GCSEs / A levels

#1
Is it possible to re-take your GCSE's or A levels while you are serving as a soldier? If it is, how is this done? Is it through open learning or some sort of evening class? I'm sure I heard somewhere about an army education centre at each base that can offer courses like this but I'm having a tough time understanding how you would fit the course in if you were deployed. Even if it was possible do you guys think it would be wise to do this rather than going to a college to do them as a civilian.
 
#2
I re-sat my GCSE Maths a few years ago at the Darlington College in Catterick. Used my standard learning credits to pay for the night classes. Not too sure whether the AECs run specific courses, I'd just give them a call.

Good luck dude.
 
#3
speak to your AEC. also ask about crammer courses - i invigilated an exam a year or two ago in aldergrove, where the lads did a week or so of tuition then sat the exam. think it was intended for those who were probably up to the required standard, but arrsed around at school. they did english and maths, not sure if any other subjects. i believe it was GCSE, but could be corrected if someone knows otherwise.
 
#4
Or try OU level one courses. You can build on to degree then and it doesn't matter where you are. although, some require internet connection so can be a bit of bugger if deployed somewhere new.
 
#6
Don' tknow for sure, but you could ask OU. I think a OU Cert in something is recognised as an A level/part foundation degree depending on how many points it was, usually about 60.

On the other hand, once you have a couple of level one courses under your belt just crack on up to level two. 6-9 years later, hey presto you have a degree, and experience possibly in that field for civies street. And you aren't a 21 year old pup. Very attractive for civvies. I hope.
 
#7
An OU Level One course that has a prefix of M is equivalent to a GCSE in Maths.

An OU Level One course that has a prefix of A/D is equivalent to a GCSE in English.

You'd be better off doing the OU courses as at the end of the course, you will have 1/5 of a Degree or 1/6 of an Honours Degree.

It is tough trying to get the coursework done whilst deployed though but not impossible. You'd be surprised how much you can get done by doing 20 minutes here, 30 minutes there...
 
#8
If you have no joy with your local AEC go to your local civvie college. Many now offer GCSE on line cousre work and tuition. I am currently looking into this for Mrs Commsrus.

I like the advice about OU quall. That said I am not sure how well recognised level 1 OU is against GCSE.

Can I ask why you want to take the GCSE. As I would suggest that there are some quite good NVQs out there which are very easy to complete on ops. NVQ assessors deploy to several theartres to grade class 3 to 2! Unlikely you will see them in down town hellmand though!

Either way make sure you used your learning credits... why pay your self?
 
#9
I'm not quite how he managed it but one guy who was at Phase 2 with me, using his learning credits to spend a year at college doing his A-Levels instead of the first year of his posting so it should be possible, even if only as evening courses. But as others have said the OU version sounds promising, and I might even start looking at them as well now I know that they're there, always though it was jsut degrees they did, not equilivants that you can add together
 
#10
I managed to get an A level in law cracked out while i was in germany in 2005. Did it through www.nec.ac.uk. Only took me 5 hours of work a week which is pretty easy to fit in (especially if you take it into the office with you.) Only downside is you have to sit the exams at an accredited UK exam centre and they only sit A levels twice a year, in January and July. Having said that id definately recommend it to anyone. Any questions then pm me.
 
#11
Good to see you wanting to get qual'd up mate.

In answer to the questions regarding equivalences of qualifications and what employers are looking for have a look at the National Qualifications Framework.

You will see that A levels are at level 3 and GCSE A-C are at level 2. If you visit your AEC they will put you through level 2 literacy and numeracy for free anyway and it has been mandatory for some time now for all soldiers to be at level one before going on CLM part 1.

What you've got to ask yourself though bud is why do you want to do them......you're already in a steady, secure job which will keep you until you are at an age where your A levels wouldn't be worth a damn anyway.

If, however, you are thinking of getting out very soon then speak to the AEC and they will assist you in re-sitting.

If you've got a spare few years on your hands though (and studying on Op tours isn't as difficult as you might think as long as you are dedicated) then as Chocolate Frog says - OU degrees are ideal.

PM me if you want to chat further mate, either about this, SLC, ELC or anything else - I've been doing it for years mucker (in fact I've spent ALL of my Fcuking ELCs already!!!) :D
 
#12
E-Layer said:
PM me if you want to chat further mate, either about this, SLC, ELC or anything else - I've been doing it for years mucker (in fact I've spent ALL of my Fcuking ELCs already!!!) :D
Didn't fancy waiting until next year when it's double the amount then??
 
#13
That's what i've been waiting for!!!!!!!! :p $$$$
 
#14
the_matelot said:
Didn't fancy waiting until next year when it's double the amount then??
Would have loved too but went ahead for 2 reasons:

Firstly, the Masters it funded is complete next year and just in time for me getting out.

Secondly, I heard a rumour (from a very reliable source) which has been confirmed and enhanced (by a number of other very reliable sources) that ELCAS did not realise the amount of take-up that there would be with ELC and the funds will dry up sometime soon and those still wanting to claim will be told to poke it.

I for one, dragged my entire Troop in and made them sign the ELCAS forms - even if they weren't interested - I told them that they'd be grateful one day.... and most of my peer group did the same with their lads.

It appears that ELCAS may have bitten off more than they can chew.....

I don't want to cause panic :D and have every bugger running to their orderly rooms but being the eternal pessimist I thought it best to spend the friggin' lot while it was there :D
 
#15
You have two more sucks on the teat anyway.

3 x £1000 or 3 x £2000, or any permutation thereof, up to 10 years after you bang out. I think.
 
#16
chocolate_frog said:
You have two more sucks on the teat anyway.

3 x £1000 or 3 x £2000, or any permutation thereof, up to 10 years after you bang out. I think.
Yes you are right c_f BUT the allowance is taxable as soon as you leave.
 
#17
My original post may have been a bit misleading because I'm not actually serving at the moment. I'm in the TA hoping to go regular. The reasons I ask about the GCSE's and A levels are I live in Scotland and got rather bad scottish standard grades, which are considered to be less worth than GCSE's even if the grades are good (and mine were pretty dismal). Also I might be interested in getting a commission one day when I feel I'm ready and don't want anything like school grades holding me back.

My options right now appear to be, join as a soldier and get my required grades while serving, or go to a civvy college and do the courses full time. The problem with the civvy option is I'm coming up to 20 at the end of this month and I feel like I need to stop p***ing about and get a career on the go.

Thanks for all the useful replies I got anyway.
 
#19
daviroo said:
Also I might be interested in getting a commission one day when I feel I'm ready and don't want anything like school grades holding me back.
....and they will. You'll need better grades to be commissioned.

daviroo said:
The problem with the civvy option is I'm coming up to 20 at the end of this month and I feel like I need to stop p***ing about and get a career on the go.
No major rush mate if you are going for a commission (not yet anyway).

But as you can see - the choice is:

A. No grades, join as a soldier.
B. Get some good grades and commission.

However.....there's always this at a push:

C. Join as a soldier, work your proverbials off and re-sit your A-Levels while serving and at the same time displaying excellent leadership potential.......and then commission from the ranks.... :D


Choccy Frog said:
You have two more sucks on the teat anyway.

3 x £1000 or 3 x £2000, or any permutation thereof, up to 10 years after you bang out. I think.
You misunderstood mate - I have had all 3 bites now - each at £1000 mate. No more bish bosh for me. 8O
 

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