Chemistry A-level Private Candidate Entry

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Nicpro
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Hello! So I have recently made the decision to apply for a graduate entry medicine program. With my current degree (Nutrition) certain universities could accept me with no further qualifications (Aside from GAMSAT and UCAT tests), however to get a wider scope I will need a chemistry A-level. I am looking into how to do this as a private entry candidate but I am going in circles! I've looked at distance learning organisations but I have seen a lot of reviews stating how these are a waste of money. Therefore I am now looking into arranging it myself but I am so confused, as to what exactly is needed as it seems what the distance learning organisations offer differs from the requirements I can find on exam boards websites.

If anyone has ANY information or experience I would be very grateful.

P.S I am aware I will need to be assessed on certain practical elements too so information on this would be very helpful.

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Nicpro)
Hello! So I have recently made the decision to apply for a graduate entry medicine program. With my current degree (Nutrition) certain universities could accept me with no further qualifications (Aside from GAMSAT and UCAT tests), however to get a wider scope I will need a chemistry A-level. I am looking into how to do this as a private entry candidate but I am going in circles! I've looked at distance learning organisations but I have seen a lot of reviews stating how these are a waste of money. Therefore I am now looking into arranging it myself but I am so confused as to what exactly is needed as it seems what the distance learning organisations differs from the requirements I can find on exam boards websites.

If anyone has ANY information or experience I would be very grateful.

P.S I am aware I will need to be assessed on certain practical elements too so information on this would be very helpful.

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
I presume you've now graduated from your nutrition degree? I'm not sure why you'd now spend an extra year (at least) doing a chemistry A level privately just to allow you to apply to a few extra medical schools? Are there really none you want to apply to which would accept your current qualifications, thus saving you both the time and significant expense of completing this A level. The time to have done this really would have been concurrently with your degree, rather than afterwards.
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Nautilus
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You need to pass the practical element as well as getting a good grade in the exam. How will you do the practical without access to a lab?
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999tigger
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(Original post by Nicpro)
Hello! So I have recently made the decision to apply for a graduate entry medicine program. With my current degree (Nutrition) certain universities could accept me with no further qualifications (Aside from GAMSAT and UCAT tests), however to get a wider scope I will need a chemistry A-level. I am looking into how to do this as a private entry candidate but I am going in circles! I've looked at distance learning organisations but I have seen a lot of reviews stating how these are a waste of money. Therefore I am now looking into arranging it myself but I am so confused, as to what exactly is needed as it seems what the distance learning organisations offer differs from the requirements I can find on exam boards websites.

If anyone has ANY information or experience I would be very grateful.

P.S I am aware I will need to be assessed on certain practical elements too so information on this would be very helpful.

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
Its straughtforward.
1. Select an exam board AQA, Edexcel etc.
2. Download the spec from the website.
3. Get the textbooks.
4. Self teach and study.
5. Book an exam centre and pay the marking fee+ the exam centre fee to sit the exam. Probs about 100+200-350.
6. The do the admin.
7.Sit the excam on the normal date in 2021 or 2022.


At the same time as 5 , then find a practical endorsement provider and go on the 1 week - 2 week course or some do various weekend. £800-1300.
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Nicpro
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Its straughtforward.
1. Select an exam board AQA, Edexcel etc.
2. Download the spec from the website.
3. Get the textbooks.
4. Self teach and study.
5. Book an exam centre and pay the marking fee+ the exam centre fee to sit the exam. Probs about 100+200-350.
6. The do the admin.
7.Sit the excam on the normal date in 2021 or 2022.


At the same time as 5 , then find a practical endorsement provider and go on the 1 week - 2 week course or some do various weekend. £800-1300.
Thanks for your response! I pretty much have the exact same checklist, I think my issue is more with the exact specifications.

For example:
The distance learning organisations I've looked at offer the full chemistry A level which concludes with 3 exams. Where as if you look at the exam board they use, the number of exams across AS and A2 exceed 3. It has always been my understanding that to receive a full A-level you need both the AS and A2, so it is confusing me how through these various organisations you can get an A-level by sitting only 3 exams.

Have you completed a science A level as a private candidate?

As I said thank you for your response and if you do have any more info, I'd appreciate it.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Nicpro)
Thanks for your response! I pretty much have the exact same checklist, I think my issue is more with the exact specifications.

For example:
The distance learning organisations I've looked at offer the full chemistry A level which concludes with 3 exams. Where as if you look at the exam board they use, the number of exams across AS and A2 exceed 3. It has always been my understanding that to receive a full A-level you need both the AS and A2, so it is confusing me how through these various organisations you can get an A-level by sitting only 3 exams.

Have you completed a science A level as a private candidate?

As I said thank you for your response and if you do have any more info, I'd appreciate it.
Just choose and download the specification. I suggest Edexcel or AQA.
Read the document and it shows you how many exams.
Ignore the distance leaenrs as you are probabvly getting confused between AS and full A level.
Exans have been linear in the UK for a few years now so its just the exams under A level and everything sat at the end.
Look at the spec and you will see AS (which arent common) merely consists of the first hald of the A level spec.
The A level exams are longer and cover more.
The spec explains all.
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Nicpro
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Just choose and download the specification. I suggest Edexcel or AQA.
Read the document and it shows you how many exams.
Ignore the distance leaenrs as you are probabvly getting confused between AS and full A level.
Exans have been linear in the UK for a few years now so its just the exams under A level and everything sat at the end.
Look at the spec and you will see AS (which arent common) merely consists of the first hald of the A level spec.
The A level exams are longer and cover more.
The spec explains all.
OHHHH!! Thank you so much! I didn't know the AS/A2 system has been changed, this has really helped!
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thegeek888
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(Original post by Nicpro)
OHHHH!! Thank you so much! I didn't know the AS/A2 system has been changed, this has really helped!
Here are some useful websites:
https://www.cherryhilltuition.com/chemistry-a-level-aqa
http://tutors-in-bristol.co.uk/aqa-a...ogy-resources/
https://plutoniumscience.com/resourc...try-resources/
http://www.a-levelchemistry.co.uk/1s...-as-level.html
http://www.scienceskool.co.uk/a-level-exams1.html
https://www.studymind.co.uk/resource...vel-chemistry/
https://chemrevise.org/revision-guides/
https://chemrevise.org/textbook/
http://www.docbrown.info/page19/AQA_...em_AS_2015.htm
https://chemistrytutor.me/get-an-a-s...vel-chemistry/
https://chemrevise.files.wordpress.c...el-summary.pdf
https://www.expert-tuition.co.uk/pas...on-calculator/
https://www.cram.com/flashcards/aqa-...itions-7686327
https://primrosekitten.org/courses/a...vel-chemistry/
https://www.a-levelpastpapers.co.uk/...st-papers.html
https://gemmashearer.com/introductio...stry-workbook/
http://www.a-levelchemistry.co.uk/aqa-as-chemistry.html
https://umutech.net/past_papers.html
https://www.shawonnotes.com/index.ph...chemistry/gce/
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Compost
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I'd ten to agree with RealityCheck - don't bother with this and just apply to universities that don't require A level Chemistry, but study the content.

If you're set on taking A level Chemistry then be aware that the exam boards require any centre that enters you for exams also to offer you the practicals, which means very few centres will accept private candidate for Sciences. Before you commit to paying somewhere else to take the practicals, you need to be sure that there is a cast iron way of them counting towards your full A level - i.e. you are taking them at the same place as the exams or you have a written confirmation they can be combined.
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Nicpro
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(Original post by Reality Check)
I presume you've now graduated from your nutrition degree? I'm not sure why you'd now spend an extra year (at least) doing a chemistry A level privately just to allow you to apply to a few extra medical schools? Are there really none you want to apply to which would accept your current qualifications, thus saving you both the time and significant expense of completing this A level. The time to have done this really would have been concurrently with your degree, rather than afterwards.
There is one university in London who's entry requirements I can currently meet. For a variety of reasons, moving away from London is not an option I can pursue with any sort of ease. An A level in chemistry will open up the amount of London universities that will accept me. Obviously there will have been a number of times previous to now that would have been more suitable to complete this A level, and had I known I wanted to pursue medicine back then, I would have done it. Unfortunately, some things we don't figure out until later on.
I understand that you were trying to be helpful with your response but it does seem like you wanted to question my reasoning more than providing help.
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Nicpro
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(Original post by Compost)
I'd ten to agree with RealityCheck - don't bother with this and just apply to universities that don't require A level Chemistry, but study the content.

If you're set on taking A level Chemistry then be aware that the exam boards require any centre that enters you for exams also to offer you the practicals, which means very few centres will accept private candidate for Sciences. Before you commit to paying somewhere else to take the practicals, you need to be sure that there is a cast iron way of them counting towards your full A level - i.e. you are taking them at the same place as the exams or you have a written confirmation they can be combined.
Thank you, I'll make sure I question any center I use for practicals around its contribution to the overall A level.
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Nicpro
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Thank you very much! Have you taken a chemistry A-level as a private candidate then?
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Compost
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(Original post by Nicpro)
Thank you, I'll make sure I question any center I use for practicals around its contribution to the overall A level.
If they will also let you take the exams there it works fine. If they won't then you need to know that they and the centre where you are going to take the exams are both happy with how to do this - the obvious solution is that you are entered for everything at the practical centre and then the exams are transferred to the exam centre.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Nicpro)
I understand that you were trying to be helpful with your response but it does seem like you wanted to question my reasoning more than providing help.
Sometimes you get that with a free to use, public forum.
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themagics1992
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How old are you and what area do you live in?
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Nicpro
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(Original post by themagics1992)
How old are you and what area do you live in?
25 and I'm based in central london
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thegeek888
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(Original post by Nicpro)
Thank you very much! Have you taken a chemistry A-level as a private candidate then?
I am taking AQA Chemistry at a centre in Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in Summer 2022. Because I will have saved the money for the practicals by then too and have Maths and Further Maths achieved at A-Level. I am also a mature student.
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Nicpro
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(Original post by thegeek888)
I am taking AQA Chemistry at a centre in Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in Summer 2022. Because I will have saved the money for the practicals by then too and have Maths and Further Maths achieved at A-Level. I am also a mature student.
ahh amazing, what test centre is that? it's conveniently close to me so will definitely be worth me contacting them! I'm planning summer 2022 aswell! hoping to start medicine that September.. I emailed one of the university's I'm applying to the other day as I had a few questions about requirements and they stated that for anyine doing extra A levels to make up the entry requirements that they don't need practical endorsement. I'm now emailing the other uni's on my list to ask the same thing! might be worth doing the same for yours.. if this is the same for all the unis I'm applying to it will save me ALOT of money and may allow me to take the written exams sooner
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thegeek888
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(Original post by Nicpro)
ahh amazing, what test centre is that? it's conveniently close to me so will definitely be worth me contacting them! I'm planning summer 2022 aswell! hoping to start medicine that September..
It is Campbell Harris College on High Street Kensington, just a 2 minute walk from High Street Kensington station. A-level Science Intensive evening course (AQA Biology or Chemistry) (inc. Practical Endorsement) £2600 and AQA Practical Endorsement only £1400.
I am going to satisfy my parents first by achieving A*'s in A-Level Maths and A-Level Further Maths so they help me pay the fees. But for £117 per practical (of which there are 12 practicals) it is worthwhile of an investment in one's education and a brighter future. I will also be doing the Intensive Evening course for Chemistry. So I should have Maths, Further Maths and Chemistry by Summer 2022 and finally I will do Biology too in Summer 2023 the year of entry to my Law degree course. Because Maths and Further Maths overlap alot so I have to offer 4 A-Levels. But all in all, I will have the A-Levels in the end.

(Original post by Nicpro)
I emailed one of the university's I'm applying to the other day as I had a few questions about requirements and they stated that for anyine doing extra A levels to make up the entry requirements that they don't need practical endorsement.

I am yet to email Cambridge, LSE, UCL, KCL and SOAS for Law. But you already have been told that the practical endorsement isn't necessary for some medicine courses?! WOW But it is at the more competitive universities like Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, KCL, Imperial, St.Georges, QMUL and Bristol as well as few others.

(Original post by Nicpro)
I'm now emailing the other uni's on my list to ask the same thing! might be worth doing the same for yours.. if this is the same for all the unis I'm applying to it will save me ALOT of money and may allow me to take the written exams sooner
Yes but for Law it is very competitive and they will ask for practical endorsement for Chemistry and Biology. However, I will also be complete from the Certificate Level and partly of the Professional Level exams of the ICAEW Chartered Accountant exams by the end of 2021 or March 2022. They are recognised by the most prestigious accounting firms.
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