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    Hi.I'm predicted an A* in Maths, an A* in Further Maths and an A in History and I've decided last minute that I don't want to do accounting in university but mechanical engineering instead.So I've decided that I will be taking a gap year and doing Physics A-Level since it's a requirement for Mechanical Engineering at top universities like Bristol and Imperial.A few questions:-Does the new spec have any effect on me? Would there be new books I need to get or will the old books suffice? Any advice I can get to get an A*/A in Physics by self studying?-As far as I know, in the old spec there were 2 practicals you would need to do. How about now? Where will I be able to do the practicals and how much do they cost?Thanks!
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    (Original post by sjaan)
    Hi.I'm predicted an A* in Maths, an A* in Further Maths and an A in History and I've decided last minute that I don't want to do accounting in university but mechanical engineering instead.So I've decided that I will be taking a gap year and doing Physics A-Level since it's a requirement for Mechanical Engineering at top universities like Bristol and Imperial.A few questions:-Does the new spec have any effect on me? Would there be new books I need to get or will the old books suffice? Any advice I can get to get an A*/A in Physics by self studying?-As far as I know, in the old spec there were 2 practicals you would need to do. How about now? Where will I be able to do the practicals and how much do they cost?Thanks!
    Hi,

    I currently self teaching a levels, in A2 year now, with physics being one of my 3 subjects

    1) Yes the new spec would have an effect on you. I can't remember if they've already introduced it, or will next year (either sept '15/16), but I think they're staggering it, so it only rolls out for AS at first, then A2 the year after.
    So if the new spec doesn't come out til next year, you may not be able to fast track.

    2) getting high level grades is always harder than getting them in school. The key is to be disciplined and keep doing little bits each day, rather than leaving a massive amount to last minute (as I always used to with homework!). My grades last year were A's in the written papers, but only a D in the practical, surprisingly, as the problem is in self teaching you won't be getting any practical experience, as well as missing out on getting all the tip offs for the practical as teachers give you in school.

    3) if you're self studying, for AQA at least, you'd normally follow route X (externally marked), rather than route T (teacher assessed). For me (in the current spec, route X ) there is only 1 practical you have to do, aswell as a written paper on it, which is usually done all on the same day. I'm not totally sure with the new spec, though it looks like there's very little difference compared to the old.

    4) finding a place for the practicals will be tough, as there are fewer places that have lab facilities able to do the practical for. UWE in Bristol offer the practical for AQA physics at least. Though I guess try searching google for places to sit physics a levels as an external candidate. Not sure on the price though sorry, though generally they mug you off as an external candidate, though I'd guess <£100 to sit the practical

    Best of luck to you! Though it sounds like your at school/college now, would they be offer you a place to sit them, or even let you take the a level there?
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    You'd need to contact your local sixth form/college and see which course they offer since there's a transition going between specs.

    I do the new A - Level (AQA) and I'm not sure if you could do it in one year as the idea of the linear course is so it's done over two years and more is expected of you as questions are more challenging.
    You will also have to contact your school to be able to participate in practicals as there are 16 that need to be done over the course. (you'd also need a lab book which would get assessed).

    So I'm not sure if it could be done with the new spec, there's just a lot to be done in that year.
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    (Original post by aamirac)
    You'd need to contact your local sixth form/college and see which course they offer since there's a transition going between specs.

    I do the new A - Level (AQA) and I'm not sure if you could do it in one year as the idea of the linear course is so it's done over two years and more is expected of you as questions are more challenging.
    You will also have to contact your school to be able to participate in practicals as there are 16 that need to be done over the course. (you'd also need a lab book which would get assessed).

    So I'm not sure if it could be done with the new spec, there's just a lot to be done in that year.
    I emailed AQA and they told me that the practical is separate from the actual A-Level meaning that if you don't do the practicals, your A-Level grade won't be affected. However, I still will need the knowledge for practicals as they sort of are tested in the exam.

    There are 3 exams for A-Level Physics and I think I won't find much of a problem self teaching one subject over a year considering people typically do 3 subjects over 2 years.
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    (Original post by sjaan)
    I emailed AQA and they told me that the practical is separate from the actual A-Level meaning that if you don't do the practicals, your A-Level grade won't be affected. However, I still will need the knowledge for practicals as they sort of are tested in the exam.

    There are 3 exams for A-Level Physics and I think I won't find much of a problem self teaching one subject over a year considering people typically do 3 subjects over 2 years.
    Really? Is that only for the new spec you don't need to do practicals?
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    Hey - are you doing this A level? I'm just considering it and wondered if you have any advice at all?
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    (Original post by TryThatAgain)
    Hey - are you doing this A level? I'm just considering it and wondered if you have any advice at all?
    The thread starter hasn't logged in for a while, but I'll tag him anyway to see if he responds sjaan


    Are you considering fast tracking it over 1 year? Or doing it as normal over 2?
    And are you self teaching?

    I did a post just above that might have some stuff that is relevant. Only thing I can add to that is " DrPhysicsA " on YouTube does some good videos, tailored to specific topics in the course.
 
 
 
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