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    Hi everyone,

    I'm planning to retrain as an engineer in the next couple of years and would like some advice given my situation. I already hold an undergraduate degree (first class Philosophy, Politics and Economics from a top 10 uni) and am looking to take advantage of the new loans for STEM second degrees from 2017/18.

    I am about to start studying for A levels in Maths, Further Maths and Physics while working full time, to be taken over two years. For Maths and Further Maths I understand what is required - sit AS levels this June, get results, use these to inform predicted grades for when I apply to uni next academic year. However, A Level Physics has changed starting from September 2015, with exams now only to be sat at the end of the A2 year (so summer 2017 for me). This would mean I would have no AS exam results to base predicted grades on, and as I am studying at home I won't be doing any continual assessment which would inform predicted grades either. So, how would I go about acquiring predicted grades? My thinking was that I could offer my AS Maths and Further Maths grades to my academic reference and hope that they would allow them to give a best guess, especially given the similarity of the subjects to Physics?

    In addition, I have a couple more questions. Firstly, is it absolutely necessary that I have to sit the practical elements of the new Physics A Level, or am I able to simply revise as best I can for the written 'practical' component of the exams and then accept the 'fail' on the non-contributory practical part of the A Level? Secondly, I am looking (certainly at the moment) at applying to top-end unis - Oxford, Imperial and UCL in particular - would potentially not taking the practical element of Physics affect my chances, even if my grades for the exams are all up to the standard they would expect?

    Thanks for reading!
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    (Original post by nmorgan)
    Hi everyone,

    I'm planning to retrain as an engineer in the next couple of years and would like some advice given my situation. I already hold an undergraduate degree (first class Philosophy, Politics and Economics from a top 10 uni) and am looking to take advantage of the new loans for STEM second degrees from 2017/18.

    I am about to start studying for A levels in Maths, Further Maths and Physics while working full time, to be taken over two years. For Maths and Further Maths I understand what is required - sit AS levels this June, get results, use these to inform predicted grades for when I apply to uni next academic year. However, A Level Physics has changed starting from September 2015, with exams now only to be sat at the end of the A2 year (so summer 2017 for me). This would mean I would have no AS exam results to base predicted grades on, and as I am studying at home I won't be doing any continual assessment which would inform predicted grades either. So, how would I go about acquiring predicted grades? My thinking was that I could offer my AS Maths and Further Maths grades to my academic reference and hope that they would allow them to give a best guess, especially given the similarity of the subjects to Physics?

    In addition, I have a couple more questions. Firstly, is it absolutely necessary that I have to sit the practical elements of the new Physics A Level, or am I able to simply revise as best I can for the written 'practical' component of the exams and then accept the 'fail' on the non-contributory practical part of the A Level? Secondly, I am looking (certainly at the moment) at applying to top-end unis - Oxford, Imperial and UCL in particular - would potentially not taking the practical element of Physics affect my chances, even if my grades for the exams are all up to the standard they would expect?

    Thanks for reading!
    You need to have ticked off that you have done all 12(?) experiments afaik.
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    With your predicted grade, it might be a bit 'meh' but what you can do is keep record of past papers (you can use the AS papers for revision as content is mostly the same) in excel and keep a score of your results in there, you can programme it to automatically calculate an average for your predicted grade.
    You can use that and it's a good way to see where you're going too.

    I would say that it is necessary to do all 16 of the practicals. A lab book is required to make sure the examiners know that the practices are done. Plus it would really benefit in understanding the concept within physics. You can ask your local college if you can go in for practices(?)
 
 
 
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