A Levels are an internationally recognised qualification that serve as a gateway to higher education. They’re also valued by employers as they demonstrate an academic aptitude that is can be easily measured against other candidates.
By studying an A Level subject you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the topic. You will also develop your critical-thinking and analytical skills.
Most commonly, A Levels follow GCSEs and are taken at school. However, that’s not the only way to gain these essential qualifications.
Studying from home gives many of us the opportunity to get back into education, without having to sacrifice our income. As most of us have full time jobs or families, going back to college isn’t a viable option.
Online learning offers the opportunity to learn whichever subject is relevant to you from the comfort of your own home.
Although online learning is definitely a different experience to the more teacher-led studies but it’s not any less effective.
If you’re open-minded and determined to succeed, then studying an A Level from home is a very rewarding experience.
Read on to learn what to expect when choosing to study an A Level from home.
Choosing your Course
It’s important when choosing to study any course that you have thought of what your objectives are and what you plan on doing once you’ve qualified.
If you’re looking to go to university after your A Level study, then make sure the course is relevant to the degree. You wouldn’t want to put in the hard work to find that the university requirements differ from what you anticipated.
Universities can set their own entry requirements which means each course may vary slightly. So, it’s your job to double check that the course you’re doing will get you where you want to be.
Choosing a Learning Provider
Another thing to consider is who you’re enrolling with. All A Level qualifications have to be regulated by Ofqual to ensure the quality of the content and legitimacy of the course.
If a learning provider is offering an easier/cheaper way of getting an A Level, then chances are it’s a scam. Especially if there is no mention of any awarding body or regulator.
Ofqual stands for the Office of Qualification and Examination Regulation and are a non-ministerial government agency. Therefore, if your provider has their stamp of approval, you’re good to go.
This also means that distance learning providers and physical colleges both offer qualifications of the same value. The main difference being the flexibility you have to study whenever suits you and the more independent learning style.
Which leads to the next thing you should look out for, tutor support.
Online learning providers should give you access to a tutor to guide you throughout your studies.
Tutors provide constructive feedback for you to build on and any help if you’re stuck. So, you won’t be left completely alone during your learning.
If an online learning provider doesn’t have this included in the course, then it probably isn’t legit.
Preparing for your Learning
Studying from home gives you the comfort and flexibility that physical colleges just can’t match.
You won’t have to travel to class and sit in a draughty room. Simply open your laptop, login and begin.
However, it’s still important to set up your learning environment appropriately to get the most out of your studies.
The most successful online students not only plan their study sessions in advance but also set up their workspace efficiently.
An ideal workspace would have:
- A big enough desk or table to work from and lay out everything you need
- A comfortable dining or desk chair
- No distractions so you’re more likely to stay focused
- Everything you need nearby so you’re not constantly getting up to retrieve things
Breaks give your mind time to process the information which in turn means it’s more likely to retain it. As well as reducing stress by splitting your study sessions into more manageable chunks.
Breaks make it easier to remain focused whilst you’re studying because you know you have an allocated time to relax.
However, when you do have a break, try not checking your phone or watching tv, they’re too distracting. Research show that it takes around 20 minutes to get focused again after a distraction. This means that when you finally get back to studying your first 20 minutes won’t count for much.
It’s better to get away from your workstation to stretch your legs and get some fresh air instead. By doing so you’ll give yourself a better chance of getting focused again whilst still allowing time to unwind.
This gives you a more varied learning experience which in turn makes it more engaging. Studies show that online students are five times more likely to retain the information presented to them.
You can also further this by being varied in your notetaking and how you revise. Trying out different approaches will assist you in actively processing the information. As well as making the experience more enjoyable.
For example, taking mock exams are a great way to exercise the knowledge you’ve gained. Alternatively, flashcards can provide a fun way to lay out information in a different way.
It’s your learning experience, so it’s up to you to trial things and see what works best.
The thing about distance learning is if something isn’t working out, you’re in control and you can change your approach. There isn’t a group project where your team aren’t pulling their weight or a teacher clicking through slides too fast.
You can work at whatever pace suits you and in whatever style as well.
Whatever reason you have to get back into education learndirect could have the course for you.
All our courses are guided by expert tutors to support you through your studies. As well as flexible payment options to help you spread the cost.
Read our blog for more useful tips on what courses you should take for the career you’re after.
If you’re ready to start learning, then get in touch with one of our advisors or enrol online today.