Doing my A-levels and applying to university Watch

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Hello! This is going to be a long one, my apologies.

So, when I did my A-levels, I didn't do so well. I had to retake my AS-level exams and then ended up leaving in the middle of my A2 year anyway, to work. Needless to say, my grades were awful. The reasons why I did so bad was because I moved to the UK from another country to do my A-levels and by accident I ended up skipping a grade (year 11), at the time my English wasn't as good, I didn't know how to study (I thought studying was just reading and making notes - doing past papers and so on didn't even cross my mind) and I didn't lead a very healthy lifestyle which caused me to get tired very easily.

However, after a couple of years of work I have got my act together - I study in my spare time, I have learned study techniques that work for me, I'm more healthy and have more energy. I'm dreaming of doing a foundation degree on forensic science to start with and then move on to do a 'proper' degree. What I need for this is about 160 UCAS points, minimum of 2 A-levels. I was thinking of doing AS and A2 exams on biology, A2 exam on psychology (I've got a C from my AS psychology already) and AS exam on chemistry. I want to study by myself while working, so is it possible to just register for exams without having to study full-time? Do I just phone AQA or Edexcel? Is it possible to do both AS and A2 exams in the same subject at the same time?

The second issue is that I'd preferrably like to start my foundation degree in 2015 September (or is it October that universities start?), so my first question is, when do people do their UCAS applications? Is it before June? What happens if I don't have the 'expected grades' because I'll be studying by myself? Will I be able to apply at all in 2015?

Thanks for any help!
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Schadenfreude65
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You can sit the exams as an independent candidate. You can find information on how to do this on the exam boards' websites. It can be difficult to find a centre that will allow you to sit the exams as an independent candidate, but there are some schools, colleges and exam centres that will. Again, there should be lists of centres on the websites, or you can just phone around local schools/colleges to enquire. Prices vary quite a bit. You can sit As and A2 at the same time if you wish. UCAS applications for courses starting in 2015 open in September and the first deadline is mid-January. You can apply later than this, but it may put you at a disadvantage. You can predict your own grades on your UCAS application.

Do talk to the universities that you are interested in, before you apply. They consider mature applicants on a case-by-case basis, and are the best people to advise you on what they would want from you. Good luck.
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Tess02
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I took a geography AS and A2 (Edexcel examination board) as an external candidate this year. So it is possible. I last took exams 35 years ago. I had to pay the normal exam fees plus a little extra to go towards the schools invigilator fees. If possible i would take some practice papers and find a private tutor to mark them to see if you need to improve your exam techniques, think i would have gained a higher grade if i had found someone to assess the areas where i needed to improve.
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