Taking A level independently

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Arthur95
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Hi,


I am a mature student and I would like to sit A level (math, chemistry, biology) (AQA)for the first time as a private candidate.
Should I take AS and A2 separately in different years?
Or should I take it together in one year?
Which one is better and easier to get top grades A*s .
I need your advices.
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tomatowielder
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Hi! I'm a mature student sitting biology, chemistry and maths privately too! Unless you're applying to university with predicted grades, there's really no point taking AS levels, they don't count towards your overall grades. It's best to take all of your exams at once.

Make sure you get your practical endorsement sorted for biology and chemistry - most universities require it and it costs a small fortune as a private candidate.
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Arthur95
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(Original post by tomatowielder)
Hi! I'm a mature student sitting biology, chemistry and maths privately too! Unless you're applying to university with predicted grades, there's really no point taking AS levels, they don't count towards your overall grades. It's best to take all of your exams at once.

Make sure you get your practical endorsement sorted for biology and chemistry - most universities require it and it costs a small fortune as a private candidate.
Thank you so much for your reply!

If AS doesn’t count towards my overall grades, then how will I get A* ??
Because as I read that is getting A in AS plus A in A2 =A*
And for practical endorsement, is it one practical exam for both years (AS & A2) in the same day ??
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elliemc24
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(Original post by Arthur95)
Thank you so much for your reply!

If AS doesn’t count towards my overall grades, then how will I get A* ??
Because as I read that is getting A in AS plus A in A2 =A*
And for practical endorsement, is it one practical exam for both years (AS & A2) in the same day ??
The say it works now is that AS and A levels are separate qualifications. Although you cover the same topics, your AS cannot be turned into an A2 and won't count towards it - your exam only counts towards one qualification, basically.
If you're wanting full A levels in both, ignore the AS syllabus on the AQA website - just look at A2. I believe from my own A levels I only had one practical coursework element (different exam board and a couple of years ago).
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Arthur95
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(Original post by elliemc24)
The say it works now is that AS and A levels are separate qualifications. Although you cover the same topics, your AS cannot be turned into an A2 and won't count towards it - your exam only counts towards one qualification, basically.
If you're wanting full A levels in both, ignore the AS syllabus on the AQA website - just look at A2. I believe from my own A levels I only had one practical coursework element (different exam board and a couple of years ago).
Will A2 written exam have contents from AS ?
Should I study AS for A2 exam or I don’t need to touch AS at all ?!
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elliemc24
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(Original post by Arthur95)
Will A2 written exam have contents from AS ?
Should I study AS for A2 exam or I don’t need to touch AS at all ?!
A2 will have the same content as AS, yes. You do need to study the AS content, sorry I worded that badly!
you'll sit the AS and A2 exams but they will only count towards an A2 basically. you wont get an AS from it.

example - maths edexcel has C1-4 and M1 and M2 (for example) as units. the AS units are C1, C2 and M1, but you will sit all the exams at once now I think, and you wont get an AS from doing those units unless you are studying them as an AS level. Basically you cant turn an AS into an A level any more.
Last edited by elliemc24; 1 month ago
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Unlucki
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(Original post by Arthur95)
Hi,


I am a mature student and I would like to sit A level (math, chemistry, biology) (AQA)for the first time as a private candidate.
Should I take AS and A2 separately in different years?
Or should I take it together in one year?
Which one is better and easier to get top grades A*s .
I need your advices.
Are you looking at UK A-Levels or International A-Levels as the international ones still use AS?
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Arthur95
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(Original post by elliemc24)
A2 will have the same content as AS, yes. You do need to study the AS content, sorry I worded that badly!
you'll sit the AS and A2 exams but they will only count towards an A2 basically. you wont get an AS from it.

example - maths edexcel has C1-4 and M1 and M2 (for example) as units. the AS units are C1, C2 and M1, but you will sit all the exams at once now I think, and you wont get an AS from doing those units unless you are studying them as an AS level. Basically you cant turn an AS into an A level any more.
Now I got it!
Thank you very much for your reply
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Arthur95
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(Original post by Unlucki)
Are you looking at UK A-Levels or International A-Levels as the international ones still use AS?
I’m looking at UK A-Levels
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Arthur95
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(Original post by elliemc24)
A2 will have the same content as AS, yes. You do need to study the AS content, sorry I worded that badly!
you'll sit the AS and A2 exams but they will only count towards an A2 basically. you wont get an AS from it.

example - maths edexcel has C1-4 and M1 and M2 (for example) as units. the AS units are C1, C2 and M1, but you will sit all the exams at once now I think, and you wont get an AS from doing those units unless you are studying them as an AS level. Basically you cant turn an AS into an A level any more.
So why on universities websites I find they are still asking for A* !!!
How to get A* if there’s only one exam for each subject?
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elliemc24
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(Original post by Arthur95)
So why on universities websites I find they are still asking for A* !!!
How to get A* if there’s only one exam for each subject?
theres not only one exam -

I'm very confused
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Unlucki
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(Original post by Arthur95)
So why on universities websites I find they are still asking for A* !!!
How to get A* if there’s only one exam for each subject?
Basically you study A-Levels for 2 years and then take *all exams* at the end. There is no modular system anymore, you can't do AS exams in the first year that will count towards your final grade. They are completely separate. Most A-Levels will have 2-3 exam papers at the end of the 2 years, and you can get an A* from them. They add up your marks from each paper and if you have enough in total then you'll get an A* (grade boundaries change each year so it's not set in stone how many marks you need to get an A*)
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Haribo22
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Hi, I am also a mature student doing A Levels, already done Biology with a college as a one year fast track A Level, and because it was cheaper to do the practical endorsement this way than separately somewhere else! I am not going to self study the other two.
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Haribo22
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Does anyone know if the practical endorsements are not required this year for sciences? I heard on the news that Ofqual were thinking about them being optional due to coronavirus.
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