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Retaking GCSE's as an Adult learner? watch

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    Hi everyone.So I have a few questions regarding retaking GCSE's as an adult (I just turned 19 this year.) I took my GCSE's three years ago and due to the school pretty much giving up on me I only did three GCSE's. I did maths, English Language and English literature. ( I think I did science but didn't even get a grade for it because of how bad I did.)

    My grades were awful. Like...let's just say the only GCSE I got a C in was the English Language one. First of all - I am an individual with learning disabilities. I had frequent visitors from outside of my school who visited to try teach the teachers on how to teach me and prepare me for exams.

    But despite all of that, most of my teachers ignored my learning disabilities and at one point my English teacher forced me to write (Despite the fact that I am unable to write neatly and coherently - I was actually given a keyboard like device to do my work on but for whatever reason it wasn't permitted?) even after I explained to her the physical pain in my wrist.

    It wasn't until recently I decided that I want to go back into education. I want nothing more than to go to University and get myself a good career. I have several things I'd like to study which are

    - Health (Nursing)
    - Business (Not too sure on what specific)
    - Art (Illustration)
    - Law (Specifically to become a lawyer)

    Now there's a lot of things holding me back. The main things are of course my awful GCSE's.

    So here are my questions

    - Can I retake my GCSE's?

    Will it be looked down upon if I retake them - despite my circumstances?

    - Will I be able to take more GCSE's? Since I only did 3 it's extremely difficult for me to get onto any courses or A levels since most require at least 5. I'd be interested in taking Art, History, German and whatever else would be relevant in getting me on the courses I want to do.

    - Could I even do A levels? If I can, would it be better to do courses at a College instead?

    Thanks to everyone who's read this and can answer my questions (I live in England too, if that helps!)
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    (Original post by cielstis)
    Hi everyone.So I have a few questions regarding retaking GCSE's as an adult (I just turned 19 this year.) I took my GCSE's three years ago and due to the school pretty much giving up on me I only did three GCSE's. I did maths, English Language and English literature. ( I think I did science but didn't even get a grade for it because of how bad I did.)

    My grades were awful. Like...let's just say the only GCSE I got a C in was the English Language one. First of all - I am an individual with learning disabilities. I had frequent visitors from outside of my school who visited to try teach the teachers on how to teach me and prepare me for exams.

    But despite all of that, most of my teachers ignored my learning disabilities and at one point my English teacher forced me to write (Despite the fact that I am unable to write neatly and coherently - I was actually given a keyboard like device to do my work on but for whatever reason it wasn't permitted?) even after I explained to her the physical pain in my wrist.

    It wasn't until recently I decided that I want to go back into education. I want nothing more than to go to University and get myself a good career. I have several things I'd like to study which are

    - Health (Nursing)
    - Business (Not too sure on what specific)
    - Art (Illustration)
    - Law (Specifically to become a lawyer)

    Now there's a lot of things holding me back. The main things are of course my awful GCSE's.

    So here are my questions

    - Can I retake my GCSE's?

    Will it be looked down upon if I retake them - despite my circumstances?

    - Will I be able to take more GCSE's? Since I only did 3 it's extremely difficult for me to get onto any courses or A levels since most require at least 5. I'd be interested in taking Art, History, German and whatever else would be relevant in getting me on the courses I want to do.

    - Could I even do A levels? If I can, would it be better to do courses at a College instead?

    Thanks to everyone who's read this and can answer my questions (I live in England too, if that helps!)
    The education system isn't really set up to enable someone to redo their GCSE education. You should be able to find free maths GCSE courses in the new school year and could retake English though as you already have a C you would have to pay. Some colleges will offer other GCSE or level2 BTEC options and may take older students, you'd need to investigate what is available locally. There are many independent providers who can supply a GCSE self study course but these can work out quite expensive, have a look at NEC. You should investigate access to further education courses and find out what their entry requirements are - this may be a quicker route to university.

    Good luck, I hope you achieve your goals.

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    (Original post by gdunne42)
    The education system isn't really set up to enable someone to redo their GCSE education. You should be able to find free maths GCSE courses in the new school year and could retake English though as you already have a C you would have to pay. Some colleges will offer other GCSE or level2 BTEC options and may take older students, you'd need to investigate what is available locally. There are many independent providers who can supply a GCSE self study course but these can work out quite expensive, have a look at NEC. You should investigate access to further education courses and find out what their entry requirements are - this may be a quicker route to university.

    Good luck, I hope you achieve your goals.

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    Thanks for the reply

    After talking to someone I found that I could sit any GCSE exam and only have to pay the examination fee. Since I only have 3 GCSEs I was considering sitting exams for these subjects as well

    - History
    - German
    - Psychology

    Which in total would give me 6 GCSE's. I want to aim to sit these exams for next summer and then since I have not been to college or done A levels yet I can take them for free. (If I'm not mistaken)

    So hopefully by the end of 2017 I'll be taking my A levels

    Although I have another question and I'm not sure if you can answer it but I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask.

    I'm interested in studying Law (Hopefully to become a lawyer), Health (Child nursing or Mental health/Learning disabilities) at University.

    Do you have any idea what A Levels I should take? I know that it' best to look at what Universities require but a decent idea would be helpful.

    Also I'd like to study both Health and Law at Uni, is that possible? Thanks for the help
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    1. Can I retake my GCSE's? Yes. Contact your local college and see what they have available.

    2. Will it be looked down upon if I retake them - despite my circumstances? Imo just aim for min 5 GCSE's at Grade C or above including Maths and English.

    3. Will I be able to take more GCSE's? Yes. Just see what your local college offers.If you intened to do certain A levels then its normally required for you to have done the GCSE.

    4. Could I even do A levels? If I can, would it be better to do courses at a College instead? It depends on your learning style, but in your case I would say yes because A levels are a bug step up and you might find them overwhelming. Teacher support is very important.
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    First of all, I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience with the education system. :hugs: But good on you for not letting that stop you and deciding to return. :five:

    - Can I retake my GCSE's
    Definitely. :yep:

    This is coming from someone who sat her GCSEs last year at nineteen (I left school before I completed them). I don't know what your finance situation is, but the only problem might be -- because you've already gained GCSEs -- I don't think you'll be entitled to funding for it.

    Will it be looked down upon if I retake them - despite my circumstances
    I wouldn't think so.

    Universities can acknowledge a person will have changed a lot in the years between sixteen and nineteen. Also, I imagine what you experienced could count for extenuating circumstances, in which case you could get your referee to explain what happened when you originally sat your GCSEs in your reference so the universities are aware it wasn't a true reflection of your ability.

    - Will I be able to take more GCSE's? Since I only did 3 it's extremely difficult for me to get onto any courses or A levels since most require at least 5. I'd be interested in taking Art, History, German and whatever else would be relevant in getting me on the courses I want to do.
    There used to be five GCSE bundles for adult students -- they've been swapped for Pre-Access courses at my college, although I don't know for certain whether it's the same nationwide. Even still, you can pay to do individual GCSEs, yes.

    On that note -- have you considered an Access course? Most Access courses only require English Language and Maths at grade C (some of the ones that would lead you to Nursing may require Biology and most universities require a grade C GCSE in Biology to do Nursing, too, I do believe, although don't quote me on it).

    - Could I even do A levels? If I can, would it be better to do courses at a College instead?
    You can't do A Level bundles at college as an adult student, I don't think, no.

    You could pay to do individual A Levels, though, but like I said, I find Access is a much more convenient option for 19+. Also, if you've never done a level three qualification before, you should be entitled to government funding. :yep:

    I'd recommend making an appointment at your local college, to be honest. :yep: They can advise you on the best plan of action.

    Best of luck! :hugs:
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    Additional questions

    1. Do you have any idea what A Levels I should take? I know that it' best to look at what Universities require but a decent idea would be helpful.
    I'm interested in studying Law (Hopefully to become a lawyer), Health (Child nursing or Mental health/Learning disabilities) at University.

    For Law there are no set A levels. You just need good grades because it is highly competitive. That said they do tend to prefer academic traditional A levels and you might find essay based subjects useful, such as History or English. They would be more wary of less academic studies like drama, sports or media studies. You might be allowed one of your three A levels to be in that category, but no more. I am uncertain they would regard Art as sufficiently academc.


    Join National Careers to do your research into what careers you might like to try for. i.e Mental Health Nurse. Requires you to have science based qualifications.
    https://nationalcareersservice.direc...althnurse.aspx

    2. Also I'd like to study both Health and Law at Uni, is that possible? Thanks for the help

    Talk to a careers adviser about this. It appears that most of the courses which combine the two are Masters degrees or single modules on a course. You might be able to do a joint honours or a degree in some health related subject with a law module. they will probably do it. It just takes research.


    My view is dont worry about your age or past. You do need to address the issue of your learning disability and make sure you take advantage of all the help that is available. This will enable you to get the best grades possible. Start off with your GCSE's and see how you go. I have no idea how difficult they make things or what changes can me made. They can make certain allowances, but you will still need to hit the grades needed. Its possible to learn how to study and do exams.

    Do take advice from either national careers or your local college to make sire you dont rule yourself out of things by making the wrong choices and limiting what you can do. Good luck.
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    (Original post by acupofgreentea)
    First of all, I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience with the education system. :hugs: But good on you for not letting that stop you and deciding to return. :five:



    Definitely. :yep:

    This is coming from someone who sat her GCSEs last year at nineteen (I left school before I completed them). I don't know what your finance situation is, but the only problem might be -- because you've already gained GCSEs -- I don't think you'll be entitled to funding for it.



    I wouldn't think so.

    Universities can acknowledge a person will have changed a lot in the years between sixteen and nineteen. Also, I imagine what you experienced could count for extenuating circumstances, in which case you could get your referee to explain what happened when you originally sat your GCSEs in your reference so the universities are aware it wasn't a true reflection of your ability.



    There used to be five GCSE bundles for adult students -- they've been swapped for Pre-Access courses at my college, although I don't know for certain whether it's the same nationwide. Even still, you can pay to do individual GCSEs, yes.

    On that note -- have you considered an Access course? Most Access courses only require English Language and Maths at grade C (some of the ones that would lead you to Nursing may require Biology and most universities require a grade C GCSE in Biology to do Nursing, too, I do believe, although don't quote me on it).



    You can't do A Level bundles at college as an adult student, I don't think, no.

    You could pay to do individual A Levels, though, but like I said, I find Access is a much more convenient option for 19+. Also, if you've never done a level three qualification before, you should be entitled to government funding. :yep:

    I'd recommend making an appointment at your local college, to be honest. :yep: They can advise you on the best plan of action.

    Best of luck! :hugs:
    Thanks for the reply

    I just got off the phone with my local adult education adviser and she pretty much said I can do my GCSE maths for free (woo!) but for other GCSE's i'd need to look at registering as a private candidate.

    Upon looking, all the GCSE's I'd want to sit are about £31.00...but I also need to look into where I can sit them ect.

    I have looked at Access courses! One of the courses I looked at did one on health but I'm worried that if I just do that I won't be able to do Law as well.


    I have sort of thought of a plan but I'm unsure of how good it is.

    - Study the syllabus of History, German, and psychology
    - Register to take the GCSE exams next year
    - Hopefully pass and look for a way to do my A levels

    But I'm worried now. I'll be 20 by the time I get all of this done...I feel like I'm too old to do A levels but none of the Colleges near me offer anything that would interest me? At least, to my knowledge ATM.

    I really do want to do A levels...and since I haven't done college or A levels before I should be okay to do them for free. But I guess it all turns down to if I'll be accepted to do A levels.

    I'm not in a rush to go to Uni, I want to make sure I have all the knowledge I need so I don't crash and burn. But it's scary, I don't want to be seen 'too old' for Uni. Even if I go in 2018 where I'll only be 21 ):
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Additional questions

    1. Do you have any idea what A Levels I should take? I know that it' best to look at what Universities require but a decent idea would be helpful.
    I'm interested in studying Law (Hopefully to become a lawyer), Health (Child nursing or Mental health/Learning disabilities) at University.

    For Law there are no set A levels. You just need good grades because it is highly competitive. That said they do tend to prefer academic traditional A levels and you might find essay based subjects useful, such as History or English. They would be more wary of less academic studies like drama, sports or media studies. You might be allowed one of your three A levels to be in that category, but no more. I am uncertain they would regard Art as sufficiently academc.


    Join National Careers to do your research into what careers you might like to try for. i.e Mental Health Nurse. Requires you to have science based qualifications.
    https://nationalcareersservice.direc...althnurse.aspx

    2. Also I'd like to study both Health and Law at Uni, is that possible? Thanks for the help

    Talk to a careers adviser about this. It appears that most of the courses which combine the two are Masters degrees or single modules on a course. You might be able to do a joint honours or a degree in some health related subject with a law module. they will probably do it. It just takes research.


    My view is dont worry about your age or past. You do need to address the issue of your learning disability and make sure you take advantage of all the help that is available. This will enable you to get the best grades possible. Start off with your GCSE's and see how you go. I have no idea how difficult they make things or what changes can me made. They can make certain allowances, but you will still need to hit the grades needed. Its possible to learn how to study and do exams.

    Do take advice from either national careers or your local college to make sire you dont rule yourself out of things by making the wrong choices and limiting what you can do. Good luck.
    Thanks for the reply, it was very insightful!

    I'm awful at science. i was good in year 6 but in secondary school I was awful. I don't know what happened, maybe it was the way I was taught? Because I used to get top marks in primary school.

    I've been advised to email/call my local sixth forms and see if they'd be willing to accept me...my secondary school does have a sixth form but I'm unsure if they'll say yes or not. I'm also a little intimidated to go seeing how they'll be 16 - 18 years old...makes me feel so old -_-
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    EDIT:

    I just found a access to higher education course for social sciences at a college near me! I'm very interested, do you think that it would be better to go with that or would I have a better chance at getting into Unis by doing my original plan?
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    (Original post by cielstis)
    EDIT:

    I just found a access to higher education course for social sciences at a college near me! I'm very interested, do you think that it would be better to go with that or would I have a better chance at getting into Unis by doing my original plan?
    For an access course you would probably need to have GCSE maths and English and well as have some evidence of ability to study so I think your plans to work on GCSE first is a good a one. You should also try if possible to get some relevant experience, paid or voluntary, connected with the direction you want to take. It will help you convince colleges and universities of your seriousness. Once you've made a start with GCSE my recommendation would be a carefully chosen access course. Choose a course that your preferred universities will accept.




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    (Original post by gdunne42)
    For an access course you would probably need to have GCSE maths and English and well as have some evidence of ability to study so I think your plans to work on GCSE first is a good a one. You should also try if possible to get some relevant experience, paid or voluntary, connected with the direction you want to take. It will help you convince colleges and universities of your seriousness. Once you've made a start with GCSE my recommendation would be a carefully chosen access course. Choose a course that your preferred universities will accept.




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    I just called a university I'm interested in attending and found a course by them that I was in love with. After speaking to the adviser of the course I was interested in she told me that they do accept higher access courses and for me to be able to apply I'd need 60 credits
    45 at level 3, 30 at distinction and 5 at merit

    Are those difficult credits to get?

    I also just called my college and asked them what I should do if I want to apply for their access course in social science. They said that I should apply online and then I'll be invited for an interview and a chance to speak to a tutor.

    If I'm not mistaken my GCSE maths won't be starting till September either, so hopefully I can study hard enough during the summer to get onto the course.


    Also, the lady at the Uni I spoke to said that I don't need maths right as I start for their course either but English which I already have.

    Do you think if I explain this to the college they'll be willing to let me show them that in September I'll be ready to get at least a grade C in Maths? I'm going to start studying now so I hopefully pass their assessment too.
 
 
 
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