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I'm 25 - how do I take A-levels without GCSEs? watch


    (Original post by Compost)
    You can study them on your own and just find a centre to take the exams - uyou have to do all 3 A level exams in the same exam season If you do take the AS exams they they don't contribute to the A level grade, just an AS grade. The problem lies with the practicals for Biology and Chemistry - you have to do 12 practicals over the duration of the course. How you do in them doesn't affect your overall grade but they are obligatory. As it's a new system there are very mixed messages about how this can be achieved for private candidates.
    I agree it's the practical elements that are the hardest to sort out. I've found a place in London which will do the chemistry ones but it's £1000 to do them. I spoke with an admissions person at Sussex uni who said they don't look at whether you have completed practicals or not. He said its the overall grade they care about. It seems several people have been phoning up about it.
    So what would I need over and above the aqa coursebook to help me study if I didn't pay for the distance learning course? I'm assuming I can get past test papers free online? Doing an access course in medicine isn't an option if it means I have to quit work so I need to find another way

    (Original post by medmaturestudent)
    I spoke with an admissions person at Sussex uni who said they don't look at whether you have completed practicals or not. He said its the overall grade they care about.
    You may not be able to get an A level grade if you don't take the practicals - not certain, as I haven't been able to get a straight answer from the exam boards but they are a compulsory part of the qualification.
    (Original post by medmaturestudent)
    I'm assuming I can get past test papers free online?

    The first time these papers will be available will by Summer 2017, but the content is not very different from the current A levels so you could practise with those.

    Ok thanks for your advice. If I have to take the practicals I will it's just expensive. I think I'll start studying with the coursebook for now and see how I feel. Unless I win the lottery taking a year out from work without having a definite place at uni is too much of a risk. I just wish they did the foundation year and then I would be ok
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by redinthegrey)
    Oxford and Cambridge even mention the Access Diploma on their sites. Example: http://www.wolfson.cam.ac.uk/applyin...uate/apply/faq Yeah they say you should have A Levels for science subjects but the Uni of Cambridge as a whole clearly does not outright reject Access Diplomas! And I know someone at Oxford who did an Access Diploma
    That's right, however (and I could be wrong about this) not every subject can be taken with an Access Diploma, and for the ones that do, A-levels seem to generally beat them in the selection of candidates - so you may lose out when the places are limited, and you'll have less of a selection of universities.

    However, if you're right, then that's exactly what I will do!

    Because if that's the case, Access to HE is actually really good - but as it currently stands it seems subordinate to A-levels.

    (Original post by null_geodesic)
    That is if you are enrolling as a student to do A levels. I am telling you to take them as a private candidate. They don't give a crap about your background - they are just providing you a place to sit down and take the. There are quite a few colleges and sixth forms that do this.
    Thanks a lot, this sounds really good and what I will do (if all of my choices of A-levels are available) unless Access to HE is good enough - I'm doing a sweep of everywhere today (sending out e-mails, seeing all possible options).

    (Original post by RJR_racing)
    I'm in the similar boat buddy I was anxious about doing the Access to HE diploma too. What you need to do first is get some level 2 qualifications (GCSE A*-C level).
    I would recommend getting a map of your location and looking within a 30 mile radius of every college in your area that offer part time courses for GCSE in at least Maths English & Science single/double award.
    that way they should let you onto a level 3 programme Including A levels all though most colleges won't accept you because its designed for 16-19 year olds (utter ********).
    so you have to find a college that accepts mature students for level 3 courses and you'd need a 24+ loan to cover fee's.

    I wasted 2 years trying to find courses so I decided to go back to the beginning:
    September 2016 - GCSE Maths English Science & Additional Science.
    September 2017 - Level 2 diploma in applied Science.
    September 2018 AS level biology chemistry maths.
    September 2019 A2 level biology chemistry maths.
    Then hopefully to medical school for the 5 year degree.

    Few colleges that I think do adult A level courses:

    I'm sick of colleges referring us to the Access HE diploma, its our study and our own routes we pick not what they pick, good luck with your studies and I hope this helps!
    Yeah, the 16-19 thing seems to be the case for most colleges, you'd think there was more of a market for adult GCSEs and A-levels, because as it stands it seems rare to find somewhere that does these (and all the ones you want). I would like to do something similar to you (GCSEs - A-levels) but if I can do A-levels without GCSEs, that's what I will do. But I imagine if it were possible you wouldn't have spent that time on GCSEs!

    True about the Access to HE diploma, maybe things need to be changed - so everybody can take the same qualifications - no matter who they are. Isn't there enough demand for that?

    Those colleges do need GCSEs - I may do just that unless there's a quicker way.

    (Original post by null_geodesic)
    Why is everyone looking to complicate this.

    He should self study. Take A levels as a private (external) candidate (i.e. do not enrol at a college or sixth form who want GCSE rubbish). Just pay them to provide you a room to sit the exams. Apply to uni, get an offer and that's it.
    This sounds great! If I can get all of the study materials and take the courses I want, this would be by far the best and fastest way.

    (Original post by Compost)
    There is no coursework for any of those subjects (as long as you avoid a couple of Maths options) so you could just teach yourself and then pay for the exams,
    God damn I'm glad none of them need coursework - lucky me, thanks!

    (Original post by samiln)
    In what way?
    A levels are going through drastic changes atm where all exams are examined at the end of the 2 year course instead of the AS and A2 both making an A Level. The AS and A Level will now be a fully separate qualification, haven't you done any research or heard anything on the news about them? It is kind of a big deal imho.[/QUOTE]

    Nope, I haven't heard a thing (I'll read about it after I post this) - still, it doesn't make much of a difference as either way I'd be doing the full 2 years.
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