Studying science practicals as a distance learning student sounds tricky right? Many people who are considering studying science based A-levels such as Biology, Chemistry or Physics, may be wondering how exactly you can to the practical elements of these courses. It’s not as if everyone has a full blown laboratory at home.
Science practicals for distance learning students can be approached in one of three ways. Firstly, if you’re studying the UK version of the syllabus with awarding bodies such as AQA or Pearson Edexcel, then you would usually be expected to sit the practicals. To do this, you would find a local examination centre that offers both practicals and written examinations and register there as a private candidate. From there, they will give you the opportunity to attend the centre, practice your practicals and then be assessed on those before you sit your written examinations.
If you’re resitting your examinations or have no need for the practical element, you can opt not to par take in the practicals. For students doing resits, then usually your previous results can be used again and it’s just the written element of the course you need to do. If you don’t need to do the science practials at all, then you can just ask the centre to note this and sit just the written examinations, but you do need to note that it will effect your grade by up to 20%.
Another option, is to opt for the international version of the science A-Levels, these usually replace the need for practicals with an additional written paper. So instead of the usual three written papers, you will have a fourth paper and this will focus on the practices of carrying out science practicals.
Before enrolling on science A-Levels as a distance learner, we would always advise and urge students to do their research and homework. It’s vital for your learning journey and experience to have a plan of action, especially when it comes to your studying of science practicals.