework are much easier to find a centre for than those with, as, with coursework, you need to find someone to authenticate the coursework as yours.
    I wanted to study History (preferably ancient), Psychology, Law and possibly English Literature, I did English Language and Literature at 16 but only got a B.
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    With effort and concentration you will be amazed at how much you can learn on your own armed with the exam board specification and a decent textbook plus access to other online resources. A lot of self learners in fact find it easier to learn themselves without all the distractions of classrooms and teachers, particularly in subjects like maths. A lot of those folk also discover they can learn much faster and something a school or college learns over a term can be knocked out in a few afternoons. As stated here long distances learning courses are without exception expensive and very poor value for money. Why not enrol at evening classes and self learn as well. ?
    I should have guessed it would be a rip off, just in comparison to 15k it seemed like a bargain, but I suppose if I do my research, buy the right text books and put in plenty of study time, like you say, I should be able to do it. It's just the booking exams, but I'm sure I can work that out somehow..
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    (Original post by Acquien)
    I should have guessed it would be a rip off, just in comparison to 15k it seemed like a bargain, but I suppose if I do my research, buy the right text books and put in plenty of study time, like you say, I should be able to do it. It's just the booking exams, but I'm sure I can work that out somehow..
    Look online for "exam centres". There are a few. Go and check one out. Maybe do a trial run by doing a GCSE exam to see how it all works. They make money by making a small admin charge, but overall its very good value. Incidentally this forum is full of info / advice and posts on self learning so you are never alone.
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    (Original post by Acquien)
    I wanted to study History (preferably ancient), Psychology, Law and possibly English Literature, I did English Language and Literature at 16 but only got a B.
    Psychology and law have no coursework. Not sure about Ancient History but Classical Civilisation doesn't have any either (History only has coursework at A2 and there are ways round that.) English Lit does have some, but if you don't start it until 2015 and the new A levels come in then it might not.
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    Booking exams isn't hard. You aren't doing a science so you have nothing to worry about. I can't imagine how it could go so wrong that you'd actually need a trial run.
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    (Original post by Stanley Winchest)
    Booking exams isn't hard. You aren't doing a science so you have nothing to worry about. I can't imagine how it could go so wrong that you'd actually need a trial run.
    Well in this case it will build confidence in the OP in something they are worried about.
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    Well in this case it will build confidence in the OP in something they are worried about.
    Fair

    BTW, if OP is in Kent look at Mid Kent College. Their guy has the patience of a saint.
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    (Original post by Acquien)
    booking exams still terrifies me though
    Really, it's not difficult, you just have to be prepared to be persistent as there are parts of the country where very few centres accept private candidates. Research online to find possible centres (here, the exam board websites, there is also a Yahoo group for home-schoolers that shares advice on doing this) and then ring up, ask to talk to the exams officer and ask if they take private candidates - or email them if you don't want to ring. I wouldn't go for someone's recommendation of doing a GCSE first to see how it all works as it will delay you by a year.
 
 
 
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