GCSE Study in Sixth Form
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Although students normally join the Sixth Form having already taken GCSE exams, some may wish to take additional subjects or improve existing grades. Most universities require GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above and there is often a requirement for other subjects, especially for Science and Language degrees. In order to begin A-level work, students are expected to have reached a satisfactory standard in GCSE or equivalent exams. However, in some cases students may take GCSE subjects alongside their A-levels, either for the first time or as retakes in order to satisfy university matriculation requirements.
A number of students join the college each year to retake GCSE subjects, either alongside first-time A-level courses or before starting A-levels. It may be necessary to retake one or more GCSE subjects simply to satisfy university matriculation requirements.
For most universities, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or above is a mandatory requirement and students should have attained at least this standard before beginning A-levels. For those who need to spend a further period of time re-taking GCSE subjects, a decision needs to be made as to how quickly to retake, which will depend on knowledge and aptitude in the subject, the amount of preparation work required, other work priorities and the availability of winter exam sittings. GCSE coursework is also a factor, as this may be carried forward or re-submitted, but is not transferable to a different examining board.
We are happy to offer advice about GCSE preparation and retake strategies, either by telephone, e-mail or at interview. In most cases one or two subjects may be taken early, in November, the remainder being taken over a full academic year. Where only one or two subjects need to be retaken, to satisfy university requirements, it is normally possible to begin a couple of A-levels and to retake the GCSE subjects alongside these.
The standard structure for a GCSE retake course is four hours a week of small group lessons or possibly two hours of individual tutorials per week in each subject. However, more or fewer hours may be provided as appropriate.