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Advice for choosing your right GCSE and A Level path

01 Aug 2017

As A Level and GCSE exam results are about to be released, many students will be celebrating whilst others with disappointing results will be looking for options to improve their grades. Two former and current students of Ealing Independent College (EIC) and its Principal share their advice. 

Balgees just finished her GCSE Intensive Year at Ealing Independent College

Do your research and don’t despair

“If you haven’t gotten the grades you hoped for don’t be discouraged,” Michelle, who joined EIC in September 2015, says. “Even though it has not worked this time around, it is by no means the end. I personally feel it is better to retake subjects you didn’t do well in, get a better grade and go to university a year later than settling for results that don’t reflect your true capabilities. I understand the thought of not going to university with your friends might be hard, and honestly at the beginning I was a little embarrassed about having to retake the year. But take it from me; there is nothing to be embarrassed about, and I can honestly say I am so happy that I re-sat my subjects. I have been able to apply and get an offer from my dream university after completing the A Level Intensive Year at EIC”.

Michelle did her research before deciding to retake subjects at EIC: “I did a wide comparison of Independent Schools all over London and Surrey, and through this I found that EIC have an exemplary record in helping students boost their grades significantly. From my year at EIC I would say that what differentiates the College from others is without a doubt the teaching. The teachers are of an extraordinary standard and teach with such contagious passion. The constant in-class testing and performance tracking also helped me stay on track, not to mention the focused study environment,” she adds. 

Michelle has just completed her first year of Biomedical Science at Newcastle University

Don’t let the A Level exam reform confuse you

“The A Level reform is a welcome change”, says Principal of Ealing Independent College, Dr Ian Moores. ”Whilst it means that students can no longer retake individual units of their A Level to boost the overall grade, it does allow students to appreciate their subject as a whole. As a small College we have been able to fully adapt our teaching and approach to ensure that both our two year and Intensive Year A Level students develop a complete understanding for the subject in its entirety and walk into the examination room just as confident and prepared as ever. Through our effective performance tracking and personalised approach to learning, students who wish to retake A Level subjects at EIC can rest assured our Intensive Year programme will help them lift their grades.”

Ensure your GCSE results reflect your true abilities

With AS exams no longer counting towards the final A Level results, universities will inevitably place a stronger emphasis on their applicants’ GCSE results. As such, ensuring your GCSE results reflect your true abilities and provides the academic foundation required before embarking on the more challenging A Level programme is crucial. Balgees joined the GCSE Intensive Year programme at EIC in September 2016 after gaining disappointing grades at her former school. She feels the learning environment at EIC has helped her reach her true potential: “After joining EIC I found myself instantly making new friends and loving the College. I discovered that I like it more than my old school, and the teaching is just so much better. The approach at EIC is very different. What really helps is that the class sizes are small and the teachers are very approachable. In my old school I would be scared to ask a question in class, but at EIC I have never felt scared or shy. What I have enjoyed the most in my classes is that my teachers try to keep lessons interesting and dynamic. Since I am doing Intensive GCSEs and have covered most of the topics before, this has made my Intensive Year at the College much more interesting.

Balgees looks forward to continuing her education at EIC and embarking on the A Level Programme in September 2017.

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