Study A Levels As an Adult: Tutors' Advice to Excel

Study A Levels As an Adult: Tutors' Advice to Excel

January 12, 2024 | 4months | General

Students in the traditional education system normally sit for GCSEs at the end of high school and can later decide to continue studying for Advanced Level qualifications that can open the doors to university and corporate jobs. However, it is true that many people may decide not to take this path during their teenage years, and choose to try later in life. But can you take A-levels as an adult? In short, yes! Students can decide to resume their academic life at colleges, on their own, or they can select a more flexible option, like CloudLearn’s online courses. Here’s how:

How to take A Levels as a mature student?

Many different reasons may lead an adult to take A-levels later in life. Maybe you now feel ready to take on a university course, and qualify for A-level in other subjects or you simply desire to gain more knowledge on certain topics. You might also want to resit your A-levels to achieve higher UCAS points to enter university, which is the most common reason for taking A-levels as an adult. All of these are valid reasons to do so. Here are some key considerations for this new learning stage.

Benefits and challenges

Regardless of the age at which you enrol in A-levels, they always carry a set of benefits and challenges that you should be aware of before making the decision.

Benefits:

  • A-levels open the door to university courses, as they are a prerequisite for further education.
  • You will have more professional opportunities, as employers usually take this qualification into account when assessing the suitability of their employees for job positions. Not only can you enter new companies thanks to A-levels, but they could also be the ticket to promotions.
  • Studying new topics long after leaving school can be beneficial for your health, as it stimulates your brain and, studies say, can reduce the likelihood of developing cognitive impairment.
  • It can be fun! For people who are eager to learn, taking up academic courses can be engaging.

Challenges:

  • Getting back to study routines after a long time can be difficult. It may take some time to readapt to a study schedule, attending classes and passing an exam.
  • Some older students may feel that they are “too old” for A-levels, as their classmates are probably teenagers under 20. This can sometimes affect motivation or produce embarrassment. However, we encourage students to leave these feelings aside and focus on their goals, seeing this as a commendable effort that will represent better professional opportunities.

A Level entry requirements

Studying at traditional schools can sometimes represent having to comply with certain requirements, such as holding a GCSE qualification in the same subjects you want to enrol in or having successfully passed your English and Maths GCSEs. However, this varies from college to college, and online academies, such as CloudLearn, do not have entry requirements for students of all ages to meet.

Which A-level subjects should you choose?

As there is such a wide choice of A-level subjects, the first step in the process is selecting the right ones. To do so, the priority is your future goals. What do you need the certification for? In case you want to take A-levels to access university courses, research what subjects are required for that purpose in each institution. However, if you are taking A-levels at the request of your employer, you can ask for their advice to ensure that the subjects match your professional goals.

Here is a guide to how to choose A-levels: you will learn about all the aspects to consider and make the perfect choice.

How much does it cost to do A Levels as a mature student?

The cost of pursuing A-levels as a mature student can be a significant factor in your decision-making process. Expenses vary according to the mode of study you choose. Studying A-levels online through independent academies is usually less expensive than traditional options and offers more flexibility.

Additionally, at CloudLearn, all students pay the same price for courses regardless of their age. A-level courses on our website start from £349, but you can also find seasonal or multicourse discounts to stay within budget.

Where to study A Levels as a mature student?

Choosing the right environment for studying A-levels is crucial to your success, especially as a mature student balancing other life responsibilities.

By yourself

Although studying by yourself can sound like a good option due to its flexibility and low cost, it is extremely challenging for most students, as they don’t have any teachers or materials to serve as guidance and thus require considerable discipline and self-motivation.

Night school

This option is the most common, as mature students can take special classes after working hours in an academic environment, but it can sometimes be expensive and does not offer much flexibility.

Online courses

Remote connection allows students to opt for A-Levels for adults online, which brings significantly more flexibility than traditional alternatives.

CloudLearn’s platform offers comprehensive A-level courses that you can take from anywhere, fitting studies into your personal and professional life, with no preset study timetables. These courses also provide a range of learning materials, from interactive content to online tutor support, allowing for a more tailored and accessible learning experience.

A-level journey for adults

Once you have decided to go for A-level qualifications, these are the steps you need to follow.

Choosing a learning method

First of all, decide on how you will study. As said before, students can choose to study on their own, attend night school or enrol in online courses. For adult students, online academies might be one of the best options, as these allow much more flexibility, which is especially valuable for adult students who have more responsibilities to deal with. But how can you decide which of the many academies is the right one for you?

Most course providers offer open timetables, fast-tracking courses and exclusive tutoring, what makes CloudLearn different from other academies is that we specialise in GCSE and A-levels, offering a tailored approach towards these types of exams. Additionally, we remove the hassle of finding the perfect examination centre, turning this worrisome step into an easy task.

Selecting the subjects

After deciding on your course provider, you need to select the subjects you want to sit for. This can be a tricky step, and having a clear path will make it easier. Choose your subjects based on what you need your qualifications for. If you aim to study at university, research which subjects are required for your desired course. On the other hand, if you are still not sure about your academic future or simply need A-levels for a higher job position, you can choose among the facilitating subjects.

Opting for “facilitating subjects” can be a good option, as these are commonly accepted alternatives by all universities and can provide you with a number of skills that can later be useful in your professional career. These include common subjects, such as Biology, Geography, Chemistry, Physics, Maths and English Language, among others.

Sticking to a study schedule, resources, and materials

Sticking to a study plan is essential, especially if other tasks need to be balanced. Make the most of all the resources you have, whether they come from your course or you find them yourself. This will help you define a roadmap of the topics you need to study and cover before the exam day.

Additionally, measure how much time you have available until that date and calculate how many daily hours you should dedicate to studying in order to complete the recommended total of 360 hours.

Selecting an exam centre

Find an exam centre that is convenient for you, considering factors such as location, examination dates, and environment. Ensure that the centre is recognised and equipped to administer the specific A-level exams you are taking. However, this can become a challenging quest, as different examination centres present different requisites and limitations.

Fortunately, CloudLearn has got you covered and removes the hassle. Simply let our advisors know that you are ready to take the exam and we will help you find the perfect exam centre for your needs.

Costs and financial assistance

Be aware of the costs involved in your chosen method of study, including tuition fees, exam fees, and study materials. Research financial assistance options like scholarships, grants, or employer sponsorship, which can significantly reduce the financial burden.

CloudLearn usually offers multicourse deals and seasonal discounts, together with convenient payment plans, enabling you to stay within budget and spread the total expenses over the course duration.

Studying effectively as an adult learner

Adult learners face unique challenges and opportunities in their educational journey. Here are some strategies to study effectively:

Seek sponsorship from your employer

If your A-level studies are relevant to your current job, approach your employer about the possibility of sponsorship. Many employers are willing to invest in their employees' education, recognizing the long-term benefits to their organization.

Separate your work, study and personal life schedules

Effective time management is key. Allocate specific times for study, work, and personal activities to ensure a balanced approach that minimises stress and maximises productivity.

Avoid burnout by setting realistic goals

Set achievable goals and take regular breaks to avoid burnout. Remember that it is important to maintain a sustainable pace throughout your studies.

CloudLearn’s courses are available for 24 months after enrolment, which allows you to take it easy and dedicate as much time as you need to study.

Get support from a tutor

In the last few years, and especially after the pandemic, students in all educational levels are reinforcing their learning process by taking extra classes with private tutors. However, this can represent big expenses, with the average tutor cost in the UK at £30 per hour. This is one of the points where online courses offer an advantage, as most academies offer exclusive 1-to-1 tutoring.

This personalised support can make a significant difference in your learning journey. A dedicated tutor can provide tailored guidance, help you understand complex concepts, and offer feedback specific to your needs. This individual attention ensures that you can tackle challenging topics with confidence and stay on track with your academic goals.

Ensure success in your A-Levels with CloudLearn

Why choose CloudLearn? CloudLearn offers one of the most flexible study options for mature students to prepare for A-levels. Study at your own pace, adapting your schedule to the rest of your responsibilities and allowing you to improve your academic profile without having to leave aside your professional and personal life. Access our website now to continue learning in the most flexible way possible.

FAQs

What is the age range for A levels?

There is no upper age limit for taking A levels, making them accessible to learners of all ages. While traditionally pursued by students aged 16 to 18, many adults return to study, whether for career advancement, personal development, or as a stepping stone to higher education.

Is it easier to get into uni as a mature student?

Many universities value the diversity and life experience that mature students bring. Admissions for mature students may be more flexible, with universities often considering work experience and other qualifications besides traditional academic achievements.

Can I retake A Levels as a mature student?

Yes, adult students can retake A levels, either to improve grades for academic or professional purposes or to study new subjects. The flexibility online academies offer is fundamental to enable adult learners to achieve their goals.

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