Taking More A Levels: Is Self-Teaching a Good Idea? Watch

DaisyVictEdwards
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I was considering taking more relevant A Levels since I dropped out of uni after my first year on a practical film course. I want to do a social science/humanity but I'm not sure which yet. I was considering self-teaching the A Levels and then paying to take the exams but I'm concerned that without some support, I will not be able to get a good grade as I'm more likely just to learn the content rather than the skill etc. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to pay for a private tutor or an access course. Is it worth just reading and preparing to apply for a degree of my choosing in my own way with the ABC at A Levels I already have rather than put more pressure on myself to take more exams without the full support like I did the first time around?
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Minerva
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(Original post by DaisyVictEdwards)
I was considering taking more relevant A Levels since I dropped out of uni after my first year on a practical film course. I want to do a social science/humanity but I'm not sure which yet. I was considering self-teaching the A Levels and then paying to take the exams but I'm concerned that without some support, I will not be able to get a good grade as I'm more likely just to learn the content rather than the skill etc. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to pay for a private tutor or an access course. Is it worth just reading and preparing to apply for a degree of my choosing in my own way with the ABC at A Levels I already have rather than put more pressure on myself to take more exams without the full support like I did the first time around?
Until you know which course you'd like to do, it's hard to know whether additional A levels would help you. You'd need to consult with admissions tutors to see whether the grades and subjects you already have would be enough - they may be. I'd also ask them what they would like to see in your PS about the preparatory reading etc you've done, to show your interest in and understanding of the course you plan to apply for.

Self-teaching an A level is a high risk strategy, in terms of getting a high grade, because the lack of feedback on your work makes it so hard to know whether you are doing what's needed. Assuming your existing A levels include at least two academic subjects where essay writing is part of the deal, a further A level may not be necessary, but this really does depend on which course you are considering and which unis you have in mind. For instance, not all unis require you to have a history A level to be considered for the undergraduate degree. An alternative approach would be to consider applying for a Foundation degree, though the problem there is that the choices are pretty limited.

You don't say how long it is since you dropped out - most unis would be looking for evidence of recent study (ie within the last five years) and would prefer an academic reference (same). Again, ask the admissions tutors what they are willing to consider, given your particular circumstances.

One option you could look at is the Open University - you can register for a degree with them and secure loans etc, but I can't see why you would not be able to transfer to a regular uni, perhaps after having completed the equivalent of a first year (ie, two 60 point courses, which would take two years). The advantage of that is that you would be studying part-time and could be earning in the rest of your week. At the OU the entry requirements are much more flexible. Again, you would need to ask admissions tutors at the regular universities what they would accept as equivalent to their first year (so that you could go in at second year) or whether you would have to start again (plenty of people do this). If you were going to have to start again anyway, you could consider transferring (ie applying through UCAS for a year one start) after completing only one 60 point course - but you'd need to check on the funding rules about that.
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jf1994
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(Original post by DaisyVictEdwards)
I was considering taking more relevant A Levels since I dropped out of uni after my first year on a practical film course. I want to do a social science/humanity but I'm not sure which yet. I was considering self-teaching the A Levels and then paying to take the exams but I'm concerned that without some support, I will not be able to get a good grade as I'm more likely just to learn the content rather than the skill etc. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to pay for a private tutor or an access course. Is it worth just reading and preparing to apply for a degree of my choosing in my own way with the ABC at A Levels I already have rather than put more pressure on myself to take more exams without the full support like I did the first time around?
What A-levels are you planning on teaching yourself? If it's any of the sciences you should be aware that there are two practical exams for each subject, for which you need to pay for a place at an exam centre. I've been self-teaching A-level Physics, Biology and Maths for the past year and my science practicals cost £1400 in total. Add this to the regular module exams and I'm looking at around £2200.

So if you've already got good results, I wouldn't bother taking any more A-levels unless you need a specific one for your course. As far as actually teaching yourself is concerned, as long as you're disciplined you should have no problem doing 1 A-level in a year. There are plenty of resources online you can use. I have never used a tutor, but wish I had, because my main issue right now is having no academic reference on my UCAS application, but you should be alright with your reference from your past qualifications.

Any more questions, just ask
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DaisyVictEdwards
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Thank you all!


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