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GCSE distance learning - provider/exam centres/can I do it?

(9 Posts)
ComfortingKormaBalls Mon 26-Jan-15 10:32:28

First time on this board....

So I've had a cr@p day at work and need to move on. I would like to re-take my GCSEs (CSE's in my day) so I can meet job vacancy criterias and get the hell out.

Can anyone recommend a provider? Cloud, NEC, other?

Where are the exam centres? I'm in the North East.

Is it worth it, are they any good, is it do-able?


Becca19962014 Mon 26-Jan-15 15:01:23

It depends on the GCSEs you want to take. You nearly always need to arrange your own exams locally and they can be expensive. I did a GCSE via distance learning ten years ago to progress my career, the materials cost about two hundred pounds and the exams in the region of eighty (it'll be a lot more now). Also you local centre must already be registered with the exam board for the syllabus you have been studying (I was lucky a local college allowed me to sit as an external candidate and the exam board was one they supported, had it been another I wouldn't have been able to sit the exam anywhere near where I live).

How many were you thinking of doing? I found the one I did and a full time job quite hard (Id never studied the subject before and found it difficult). Also you need to be prepared for the exams being anytime over several weeks in May and June.

The company I used doesn't exist anymore it was very much you were sent materials and a list of books to purchase and then you did some assignments and then arranged and sat your exams.

I think NEC can arrange exams for you if you can get to one of their exam centres but you still need to pay for them on top of the material/tuition fee. I've heard good and bad things about them as a provider. I'm not sure who to recommend. Sometimes it depends on the subject as well as provider.

So it is doable, but you need to be aware it will take some time to do them and find out which are useful for what you want to do.

ComfortingKormaBalls Mon 26-Jan-15 16:01:11

Thanks Becca. I'm only doing one to try first to see if I can do it and bear the cost. There is an exam centre about 30 minutes from me so that's not too bad either. I think I will go with CloudLearn.

Wish I'd paid more attention at school

Becca19962014 Mon 26-Jan-15 19:00:33

Doing one is very wise, I'd hoped you meant to begin with one but wasn't sure from your OP!

Do phone the exam centre to make sure they support the same syllabus that cloud teach (and how much they will charge you to sit each exam paper (there can be several papers) and I'd recommend timing starting so you have tutor when applying for and sorting out your exams, with GCSEs you get twelve months support from a tutor usually so if you applied now it would stop next few, not helpful if you do a course with exams in January and May.

I hope you find it enjoyable, I've done other courses via distance learning and providers vary a huge amount and it's individual as to what someone finds helpful as well.

I hope that helps, I've given you the information I found out the hard way (start dates/exams)

Good luck!!

LIZS Mon 26-Jan-15 19:03:59

If you didn't pass maths or English you can retake it, or a level 2 equivalent, for free via your local FE college, possibly taught online or drop in/ part time basis.

LimeFizz Wed 04-Feb-15 22:20:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Caronaim Wed 04-Feb-15 22:46:32

In most areas you can retake English and maths for free

Besta Wed 04-Feb-15 22:47:43

If you're in North Tyneside, Whitley Bay High School is a local centre. Pm me if you want a contact. Very, very helpful people!

sashh Mon 09-Feb-15 06:52:38

Agree with going to FE college for Level 2 literacy and numeracy - they are GCSE equivalent but much more focussed on 'every day'.

So the numeracy will have thinks like a shopping list, will say you pay with a £10 note and ask what change you get.

ou can often do them almost as a walk in, with very little prep and no teaching. I had to do them aspart of teacher training, I already had O Levels but we had to prove we were still working at level 2.

If you don't have any GCSE (or equivalent) passes you could do a 'full' Level 2 qualification at college.

I realise this is not as simple as it sounds because you couldn't work full time as well but it might be worth looking at grants/bursaries/adult learner support at your local college.

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