kwhite
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Im extremely lost, would appreciate any help!

I'm in my twenties, I didn't have any GCSEs in 2015, something that has always bothered me; so starting in September I self taught GCSE Maths and English using an Edexcel revision guide.

I got a B in English and an A* in Maths. Having really enjoyed the Maths part, I've decided to move up to A level.

I'd like to pursue university, but first, A level maths, further maths and economics. I'm quite set on the three subjects.

I can cut down my work hours to 25 hours a week. This pays all my bills, just. The rest of the week will be mine to learn.

I'm unsure about a few things though.

How exactly are A level maths, further maths and economics structured? I don't understand the differance between AS, A2 and modules?

Is it possible with the amount of free time I have (35 hours a week) to self study the entirety of the three qualifications in 1 year? Or would you advise 2?

Where can I pay to get myself examined?

I prefer book revision, are there any books you would advise?

I really appreciate any help if you have the time. Thank you.
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alleycat393
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First, what do you want to study at uni and have you picked the right subjects for it?
The As level is the step up to A level but what you want is the full A level and the recommendation is that you take two years to complete it. You will have to check which boards allow you to do these A levels as a private candidate (i.e no coursework) and where your nearest exam center is that's willing to let you sit the exams. The board will also have recommended revision books.
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kwhite
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(Original post by alleycat393)
First, what do you want to study at uni and have you picked the right subjects for it?
I'd like to do a degree in Maths. I tried to pick subjects with no course work.
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Reality Check
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Ok, so you've decided on your A level subjects. You've obviously done well in your GCSE mathematics, and this was an ideal thing to do before trying the A level. Did the GCSE take you a year to do, and did you receive any tuition or guidance in it?

The A levels you're suggesting, Maths, Further Maths and Economics are difficult, academically challenging A levels. All the more so if you're attempting to do all three by yourself. I would strongly advise against trying to do them all in one year - this is really too much of a challenge even for the ablest of students if you're simultaneously trying to hold down a job. Plus, at 25, what's the great rush?

As for exam boards, qualification structures etc, as you probably know A levels have been 'reformed' and have (or are in the process of) gone from an AS/A2 format to a linear qualification with terminal examinations at the end of the final year of them. You will need to find an external centre willing to accept you as a private candidate for the examinations, and they should be able to advise on the details.
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kwhite
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Firstly, thanks for the response!

(Original post by Reality Check)
Did the GCSE take you a year to do, and did you receive any tuition or guidance in it?
I contacted my local college about doing GCSE Maths and English. But they only offered lower teir. They entered me into the higher teir exam which was a long drive away earlier this year but I self studied the two subjects.

(Original post by Reality Check)
I would strongly advise against trying to do them in one year Plus, at 25, what's the great rush?
Good point. I just felt the GCSEs could have been studied 6 weeks before the exam rather than stretching it out over the year. I thought I could have saved a bit of time maybe. Ill be taking your advice though.

(Original post by Reality Check)
You will need to find an external centre willing to accept you as a private for the examinations, and they should be able to advise on the details.
Okay, I can look into that. Any ideas where and who I can call? I dont mind a bit of travel.

Thank you for the help mate!




[/QUOTE]
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Reality Check
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(Original post by kwhite)
Firstly, thanks for the response!



I contacted my local college about doing GCSE Maths and English. But they only offered lower teir. They entered me into the higher teir exam which was a long drive away earlier this year but I self studied the two subjects.



Good point. I just felt the GCSEs could have been studied 6 weeks before the exam rather than stretchijg it out over the year. I thought I could have saved a bit of time maybe. Ill be taking your advice though.



Okay, I can look into that. Any ideas where who I can call? I dont mifn a bit of travel.

Thank you for the help mate!



[/QUOTE]

You're welcome. To answer your points/comments:

You've clearly done well then, if you self-studied a proportion of these higher-tier subjects. Well done.

Regarding centres that can offer examination as a private candidate, I would suggest as a start you try any local F.E. (further education) colleges which offer A levels/GCSEs. They often will accept a private candidate (as you know, there is a fee/s to be paid). Just google 'further education colleges' in your locality. Failing that, you could try a sixth-form college.

Finally, it would be really ideal if you could get some sort of academic support for these A levels. For all I know, you might be a maths whizz, and knock these A levels out in a few months. But there are difficult choices, and it would be ideal to have on hand some sort of support and guidance for when things get difficult. An excellent maths resource, in case you've not already seen it, is examsolutions.net
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username1753569
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The amount of time you have to complete the studies is enough, but you can't slack. The step up from GCSE to AS Level Maths is not so bad, bu bearing in mind I have a teacher. AS Level to A2 is quite substantial. I can't speak for Economics, but Maths and Futher Maths are structured as the following: You have core modules in maths and further maths. The recommendation is you do C1 and C2 in your first year for maths, C3 and C4 next year. Then you must do 2 other modules from either decision, mechanics or statistics (usually one taken a year)
In Further Maths, you must do FP 1 and FP2. You can then choose to do FP3 (I believe you can do FP4 but it's not necessary) and then you have to do another four modules if you only do FP1 and FP2. In total you will do 6 modules for maths, and 6 modules for further maths. That's 12 exams you would sit in one year. Can you see why it's recommended to do the courses over two years? In my college, anyone who does maths and further maths will do all maths modules in the first year, essentially getting A Level maths done plus an extra module. So all they have to do next year is FP1 / FP2 and another 3 modules of their choice, e.g D2, S2. Hope this helps
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