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    Hi, I'd like to ask you guys what your experiences are with studying A levels at home. I'm intrigued to hear from those of you who have done this, no matter what age or how long you did it for.
    I am considering retaking an A level Biology in the future as I unfortunately didn't do too well in 2017. So, i'd like to ask of you:

    How many courses did you study?

    Did you use any online course websites? (e.g. Open-Study-College)

    Were you working at the time?

    Like I mentioned, I'd love to hear from you guys.
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    (Original post by LombaxMan)
    Hi, I'd like to ask you guys what your experiences are with studying A levels at home. I'm intrigued to hear from those of you who have done this, no matter what age or how long you did it for.
    I am considering retaking an A level Biology in the future as I unfortunately didn't do too well in 2017. So, i'd like to ask of you:

    How many courses did you study?

    Did you use any online course websites? (e.g. Open-Study-College)

    Were you working at the time?

    Like I mentioned, I'd love to hear from you guys.
    Hiya!

    I had the intention of self studying Maths, FM, Physics and Chemistry but work pressures have overtaken this plan so it’s currently on hold (i’m an apprentice you see).

    When I do pick it up again, I won’t be doing them all over 2 years, it’ll probably be much longer! I’ll be working full time too, but I don’t anticipate using any distance learning provider to do them.

    The only issue I currently have is finding somewhere to do the practical endorsement- and an exam centre that allows private candidates come to think of it!

    If you ever want to discuss anything, or help each other along, feel free to let me know. If you’ve anymore questions don’t hesitate to ask
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    (Original post by brainzistheword)
    Hiya!

    I had the intention of self studying Maths, FM, Physics and Chemistry but work pressures have overtaken this plan so it’s currently on hold (i’m an apprentice you see).

    When I do pick it up again, I won’t be doing them all over 2 years, it’ll probably be much longer! I’ll be working full time too, but I don’t anticipate using any distance learning provider to do them.

    The only issue I currently have is finding somewhere to do the practical endorsement- and an exam centre that allows private candidates come to think of it!

    If you ever want to discuss anything, or help each other along, feel free to let me know. If you’ve anymore questions don’t hesitate to ask
    Hi there, apologies for taking a long time to get back to you. I must say taking on that many A levels and working an apprenticeship at the same time is impressive.

    My guess is that you plan on dropping your apprenticeship shortly before your exams? I'd be intrigued to hear your situation on that - I have considered apprenticeships in the past however there aren't any that appeal to me at the moment.
    Regardless of what path I choose to get a degree be it an App or Uni, I still want a good set of A levels or Level 3 Qualifications as soon as possible. I like having doors open.

    I did complete 3 A levels at Sixth Form, but I gained bad results. One upside on that is I have passed the Practical Endorsements. I believe you can forward them on when you retake the written/theory part of the course (according to a fellow TSR user). Unfortunately, I am unable to help you much with finding a center to complete as a private candidate. I could suggest entering a Sixth Form College (one that is not part of a secondary school) and they may offer the PE, however it is likely you will have to give up your apprenticeship / any current jobs.

    Up to you. Look forward to hearing from you. Cheers.
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    (Original post by brainzistheword)
    Hiya!

    I had the intention of self studying Maths, FM, Physics and Chemistry but work pressures have overtaken this plan so it’s currently on hold (i’m an apprentice you see).

    When I do pick it up again, I won’t be doing them all over 2 years, it’ll probably be much longer! I’ll be working full time too, but I don’t anticipate using any distance learning provider to do them.

    The only issue I currently have is finding somewhere to do the practical endorsement- and an exam centre that allows private candidates come to think of it!

    If you ever want to discuss anything, or help each other along, feel free to let me know. If you’ve anymore questions don’t hesitate to ask
    Hi, i know this may sound silly, but how can you self-teach maths, further maths and chemistry a level? Have you finished sixth form?
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    (Original post by Kangaroo17)
    Hi, i know this may sound silly, but how can you self-teach maths, further maths and chemistry a level? Have you finished sixth form?
    Hi!

    Not silly at all it’s still quite early days at the minute, and no I haven’t been to sixth form at all. I went into an Apprenticeship straight from leaving school so I have no experience of college/sixth form structure when it comes to A-levels. That being said, I love a challenge and I was always torn between the Apprenticeship and college, so I decided to take the Apprenticeship but not give up on my ambition to get A-levels.

    The current plan is just to use online resources, Study guides/student textbooks and then see how much I’ve taken in using past papers. I’m trying to avoid getting a tutor as I’d like to do it as cheaply as possible...but we will have to see how that goes.

    Hope that explains my aims a little better, but if you want to know anything else, just fire away
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    (Original post by LombaxMan)
    Hi there, apologies for taking a long time to get back to you. I must say taking on that many A levels and working an apprenticeship at the same time is impressive.

    My guess is that you plan on dropping your apprenticeship shortly before your exams? I'd be intrigued to hear your situation on that - I have considered apprenticeships in the past however there aren't any that appeal to me at the moment.
    Regardless of what path I choose to get a degree be it an App or Uni, I still want a good set of A levels or Level 3 Qualifications as soon as possible. I like having doors open.

    I did complete 3 A levels at Sixth Form, but I gained bad results. One upside on that is I have passed the Practical Endorsements. I believe you can forward them on when you retake the written/theory part of the course (according to a fellow TSR user). Unfortunately, I am unable to help you much with finding a center to complete as a private candidate. I could suggest entering a Sixth Form College (one that is not part of a secondary school) and they may offer the PE, however it is likely you will have to give up your apprenticeship / any current jobs.

    Up to you. Look forward to hearing from you. Cheers.
    Hiya. Don’t worry about it

    Surprisingly no I don’t plan on dropping my Apprenticeship and I’d love to stay with the same company even after I’ve finished it, though it’s going to get tricky with the workload. I had similar thoughts to yourself though, that I wanted some Level 3 qualifications to fall back on if things didn’t work out; to keep doors open. And ultimately that’s why I’ve decided to do it. I also wanted to do it for personal interest because I would consider myself quite keen on those subjects. But after keeping my head in a book for a couple of years who knows how I’ll find them!!

    I believe you can carry the endorsements forward, but you’re best checking with whoever can confidently advise you.

    As for the exam centre, it’s not a big problem, i’m sure I can find one somewhere, even if it means travelling a bit. There are a couple of centres where I can definitely sit the maths/FM. It’s just the Science ones and their practical endorsements that are proving challenging. I will keep looking though!

    Any question or want to know more, just give me a shout
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    I’m currently self studying Chemistry and Maths. For Maths, I have a revision book which tells me what topics I need to study and gives skeletal explanations for them, although not necessarily everything you need to know. I found some textbooks online to flesh out some explanations, but once I have covered the topics I mostly just keep doing past papers until i can consistently get most of the answers right, and go through them to see what topics I struggled on, where I went wrong etc, and revise those.

    Chemistry is a bit trickier because there seems to be a lot more content to cover before I can start doing past papers, and there is a practical element which is hard to substitute. It’s also less fun and problem-solvey to learn! I’m relatively close to finishing the textbook from the first year. Generally speaking, I make notes as I go through the textbook, and then go back through and turn my notes into revision cards. Then I go back through the sections and do the exam style questions and check my revision notes if I need to. It’s pretty slow going compared to maths, where you feel like whatever you’re doing you’re learning something.

    I think the hardest part of self study is knowing how to pace yourself, how fast you should be covering the content, and staying motivated when you’ve gone wrong. When I did my first C1 past paper I thought I had learned the material quite well but I got a fail mark! A couple of weeks later I was getting As consistenty. But it was a shock and I had to really pick myself up and motivate myself to keep going If you have a teacher they can set you structured work (even if it’s distance learning), but if all there is is you and a textbook it can feel like you’re permanently behind because there is nothing to say that you aren’t. However on balance I’d say I cover too much material too quickly, especially because I work full time and most of my free time is at weekends. >.< I don’t often keep up with making revision notes and I often find when I come to the end of the section I haven’t remembered as much as I thought I had. So there’s a danger to consider. I’d say if you are self studying Biology, to (1) get a good, reliable and detailed textbook, (2) set yourself realistic and consistent study goals (e.g. 3 topics a week or however many is realistic for you, and don’t cram too much into one day if possible) and (3) make lots of revision notes as you go that you can look at any time (I use cards in a stack that I can take with me anywhere and peruse). I say this knowing I’m not even following my own advice! You could probably use online resources to learn the topics but imo when it comes to something like A levels, having one book that’s going to set out everything you need to know is invaluable. You can always top up by looking up something on the internet that you don’t understand from the textbook etc.
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    (Original post by brainzistheword)
    Hi!

    Not silly at all it’s still quite early days at the minute, and no I haven’t been to sixth form at all. I went into an Apprenticeship straight from leaving school so I have no experience of college/sixth form structure when it comes to A-levels. That being said, I love a challenge and I was always torn between the Apprenticeship and college, so I decided to take the Apprenticeship but not give up on my ambition to get A-levels.

    The current plan is just to use online resources, Study guides/student textbooks and then see how much I’ve taken in using past papers. I’m trying to avoid getting a tutor as I’d like to do it as cheaply as possible...but we will have to see how that goes.

    Hope that explains my aims a little better, but if you want to know anything else, just fire away
    Oh, i see. Thanks for explaining.
    I’m going into sixth form next year and I’m considering taking maths, FM, chemistry and physics too! :^_^:
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    (Original post by Kangaroo17)
    Oh, i see. Thanks for explaining.
    I’m going into sixth form next year and I’m considering taking maths, FM, chemistry and physics too! :^_^:
    No problem, like I said, if you need to know anything else I am more than happy to share

    I like you’re subject choices (bit biased I must admit)! How are you finding GCSEs so far?
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    (Original post by brainzistheword)
    No problem, like I said, if you need to know anything else I am more than happy to share

    I like you’re subject choices (bit biased I must admit)! How are you finding GCSEs so far?
    GCSEs are going well i think! Though i do need to make sure i have covered everything in terms of revision (like flashcards/mind maps/notes).
    Its more the a level choices that are worrying me more right now (which is bad!) because i still don’t have a clear idea on what to do. And going into sixth form doesn’t seems enjoyable.

    What do you do as an engineer?
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    (Original post by Kangaroo17)
    GCSEs are going well i think! Though i do need to make sure i have covered everything in terms of revision (like flashcards/mind maps/notes).
    Its more the a level choices that are worrying me more right now (which is bad!) because i still don’t have a clear idea on what to do.
    Glad the GCSEs are going well. If you’re struggling with your choices and want to discuss anything, go ahead
    Have you thought any further ahead in terms of university courses or a career in a particular industry?
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    (Original post by brainzistheword)
    Glad the GCSEs are going well. If you’re struggling with your choices and want to discuss anything, go ahead
    Have you thought any further ahead in terms of university courses or a career in a particular industry?
    To be honest, i have chosen Further maths because i’m talented at maths and maybe it brings you to a good career path? But also for the fact that i may consider doing computer science.

    But the subjects i’m considering putting down are:

    - english language ( unlikely, but i like creative writing and learning about language but not sure if its useful)
    - biology (tough one - i like learning about the human and environmental side) < - might change FM with this if need be
 
 
 

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