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    Hi

    Many years ago I sat my AS level Geography exam but then for personal
    reasons I had to leave sixth form. I'm now 31 and would like to 'finish what I
    started'.

    I've looked into online courses but I don't know how reputable they are. I can't
    find any local colleges who run A level Geography courses, either during the day (which I couldn't do as I work full time) or part time/evening. I live in Leeds.

    Does anyone know the best way forward? I've thought about private tuition but
    this would be very expensive to complete a whole A level. I'm not sure if you can buy the text books etc but I know that part of the Geography course is an
    assignment on fieldwork so this probably wouldn't work.

    Any help or ideas would be great.

    Thank you!
    Rachel
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    Hi Rachel!

    I'm in my thirties, and re-taking my Levels in Chem Bio and Physics!

    I'm using an online provider called cloud learn, and I'm doing really well! Its a lot of hard work, and being as good as self-taught requires determination, but I'm really enjoying it.

    A big pain in the backside is finding exam centres who'll take private candidates, but I think for me this is because I am studying pure sciences and need lab time etc, but I've managed so far. I'm predicted A*A*A for those subjects for next year, and I'm just awaiting a couple of GCSE results as we speak...... so hopefully that'll be proof that you can definitely jump back into to study and make a success of it!

    Any questions please ask and I'll do my best to help, and good luck

    Boo.
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    Hi Boo!

    Thanks for the reply. I'll have a look at their website. How many hours do you spend studying a week? I'm just wondering if it would feasible to fit in while working full time.

    Good luck with your GCSE results.

    Rachel
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    (Original post by rachb01)
    Hi

    Many years ago I sat my AS level Geography exam but then for personal
    reasons I had to leave sixth form. I'm now 31 and would like to 'finish what I
    started'.

    I've looked into online courses but I don't know how reputable they are. I can't
    find any local colleges who run A level Geography courses, either during the day (which I couldn't do as I work full time) or part time/evening. I live in Leeds.

    Does anyone know the best way forward? I've thought about private tuition but
    this would be very expensive to complete a whole A level. I'm not sure if you can buy the text books etc but I know that part of the Geography course is an
    assignment on fieldwork so this probably wouldn't work.

    Any help or ideas would be great.

    Thank you!
    Rachel
    I'm 23 years-old and am self-teaching A2 Maths and Biology this year around a job. It's going to be a lot of work but it's definitely possible if you keep on top of your work, especially during the evenings on weekdays! Just have to try and integrate it into your routine and it is never too early to start studying. For Geography you may have to do some research as I think there is a new specification in place due to the new 'linear' A-levels.

    (Original post by Themightyboo)
    Hi Rachel!

    I'm in my thirties, and re-taking my Levels in Chem Bio and Physics!

    I'm using an online provider called cloud learn, and I'm doing really well! Its a lot of hard work, and being as good as self-taught requires determination, but I'm really enjoying it.

    A big pain in the backside is finding exam centres who'll take private candidates, but I think for me this is because I am studying pure sciences and need lab time etc, but I've managed so far. I'm predicted A*A*A for those subjects for next year, and I'm just awaiting a couple of GCSE results as we speak...... so hopefully that'll be proof that you can definitely jump back into to study and make a success of it!

    Any questions please ask and I'll do my best to help, and good luck

    Boo.
    Oh wow. You definitely sound like you've been working hard. How have you been coping with such a big workload? Are you working a full-time job alongside?
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    Hi Rachel,

    I decided I wanted to study physics at uni at 21 so I self studied Bio and physics GCSE while working full time using ICS, in my opinion ICS didn't help me at all, I found a CGP revision guide 3 weeks before the exam and I would say they got me the 2 A*s rather than the £450 ICS course.

    I ended up going to college to study A levels and have just been accepted onto the Manchester integrated sciences foundation course. In my opinion you could just as effectively self teach yourself by finding the correct books by asking on here, and then maybe using an online tutor service like mytutor.com

    You would only need to use the tutor every few months in my opinion, just to check understandings. The internet provides more than enough (free) resources for A levels. Then just book an exam at a local college. I would definitely not recommend an online course like ICS, but that could just be me, it may work for you.
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    (Original post by philo-jitsu)
    Hi Rachel,

    I decided I wanted to study physics at uni at 21 so I self studied Bio and physics GCSE while working full time using ICS, in my opinion ICS didn't help me at all, I found a CGP revision guide 3 weeks before the exam and I would say they got me the 2 A*s rather than the £450 ICS course.

    I ended up going to college to study A levels and have just been accepted onto the Manchester integrated sciences foundation course. In my opinion you could just as effectively self teach yourself by finding the correct books by asking on here, and then maybe using an online tutor service like mytutor.com

    You would only need to use the tutor every few months in my opinion, just to check understandings. The internet provides more than enough (free) resources for A levels. Then just book an exam at a local college. I would definitely not recommend an online course like ICS, but that could just be me, it may work for you.
    Very inspirational!! How old were you when you went to college and what A-levels did you study?
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Very inspirational!! How old were you when you went to college and what A-levels did you study?
    I was 22 when i started college....i did maths physics and biology.

    Due to being out of school for 6 years i didnt do great at AS so left alot of cathing up to do to come out with AAA for a2....i missed my offer for lancaster physics but got in at manchesters foundatiin course with BBB....narrowly missed bio A by 4 UMS!....

    You seem to be going a similar path....i only worked 25 hours a week though so props for staying in a full time job....i imagine its doable though!
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    (Original post by philo-jitsu)
    I was 22 when i started college....i did maths physics and biology.

    Due to being out of school for 6 years i didnt do great at AS so left alot of cathing up to do to come out with AAA for a2....i missed my offer for lancaster physics but got in at manchesters foundatiin course with BBB....narrowly missed bio A by 4 UMS!....

    You seem to be going a similar path....i only worked 25 hours a week though so props for staying in a full time job....i imagine its doable though!
    Oh wow that's fantastic!! So you enrolled as a full-time A-level student? so you must be starting Uni at 24 years old right? I'm exactly in the same position as you were! I'm hoping to go to university by the time I'm your age too You have definitely given me the motivation to do well at A2! I feel like I was being silly for ever picking up this A-levels in the first place. Can I ask what kind of job you were working whilst studying? I'm just finding it difficult to stay on top of my finances at this stage in my life
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Oh wow that's fantastic!! So you enrolled as a full-time A-level student? so you must be starting Uni at 24 years old right? I'm exactly in the same position as you were! I'm hoping to go to university by the time I'm your age too You have definitely given me the motivation to do well at A2! I feel like I was being silly for ever picking up this A-levels in the first place. Can I ask what kind of job you were working whilst studying? I'm just finding it difficult to stay on top of my finances at this stage in my life
    I was working at an office of a transport firm....they had flexible hours so long as i did my job every week so that helped.

    What are you wanting to study?

    And dont feel silly ever.....its not a race, plenty of people come out of uni with a degree in something they dont even want and get a job tgat didnt even require a degree....in the long run youre doing the right thing.........i think ;-)
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    (Original post by philo-jitsu)
    I was working at an office of a transport firm....they had flexible hours so long as i did my job every week so that helped.

    What are you wanting to study?

    And dont feel silly ever.....its not a race, plenty of people come out of uni with a degree in something they dont even want and get a job tgat didnt even require a degree....in the long run youre doing the right thing.........i think ;-)
    That is amazing!! You definitely worked hard to acheive what you have!! I will being doing A2-level Maths and Biology (both Edexcel's syllabuses).
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    That is amazing!! You definitely worked hard to acheive what you have!! I will being doing A2-level Maths and Biology (both Edexcel's syllabuses).
    Thanks, sorry I meant are you wanting to go onto further study at uni? With your A levels I thought maybe bioengineering or something?

    Also in terms of finance I will say that I had saved up a substantial amount before starting, I was planning getting a mortgage then it kind of dawned on me that I would be stuck in the same ******** 9-5 job in the same town for years, so i opted to do what I did. I guess we will find out if its the right decision :-)

    Good luck with yours...Never settle!!
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    (Original post by philo-jitsu)
    Thanks, sorry I meant are you wanting to go onto further study at uni? With your A levels I thought maybe bioengineering or something?

    Also in terms of finance I will say that I had saved up a substantial amount before starting, I was planning getting a mortgage then it kind of dawned on me that I would be stuck in the same ******** 9-5 job in the same town for years, so i opted to do what I did. I guess we will find out if its the right decision :-)

    Good luck with yours...Never settle!!
    Not completely decided yet. But would like to do some Biology related (if I get the A-level grades). But I have my doubts as there is so much content to remember!! How did you cope with Biology?
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Not completely decided yet. But would like to do some Biology related (if I get the A-level grades). But I have my doubts as there is so much content to remember!! How did you cope with Biology?
    To be honest I found it the easiest, but I think its because physics and maths are more difficult so by comparison it seemed easier/less complex. What I did for biology is learnt a concept to its fundamental level, so much so that I can literally visualise the mechanism occurring in the body. This makes it far easier to remember, and it allows you to answer more complex questions better.

    For example muscle contractions, and nerve impulses I learnt it to the level that I knew the path of the ions involved in transferring the action potential from the receptor to the effector, and through every part of the muscle (to A level standards, obviously its far more in depth than I can comprehend at my level) and then every movement in order of the tropomyosin/myosin and atp etc

    Also (baring in mind I only got a B so other people on here are far better equipped) don't over value past papers, I did non for my ISA and got the highest in my class (my college doesn't cheat so ISA's are actually difficult/long story) also I just think biology papers answers vary so much and the slightest word in a question can change the entire meaning, for instance I lost 3 marks in a 4 mark question because I didn't read an 's' that made the word plural, thus asking for multiple reasons not 1 really in depth question. And the words like define/explain change meaning drastically.

    Definitely do past papers but its more important to have a fundamental understanding of all of the functions & mechanisms (photosynthesis/respiration/gene sequencing etc)

    also if your gonna cram anything cram ecology, because its boring, hence very hard to retain, plus there are no mechanisms just facts to memorise.
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    Hi,
    Sorry for the late reply! It's been a bit busy!
    I work part-time, but I also have 3 children so I may as well be full-time!
    I'm now studying the new Linear A-levels, after starting the old modular ones and realising I'd never be able to take them to A2, and I must say, they are more technically challenging. I study at least 2 hours a day, and I easily double that if assessments are due. I'm hoping to study Medicine next year (and gunning for Cambridge). Make no bones, these subjects are scientifically demanding and rigorous, and if I didn't have my husband to coach me with Physics or my tutor to ask, I wouldn't be doing as well as I am. The other useful thing about going through an online provider is that for my UCAS (and Oxbridge) application, I need my predicted grades and academic references, which my tutor is providing. Also, more importantly, you have a structured syllabus to follow, and assessment tools. I think I would find it hard to self teach the sciences, especially with the new linear format, but it must be possible if you were dedicated! Do also bear in mind that you now need to get a practical endorsement in order to pass. I'm not quite sure where I'll be sitting the practicals yet as very few centres are offering them, but I'll be sure to let people know once I find out!
    I'm sorry if I've missed anything, or crossed over with another reply... I'll have a re-read once I've managed to get some rest!
    Take care,
    B
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    Jesus....Some motivated people in this thread....Making me feel lazy!

    The job I used to work in was full of people who had settled, never did anything outside of work other than drink. Its awesome to see other like minded people, hope it works out for everyone!
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    (Original post by Themightyboo)
    Hi,
    Sorry for the late reply! It's been a bit busy!
    I work part-time, but I also have 3 children so I may as well be full-time!
    I'm now studying the new Linear A-levels, after starting the old modular ones and realising I'd never be able to take them to A2, and I must say, they are more technically challenging. I study at least 2 hours a day, and I easily double that if assessments are due. I'm hoping to study Medicine next year (and gunning for Cambridge). Make no bones, these subjects are scientifically demanding and rigorous, and if I didn't have my husband to coach me with Physics or my tutor to ask, I wouldn't be doing as well as I am. The other useful thing about going through an online provider is that for my UCAS (and Oxbridge) application, I need my predicted grades and academic references, which my tutor is providing. Also, more importantly, you have a structured syllabus to follow, and assessment tools. I think I would find it hard to self teach the sciences, especially with the new linear format, but it must be possible if you were dedicated! Do also bear in mind that you now need to get a practical endorsement in order to pass. I'm not quite sure where I'll be sitting the practicals yet as very few centres are offering them, but I'll be sure to let people know once I find out!
    I'm sorry if I've missed anything, or crossed over with another reply... I'll have a re-read once I've managed to get some rest!
    Take care,
    B
    That is motivation at it's finest!!
    (Original post by philo-jitsu)
    Jesus....Some motivated people in this thread....Making me feel lazy!

    The job I used to work in was full of people who had settled, never did anything outside of work other than drink. Its awesome to see other like minded people, hope it works out for everyone!
    Omg yes!! So many people settle down for a miserable job that they hate they try to make it better by drinking their life away on the weekend!! That's exactly what I don't want my life to become! I don't want to be stuck in a rut. We only have one shot at life and if it's spent doing a job that we really hate then it is a waste. I remember why I picked up these A-levels now!
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    That is motivation at it's finest!!

    Omg yes!! So many people settle down for a miserable job that they hate they try to make it better by drinking their life away on the weekend!! That's exactly what I don't want my life to become! I don't want to be stuck in a rut. We only have one shot at life and if it's spent doing a job that we really hate then it is a waste. I remember why I picked up these A-levels now!
    Exactly, and even if it goes wrong, you will only be where you started in the first place anyway...minus a few years, but like I said, its not a race. The job I left I was working with a 40 year old, she was in the same position as me, so even if I come out of uni and still cant get a good job I will still be younger anyway, plus ill have had 4 years of studying something I find awesome, and being able to meet/talk to people with similar interests (my favourite part of college), trying to talk to regular people about physics was demoralising!
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    (Original post by philo-jitsu)
    To be honest I found it the easiest, but I think its because physics and maths are more difficult so by comparison it seemed easier/less complex. What I did for biology is learnt a concept to its fundamental level, so much so that I can literally visualise the mechanism occurring in the body. This makes it far easier to remember, and it allows you to answer more complex questions better.

    For example muscle contractions, and nerve impulses I learnt it to the level that I knew the path of the ions involved in transferring the action potential from the receptor to the effector, and through every part of the muscle (to A level standards, obviously its far more in depth than I can comprehend at my level) and then every movement in order of the tropomyosin/myosin and atp etc

    Also (baring in mind I only got a B so other people on here are far better equipped) don't over value past papers, I did non for my ISA and got the highest in my class (my college doesn't cheat so ISA's are actually difficult/long story) also I just think biology papers answers vary so much and the slightest word in a question can change the entire meaning, for instance I lost 3 marks in a 4 mark question because I didn't read an 's' that made the word plural, thus asking for multiple reasons not 1 really in depth question. And the words like define/explain change meaning drastically.

    Definitely do past papers but its more important to have a fundamental understanding of all of the functions & mechanisms (photosynthesis/respiration/gene sequencing etc)

    also if your gonna cram anything cram ecology, because its boring, hence very hard to retain, plus there are no mechanisms just facts to memorise.
    That is crazy good! I'm on the new Edexcel specification for Biology so the content may vary slightly to what you had to learn but I imagine the studying techniques are pretty much the same. Did you type/write out any notes for Biology or just read over a CGP book a few times? Also, how many hours of self-study did you do each week?
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    (Original post by philo-jitsu)
    Exactly, and even if it goes wrong, you will only be where you started in the first place anyway...minus a few years, but like I said, its not a race. The job I left I was working with a 40 year old, she was in the same position as me, so even if I come out of uni and still cant get a good job I will still be younger anyway, plus ill have had 4 years of studying something I find awesome, and being able to meet/talk to people with similar interests (my favourite part of college), trying to talk to regular people about physics was demoralising!
    Yeah you will also learn so much more about yourself whilst you are studying too! You've given me the drive and hope to really do the best I can with these A-levels. I've already started C3 of Maths as I want to get off to a nice early start because this subject is so time consuming!! How did you cope with learning the material for Maths? It just seems each module is in so much depth and there are too many concepts to grasp.
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Yeah you will also learn so much more about yourself whilst you are studying too! You've given me the drive and hope to really do the best I can with these A-levels. I've already started C3 of Maths as I want to get off to a nice early start because this subject is so time consuming!! How did you cope with learning the material for Maths? It just seems each module is in so much depth and there are too many concepts to grasp.
    Examsolutions tutorials for explanations, then just do every single question in the edexcel book. Everyone learns the hard questions at the back of a chapter, which is good but then they trip up over something simple (like arcos questions) because of a lack of familiarity. So yeah do literally every question no matter how simple, you have time to learn all the methods in maths, but its a lack of familiarity that leads to poor performance. I was getting 90+ums in every C4 past paper 3 weeks out from exams, then because I was confident in it I focused my revision elsewhere and only revised again the day before. I bombed C4 which cost me my A, not because I couldn't wrap my head around ideas but because it wasn't fresh In my mind.

    Maths is very performance orientated, meaning a bad day in maths can be really bad (66ums for c4 bad :-0 ) . So once you learn them just keep doing papers and textbook questions. Its far easier to maintain than relearn maths. Oh and try not to do all the past papers too soon, you will fly through them and having some fresh ones leftover for exam week is helpful.
 
 
 
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