Thread: How did you get your A/AS Chem?
09-11-2010, 07:58 PM #1
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
How did you get your A/AS Chem?
My question is directed at those forum users who took (or are taking) ALevel or AS Level Chemistry later-in-life. Which route did you take to get the qualification?
I have been researching the online/distance-learning courses, which are the only option for me as full-time work and a baby prohibits me going back to college. Sadly, there are no night school options in my area either. The only provider I can find is a company called "Bright Futures", just wondering if there are any other (preferably cheaper) providers out there that people have experience of?
I plan to take the AS Chem and AS Bio which is sufficient for my chosen insitution (plus UKCAT). I'm just irritated that the Bio course is avaiable for circa £300 and Chem is 5 times as much!
Any advice warmly appreciated.
I am planning to apply for the 2012 intake next year, b
10-11-2010, 12:31 AM #2
This is always a difficult decision to make; be cautious!
Online courses can look very appealing when you are promised the opportunity to learn from home! Make sure that you have all your questions answered before making any payment (because payment may be non-refundable)!
Note that these are some of the questions i wish i had asked before signing up to an online course:
1) what kind of learning materials will the online course provide. (e.g. written learning tasks? interactive online tutorials? etc) For the course i applied for - it wasn't clear what materials would be available!
2) what level of learning support will you receive (e.g. tuition over the phone? a face to face tutor? or even an online tutor?).
3) What syllabus will be studied and with which exam board?
4) will you need to register with a separate exam-board registered institution? how much will this cost? And are there any in your local area? (this is very important! Many online courses fail to outline that they do not provide the actual Alevel examination before you buy; this leaves you with no place to take your examination once you have signed up and paid your fee!!!!)
The alternative is night school/college. I know you said this probably wasn't suitable for you, but the benefits include;
1) a cheaper fee that often includes materials, tuition and registration with the intsitution and exam board.
2) weeking /fortnightly meetings with classroom based teaching
3) opportunity to meet other people and share/discuss ideas.
I know this is a bit generic, but these are the things i think you should be aware of. I found registering with the college more cheaper and useful than the online school.
hope this helps,
10-11-2010, 03:23 AM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
Same here with no night school around, will be applying in 2012 and taking Chem as well. The Chem DL cost out there is horrendously 5 times Bio when taking 1 unit and further doubled if both!
Have booked for the practical session with a private centre and will be self tutoring with the occassional help from the centre when needed.
Lets know how you get on.
10-11-2010, 07:43 PM #4
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
I'm currently studying AS Chem at college in the evening (I already have A Level Bio from school). I would strongly advise that you have a think about your own learning style and the route you think would be the best for you personally - I know that I learn best with regular classroom sessions and opportunities to bounce ideas around.
Having said that, I'm currently doing AS Chem along with a full-time job and volunteering role at my local hospital and I am just about managing to fit everything in. I take my hat off to anyone managing to do the full A Level in a year (something I considered, but wasn't available through the college I'm attending!).
12-11-2010, 03:51 AM #5
I did AS Chemistry with NEC but I don't think they do it anymore.
I then did A2 Chemistry just with a bunch of textbooks and revisions guides in my own time of an evening.
Took all my exams with Campbell Harris who I would rate as good.
Got high A grades for both AS and A2 but I worked pretty hard at them and have a science background.
Nearly finished Year 3 of 5. Wow over halfway there now! Can't wait to be earning money...
Wife, mother (5 and 3 years old) and Med Student - yay!
12-11-2010, 03:41 PM #6
Find out which examining board and syllabus you will be using for your A-level (e.g. AQA, Edexcel). I'm currently studying AS & A2 chemistry (AQA) through a local college. The AQA syllabus has atleast one assessed practical at AS level and one at A2 - which are compulsory. Every examining board has their own website with a full breakdown of the syllabus for each subject.
Make sure you check with any distance learning scheme that they include the full examination and qualification. Check the small print. Some schemes will tutor you for the exams but leave you to sort out your own practicals, or offer to host the practicals at exhorbitant fees - and without prior lab experience you may struggle.
I'm also studying AS Biology (Edexcel syllabus) and there are assessed practicals involved in that too.
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