Could Easter revision courses give A-level results a boost?

With A-level grade offers for university entrance this autumn certain to be even higher than they were last year, more students are signing up for Easter Revision courses to maximise their chances of summer success. Competition for places at good universities is more intense than ever, with more courses for example requiring A* grades as part of their standard offer.

Well-established revision courses run by specialist colleges and by some leading independent schools are predicted to be in high demand again over the Easter holidays.

James Barton, course director of Easter Revision courses at MPW, a specialist A-level and GCSE college in Kensington, London, says: "Enquiry levels are very healthy compared to last year, especially for maths and science."

As well as GCSE and A2 courses, AS revision courses are seeing an upsurge in demand. David Lowe, Principal of DLD College in London, believes that this is due to increased awareness that admissions tutors will be looking more closely than before at AS modular scores when assessing UCAS applications in the autumn. He says: "Students now realise that they are under pressure to deliver high AS scores if they are to optimise their chances of good offers. As far as A2 revision courses are concerned, most Year 13 pupils want to make sure they have the right grades to get into university in 2011 before the fees increase takes effect the following year."

With most students having sat their mock exams in January and some getting disappointing results, now is the time of year when many are considering taking an intensive, one-week revision course in April, but Barton emphasises that a key date for them should be 10 March. He says: "This is results day for all the modules sat in January and from then on most of our courses fill up very quickly." He adds that most students who take this type of course are not struggling with their subjects, but are capable students aiming for top grades. A new development this year at the high end of the market is the availability of revision courses for pre-U exams, though providers are usually offering these as one-to-one tuition.

Revision courses have grown in popularity over the past few years and, at between £350 and £500 for a week (around £120 more if residential), they are reasonably affordable. This year they will become a great investment for parents if they help to ensure that their child can enter university paying the lower level of tuition fees for the last time. "Despite the recession, many parents still put their children's education before anything else," says Chris Kraft, Principal of Duff Miller College, London.

Given the wide range of courses offered, how should you choose one suitable for your needs? The best are run by people who have direct experience of exam-orientated board-specific short courses. In practice, this means that you have three choices. Firstly, you can go to one of the many independent sixth form colleges, also known as tutorial colleges. Most of the best colleges are members of the Council for Independent Education (CIFE) and you can find a list of these at www.cife.org.uk, where there is also specific advice about Easter revision.

Secondly, a number of major public schools have been successfully running day and residential courses for many years, eg Harrow School, Wellington College, Clifton College in Bristol and Magdalen College School in Oxford.

Thirdly, you can approach a private tutor or agency, which is best done if they come well-recommended by a satisfied previous student. Most importantly, don't leave your enquiries until the end of term – the best courses fill up first and fast.

News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionPart of 'best-selling' Demeter scent range
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Deputy Education Manager

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Deputy Education Manager (permanent ...

Science Teacher Urgently required for October start

£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are currently recr...

ICT Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Group: We are looking for an outstandi...

Art & Design Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Group: We are looking for an outstandi...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering