Distinctions on an Access course

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BenTheBlue
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Afternoon All,

How difficult is it to get 45/45 distinctions on an Access course? Specifically, an Access to Science course?
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999tigger
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(Original post by BenTheBlue)
Afternoon All,

How difficult is it to get 45/45 distinctions on an Access course? Specifically, an Access to Science course?
You cant afford any mistakes, so its going to be on par with AAA or higher. Presumably you are already an experienced learner so you know what you are doing? If thats your target then id talk with the tutor and prepare properly. Its very much down to you and your ability which is a bit of an unknown.
Is that what you have been told you need?
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BenTheBlue
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(Original post by 999tigger)
You cant afford any mistakes, so its going to be on par with AAA or higher. Presumably you are already an experienced learner so you know what you are doing? If thats your target then id talk with the tutor and prepare properly. Its very much down to you and your ability which is a bit of an unknown.
Is that what you have been told you need?
Well I don't necessarily need it, but since I want to study Computer Science, I figured that it would be useful if I did get all distinctions. Having said that, I think most universities for computer science would have me do a foundation year regardless with the Access course still a requirement, mainly because of the Maths content within the Access course.
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999tigger
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(Original post by BenTheBlue)
Well I don't necessarily need it, but since I want to study Computer Science, I figured that it would be useful if I did get all distinctions. Having said that, I think most universities for computer science would have me do a foundation year regardless with the Access course still a requirement, mainly because of the Maths content within the Access course.
How old are you and how bright do you think you are?
How did you do at GCSE?
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Reality Check
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(Original post by BenTheBlue)
Well I don't necessarily need it, but since I want to study Computer Science, I figured that it would be useful if I did get all distinctions. Having said that, I think most universities for computer science would have me do a foundation year regardless with the Access course still a requirement, mainly because of the Maths content within the Access course.
An Access course is generally poor preparation for Compsci - the maths is never up to scratch. It would be much better to take maths and FM along with physics or Computer Science at A level if you're hoping to do CompSci. At a minimum, you should consider doing a maths A level alongside your Access course.
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BenTheBlue
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(Original post by Reality Check)
An Access course is generally poor preparation for Compsci - the maths is never up to scratch. It would be much better to take maths and FM along with physics or Computer Science at A level if you're hoping to do CompSci. At a minimum, you should consider doing a maths A level alongside your Access course.
My GCSE grade profile is awful with C's in Maths, English, English Lit, Science and the rest fails. Would you also suggest improving that or just the subjects that i'd do at A-Level? I was thinking of doing English, Maths, and the Sciences, then moving onto Maths, FM, Physics at A-Level, but then I considered an Access course.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by BenTheBlue)
My GCSE grade profile is awful with C's in Maths, English, English Lit, Science and the rest fails. Would you also suggest improving that or just the subjects that i'd do at A-Level? I was thinking of doing English, Maths, and the Sciences, then moving onto Maths, FM, Physics at A-Level.
C's in four GCSEs isn't 'awful'. It might not be brilliant, but it could be much worse

I'd concentrate on your A levels rather than waste a year retaking subjects you've essentially 'passed'. The C in Maths at GCSE isn't going to help a CompSci application, so you'd be needing to get high predicted grades in maths and FM if you wanted to make a competitive application.

When you say you 'failed' the rest, are you talking about getting D or lower? Does this mean that in total you have four or five GCSE at C or above?
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BenTheBlue
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(Original post by Reality Check)
C's in four GCSEs isn't 'awful'. It might not be brilliant, but it could be much worse

I'd concentrate on your A levels rather than waste a year retaking subjects you've essentially 'passed'. The C in Maths at GCSE isn't going to help a CompSci application, so you'd be needing to get high predicted grades in maths and FM if you wanted to make a competitive application.

When you say you 'failed' the rest, are you talking about getting D or lower? Does this mean that in total you have four or five GCSE at C or above?
Yes, I had 5 GCSE's at grade C (one of them was a short course in IT). The rest were D or lower.

The main reason I suggested redoing the core subjects was because it's been 10 years since I left school and I might find A-Levels daunting without adequate prep. Plus, I wanted to improve them to lighten the load on predicted grades and make a competitive application to Russell Group universities as the courses at them universities would be to a better standard i'd imagine.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by BenTheBlue)
Yes, I had 5 GCSE's at grade C (one of them was a short course in IT). The rest were D or lower.

The main reason I suggested redoing the core subjects was because it's been 10 years since I left school and I might find A-Levels daunting without adequate prep. Plus, I wanted to improve them to lighten the load on predicted grades and make a competitive application to Russell Group universities as the courses at them universities would be to a better standard i'd imagine.
Right, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish then. Your OP didn’t mention that. Yes, a ten year gap would mean A levels aren’t appropriate without a refresher. So maybe Access with retaking GCSE maths plus a foundation year could be an option
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BenTheBlue
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Right, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish then. Your OP didn’t mention that. Yes, a ten year gap would mean A levels aren’t appropriate without a refresher. So maybe Access with retaking GCSE maths plus a foundation year could be an option
I was thinking of doing the GCSE's I mentioned "just because" and because it doesn't harm the application. I think if I did that, then did A-Levels next year, that would take just as long as doing an Access then a foundation year? The worst case scenario with that is that I don't get the A-Level grades I need and do a foundation year anyway. The best scenario is I do very well and save £9000 on a foundation year.
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Notoriety
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Access is easy in an objective sense, 45/45 is probably about BBB level (although officially it's AAA equivalent). However the learning curve is steep and can make it difficult for some.

I know people who have done Access for CompSci after many years away -- and they simply did Access at the same time as a 1-year maths A-Level. I guess it is easier to learn maths in a quick period of time than it is learning essay writing skills and all that soft stuff. But not all CompSci courses are that picky -- you can get into some with Access alone.
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BenTheBlue
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(Original post by Notoriety)
Access is easy in an objective sense, 45/45 is probably about BBB level (although officially it's AAA equivalent). However the learning curve is steep and can make it difficult for some.

I know people who have done Access for CompSci after many years away -- and they simply did Access at the same time as a 1-year maths A-Level. I guess it is easier to learn maths in a quick period of time than it is learning essay writing skills and all that soft stuff. But not all CompSci courses are that picky -- you can get into some with Access alone.
But what does that say for the quality of CompSci course? I specifically considered Access to get onto a foundation year.
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Notoriety
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(Original post by BenTheBlue)
But what does that say for the quality of CompSci course? I specifically considered Access to get onto a foundation year.
Access and foundation year are the same thing, except the latter is taught by the uni. They're both intro courses for people who for whatever reasons are not ready just yet to go to uni; contain similar subjects and taught in a similar way.

If you wanna do a foundation year, just do one. No need to do Access first.
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BenTheBlue
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(Original post by Notoriety)
Access and foundation year are the same thing, except the latter is taught by the uni. They're both intro courses for people who for whatever reasons are not ready just yet to go to uni; contain similar subjects and taught in a similar way.

If you wanna do a foundation year, just do one. No need to do Access first.
I've heard of universities that require Access Courses before Foundation years. Southampton for example.
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Notoriety
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(Original post by BenTheBlue)
I've heard of universities that require Access Courses before Foundation years. Southampton for example.
So don't apply to Soton.
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BenTheBlue
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(Original post by Notoriety)
So don't apply to Soton.
But they're the type of universities that have the CompSci course to a good standard. So it's a vicious circle really :P
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Notoriety
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(Original post by BenTheBlue)
But they're the type of universities that have the CompSci course to a good standard. So it's a vicious circle really :P
Soton accept Access students for their CompSci course, but Access and maths should get you into the top leagues without having to do foundation.

Some OK CompSci foundations years have no recent formal study requirements, e.g. Dunelm.
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S_Sabdi
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(Original post by BenTheBlue)
Well I don't necessarily need it, but since I want to study Computer Science, I figured that it would be useful if I did get all distinctions. Having said that, I think most universities for computer science would have me do a foundation year regardless with the Access course still a requirement, mainly because of the Maths content within the Access course.
I'm also doing an access course to get into Computer Science, however, I'm doing the Engineering pathway which consists of only maths and physics. Basically, it has enough maths credits to make the universities happy. Some universities such as Bristol, Bath etc specifically ask for Access to Engineering to get onto computer science (although I'm doing a 1-year maths A-level on the side at home just to be on the safe side).
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