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Archive for August, 2011

GCSE Results Day

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

With AS, A2 and A Level results behind us it’s now time to congratulate (and help out) those of you who’ve just got GCSE results.

Hopefully they are everything you hoped for and you are now ready to move onto college to do AS, A2 and A Level courses or another type of further education course.  Or maybe you’ve decided GCSEs will be the end of your time in education and you’ll be looking for work.

Last year we blogged about what to do on results day, with helpful hints on what to do if your results what weren’t you expected. This year we asked our tutors to come up with some hints and tips on next steps after GCSEs.

–          Don’t worry if you have no idea what you want to do after your GCSEs. This is really common and there is no rule that says you have to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life when you are 16. You’ll find advisers in school and the Careers Service who can walk you through the various education and work options and explore possible careers.

–          It’s ok if you’ve got your results and then decide the choices you made for AS or A Levels are the wrong ones. Lots of people change their courses before they start sixth form or college. It’s much better to start doing something you want to do than struggling on with something you don’t really want to do. Just talk to the college or sixth form and explain why you’ve changed your mind (it could be for academic or personal reasons, or to work towards a particular career).

–          GCSE results are just a first step. If your results aren’t what you hoped then don’t think you are doomed to a life of dull work. You will have lots of opportunities to explore different career paths or make up for any struggles you had at school. GCSE results are the beginning, not the end.

–          A Levels aren’t the only option after GCSEs – there is The Diploma, Apprenticeships, The Extended Project and hundreds of vocational qualifications. You can find useful information in your local 14-19 prospectus .

If you need help, support or private tutoring in Manchester and Cheshire after your GCSE results (or AS, A2 and A Level results) then call 01625 531 630 to speak to 121 Home Tutors or leave a comment below.

You can also call the exam helpline on 0808 100 8000.

A Level Results day – what happens now?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

It’s August and that means results day tomorrow for those of you who took your AS and A2 Levels just a few months ago. We’ve got our fingers crossed that you’ll get exactly the right grades you need to get your place at University on your chosen course. But what happens if things go wrong and the grades aren’t what you expected?

–          The first thing is not to panic – both your college or school and universities are used to (and set up for) dealing with students who didn’t get the grades they expected (and it works both ways – maybe your grades are better than you thought they’d be;  Alevel-results better than expected? ). The first thing to do is take a deep breath and then find someone to talk to – it could be your personal tutor/head of sixth form, an advisor at college (there may be people around specifically to help you) or someone at the university you applied to. All these people want to help you and your school or college will help you look at different ways of getting you on to the course or university you want to be at. If you have a good relationship with your tutor they may be willing to speak directly to an admissions tutor. It’s always worth checking with the university that you don’t already have a place (mistakes can happen!).

–          If you haven’t got the grades you expected it doesn’t instantly mean you won’t get the place or course that you applied for. It’s not easy to get onto competitive courses if you haven’t got the grades they wanted but do call the university and speak to the admissions tutor – if there are specific reasons why you didn’t get the grades you thought you would then be prepared to explain them. If you really want to get on a course then you may have to fight your corner.

–          If your grades mean you can’t get on the courses you wanted then you can consider going through clearing. Again your first port of call should be your school or college who can point you in the direction of suitable courses and universities.

–          If you think clearing isn’t for you (and you have to think carefully about choosing a university or course at speed) then how about other options – lots of people take a gap year and work or travel, maybe you might decide to work full time or try a more practical route like an apprenticeship.  Look at www.notgoingtouni.com.

–          You can always go back. For most students the prospect of resitting fills them with dread but for the sake of a few months you could get on the university course that you want. You can usually resit modules next January and reapply through UCAS. The advantage this time is that you probably have a good idea of where you went wrong and how you can fix it. If you decide to resit then this can be the ideal time to get the help of a private tutor who can help you make the most of your study time.

A Level Results Day

If you need to talk to someone about your exam results in confidence then call the exam results hotline on 0808 100 8000. If you need to talk to someone about private tutoring in Manchester, Stockport, Wilmslow and Cheshireareas for A Level, AS Level and A2 Level then contact 121 Home Tutors.

How do I get a place to do Medicine at University?

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

If you want to study Medicine at university then you have to be ready for some fierce competition.  There are only a handful of universities that offer medicine and it is an academically demanding course that tests even those with the best grades.  But many students who intend on applying to do medicine fall down at the application or interview stage because they fail to see they need to stand out. We’ve asked our tutors to come up with some tips for applying to do medicine. You’ll find these especially helpful if you’ll soon get your GCSE results and finally decide AS/A Level options or are about to go into Year 13.

If you want to apply to do medicine you do it through UCAS (Universities and College Admissions Service), in common  with admissions for all courses to all universities in the UK. The early application deadline is 15 October medicine (earlier than some courses).

You can apply for four medical places (you have six spaces – most people use the other two for back up courses in medically related fields like pharmacology).

  1. The UCAS form is the thing that will secure you an interview so it’s vital you spend plenty of time on it – the two most important aspects are your personal statement and teacher statement.
  2. You’ll be expected to get very high grades – places like Oxford require AAA (or possibly even A*). You will need Chemistry at A Level. AS results, A level results, A2 results and GCSE results also matter, you need to show a consistent academic performance.
  3. In your personal statement carefully check your grammar and spelling (or get someone else to do it). Make sure it meets the UCAS entry guidelines – so it has to be less than 47 lines on the form (not 47 lines typed in Word) and less than 4000 characters. You need to be clear about why you want to study medicine, any work experience/voluntary work you have done, what you know about working in medicine and how you found out about this (work experience etc), your hobbies and achievements, any jobs and responsibilities and sum up why they should choose you.  It’s not really the place to start going over your AS results, A level results, A2 results and GCSE results.
  4. One thing in your personal statement that will help you stand out is any relevant work experience – start thinking about this now. You can find useful information here . Holiday work will look good in your personal statement and also ensure that you are picking the right career path.  
  5. Make sure your teacher or referee knows the kind of information a Medicine admissions tutor is looking for – you want them to backup your passion for becoming a doctor and studying medicine while talking about your achievements and your positive attributes such as leadership and communication skills.

If you need help with tutoring at As or A2 and A Level subjects such as Biology and Chemistry in Manchester and Cheshire then call 121 Home Tutors (01625 531360). Over the next few weeks we will be around to chat through your options when you get your AS results, A level results, A2 results and GCSE results.

We have a team of dedicated and experienced tutors who have helped students gain places on courses to study Medicine.