Our fantastic student David Nicholls tells us about his journey to passing GCSE Maths and gives his review of studying online.
To become a teacher in England you need to pass Maths and this was my reason for studying this subject.
I planned to go to college but they rejected me after I failed an admissions test and said I should practice basic maths for a year. I didn’t have a year to spare. I have always contemplated online study but was wary if it was good enough.
I searched online and visited sites like Trust Pilot that review companies and found ICS Learn to have top ratings. I thought I would try them and have never regretted it.
The ICS Learn Student Community was very structured and was easily understood. The material was prepared for the new grading system (9-1) and broken down into levels of difficulty, so if you wanted a grade 4 then just focus on that material only.
An added bonus was the live videos that were hosted by a fantastic maths teacher called Melissa.
Like the material the videos were broken down into difficulty, so the first set were simple maths (like your ABCs of English) to the more challenging set of higher tier.
I was never able to watch the live sessions but they are recorded, so I could stop and pause them as much as I wanted (unlike a teacher in a classroom) to understand.
Then you had your online chat rooms, online coursework book and mock tests that Melissa marked.
I never thought I would complete maths in a year and all the modules/videos on the site but when I got home every night I studied. Most weekends would be reading over the course material and watching the videos that taught the topics I never grasped.
I found learning online more relaxing than going to a college. There was no travel, no students who can annoy you in the classroom, you can find answers to those questions that make you look stupid and you can study when you want.
This relaxed environment made me study harder and learn a lot more.
I could also send questions via email and they would be answered with a thorough explanation from Melissa with a follow up if needed. The support was there from the beginning to the end.
I know it sounds corny but if I can pass maths (after not knowing my times tables) I am sure anyone else can with enough effort. And it wasn’t just a pass either; I got a grade 5 which is equivalent to a B.
I would love to contact the college admissions team and say how wrong they were. My plans now are to apply for a PGCE this year instead of waiting a year like the college suggested and get on with my life.
Many thanks ICS Learn for your support and guidance and good luck to people choosing to study maths. You can do it!
Inspired by David? Find out more about our online GCSE courses.