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A-Level Economics, Business, Maths careers advice

At the age of 15, university can seem a long way off. Despite this, it's at the age of 15 that many pupils have to decide which A-level subjects to study at school. This decision is, in turn, somewhat controlled by the degree they wish to pursue at university. Pick the wrong combination of subjects and they could find that certain degree paths are closed off. Pick subjects that they feel they should do, rather than those they are passionate about, and they may not excel in the long run. It's vital that teenagers give serious thought to the next steps, rather than relying on the four subjects they sort-of-liked at GCSE. It's here that parents can help; provided that the final decision comes from the pupil. Click the link to read views of three experts. Source: The Daily Telegraph
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    IB or A-levels: which should I take if I want to study medicine at university?

    I am currently in Year 11 at a Kent Grammar School and will be doing my GCSEs in 2017. My school follows the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and are clearly keen to keep as many of their students on post-GCSE into sixth form. I would like to know - from the perspective of the top universities offering medicine - as to whether there is a preference for the IB qualification over that of A-levels? If I need to focus on the science subjects would I be better off changing to an A-level sixth form rather than the broad spread of subjects that the IB offers? Answer: Most universities, including those top universities offering medical degrees, see the International Baccalaureate (IB) as comparable to A-levels and don’t favour one over the other. The qualifications are structured differently but both are academically rigorous and both are excellent preparation for university study. For degrees like medicine that require you to have studied specific subjects, each university will set out their A-level requirement, for example A-level chemistry grade A, and then also list their IB requirement, for example IB Higher Level chemistry grade 6.The only difference you might find is that universities tend to set a minimum IB score required as well as subject level requirements. For example, the typical University of Sheffield offer for medicine in 2017 is AAA at A-level to include chemistry and a second science, or 36 points overall in the IB with six in three Higher Level subjects to include chemistry and a second science, and no less than four in all Standard Level subjects. My advice would be to pick the school you feel will support you most fully in achieving your best academically, as well as helping you develop other skills and attributes during your time there. It's worth remembering that the medical degree application process doesn’t focus just on your academic achievement. Make sure you look at the individual content of the different qualifications and subjects to decide which ones you think would suit you and interest you the most, while remembering to check if there are any subject-specific requirements for your chosen course of study before making your final decision. Source: The Daily Telegraph
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      IB vs A-levels:

      The International Baccalaureate is great for all-rounders, but A-levels have the practical edge, says Sarah Turney. Our children had always wanted to go to university in England and I had been led to believe that the IB was well regarded. But we found that the universities were asking for more IB points than the equivalent A-level grades. The IB, you see, is marked out of 45 points in total. There is a general acceptance that 35 points is equivalent to AAA and 40 to to A*A*A* (Ucas tariff points corroborate this). Yet to study history, Oxbridge colleges were asking for A*AA at A-level, but 42 points in the IB. Tutors seemed to underestimate the academic rigor of the IB. The IB is a better all-round qualification and ensures that a student has plenty of interest on their CV. But if the goal is an English university, why complicate matters? Opt for A-levels. Source: The Sunday Telegreph
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        What's new in GCSE English and Maths from September 2015

        pupils will be expected to learn key formulae by heart, while the syllabus will also cover proportion, ratio and "real-world problems" including financial mathematics. There will also be a greater emphasis on non-calculator work. Where previously, as little as 25 per cent of exam papers were "non calculator", new GCSEs will need to include between a third and 50 per cent. Documents published last year also revealed that the exams would be lengthened to cover the extra content, with pupils set to sit three test papers over four-and-a-half hours. English language: Students will be required to read a greater range of challenging literature and non-fiction texts from a variety of genres and time periods - with reading and writing being equally weighted in the overall grades. There will be greater emphasis on the correct use of spelling, punctuation and grammar. English literature: While no longer compulsory, pupils who take the subject will have to assess a 19th century novel, a Shakespeare play, a selection of poetry since 1789 and a British fiction or drama from 1914 onwards. There will also be emphasis on 'unseen texts' in the exam. Source: The Daily Telegraph
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          How to get into medical school

          Applying for medical school is well known for being one of the most competitive degrees to embark upon. Universities look for outstanding grades in science subjects – especially biology and chemistry – as well as a passion for the subject, and evidence of commitment to the field. There's also the compulsory exam for students applying to medical and dental degrees. Most medical schools use the UK Clinical Aptitude Test, also known as UKCAT. The exam helps filter through the many highly qualified applicants who apply to medical programmes, so make sure you take time to prepare. The test focuses on exploring attributes considered to be valuable for health care professionals, not necessarily traditional academic achievement. The successful individuals will be ones with the most suitable attitudes, mental abilities and professional behaviour. It also assesses students' ability to sift data and weigh evidence from different sources, as well as reasoning skills and judgment In terms of proving your passion for the subject, make sure you get some first hand experience, this could be volunteering or taking part in medical work placement. "A lot of medical school short listing will take place on the basis on what’s on the written application, so if candidates have no work experience then they would be at a great disadvantage." Source: The Sunday Telegraph
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            Preparing for GCSE Science Exams

            Keep it simple Build yourself a glossary by collecting key scientific terms with your own definitions written beside them. Using a coloured pen to highlight the most important words can really help them stick in your mind, which in turn can save precious time in the exam. Next, you need to practise your explanations. Family members make excellent test subjects, particularly younger siblings. If you can teach something to an eight year old, then you are likely to have a good grasp of the key concepts. Practice, practice, practice As I am sure you are already aware, one of the fastest ways to improve your grades is to complete practice papers. But a word of caution; these have to be done in the right way, or you will simply be wasting your own time. If you are unsure of a certain module or topic area, or you have scored badly on a recent mock test, then you should begin your revision by trying a few papers with your notes and textbook open – looking up answers should help you remember them for next time. Then, attempt papers in exam conditions, making sure you are harsh on yourself when it comes to marking the test (ensuring you use the required wording, for example). Take some time in between papers to correct your answers and review those topics in which you did not score as well, making sure you could answer a similar question next time. Sitting all the papers in one go, without reviewing your answers, is akin to running ten or twenty 100m races with no rest in between and still expecting to perform in each one like Usain Bolt. Use your time wisely You will notice that some topics come up in multiple subjects – these are great ones to focus on, particularly if you are low on time ahead of the exam. For example, respiration and combustion are incredibly similar processes and come up in chemistry and biology respectively. Pollution, global warming and renewables are particularly significant areas as these come up in all three science subjects. Learn the lingo Make sure that you are able to describe and interpret graphs accurately, because there is likely to be at least one of these in each science paper. Use your glossary from earlier to make use of words such as “gradient” and “directly proportional” rather than merely describing if the graph goes up or down. Each descriptor will be worth one mark, so if there are three marks available you must make sure to make three salient observations. If you are running low on ideas in the exam, then simply refer to the axes to point out exactly what is happening: for example, “the graph peaked at [insert number here]”. Count on maths A lot of marks, particularly in physics papers, will require calculations, so you should make sure you understand percentages and can rearrange equations. If Maths is not your strong suit, or if you find yourself completely unable to answer a question, have a look at the units demanded by the answer (these will often be written beside the line for your answer) to try and give yourself a clue. For example, if the units are N/m2, try to find the number with Newtons beside it and divide this by the area. Always check the units required by each question. Every year hundreds of people forget to convert centimetres to metres or grams to kilograms and lose a mark as a result. Do not let it be you. Source: The Daily Telegraph

              Create the perfect revision plan

              The revision period is, arguably, the most difficult part of any exam process. The exam itself – usually between one and three hours – can be portrayed as a performance of sorts: a chance to use all the knowledge you have built up over several years, crafted neatly into a well-rounded response to a question or series of questions. While pressure and nerves can undoubtedly make it an uncomfortable experience, the knowledge that it is the culmination of the entire process should provide some comfort. From your desk in the exam hall, a summer empty of academic or curricular concerns is only hours away. However, from your revision desk, in the midst of a chilly April and with weeks of revision stretching out in front of you, the end can seem very far off. While it will not make the time go any faster, nor unfortunately will it make the process any more “fun”, a well-structured revision plan can formalise your revision, and can act as a telescope through which you can spy those post-exam summer holidays. Plan early !!! It ought to go without saying that planning your revision timetable must be done before anything else, to ensure there is enough time for comprehensive coverage of all subjects. GCSE students, for example, usually study between eight and twelve subjects. If you plan to devote a week revising each subject, then that will require two or three months of revision. With most exams starting at the end of May, the revision plan should be in place by the end of March at least. Source: Daily Telegraph

                Cheap Tuition

                Some potential clients who contact us are after 'Tuition on the Cheap'. This is possible by contacting University students who will be willing to supply their services for about half the price compared to a fully qualified and very experienced tutor registered at Norwich Tutors. Norwich Tutors only supplies professional, very skilled and highly qualified tutors. We do not supply amateurs. University students may be very competent with the subject matter, but they are unlikely to be; teacher trained, possess a CRB certificate, familiar with a range of syllabuses or have the experience to deal with difficult or complex situations. Your choice! Source: Norwich Tutors

                  Most rewarding jobs and qualifications needed

                  The top five professions by median weekly wage – along with information on what they do and how to become one – plus the five worst-paying jobs. Take a look at the list by clicking the link below. Source: Yahoo Financial News
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                    How to prepare for school entrance exams

                    Across all levels of the British school system can be found evidence of the ‘exam factory’ phenomenon. Children are being tested at all ages – from 4 to 18 – with increasing pressure being placed upon the results of the exams. School entry, college entry or university entry are often directly or indirectly conditional upon the results of these exams and, with the recent trend away from modular exams and retakes, it can all come down to one exam. In preparing for the school entrance exams, both you and your child must first create mutually agreed and realistic targets. The word ‘realistic’ is crucial here, however counter intuitive it may feel. Source: The Daily Telegraph

                      Special Educational Needs (SEN)

                      Not all tutors are trained in techniques to deal with children who have been diagnosed with learning disorders.Please make the proposed tutor fully aware of the condition and communicate regularly with the tutor as to whether learning has taken place. Source: Norwich Tutors

                        Choosing subjects to study in 6th form (Years 12 & 13)

                        Choosing an A-Level subject is easier when the student has decided on a potential career path he/she would like to follow. It may also affect the entry requirements for particular universities. A student is normally required to commit to four subject options in Year 12 dropping one of them in Year 13. There is no advantage in keeping 4 subjects going in Year 13. Universities require grades from three subjects only and will discard results from a forth subject. If Maths and English are not taken at As level (Year 12) then the applicant is expected to have a minimum grade 'c' in these subjects at GCSE level. Caution: Some universities courses may insist on Grade B's. Source: UEA Prospectus

                          Thinking of Home Educating your child?

                          If implemented with good planning, it can be successful. Hiring a tutor in the long run can be expensive, but progress can be rapid. Be weary of self-study courses (Study books with remote tutor assigned) where there is no face-to-face contact with an educational professional. Remote tutors are less able to make a clear judgment of performance and keep the student motivated. Source: Daily Telegraph

                            Which degree courses do your A-levels suit

                            You can match your future degree course with your future/current A-levels. Source: Daily Telegraph
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                              Graduate jobs: how to stand out in an interview

                              The third myth is that choosing the “wrong” course will slam the door on a wide choice of careers. “Most employers aren’t too concerned about the specific subject you studied,” says Ross Whistler, marketing executive at graduate-jobs.com, a graduate job board that works with employers and graduate recruitment agencies. “They’re looking for skills and qualities you acquired during your time at university, and not just on your course, typically communication, leadership, teamwork, problem solving and adaptability.” Source: graduate-jobs.com