BMMorrison
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Hello, i'm wondering if it's possible to self study 3 a-levels without paying for the courses through websites like open study college? they're very expensive, around £500 per course.

could i only pay for the exams?

Has anyone else done this?

I'm currently 18 years old and in desperate need of qualifications. I left senior school with decent grades. i went onto college and did alright at first but i had problems which eventually led into me dropping out of college. i studied chemistry, biology and sociology. it was a shame, because i really was good at chem and bio at first.

I then re-enrolled at a different college where i am now studying engineering but i'm leaving after this year because i really don't enjoy it.

I will most likely get an apprenticeship, but i want some a levels to go aside.

thanks for any info.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by BMMorrison)
Hello, i'm wondering if it's possible to self study 3 a-levels without paying for the courses through websites like open study college? they're very expensive, around £500 per course.

could i only pay for the exams?

Has anyone else done this?

I'm currently 18 years old and in desperate need of qualifications. I left senior school with decent grades. i went onto college and did alright at first but i had problems which eventually led into me dropping out of college. i studied chemistry, biology and sociology. it was a shame, because i really was good at chem and bio at first.

I then re-enrolled at a different college where i am now studying engineering but i'm leaving after this year because i really don't enjoy it.

I will most likely get an apprenticeship, but i want some a levels to go aside.

thanks for any info.
It's possible, but not really feasible. Studying three A levels is enough of a challenge when you're at college, but trying to do them on your own really is going to be nigh on impossible. You'd need a private tutor at a minimum, and the cost of that is significant.

I'm not trying to put you off - it's great that you want to get some more qualifications. But there's not much point my pretending what you're suggesting is a good idea, or likely to lead to a good outcome
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BMMorrison
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(Original post by Reality Check)
It's possible, but not really feasible. Studying three A levels is enough of a challenge when you're at college, but trying to do them on your own really is going to be nigh on impossible. You'd need a private tutor at a minimum, and the cost of that is significant.

I'm not trying to put you off - it's great that you want to get some more qualifications. But there's not much point my pretending what you're suggesting is a good idea, or likely to lead to a good outcome
thanks for the info, i do need honest reality-based opinions. The resource material is out there, there's plenty of help online. Its worth a shot. Id say im pretty capable, nothing to suggest i will surely fail.

On open study college, it asks for another £200 on top of the base course price just for exams, so i'm wondering if its possible to book the exams myself for a cheaper price?

thanks.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by BMMorrison)
thanks for the info, i do need honest reality-based opinions. The resource material is out there, there's plenty of help online. Its worth a shot. Id say im pretty capable, nothing to suggest i will surely fail.

On open study college, it asks for another £200 on top of the base course price just for exams, so i'm wondering if its possible to book the exams myself for a cheaper price?

thanks.
What subjects are you thinking of studying?
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BMMorrison
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(Original post by Reality Check)
What subjects are you thinking of studying?
maths, chem, physics. All the subjects i enjoyed doing at school. i got 7 in maths with As in both chem and physics.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by BMMorrison)
maths, chem, physics. All the subjects i enjoyed doing at school. i got 7 in maths with As in both chem and physics.
I suspected you were going to say this, based on what you said you'd enjoyed previously.

I'm afraid the problem with doing chemistry and physics by yourself is the practical endorsement. A pass in this component is an essential for most universities - if you look at the entry requirements for most courses they will say 'a pass in the practical element of science courses is required'. Unfortunately this requirement for practical endorsement has made doing science A levels 'at home' pretty much impossible - it's very difficult to find a school or college which will offer to host the practical endorsement for you, and those who do often charge £500-£750 per subject due to the work involved.

The cheapest option is a distance learning course which includes the practical endorsement - though these are very expensive. Short of finding a university which is prepared to accept your science A levels without the endorsement, I'm afraid this isn't going to work out for you.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
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giella
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It is possible to self study A levels but, as a strategy, it generally results in a better outcome if you’re already experienced in studying and know what is expected of you and what your limitations and strengths are as a student.

I would strongly advise looking into study options that provide you with some structured feedback. Humanities subjects are not advisable as these are not subjects you can learn in the sense of just processing information. Languages, however, would potentially be accessible if you joined a language group in your area and Maths has plenty of options for self study, some free, some not. I would stay away from sciences too as it’s almost impossible to get the lab experience.
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giella
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I think it’s also important to be clear on what you want to do. An apprenticeship will take up a lot of your time and A levels should be the equivalent of a full time job too. It would not be advisable to do both. If you want to do A levels, commit to them. Don’t do them “on the side”, do them because you’re committed to learning and doing well with an aim for using them as a foundation for further study or an apprenticeship. That is what they’re ultimately for, for someone in your position anyway.
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BMMorrison
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(Original post by Reality Check)
I suspected you were going to say this, based on what you said you'd enjoyed previously.

I'm afraid the problem with doing chemistry and physics by yourself is the practical endorsement. A pass in this component is an essential for most universities - if you look at the entry requirements for most courses they will say 'a pass in the practical element of science courses is required'. Unfortunately this requirement for practical endorsement has made doing science A levels 'at home' pretty much impossible - it's very difficult to find a school or college which will offer to host the practical endorsement for you, and those who do often charge £500-£750 per subject due to the work involved.

The cheapest option is a distance learning course which includes the practical endorsement - though these are very expensive. Short of finding a university which is prepared to accept your science A levels without the endorsement, I'm afraid this isn't going to work out for you.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
(Original post by giella)
It is possible to self study A levels but, as a strategy, it generally results in a better outcome if you’re already experienced in studying and know what is expected of you and what your limitations and strengths are as a student.

I would strongly advise looking into study options that provide you with some structured feedback. Humanities subjects are not advisable as these are not subjects you can learn in the sense of just processing information. Languages, however, would potentially be accessible if you joined a language group in your area and Maths has plenty of options for self study, some free, some not. I would stay away from sciences too as it’s almost impossible to get the lab experience.
(Original post by giella)
I think it’s also important to be clear on what you want to do. An apprenticeship will take up a lot of your time and A levels should be the equivalent of a full time job too. It would not be advisable to do both. If you want to do A levels, commit to them. Don’t do them “on the side”, do them because you’re committed to learning and doing well with an aim for using them as a foundation for further study or an apprenticeship. That is what they’re ultimately for, for someone in your position anyway.
thank you all for your responses. i want to expand my options.

i will most likely stick to a-level maths + something else.

i will figure it out!! (hopefully, i beg)

cheers
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Reality Check
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(Original post by BMMorrison)
thank you all for your responses. i want to expand my options.

i will most likely stick to a-level maths + something else.

i will figure it out!! (hopefully, i beg)

cheers
No problems - good luck with it.
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whitneeyle
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I have been doing home study for a long time. Yes it’s expensive and the tutors aren’t even any help so you’re pretty much stuck but if you have the determination then go for it. What’s the worst that can happen? You can find exam centres which host practical exams and majority of bigger centres or high schools do allow for the practical element to be done; although you may find the small private ones won’t allow it. This happened with my a level English literature coursework - I had to take my 3 subjects with different exam centres. Hope this helps?
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username2013595
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I wouldn’t waste the money. What level apprenticeship are you after. Just enrol back into a college unless money is not a problem for you but it will be particularly hard. My sociology teacher left and I basically had to self teach myself and although it wasn’t hard it was extremely time consuming trying to set aside things

School gives you that structure of starting at 9 and dedicating time to things working from home is unlikely to hold that structure consistently, If you think you can hack it go ahead but think about it first as paying hundreds of pounds for something that’s given free is a risk
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whitneeyle
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When I was in school I had to pretty much teach myself science just before my GCSEs. Self study and “teaching yourself a subject” because of a different reason are completely different!
(Original post by gelle)
I wouldn’t waste the money. What level apprenticeship are you after. Just enrol back into a college unless money is not a problem for you but it will be particularly hard. My sociology teacher left and I basically had to self teach myself and although it wasn’t hard it was extremely time consuming trying to set aside things

School gives you that structure of starting at 9 and dedicating time to things working from home is unlikely to hold that structure consistently, If you think you can hack it go ahead but think about it first as paying hundreds of pounds for something that’s given free is a risk
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iwishicouldfly14
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If you turned 18 this year (i.e. will turn 19 next academic year) you can still enrol in a college for A Levels for free.

Self studying A Levels isn't impossible by any means - but I really wouldn't suggest it. Enough people find them hard enough doing them at school/college with the support of teachers.
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username2013595
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(Original post by whitneeyle)
When I was in school I had to pretty much teach myself science just before my GCSEs. Self study and “teaching yourself a subject” because of a different reason are completely different!
What is your point
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whitneeyle
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There is no correct answer to his question but as far as I have seen you don’t have experience of self study so you can’t really comment and appreciate the “structure” - it isn’t impossible
(Original post by gelle)
What is your point
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username2013595
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(Original post by whitneeyle)
There is no correct answer to his question but as far as I have seen you don’t have experience of self study so you can’t really comment and appreciate the “structure” - it isn’t impossible
Everyone who does exams has experience of self study. Having to learn a whole subject yourself is self teaching as well as self study lol. “So you really can’t comment”. What’s even going on there lol. The person has asked for advice it’s been given and you’re here telling me I can’t comment... make it make sense
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whitneeyle
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That’s not specifically true. Everybody in schools have a teacher and somebody to guide them. A-levels are moe independent but you still receive guidance from a tutor. If you have taught yourself a subject, but purely because of a lack of resources or a teacher who isn’t extremely helpful, it is self teaching but it’s not the same as studying from home for 2 years with no support. There was no need to be rude
(Original post by gelle)
Everyone who does exams has experience of self study. Having to learn a whole subject yourself is self teaching as well as self study lol. “So you really can’t comment”. What’s even going on there lol. The person has asked for advice it’s been given and you’re here telling me I can’t comment... make it make sense
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username2013595
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(Original post by whitneeyle)
That’s not specifically true. Everybody in schools have a teacher and somebody to guide them. A-levels are moe independent but you still receive guidance from a tutor. If you have taught yourself a subject, but purely because of a lack of resources or a teacher who isn’t extremely helpful, it is self teaching but it’s not the same as studying from home for 2 years with no support. There was no need to be rude
I wasn’t be rude lol. You were dismissive and told me not to comment so look at yourself before others.

Your comments aren’t useful in advising the original poster so why bother?
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whitneeyle
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How aren’t my comments helpful? The poster asked if anybody has done this and I have?
(Original post by gelle)
I wasn’t be rude lol. You were dismissive and told me not to comment so look at yourself before others.

Your comments aren’t useful in advising the original poster so why bother?
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