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Doing an A Level in a year from home?

(13 Posts)
Opheliasgoldenwine Thu 19-Oct-17 16:30:02

I’ve bought an A Level course to do from home that comes with a tutor that I email if I need help. I’ve bought the textbooks for the specific exam board in addition to this. I can fit in 12-15 hours a week (15 at a push) of study time but I also need to learn exam technique as it’s a new A Level. I also have to get an A, otherwise there’s no point in me doing it. I studied this subject a while ago but I’m aware it’s changed now, but I do know some of the information, it’s not brand new to me. Am I being realistic here or not? Any advice appreciated smile

Opheliasgoldenwine Thu 19-Oct-17 16:38:02

It’s a humanities of that helps smile

SallyOMalley Thu 19-Oct-17 18:41:31

I'm doing an A level by distance learning too - just started my A2 year.

I probably averaged around 8 hours a week and only just managed to finish the AS syllabus to give me my planned 6 revision weeks before the exams

In theory you could do it in a year, I reckon. However, don't underestimate all the other commitments that come with adulthood! My studies take a complete backseat during school holidays; a busy week at work means that my ability to learn plummets so progress can be slower. Even this week, having a plumber in for the day means that I'm banished away from the kitchen table which has limited the hours I can put in (our only table!)

Sorry, all this sounds very negative. On the plus side, juggling lots of commitments means good planning ... And that can only help!

What's your subject and who are you doing it with? I'm doing Classical Civilisation with the National Extension College. Very impressed with the materials so far (well, it got be a B in my AS level!)

Opheliasgoldenwine Thu 19-Oct-17 18:53:38

Thanks for the reply @SallyOMalley smile

I’m doing Sociology with Open Study College. Seems good so far. In terms of school holidays, I have a baby so it doesn’t change; however I don’t have many other commitments. This obviously limits how much I can do as I’m tending to her too. You can only sit the exams at the same time as the AS/A Level doesn’t exist anymore the way it used to I’ve been told; you have to do it all at once (the exams)?

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 19-Oct-17 19:00:55

You can do it. I did a masters after years out of education, with three children and a demanding job. I do have a supportive hands on husband, which was very helpful.

It is a matter of ruthless outcomes based organisation. Know your required trajectory week by week. Fiercely ensure you meet it. Even when you don't want to, even when the baby hasn't slept, even when the week is full of social obligations.

You just have to prioritise it and bloody do it.

It can be done.

Good luck!

SallyOMalley Thu 19-Oct-17 19:03:22

It depends on the A level subject - the new linear syllabus (ie all exams at the of the 2nd year) are being gradually phased in. Some have been linear for a couple of years (eg maths) and others (like mine) are starting this year. That's why I rushed into doing mine - I wanted to do an AS to see how I got on first! It does mean, though, that I have to do my A2 exam next June otherwise I don't get another chance.

I found a website 'The Student Room' really good for revision. I think that section is called 'get revising'. There are lots of resources to print off and it helps to compare them to the distance learning notes to see if there is anything extra to add.

Don't forget to look at the exam board's webpages - tons of info on there, including past papers and mark schemes which are very useful.

I think I looked at the Open Study College and it was a choice between that and the one I went for. Both are pretty good I think.

SallyOMalley Thu 19-Oct-17 19:04:14

Sorry - that's to the OP!

catslife Mon 30-Oct-17 09:15:35

You can only sit the exams at the same time as the AS/A Level doesn’t exist anymore the way it used to I’ve been told; you have to do it all at once (the exams)?

The AS level still exists, but is now a stand-alone qualification i.e. the AS exams don't count towards the final grade.
It looks as if sixth forms started teaching the course in September 2016 and so there are A level exams in 2018. This means it should be possible to complete the course in 1 year.
The amount of time that you have available sounds fine for A level study.
My only other thought is what are you going to do about child-care when you take the actual exams in the summer?

catslife Mon 30-Oct-17 09:19:20

Sally is incorrect Maths A level only converted to Linear this September and first exams are in 2019. So it wouldn't be possible to take Maths A level in one year in 2018 if you started now.

user918273645 Mon 30-Oct-17 09:38:38

So it wouldn't be possible to take Maths A level in one year in 2018 if you started now.

It would - you would simply need to teach yourself the old syllabus which is examined in 2018, rather than the new (linear) syllabus which is examined from 2019 onwards.

catslife Mon 30-Oct-17 15:46:52

user you are incorrect. The old legacy AS levels are only available for students who are retaking or those who have already started the course but were unable to complete it due to illness or injury etc.
See links www.ocr.org.uk/administration/support-and-tools/siu/legacy-resit-arrangements-040516/

bigbluebus Mon 30-Oct-17 16:09:07

Have you investigated where you can actually sit the exam?

DS did an A level in 1 year, this year. As an adult he wasn't able to go into a school and sit it. He chose an exam board that his old school didn't use for that subject anyway. He only had a choice of 2 exam centres which were both 50 miles away. One of his modules was a coursework element. One of the exam centres wouldn't handle his coursework element. The other one would but in order to get this marked by his exam centre he had to have 10 hours tuition with one of their tutors @ £40ph. This was the exam boards rule presumably so they could make sure that DS had done the work himself. As you can imagine it all worked out very expensive especially as all 3 of his exams ended up being morning exams so he had to book a Travelodge the night before as well.

user918273645 Mon 30-Oct-17 18:11:55

user you are incorrect. The old legacy AS levels are only available for students who are retaking or those who have already started the course but were unable to complete it due to illness or injury etc.

There are private colleges offering A levels in 1 year (particularly in places like Cambridge). My understanding is that they are offering the legacy maths A level taught in one year, with all units examined in summer 2018. This does not conflict with the link you sent (A level assessment final chance as summer 2018, final resit summer 2019) although they do need to take "AS units" as part of the A level.

It may well be that they are using some form of international A level in these private colleges, though, rather than standard OCR/AQA etc.

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