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    (Original post by tripplea)
    I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who stared their first year Alevels at 23 year old! Yes I'm mainly focusing on Maths because it counts for 50% whereas the grades for biology and psychology won't count towards the final A-level as you've correctly identified.

    Thanks for the advice regarding biology - I just didn't realise how detailed and in depth the content is compared to GCSEs. I'll definitely make sure that I revise over the topics even after I've sat the exams!

    How are your studies going?
    No worries, I'm always happy to help so feel free to ask! But I may be "off-radar" from TSR during exam period as I will have lot of things to be worrying about

    Besides being super stressed out and being completely overwhelmed by the content for A-level Biology, studying is going well I've just got to make sure I stay motivated up until the actual exams and get lots of exam practice!

    (Original post by mvictor)
    I went out and bought the notepads I need to get started I officially start self studying A Levels on Monday. I'm amazed at how focused I am now that I'm an adult. I tried self studying when I was a teenager and I couldn't get it together.




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    Fantastic! With a year and a couple of months for you to start studying for your full A-levels you should be able to cover all the content in no time! Just make sure you go over what you've learnt from time-to-time so you don't end up having to relearn things! That's so good that you are more motivated than ever! Make sure you stay that way, and if things get difficult pick yourself back up again!
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    I'm amazed by how many mature students there are on this thread who are studying A-levels! Stick at it everyone!
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    I'm 22 and hoping to study English Literature, History, Maths (home studying now), and Biology or Physics (probably biology) at A-Level next year once my life is a bit more stable. As it's been such a long time since GCSE I am a little worried about having forgotten most of the basic science stuff and am considering taking a science GCSE course first or a refresher of sorts... anyone have experiences of this ?
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    (Original post by squidsarestrange)
    I'm 22 and hoping to study English Literature, History, Maths (home studying now), and Biology or Physics (probably biology) at A-Level next year once my life is a bit more stable. As it's been such a long time since GCSE I am a little worried about having forgotten most of the basic science stuff and am considering taking a science GCSE course first or a refresher of sorts... anyone have experiences of this ?
    Why 4 A levels? It seems like you might be overdoing it a bit. If it's for university entry or improved job prospects, you won't need that many. If it's for your own interest, You'll probably get more out of it by concentrating on two at a time.
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    (Original post by squidsarestrange)
    I'm 22 and hoping to study English Literature, History, Maths (home studying now), and Biology or Physics (probably biology) at A-Level next year once my life is a bit more stable. As it's been such a long time since GCSE I am a little worried about having forgotten most of the basic science stuff and am considering taking a science GCSE course first or a refresher of sorts... anyone have experiences of this ?
    Having just completed alevels at a similar age, with a large gap since GCSEs I would recommend doing 3 if you can get away with it, especially if you might need to provide updates GCSEs, if check with the unis you want to apply to.
    I did 4 as levels and 2 GCSEs in my first year and it was too much, I stretched myself too thin. This resulted in me having to take a 3rd year which could have potentially cost me a place on the degree I wanted! It is favoured better to have 3 that you get good grades on than 4 that you then have to resit exams.
    I took the GCSEs that were available, but tbh the courses and content differed so much that it was just for the certificates, they didn't help with the alevels. If a full gcse course had been available then that would have helped and I would have taken it.
    I took gcse math and single science, both of which were offered at my college as a resit course, which meant it was taught for the foundation level not the higher which I needed. This increased the self studying I needed to do.
    I also took alevels, geology, biology, chemistry and physics ( which I didn't take on to second year)
    I have a unconditional place to study vetmed next September and achieves AAA alavels a C in as physics and A*A* in the GCSEs.
    It was hard but totally worth it!!!!
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    (Original post by Cowie315)
    Having just completed alevels at a similar age, with a large gap since GCSEs I would recommend doing 3 if you can get away with it, especially if you might need to provide updates GCSEs, if check with the unis you want to apply to.
    I did 4 as levels and 2 GCSEs in my first year and it was too much, I stretched myself too thin. This resulted in me having to take a 3rd year which could have potentially cost me a place on the degree I wanted! It is favoured better to have 3 that you get good grades on than 4 that you then have to resit exams.
    I took the GCSEs that were available, but tbh the courses and content differed so much that it was just for the certificates, they didn't help with the alevels. If a full gcse course had been available then that would have helped and I would have taken it.
    I took gcse math and single science, both of which were offered at my college as a resit course, which meant it was taught for the foundation level not the higher which I needed. This increased the self studying I needed to do.
    I also took alevels, geology, biology, chemistry and physics ( which I didn't take on to second year)
    I have a unconditional place to study vetmed next September and achieves AAA alavels a C in as physics and A*A* in the GCSEs.
    It was hard but totally worth it!!!!
    Congratulations!
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    Thanks for the advice! Yeah I know 4 is a lot I am just really struggling to choose 3 - I thought that by learning the maths in advance it might take the load off a little. I already have 2 A levels in Art (AB) so 4 more is probably a bit ridiculous - a lot of the reason I am retaking the A-Levels is to try to figure out what I enjoy doing most (and am good at) and then go to uni
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    (Original post by squidsarestrange)
    Thanks for the advice! Yeah I know 4 is a lot I am just really struggling to choose 3 - I thought that by learning the maths in advance it might take the load off a little. I already have 2 A levels in Art (AB) so 4 more is probably a bit ridiculous - a lot of the reason I am retaking the A-Levels is to try to figure out what I enjoy doing most (and am good at) and then go to uni
    Don't get me wrong, 4 Is doable. It's just you might be making your life a lot harder than it needs to be. Completely understand though if you aren't sure what you want to do yet.
    You need to be as realistic as possible about the financial implications of testing out subjects. As It could lead to a third year. I know lots of students I studied with took an extra year just through changing alevels.
    Maths is good to start early, even the best students struggled when it came to exams at my college, so doesn't hurt to be keen.
    Biology is almost like a new language coming at it from a gap, I found the alevel biology A to Z dictionary a life saver. Really interesting alavel, a learnt a lot!!
    I can't say much for history and English but that both require a lot of written work. Good combination of subjects, in that each one is a break from the other, if your sick of maths, you can revise some biology etc
    Physics for me was a low point, honestly just found it so bloody hard, no matter how much extra work I put in, it never paid off!
    Lots of students take 4 at AS level and then drop one, or even realise they picked the wrong ones and start again. So it's not impossible, but it will be harder considering you took a break from education and studying. I found learning to study and memorise everything one of the hardest parts. Even just getting myself to sit still long enough to revise!! That's the main challenge.
    It's also something that I beat myself up with, I compared myself to the other students, completely forgetting that they had been 'training' for alavels for the past two years during GCSEs and had come straight from school and exams. So had a good routine down, the good students anyway. So I spent ages studying different revision techniques and working out what was best for me. They should do an alevel in it haha

    Hope I've been of some help, I would also really start looking at uni courses and even try and do some work experience that's connected to some. It might help you focus and will all help with your application!
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    Cowie, congratulations! 👏🏼 if you don't mind me asking, what uni did you get the offer for? I agree with what you said about getting great grades in 3 A Levels than mediocre ones in 4+. I'm taking Biology, Chemistry and Maths. But I'll also be taking GCSE Physics and a few others that I might need. It's a bit silly that you need GCSE grades when you have A levels but hey ho.


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    (Original post by mvictor)
    Cowie, congratulations! 👏🏼 if you don't mind me asking, what uni did you get the offer for? I agree with what you said about getting great grades in 3 A Levels than mediocre ones in 4+. I'm taking Biology, Chemistry and Maths. But I'll also be taking GCSE Physics and a few others that I might need. It's a bit silly that you need GCSE grades when you have A levels but hey ho.


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    Thank you, I Will be going to the University of Surrey!
    It's the advice my college gave, most universities would rather you got it first time, but life doesn't always work out that well, I had a few bumps along the way!
    How are you finding the alevels? Chemistry was my top, I loved it. Mainly because the more I worked at it the more I got out of it faster than I did with biology. So it was quite rewarding to study.
    Plus the chem dept in my college was amazing.

    The GCSEs are silly, I still had to meet the same requirements as 18 year olds for GCSEs. Even with my final grades! Crazy!
    My as physics was to replace the missing physics at gcse level as I couldn't sit individual science GCSEs where I live, without going private.
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    (Original post by Cowie315)
    Thank you, I Will be going to the University of Surrey!
    It's the advice my college gave, most universities would rather you got it first time, but life doesn't always work out that well, I had a few bumps along the way!
    How are you finding the alevels? Chemistry was my top, I loved it. Mainly because the more I worked at it the more I got out of it faster than I did with biology. So it was quite rewarding to study.
    Plus the chem dept in my college was amazing.

    The GCSEs are silly, I still had to meet the same requirements as 18 year olds for GCSEs. Even with my final grades! Crazy!
    My as physics was to replace the missing physics at gcse level as I couldn't sit individual science GCSEs where I live, without going private.
    That's great, good luck with your studies!

    I'm only just starting now. Today is my first day of self studying A Levels. Chem looks overly complicated to me because I didn't take it at GCSE. Biology is mostly understandable and Maths kicks my ass but I'll get there.

    I'm starting from the very beginning. I need all the help I can get :blushing:
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    (Original post by mvictor)
    That's great, good luck with your studies!

    I'm only just starting now. Today is my first day of self studying A Levels. Chem looks overly complicated to me because I didn't take it at GCSE. Biology is mostly understandable and Maths kicks my ass but I'll get there.

    I'm starting from the very beginning. I need all the help I can get :blushing:
    It'll be very difficult in the beginning and it will definitely test your willpower and all the motivation that you have in you, but never give up. Like you said, Biology will simply be a case of understanding concepts/processes so if you don't understand something at first read over it again and do some extra research (nothing a google search can't fix!).

    Maths on the other hand will truly test your problem solving skills and how you learn from your mistakes. Trust me, Maths is all about making mistakes before you truly get the hang of things so don't let that knock you down! Again, there is plenty of material online for A-level Maths so don't be disheartened if you don't understand something the first time round, or the second time round, or even the third time round! If you find yourself completely stuck with Maths then learn how to use "LaTex" here https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/LaTex and post a new thread on The Student Room with any questions you get stuck on etc. There will always be someone who tries to explain something to you from a different perspective. It's these different perspectives that help make things click until you understand.

    I wish you the best of luck with your success!
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    (Original post by Cowie315)
    Thank you, I Will be going to the University of Surrey!
    It's the advice my college gave, most universities would rather you got it first time, but life doesn't always work out that well, I had a few bumps along the way!
    How are you finding the alevels? Chemistry was my top, I loved it. Mainly because the more I worked at it the more I got out of it faster than I did with biology. So it was quite rewarding to study.
    Plus the chem dept in my college was amazing.

    The GCSEs are silly, I still had to meet the same requirements as 18 year olds for GCSEs. Even with my final grades! Crazy!
    My as physics was to replace the missing physics at gcse level as I couldn't sit individual science GCSEs where I live, without going private.

    Just saw this and wanted to say a massive well done for going back to study your A Levels and for getting into vet med here at Surrey! Your determination to succeed will stand to you both during your degree and in your future career

    All the best,
    Ashley
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    (Original post by mvictor)
    That's great, good luck with your studies!

    I'm only just starting now. Today is my first day of self studying A Levels. Chem looks overly complicated to me because I didn't take it at GCSE. Biology is mostly understandable and Maths kicks my ass but I'll get there.

    I'm starting from the very beginning. I need all the help I can get :blushing:
    How was your first official day of studying A-levels?
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    How was your first official day of studying A-levels?

    It was good thank you. I started with maths but went back to recap GCSE past papers. I definitely gave myself a bit of a headache The last time I sat a maths exam (many years ago) I scored around a C, so my goal is to get myself up to an A standard before I dive into A Level maths.

    Today I'm studying Chemistry.
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    (Original post by mvictor)
    It was good thank you. I started with maths but went back to recap GCSE past papers. I definitely gave myself a bit of a headache The last time I sat a maths exam (many years ago) I scored around a C, so my goal is to get myself up to an A standard before I dive into A Level maths.

    Today I'm studying Chemistry.
    That's fantastic! It's always good to start with refreshing yourself with GCSE Maths before starting A-Level Maths, but don't spend too much time as there are a lot of topics from the GCSE syllabus that aren't useful for the A-level syllabus! What exam board will you be sitting A-level Maths with btw?
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    That's fantastic! It's always good to start with refreshing yourself with GCSE Maths before starting A-Level Maths, but don't spend too much time as there are a lot of topics from the GCSE syllabus that aren't useful for the A-level syllabus! What exam board will you be sitting A-level Maths with btw?
    I haven't decided yet. The local examination centre is Hills Road Sixth Form College and they appear to accept a wide variety of boards for the exam. Do you have any particular preference? http://www.hillsroad.ac.uk/the-colle...ns-office#STEP
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    (Original post by mvictor)
    I haven't decided yet. The local examination centre is Hills Road Sixth Form College and they appear to accept a wide variety of boards for the exam. Do you have any particular preference? http://www.hillsroad.ac.uk/the-colle...ns-office#STEP
    For Maths it's ok if you don't choose your exam board yet as the syllabuses between each board isn't much different tbh, but for A-level Biology the content can vary a lot depending on what board!

    There lots of material online for Edexcel's A-level Maths syllabus which is great for us self-studiers! I'm also with Edexcel for Biology but it is terrible! Every year, there are complaints about A-level Biology exams being far too difficult under the Edexcel spec! I definitely feel like I'm at a disadvantage for Biology compared to if I was on a different exam board!
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    For Maths it's ok if you don't choose your exam board yet as the syllabuses between each board isn't much different tbh, but for A-level Biology the content can vary a lot depending on what board!

    There lots of material online for Edexcel's A-level Maths syllabus which is great for us self-studiers! I'm also with Edexcel for Biology but it is terrible! Every year, there are complaints about A-level Biology exams being far too difficult under the Edexcel spec! I definitely feel like I'm at a disadvantage for Biology compared to if I was on a different exam board!
    Oh that's a shame. Can you not swap exam boards? I'll steer clear of Edexcel for Biology then. Perhaps AQA would be a better choice?
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    (Original post by mvictor)
    Oh that's a shame. Can you not swap exam boards? I'll steer clear of Edexcel for Biology then. Perhaps AQA would be a better choice?
    It's not simply a case of just switching exam boards! I would have to learn a lot of new concepts/processes from AS and A2 if I were to change to another exam board.
 
 
 
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