How hard are science access courses Watch

minderrx
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Im planning to do a science access course but im really worried about the difficulty of the course. I imagine different access courses differ in difficulty so if anyone is doing science your experience with the course could be really helpful.

How hard is it to get a good grade?
How much time do you spend on it?
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Jamiefromipswich
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I'm doing one in September. As I've not actually started I couldn't really say how hard they are. I'm certainly expecting it to be very hard as I know the drop out rates are usually pretty high. The hours are 9-1 three days a week and you're expected to do 20 hours a week worth of work in your own time so this with work is not going to leave much free time!


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lledrith
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Depends on the subjects being offered, but I found biology fairly easy in terms of memorisation. Physics was a bit mind numbing, but as long as you get to grips with maths and make use of sites like Khan Academy, it becomes bearable. I struggled with chemistry at first, but again, online resources were useful, like Bozeman Science.

Stick to the marking criteria, make use of CGP books for A-levels, be realistic about how much time you have outside of class to work on coursework or revise, and it should be fine....

I did my course through distance learning, and generally worked about 6 hours a day - varied on both sides depending on credit values.
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minderrx
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(Original post by lledrith)
Depends on the subjects being offered, but I found biology fairly easy in terms of memorisation. Physics was a bit mind numbing, but as long as you get to grips with maths and make use of sites like Khan Academy, it becomes bearable. I struggled with chemistry at first, but again, online resources were useful, like Bozeman Science.

Stick to the marking criteria, make use of CGP books for A-levels, be realistic about how much time you have outside of class to work on coursework or revise, and it should be fine....

I did my course through distance learning, and generally worked about 6 hours a day - varied on both sides depending on credit values.
Are the topics started completely from scratch?
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lledrith
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(Original post by minderrx)
Are the topics started completely from scratch?
Yes, it's assumed that most people there have been out of education for some time, so it's all introduced at a steady pace at the start.
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flamingcopper
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I started in January 2016 and am close to completing my access course. It's the health science professions access course that I am on and we do 9:30-4:30 mon & tues and then have assignments to do at home. I have 30/30 distinctions so far, it can seem like you have a lot of work to do all at once but good organisational skills will see you through good luck x
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minderrx
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(Original post by flamingcopper)
I started in January 2016 and am close to completing my access course. It's the health science professions access course that I am on and we do 9:30-4:30 mon & tues and then have assignments to do at home. I have 30/30 distinctions so far, it can seem like you have a lot of work to do all at once but good organisational skills will see you through good luck x
Are there exams or is everything based on coursework?
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Reality Check
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minderrx They're not 'easy', but they are a lot easier than taking 3 science A levels.

Having reasonable maths skills helps enormously, though there is usually a module or at least a refresher for that. The main thing is taking the whole enterprise seriously and dedicating enough time to it - the high dropout rate on these courses is in large part due to people underestimating the commitment required for success.
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flamingcopper
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(Original post by minderrx)
Are there exams or is everything based on coursework?
Out of 16 graded assignments, 3 have been exams, 1 was a poster and the rest have been structured questions or a report
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Arianna427
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I think it varies a lot by each college. I started mine September, before Christmas we will have done 5 exams and 3 assignments, which will be worth 18 credits. The content isn't that difficult but the pace is quick!
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minderrx
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(Original post by Arianna427)
I think it varies a lot by each college. I started mine September, before Christmas we will have done 5 exams and 3 assignments, which will be worth 18 credits. The content isn't that difficult but the pace is quick!
5 exams !? Are exams graded like A levels (ABC) or is it rather like btec with distinction, merit, pass
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lolaleigh90
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Hi,

I did an Access to Science course via distance learning and it was really hard work! The content isn't particularly tricky (Physics was a bit scary!); it's the amount of time in independent study that I found the biggest challenge. I completed the course with full distinctions, but I really put the hours in. Easily 25 hours a week - but good preparation for Uni!

It's definitely do-able if you are dedicated! Good luck!
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minderrx
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(Original post by Arianna427)
I think it varies a lot by each college. I started mine September, before Christmas we will have done 5 exams and 3 assignments, which will be worth 18 credits. The content isn't that difficult but the pace is quick!
Whats the biggest amount of credits possible to achieve?
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flamingcopper
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(Original post by minderrx)
5 exams !? Are exams graded like A levels (ABC) or is it rather like btec with distinction, merit, pass
Mine were pass/merit/distinction and I can get 45 credits, I end with 60 but 15 are ungraded x
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Jaydee18
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I am doing an access course at the moment, it's not all science but half is made up of human biology. I won't lie, I can imagine the science access courses are quite difficult! It's mostly the pace of the course which is the challenge, but if you can organise your time and get your head down for that one year I'm sure it won't be too difficult!
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sreilly11
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I'm currently doing access to science with biology and chemistry. It's not difficult but there's a lot of work that goes in. You need to put 100% effort into every single piece of work you do.
Do not ignore deadline dates, always start work as soon as it's been handed out. A really good biology book to buy is by simpkins and Williams and it's the main book I use for my biology work.
Brush up on your maths skills beforehand too because chemistry can be a little full on it you're lacking in maths.
Your first few assignments will be ungraded to get you into the writing styles, make sure you're comfortable with referencing.
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Smooth Sailing
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I would say it's both hard and easy. I'm doing a science access course, and it's all graded based on coursework. We have already completed quite a few units since September, and had them graded. I like it this way actually. While we've been given assignments throughout the course from the start, they've been pretty easy to complete as the information has been fresh in our heads (much better than having to cram the whole syllabus in your head for one exam), and what you learn in class should get you up to merit level at least.
Like other people have said, there will be quite a lot of independent study involved, but they should be pretty clear with the marking criteria, so as long as you follow it and put the time in, you should be able to get distinctions

My advice would be to grab a few AS level textbooks for the subjects you will be studying, and studying a bit before you start the course, just to get you in the right frame of mind (youtube is a great resource for learning too!).
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Jamiefromipswich
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I know there's a lot of work to do outside of college but do you have to actually study the material or just do assignments?


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sreilly11
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(Original post by Jamiefromipswich)
I know there's a lot of work to do outside of college but do you have to actually study the material or just do assignments?


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I study it. What's the point in having all the materials and just using them for an assignment? I tend to dedicate a night a week to reading over my materials and then after an assignment has been handed in I'll store my materials
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lolaleigh90
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(Original post by Jamiefromipswich)
I know there's a lot of work to do outside of college but do you have to actually study the material or just do assignments?


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You have to study the material to do the assignments...

How much you want to retain depends on your needs - eg I did Psychology as my third 'Science' - it wasn't relevant to my future needs, so I didn't do any further study or expand on anything other than the set criteria of the assignment.

Potentially you could get through the whole course like that, I was really careful to still achieve distinctions though, it would be easy to fall short of this if you're not prepared for extra study.
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