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Win a £50 ASOS Voucher on A-level Results Day 2017

August 14, 2017

Win a £50 ASOS voucher on A-level Results day 2017

With only three days to go until A-Level results day, not only will we be offering our free advice service, put also the chance to win a much-needed £50 ASOS voucher. How? By simply following and tweeting us @TutorHouse and sharing your #resultsdayselfie.

Share with us your joyous, apprehensive, envelope-opening best selfies and tweet them to @TutorHouse. We will make sure to select the very best/most ridiculous for the winner, which will be announced on Friday August 18th.

Don’t forget, we will be offering free advice throughout the whole of results day through to the next day too. If you have any questions about UCAS, clearing, resits or your next step, we will be on hand to offer professional and friendly advice. Simply contact us on 020 7612 8297, email info@tutorhouse.co.uk or pop into our offices at 4 Percy Street, W1T 1DF.

Terms and Conditions

1.     The promoter is Tutor House Ltd registered office at 4 Percy Street, W1T 1DF.

2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter in this competition.

3. This competition running from the 17th of August 2017 at 8am until the 17th August 2017 at 8pm. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.

4. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 17 or over except employees of Tutor House and their close relatives.

6. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.

5. The rules of the competition and the prize for the winner are:
Rules:
1. Like us on Facebook or follow our @tutorhouse account on Twitter.
2. Upload your #ALevel #ResultsDay selfie.
3. Use the hashtag #ResultsDaySelfie

Prize:
1. A £50 worth voucher of ASOS vouchers

6. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges from Tutor House

7. The winner will be notified by the email within 24 hours of the closing date. If the winner do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner.

9. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize is delivered.

8. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and condition.

10. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner will be used solely in accordance with UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.

11. Minimum of 10 entries for the competition to be valid.

benefits-importance-private-tuition
What to do if you don’t get your desired A-Level results

August 10, 2017

What to do if you don’t get your desired A-Level results

Putting down your pens and staring wistfully out to the college courtyard on the day of your final exam may seem like eons ago. Perhaps it was the promise of a long summer ahead or the knowledge that you studied your colloquial “butt-off”, but results day suddenly became the last of your concerns. Until of course this week, when parents and pupils alike regained that apprehensive buzz that so often epitomises the day of A-Level results.

It’s hard not to feel stressed, when something as important as attaining the grade you need for your desired university is on the line.

Once you’ve opened your envelope you will quickly be able to assess whether you have reached the grades necessary for your university of choice. If you have, well done; fresher’s week is just around the corner.

However, if you haven’t got your first choice university grade, then there is no need to panic. You have several immediate avenues to follow, and some longer-term contingency plans, these can be defined by the four Rs:

1. Recalculate

Make sure there hasn’t been a mistake. Use your phone calculator to add up your UMS points to double check that a mistake hasn’t been made.

2. Reason

Call your university of choice to reason with them; explain your position. Will they still let you on the course despite your grades? If you’ve reviewed your modules and one is the cause of your missed mark, perhaps the university will approve a remark wherein the condition is that you attain the grade above. Although, this route is rare and may not guarantee you attaining your desired university place this academic year.

3. Rethink

You now need to consider whether you want to accept your back up choice (if you can) or go through clearing. Perhaps its better you wait a year and resit.

If it’s the former than you will need to start the clearing process online through UCAS, where you will follow steps to apply to a new course.

However, if you are only a few modules away from your favourite university, then resiting is recommended. With the cost of university fees having skyrocketed in the past five years and the ever-competitive job market, going to the best university for you puts you in a strong position post graduation.

4. Resit

If your desired university has said that you haven’t got your place and you are adamant that you want to go there; rather than your back-up choice, then the best option is to resit the necessary exams.

While this may seem like a difficult option to take, as it means beginning university a different academic year to your friends; it may actually be a blessing in disguise. Undergoing an exam resit isn’t like taking your A-Levels all over again, but revolves around selecting the modules that need resiting and doing those papers in June next year.

This actually gives you a year to do whatever you want be it academic or otherwise; some options include getting work experience that will boost your university prospects, taking a non-ironic “gap yah” or helping your parent’s redecorate the garden shed (an oddly therapeutic task).

Of course, Tutor House is on hand if you need extra help resiting those crucial exams.

Find me a retake tutor

We will also be on hand via phone, email and in person both on Thursday August 17th and Friday August 18th. We will happily chat through your options with you. You’ll find us on info@tutorhouse.co.uk and on 020 7612 8297, or you can even Skype us, just add TutorHouse1.

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Open Days for A-Level Results Day

August 3, 2017

Join us for our A-Level Results Open Days!

To support students living in London, we’re offering two days of free advice and support to all A-Level students receiving their exam results on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th August 2017.

A-Level students are invited to join the Tutor House team during the two open days at Tutor House’s offices in Fitzrovia for advice on what to do if they didn’t get their required grades to get into their Universities, as well as free guidance on:

  • Exam retake options
  • A-Level clearing support
  • Gap year options
  • UCAS advice
  • Private tutoring options
  • Short intensive exam retake courses
  • Group tutoring and revision courses in London
  • Personal statement advice

We’re giving FREE advice to all students on A-Level Results Day 2017:

We offer free advice and will happily chat through your options with you. You’ll find us on info@tutorhouse.co.uk and on 020 7612 8297.

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Supply Teaching- facts, figures and why teachers do it

June 12, 2017

Supply Teaching- facts, figures and why teachers do it

 

What is supply teaching?

Qualified, Newly-Qualified and Non-Qualified teachers can teach in State, Private, Free and Academy Schools in the U.K. (Some Free Schools and Academies and all Private Schools accept teachers who are not qualified) Teachers can teach for a day per week, full weeks and months at a time, and even move from temporary to permanent teaching positions. If you love the school and the schools love you… Teachers enjoy supply as it’s super flexible, well paid and popular. Over the last year, primary and secondary schools have struggled to recruit full-time teachers, spending £821 million on supply staff. Indeed, many teachers are leaving their permanent jobs in favour of the flexible alternative – supply teaching.

Reasons for supply teaching

Reasons for Supply Teaching

A recent survey showed that over 27% of supply teachers chose to go into the role because they are unable to find a permanent teaching post, and nearly 20% went into the role because it fitted in with their family/life circumstances. As well as being a flexible job, supply teaching can operate in tandem with other work and home arrangements. There are many other reasons for going down the supply teaching route.

Why do people get into Supply Teaching?

  • Variety: Spending time in different schools gives you the opportunity to teach a wide variety of subjects to a more diverse range of students. It allows you to teach part time, for example 2-3 days per week, freeing up time for other things, like studying, private tutoring or looking after your own children.
  • Test-drive: Supply teaching allows you to try out a school or area. This can be especially useful if you are contemplating applying for a permanent teaching position and are unsure about the school’s environment and you want to get a better understanding of the school, the teachers and the ethos of the school and children.
  • Retirement: Apart from being a good way for pensioners to earn extra money, supply teaching allows for teachers to ease out of leaving their profession. Many men and women return to teaching but do not want the hassle of marking, the pain of parents evenings or the lack of autonomy that often comes with full time teaching, so supply works best for them.

Supply teaching experience

Teaching Experience

A survey from The Independent suggests that;

  • Nearly 60% had more than 10 years of permanent teaching experience, whereas only around 11% had more than 10 years of supply teaching experience.
  • Over 38% had less than 2 years of supply teaching experience, whilst roughly 15% had less than less than 2 years permanent teaching experience.

Day Rate for Supply Teaching (London)

Daily Rate

The below points match the above table in relation to supply teacher pay and experience.

  • New to supply teaching
  • A few years experience supply teaching
  • Many year experience supply teaching
  • Specifically trained and experienced

There are main routes into supply teaching

Main Route

  • More than 65% of supply teaching placements are done through agencies.

So with so many people using agencies for supply teaching work; what are the benefits?

  1. The number of jobs available and variety of levels and location. (You can move home and still supply teach)
  2. Support – you can call an agency, well some of them, and they’ll help you. We do!
  3. Contact and social (supply teaching and private tutoring can be lonely- we’re always on hand and we have loads of supply teaching socials)
  4. Pay – supply teaching compared to other jobs is really well paid
  5. Tutor House- you can review your lesson and your supply work instantly online- which builds good relationships with schools.

Why do permanent teachers leave their profession?

‘‘4/10 new teachers leave their profession within the first year of qualifying’’ (According to the Guardian)

One of our supply teachers said: “I left teaching because, as much as I loved being in the classroom and working with students, the amount of marking, data entries, reports, staff meetings, parents’ meetings, lunchtime interventions, after school interventions and endless unmanageable deadlines just meant that there was no possibility of a normal work-life balance. I think for any job to be truly rewarding you need to feel as though you are able to be working at your best, but the pressures and deadlines meant that, for me, I always felt like I was only just on top of things, rather than doing a great job – and it’s horrible to feel that way. So, I took back control of my life and became a private tutor and supply teacher instead, good times!”

Below are a few of the most common reasons why teachers leave their profession:

  • Work-load:  Recent surveys have indicated that the most prevalent reason for leaving teaching is the amount of work the job requires. Obtaining a satisfying work-life balance can prove to be a challenge for many teachers, with many failing to participate in the hobbies that they once loved. Upon accepting a position in a school, the teacher is also taking on the responsibility of fulfilling the sizeable amount of paperwork which comes with the job.
  • Ofsted inspections: Regardless of Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) warning against it, many teachers try and predict the date of inspections in a desperate bid to be prepared. The associated stress and anxiety causes many to doubt the nature of the educational system and often results in teachers permanently leaving their teaching posts.
  • Lack of funding: “What used to upset me was talking to people who were bright-eyed and bushy tailed, hugely enthusiastic about coming into teaching and wanting to do well for disadvantaged youngsters, saying to me that they were put off teaching in the first few years because they weren’t adequately helped and supported by leaders’’(Sir Michael Wilshaw’s quote in the BBC). The dire financial situation many schools find themselves in can heavily impact on the teaching body’s morale. Whether it is a failure to equip students with the right amount of books, or whether proposed school trips have to be cancelled, the task of dealing with the failings can weigh heavily on teachers and can cause unwanted stress.
  • Exam results: The pressure put upon the teacher to achieve a respectable set of results can prove overwhelming, especially if they are responsible for a struggling class. There are also those who would claim that the education system is now geared primarily on achieving acceptable exam results rather than giving the children a love of learning.

Tutor House works with a number of schools. We have many supply socials and evening events. You can sign up to our next one here and read more about supply teaching here.

Questions? No problem, just call or email;

E:teach@tutorhouse.co.uk

T:0207 612 8297

W:www.tutorhouse.co.uk

 

Supply Teaching Event – 6th July 2017

June 2, 2017

Supply Teaching Jobs in London

Come and have a chat and a drink (on us) to see if supply teaching, running revision courses, or private tutoring is for you.

We’re running a supply teacher social event in Fitzrovia, near Tottenham Court Road/Goodge Street on 6th July 2017.

The event is very casual and relaxed, you can meet other teachers, ask us a few questions and sign-up as a supply teacher for free on our website or register below.

Register now on Eventbrite

Brochure photo

If you’re an experienced teacher, new to teaching or just want to tutor privately we’d love for you to pop-in!

  • Where: The Green Man Pub – Top Floor – 36 Riding House St, London, W1W 7EP
  • When: 6th July 2017, 5pm – 9pm.
  • Why: We are recruiting supply teachers to teach in schools in London.
  • Who: Qualified teachers (QTS/NQT) Non-qualified teachers, SEN specialists, private tutors.

Supply teaching and private tutoring is growing in the U.K., especially in London. Supply teaching allows you to pick and choose days that work for you, earn good money and avoid parents evenings, what’s not to like!

The Tutor House Team will be on site – so don’t be scared to ask us a few questions.

Tutor House offers:

We thought we’d mix it up a bit this year and be original, the event is in a pub! 🙂

Many thanks and see you there.

Book your free place today by registering above, or contact us:

E – info@tutorhouse.co.uk
T – 0207 612 8297
W – www.tutorhouse.co.uk

Testimonial from Sophie, one of our full-time tutors and an ex-teacher:

“I think for any job to be truly rewarding you need to feel as though you are able to be working at your best, but the pressures and deadlines from working in a school full time, meant that, for me, I always felt like I was only just on top of things, rather than doing a great job. So I took back control of my life and became a full time private tutor instead! And it’s great!”

Register now on Eventbrite

GCSE and A Level Exam, Tips To Keep You Calm and Prepared

May 17, 2017

Tips for A-level and GCSE exams

The all-important exams are approaching and it’s no wonder you are feeling the strain. The period leading up to exams can be very stressful, with the pressure of needing to achieve a certain grade for a specific university or job weighing heavily upon the minds of many students. So how do you prepare for your GCSE and A Level exams? Follow our useful tips and increase your chances of achieving success in your exams:

Revision

Doing plenty of revision is, of course, the number one priority when it comes to ensuring you achieve the results you want for your GCSE and A Level examinations. However, starting revision early, following a strict revision timetable and avoiding distractions will also inevitably optimise your chances of success. If you are finding it hard to remember certain facts, or just want to remember more, then write them on pieces of paper and place them in rooms throughout the house. Another technique would be to set your phone background to a piece of information e.g. a date. Although this might seem excessive, it is just another way to ingrain the facts into your memory.

For some, additional help such as hiring a private tutor may be needed if you feel you are struggling. Outside support can make a profound difference when it comes to exam success.

For more revision tips take a look at our blog: Last Minute Revision Tips To Help You Ace Those Exams!

Getting Organised

It is important to know in advance where each of your exams are taking place and what you are expected to take along with you. This is in order to avoid costly mistakes such as getting lost on the way to your exam or turning up unprepared. Stationery, textbooks, calculators, Student ID and any necessary paperwork are all worth thinking about too as you might require them in the exam.

Time Management

Good time management is crucial both before and during the exams. When it comes to revision, start early and create a revision timetable. During the exam itself, you must also be prepared to manage your time so that you are able to complete all sections of the paper. Time spent on questions should be allocated based on how many marks the question is worth. For example, in the case of the AQA A-Level History paper, participants should aim to spent 1 hour on section 1 and 45 minutes on each question in section 2.

When you open your exam paper it is advisable to read the entire paper before starting writing. This is so that you are aware on how many questions you are required to answer and what format you should deliver your answer in. It also gives you a chance to plan your answer.

Read the instructions carefully, and once you are certain of what is being asked of you try to divide up your time so you know when to move onto the next section/question. If you complete the paper with time to spare, you can use this time to proofread your answers and add any additional information you may have forgotten.

Exam Technique

The more you can improve your exam technique the more confident you will feel on the day. Look at as many past papers as you can. Set yourself up in exam-like conditions and sit a mock exam (or a section of the paper). The more familiar you are with a time-pressured atmosphere, the better prepared you will be and feel.

When you begin your exam it is a good idea to spend some of your allocated time planning your answer. If you do this you are more likely to come up with a well-structured response that includes all the key points. This will also enable you to stay on topic and keep the question in mind at all times. It is easy to get distracted and go off on an irrelevant tangent, wasting valuable time.

For essay subjects, define paragraph titles and list bullet points beneath them. Think about how much you need to write for each point and try not to repeat yourself. Presenting your answer in a clear and concise manner will demonstrate to the examiner that you have fully grasped the subject matter, and indicate that you are able to present your ideas and arguments thoughtfully and constructively.

Also, make sure you present clearly the question you are answering- if there is any ambiguity around this you could confuse your examiner. If you make any mistakes simply cross them out with a neat line and start again.

Answer the question(s) you feel most confident about first. This is the way to get yourself quick and easy marks, and help you to feel more confident and to get into the swing of things. If you try to tackle questions you aren’t sure about initially you could find yourself getting stressed and panicked unnecessarily.

Staying Comfortable

Staying comfortable in the exam room is crucial. If you aren’t in school uniform make sure you choose your clothes wisely. You don’t want to be distracted by an item of clothing being too tight or hot, or being too cold to concentrate! It is also advisable to take a bottle of water into your exam with you. The water bottle but be clear and all labels must be removed before you enter the exam.

Don’t panic!

Most of us have experienced exams where upon opening the paper we are filled with confusion and fright. If this happens to you it is important not to panic as this will simply make you more stressed and less focused.

Instead, try to take some deep breaths, relax and have a sip of water. Even if you feel you do not understand what the question is asking it’s always better to attempt it. If what you have written is logical and reasonable you can still gain some credit, and you never know, you might actually have got it spot on!

Similarly, if you get stuck on a question don’t waste time fretting about it. Simply move onto the next question and come back to it if you have time at the end.

Results!

If you apply all of the above tips and techniques before and during your exams you can walk into the exam room prepared and ready to tackle your exam(s) head on.

Exam success is all about having the personal commitment and a drive to achieve. However, we can still all do with additional support from time to time.
If you feel you could benefit from a private tutor to help you with your GCSE or A Level exam revision then Tutor House can help! Our friendly, knowledgeable and reliable tutors work with students to help tackle difficult subjects, assist with exam technique and help them feel fully confident and prepared come exam time.

Revision tips - stay healthy during your exams
How staying fit and healthy will help your revision!

May 10, 2017

With the GCSE and A-Level exams nearly upon us, students are no doubt spending as much time as possible revising their chosen subjects in order to give themselves the best chance of achieving their desired results.

However, as important as revising for your exams is, it’s crucial for students to pay attention to their health too. It’s all well and good trying to cram in as much revision as possible but if you neglect your health and get ill or become stressed out and overwhelmed you’ll be much less effective and may find that your grades suffer as a result.

It’s almost impossible to eliminate stress and nerves completely in the lead up to exams, and besides, in small doses stress can actually be useful, helping you to push yourself and do your very best. If stress gets the better of us, however, it can lead to all sorts of problems, and by not taking care of ourselves both physically and mentally during the revision period, it’s easy for this to build up.

So what can you do to combat stress, stay healthy and remain focused for your GCSE or A Level exams?

Plan in advance: A Revision timetable

If you plan your revision well in advance you are more likely to feel in control, confident and well prepared. When it comes to planning revision be thorough and map out exactly what you need to cover, allocating a certain amount of time allowance for each subject. Leaving your revision until the last minute will leave you feeling rushed and panicked; making you stressed, anxious and less likely to be able to concentrate.

Rest and Relaxation

It’s so important to get enough rest and learn how to switch off from your revision too. If you have covered what you need to cover that day then put your books away and go and relax. Do whatever you like to do to unwind be it read a good book, watch your favourite TV series or play games. If you are finding it hard to switch off you could try some mindfulness or meditation to help clear your head.

Take Regular Breaks

It’s just not healthy to revise for hours on end without giving yourself a break. Make sure that you schedule breaks into your revision timetable and don’t be tempted to skip them. You should give yourself a 10-15 minute break every 2 hours, and a proper lunch break as well. Make sure you get away from your computer screen during your break times and don’t be tempted to have a ’working lunch’ where you pour over your textbook while eating. Your brain needs breaks from revision and time to absorb the information you are feeding it, so to be at your most effective don’t skip them!

Get some Sleep

Feeling nervous about exams and stressed about revision can play havoc with your sleep patterns. Try to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep in the lead up to exams and particularly the day before. If you deprive yourself of sleep you won’t be able to concentrate or retain information as well, so it’s well worth getting those 40 winks!

Use nutrition to boost your brain power

Making sure you eat the right foods during your revision period can really help you feel energised, focused and increase your ability to absorb and retain information too. Some excellent brain foods include:

  • Blueberries
  • Salmon or any oily fish
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocados
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Dark chocolate

Make sure you drink plenty of water too – staying hydrated is so important!

Get Fresh Air

It’s easy, when revising, to forget what the outside world looks like! Getting out and about in the fresh air works wonders to clear your head and help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next piece of work. Don’t underestimate how much a short walk in nature can put your mind at ease.

Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happy and relaxed, will relieve stress and tension and help you sleep better at night too. Don’t spend weeks on end cramped over your desk. Get moving and you’ll feel so much better and healthier too.

Reward Yourself

There is nothing more motivating than a reward at the end of the day. So make sure you reward yourself if you complete the work you set out to do. You could even try to get mum and dad on board and agree on some treats and rewards if you do well too!

Breathing exercises

If you find yourself getting really nervous before an exam, try some simple breathing exercises to calm your nerves, steady those shakes and feel like you are in control. Repeat a positive mantra under your breath, hold your head up high and walk tall as you enter the exam room – you’ve got this!

Staying fit and healthy really can help boost your revision and put you in the best position possible to ace those exams. So make sure you follow the tips above and pay attention to your health as well as your revision and we’re sure you’ll do just great!

Revision tips for GCSE and A-Level exams
Last Minute Revision Tips To Help You Ace Those Exams!

April 21, 2017

There is still lots you can do in the lead up to your A-Level or GCSE examinations to help you with your revision and to feel better prepared and more confident come exam day.

Those last few weeks leading up to your exam are a crucial period where you still have plenty of time to get organised and design workable strategies for your revision, as well as practice your exam technique, and prepare for the day itself.

So what should you be doing now to boost your revision and make it as effective as possible? Here are some useful tips:

Adjust your revision timetable

If you started off with a well-planned out revision timetable and managed to stick to it then that’s all well and good. However, let’s be honest, for many students other things may have gotten in the way, causing them to fall behind! If this sounds like you, don’t panic! Take another look at your revision timetable, calculate what time you have left and what still needs to be done, and adjust it accordingly.

You may need to cram in a few more hours here and there, but it will be so worth it to feel calm and prepared when you come to sit your exam!

If you know there are certain subjects or topics you struggle with make sure you leave more time to revise these ones so you can fully get to grips with them without feeling rushed or putting too much pressure on yourself.

Create the perfect revision environment

It can be really difficult working in an environment that’s not comfortable. Find a quiet, clear space to do you revision and ask family and friends not to disturb you while you are working. Try to leave distracting gadgets such as phones out of the room until you’ve finished your revision and only check them when you are having a break.

Use your preferred revision techniques

By now you should have a better understanding of which revision techniques work best for you. Do you enjoy working alone or find you love bouncing ideas off friends? Do you need total silence or do you like to talk out loud to help information sink in? Are you a visual learner? Do you prefer reading and writing things down to best keep hold of the facts?

Discovering your optimum revision techniques will ensure you have productive and thorough revision sessions. If you aren’t sure, the VARK model can help you understand what type of learner you are and how best you should structure your revision.

Take plenty of breaks and stay healthy!

Taking regular breaks is so important when it comes to revision, particularly as the stress builds up when you are counting down the days until your exam!. If you try to do too much all at once you’ll burn yourself out and end up doing less overall.

Making time to relax and unwind is also crucial- if you find yourself getting too stressed out or feeling overwhelmed why not take a walk or try meditating to clear your head?

It’s also important to stay healthy and get plenty of sleep when you are revising too – this will keep both your mind and body in tip top condition and functioning at their best before and during the exam.

Reward yourself

Revision is pretty tough and it can be hard to stay disciplined. Make revision goals and milestones and make sure that you reward yourself when you achieve them. This will help keep you motivated.

Rewards can be small like having a cuppa and a biscuit when you have gotten through a few chapters of your revision or got all the answers on your question cards correct, or large such as a night out with friends if you hit all your revision targets by the end of the week.

Some interesting study hacks

  • Create your perfect study playlist to motivate and inspire you.
  • Mix up your learning so you don’t get bored, change subjects regularly but also switch from reading books to testing yourself to watching videos or documentaries on the subject.
  • Try teaching someone else what you’ve learned – this is a great way to show you have a good grasp on the material and can explain ideas succinctly and coherently.
  • Create mental associations, rhymes or diagrams to help you remember key facts and figures.
  • Type notes in Times New Roman font – it’s apparently the fastest font to read.
  • Use apps to stop you from getting distracted – if you find you are getting distracted by certain websites (we’re looking at you, Facebook) during your revision, you can download apps which will block you from using them for a certain period of time. Be strong!

Good revision is all about being prepared and disciplined. At the end of the day, it’s up to the individual to take charge of their revision and in doing so you give yourself the very best chance of success.

If you need some help with your last minute revision, hiring a private tutor can help. A private tutor will help devise a fantastic revision programme, help you with difficult subjects and advise you on how best to prepare for exams. If you are looking for a knowledgeable, experienced Tutor get in touch with our friendly team today!

A-Level & GCSE Retake Courses – everything you need to know

March 23, 2017

If you find yourself in a position where you are thinking about sitting a retake course for your GCSE or A Level examinations you may be feeling slightly disheartened.

We understand that it can be disappointing and upsetting if you discover that you haven’t achieved the results you’d hoped for. However, it is important to remember that it is far from the end of the world. You still have plenty of options, including the opportunity to resit your exams,  meaning that you have another chance to achieve the grade you believe you are capable of achieving.

Why would you retake your GCSE or A Level exams?

  • If you have failed your GCSE or A Level examinations and needed to gain some qualifications.
  • If you want a higher grade than the one you have already achieved- some pupils find that, while they might have done well, their results do not match what they had expected or what they want, and therefore retake to try and improve their grade.
  • If you need a particular grade to get into a university course as Universities and professions often require certain grades in specific subjects. Thus some students may choose to retake if they didn’t manage to achieve what they needed to be accepted into a particular course or university.
  • Adult learners – those who have found a renewed interest in the subject and want to re-sit it. Maybe the revision courses weren’t available when they were at school, so they want to try to gain additional qualifications now that they are.

Pro’s and Cons of retaking GCSE’s and A-Levels

PROS OF RETAKE COURSES

  • GCSE and A Level qualifications are those that most Universities and colleges look at. Doing well in your GCSE’s will determine which subjects you go on to study at A Level, which can ultimately influence which course you choose to study at university. It’s much harder to jump into an A-Level course without having taken the GCSE first, so, if you fail or don’t do as well as you hoped at GCSE level, retaking your exams is well worth considering.
  • Most jobs require a minimum of a C or above in GCSE Maths and English. Even if you have no desire to go to university or college, apprenticeships usually require some qualifications for you to be considered for a place. The better qualifications you have, the more education and job opportunities will be available to you.
  • Retaking right away means that you still have a good amount of knowledge stored in your short-term memory. The longer you wait the more likely you are to forget the information, resulting in an increased amount of revision hours.

CONS OF RETAKE COURSES

  • Resitting exams takes time and can cause disruption to a student’s education. If there is too much focus on re-sitting exams instead of moving on and learning new material or accepting that perhaps this particular subject is not where your strengths lie, you could end up falling behind in other subjects.
  • Creates a sense of apathy. It’s paramount not to see the opportunity to re-sit as an excuse not to try your best first time round. Having an attitude of ‘I can always do it again’ is dangerous for self-discipline when it comes to revision and if you can do well first time it is much less hassle!
  • Schools may not be able to provide the resources to help students who wish to resit their exams. Schools are overstretched as it is and therefore if you do decide to retake you may have to undertake revision and study in your own time. However, hiring a private tutor to help go through course material and work through any areas you had trouble with before, is a fantastic alternative to ensure you give yourself the best chance of success.
  • You may still not get the grade you require which can feel disappointing and frustrating.
  • Resitting exams costs money. Each time you decide to retake an exam you have to pay an entry fee and doing this time and time again can add up. You may also wish to hire a private tutor to help with your revision and this is an additional expense. However, at Tutor House, we aim to make tutoring available to everyone, with some of our tutors offering to teach for just £20 per hour. Choosing an affordable tutor can mean you achieve that desired grade first time round, saving you time and money in the long run.

What are the alternatives to GCSE and A Level retake courses?

If you don’t feel as though re-sitting your exams is the right option for you, there are still plenty of alternative paths that you can consider to help you continue your education or start your career. For example, there are many opportunities for apprenticeships which don’t require you to have any formal qualifications, so these are worth looking into if you haven’t managed to pass any of your exams.  You can find out more about apprenticeships here.

  • Work Experience or internships – if you can get work experience or an internship in an industry you love, you could end up being offered a more permanent role.
  • Volunteering – do some valuable volunteer work in an area you are interested in. This will look great on your cv which could lead to a paid role. It will also make you feel happy to know you are giving something back too!
  • Taking a break – you don’t have to resit your exams right away! Explore different avenues and options, and take the time to think about what it right for you. Sometimes getting some distance can help you to think about what you really need, and if you do decide to come back and resit your exams, you can always refresh your knowledge by  hiring a tutor to help you.
  • Resitting your GCSE or A Levels can be advantageous for many reasons, but it is important to think carefully before you decide to. By hiring a tutor to keep you focused, work through difficult topics and help with your revision strategy you will give yourself the best chance of success.
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