How hard is the practical endorsement for A level chemistry/Biology? Watch

CharliesUK
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I'm taking A level chemistry and biology as a private candidate and I'm going to try to do all 12 practicals within one year along with the exam papers ( as I need to get these a levels within a 2 year period).

How hard are the practicals for AQA and are there any examples online which I can practice upon as I have no clue where to look. The center has told me it will only test me not show me anything.
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ScienceGeek1878
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Not hard at all.

Usually they tie in with your studies so I'm not sure how that would work as a private candidate.

We were given a practical sheet for each one with was basically a step by step guide
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PhilR99
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You'll pretty much pass for remembering how to breathe.

In all seriousness though, you'll have no issues if you just follow instructions, especially since it's all internally assessed.

(Edit) Just read your post properly, so you won't have it assessed by your school/college, but you'll be able to find instructions and just follow them, so there'll be no problem.
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CharliesUK
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(Original post by PhilR99)
You'll pretty much pass for remembering how to breathe.

In all seriousness though, you'll have no issues if you just follow instructions, especially since it's all internally assessed.
The only thing I'm worried about is that I have no knowledge of A level chemistry and I've just begun learning it now. I will be doing all 12 this year .

At gcse I achieved an A* in chemistry and B in biology.
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CharliesUK
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(Original post by ScienceGeek1878)
Not hard at all.

Usually they tie in with your studies so I'm not sure how that would work as a private candidate.

We were given a practical sheet for each one with was basically a step by step guide
Oh great, but I am self teaching biology and chemistry as the college is ONLY doing btec and apprenticeships now and I can't afford to move house again.
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PhilR99
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(Original post by CharliesUK)
The only thing I'm worried about is that I have no knowledge of A level chemistry and I've just begun learning it now. I will be doing all 12 this year .

At gcse I achieved an A* in chemistry and B in biology.
Oh Fair enough. To be honest the theory isn't necessarily that crucial. Presumably you did coursework at GCSE? It's like that, with less writing and explaining to do, at least for chemistry and physics it was. I can't really speak for biology but I imagine it's the same. A* at GCSE means you definitely have nothing to worry about.
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username2207531
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The organic chemistry practicals get quite tricky but if you have good research skills you will find helpful videos/papers out there. The biology ones are basically "cut the celery and look at the pretty purple holes". Do you have access to a laboratory?

The AQA website should have a teacher's guide for the practicals (pdf) which help you out with how they are marked and stuff. However to pass AQA practicals you need someone watching you do it. I'm not sure how you'll do that. Are you just joining a class at the centre for practicals?
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CharliesUK
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(Original post by JustJusty)
The organic chemistry practicals get quite tricky but if you have good research skills you will find helpful videos/papers out there. The biology ones are basically "cut the celery and look at the pretty purple holes". Do you have access to a laboratory?

The AQA website should have a teacher's guide for the practicals (pdf) which help you out with how they are marked and stuff. However to pass AQA practicals you need someone watching you do it. I'm not sure how you'll do that. Are you just joining a class at the centre for practicals?
The test center does have a laboratory but I've never been there or seen it.

There are around 16 other students who have applied at the private centre so I will be doing it alongside them.
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CharliesUK
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(Original post by PhilR99)
Oh Fair enough. To be honest the theory isn't necessarily that crucial. Presumably you did coursework at GCSE? It's like that, with less writing and explaining to do, at least for chemistry and physics it was. I can't really speak for biology but I imagine it's the same. A* at GCSE means you definitely have nothing to worry about.
Oh thanks . That makes me feel a bit better.
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CharliesUK
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(Original post by Reality Check)
I'm afraid I'm going to be less gung ho about it than some of the other contributors to this thread. They're not a 'gimmie' - some of them, particularly in Chemistry, require a fair bit of work. In your case, this work is significantly amplified as a private candidate, because the routine, non-assessed practical work is going to be entirely absent from your course. In other words, the only time you'll be doing practical work is when it's being assessed - which is very much less than ideal.

Also, has your college where you're at agreed to let you do the practical endorsement there? If they have, this is a huge benefit for you - the worst aspect of the new specifications for private candidates is this need for practical endorsement and the problem of finding a centre willing to offer it.
Yes I understand.

I've currently booked and paid for a practical endorsement at a private centre, not a college. I was thinking about not doing it but for a science degree I heard it was a must.

I've paid for it at this centre: http://www.aectuition.co.uk/science-practical/
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DrAwesome123
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Where are you doing the practical endorsements if you don't mind me asking?

Even I'm doing Biology/Chemistry as a private candidate and will be doing the practicals soon.
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gxsellef
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(Original post by CharliesUK)
I'm taking A level chemistry and biology as a private candidate and I'm going to try to do all 12 practicals within one year along with the exam papers ( as I need to get these a levels within a 2 year period).

How hard are the practicals for AQA and are there any examples online which I can practice upon as I have no clue where to look. The center has told me it will only test me not show me anything.
I did OCR chem but AQA bio. We used to mess around in class, barely did the practicals and copied other peoples' results and methods and we all managed to pass. If you want to know more about what the actual practicals entail, there's a youtube channel called "Biology practicals and biology revision tutor" and she's made a playlist of how to do all the AQA biology ones which are really decent.
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CharliesUK
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(Original post by DrAwesome123)
Where are you doing the practical endorsements if you don't mind me asking?

Even I'm doing Biology/Chemistry as a private candidate and will be doing the practicals soon.
I'm doing them here: http://www.aectuition.co.uk/
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CharliesUK
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(Original post by gxsellef)
I did OCR chem but AQA bio. We used to mess around in class, barely did the practicals and copied other peoples' results and methods and we all managed to pass. If you want to know more about what the actual practicals entail, there's a youtube channel called "Biology practicals and biology revision tutor" and she's made a playlist of how to do all the AQA biology ones which are really decent.
Oh thank you so much . I will definitely look at the videos
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DrAwesome123
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(Original post by CharliesUK)
I'm doing them here: http://www.aectuition.co.uk/
Ah okay. (Damn, I thought I found a classmate )

I've done a few of the practicals before and from what I remember, they are pretty manageable. Do some research on the topic before class and you should be fine.
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CharliesUK
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(Original post by DrAwesome123)
Ah okay. (Damn, I thought I found a classmate )

I've done a few of the practicals before and from what I remember, they are pretty manageable. Do some research on the topic before class and you should be fine.
darn. Where are you doing it and do you mind if I ask how much you paid?

Oh and will do
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DrAwesome123
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(Original post by CharliesUK)
darn. Where are you doing it and do you mind if I ask how much you paid?

Oh and will do
I'm doing mines at http://www.englishandmaths.com/

I paid £825 per subject which includes the 12 practicals and the 3 written papers. (I'm still crying about how much money I've spent lol). What about you?
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CharliesUK
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(Original post by DrAwesome123)
I'm doing mines at http://www.englishandmaths.com/

I paid £825 per subject which includes the 12 practicals and the 3 written papers. (I'm still crying about how much money I've spent lol). What about you?
Oh same, I spent £1650 lol. for both biology and chemistry. It includes the 12 practicals and 3 written papers.

It is alot
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DrAwesome123
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(Original post by CharliesUK)
Oh same, I spent £1650 lol. for both biology and chemistry. It includes the 12 practicals and 3 written papers.

It is alot
I know right :/ . But I guess the fact that we paid so much money will motivate us to work harder.
Are these the only subjects you are taking? What are you planning to do after A Levels? (Sorry, too many questions. Ignore me if you want lol).
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CharliesUK
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(Original post by DrAwesome123)
I know right :/ . But I guess the fact that we paid so much money will motivate us to work harder.
Are these the only subjects you are taking? What are you planning to do after A Levels? (Sorry, too many questions. Ignore me if you want lol).
True.
I'm also taking A2 maths A2 computer science and I've dropped Physics from AS. (I am also doing these externally as our college doesn't do A levels anymore).

I'm thinking about doing either software engineering or something similar or going into medicine, thats why I need to do it within the 2 year timeframe. It will be stressful -_-
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