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Going to university can be a wonderful and empowering experience where students meet new friends, attend plenty of social events and even dip their toes into the world of work to pay their own way. For many, it’s the first taste of what’s to come as they progress into adulthood.
University is often seen as a big leap for those who have studied in traditional learning environments. They face a whole new world of independence in their life and their studies. Gaining experience in studying for A Levels online can help students hone their independent learning skills, developing study styles which could give them an edge and prepare them for the world of university.
Students who have studied their A Levels online and completed their exams will have universally recognised qualifications that are accepted by universities across the globe. Some universities will convert A Level qualifications into what is known as UCAS tariff points to decide on eligibility, whereas others will expect certain grades to be achieved in specific relevant subjects. Having good grades at A Levels in mathematics and economics, for example, would go a long way towards securing your entry for a university course in accounting and finance.
Having fantastic grades at A Levels can provide students with more choice and increases their chances of getting accepted for their dream subjects in top universities. An online learning environment can relieve the pressure on students by offering a more flexible and supportive framework that helps them get the very best grades possible.
It is completely normal for students to fall ill or fail to attend lessons for any number of reasons at some point over the course of their studies. In a traditional learning environment, it can be quite difficult to know what you have missed, making catching back up a bit of a challenge. In a good online school, you can expect to have access to recordings of every lesson, allowing students to watch back through anything they have missed and even ask their teacher questions if they need further support.
Preparing for exams can be a very daunting and manual process. Even the most organised and ambitious of students will struggle to keep a checklist of revision topics to plan their study sessions. A good virtual school will take away the hassle from students by giving them access to a comprehensive resource library for any subjects they are taking. Digital access to study materials, as well as lesson recordings, takes away the stress of exam preparation, allowing students to easily tackle the areas they have weaker subject knowledge on.
Going to university can be a massive shock to the system – it’s the first true taste of what grown up life will be like. Many students decide to stay in student halls or shared accommodation and many will get jobs to cover living costs and pay for rent. While students are newly struggling to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle (we hope), cook every meal for themselves and maintain an acceptable level of hygiene standards in their new homes, they also need to adapt to a new form of independent learning.
It is understandable that many students will want to make the most of their time at university – it would be a waste after all if students don’t try to enjoy what many consider to be the best years of their lives. It can be difficult, however, to strike the right balance between life and study.
Those who are fortunate enough to have studied for their A Levels at a virtual school will have plenty of practice in the self-discipline needed for independent learning. Taking A Levels online means students have already been accountable for their own studies for quite some time. They will know how important it is to attend every lesson they can, and the extra work it takes to catch back up should they fall behind.
The internet has been around for a long time now, but the global pandemic has now left a permanent mark on how people communicate with each other. Families, friends, schools and organisations across the world have embraced platforms like zoom to have virtual face to face conversations. There has been a rapid, widespread adoption of social and chat applications such as Discord, TikTok and WhatsApp for group messaging. It is becoming increasingly normal for a significant portion of day-to-day social interaction to take place online.
Students who have attended a good virtual school will be accustomed to online and remote events for socialising. They will also have used virtual common rooms and in many cases joined virtual social clubs. These experiences will all contribute to a student’s modern day social skills, making it easy to connect and engage with other people taking the same course, even before it has begun.
Students who are looking for their dream course now have the option to study at university remotely through many distance learning courses that are available. Each university will have their own method of delivery for online courses, with some opting for entirely independent study models and others providing timetabled virtual lessons.
Picking the right university comes down to your aspirations, which course you would like to take, which universities will accept you, and your life circumstances. For some, for example, it may not be appealing to study in a university halfway across the country, as some students may not want to be too far from friends and family. Others may jump at the opportunity for what they see as a fresh start in a new and exciting city, or even studying abroad.
Online university courses are great for those who need flexibility and have confidence in their ability to learn independently. They give students a chance to work, enjoy social activities or participate in hobbies and sports.
For those who want ‘the full experience’, studying at a brick-and-mortar university can be highly rewarding for both study and social life. At King’s InterHigh we have many alumni who, for various reasons, preferred online study during their GCSEs and A Levels, but then went on to blossom in their future studies by attending the top universities in person.
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