A-level Biology & Chemistry in one year


Dates: 5 Sept 16 – 9 June 2017 for weekly tutoring slots. Lessons can be booked on an ad-hoc basis after this date. I will be teaching til 25 June 2017.

Frequency:  Depending on student, however a minimum of 60 h is required to complete the full A-level course per subject in 1 year

Lesson duration:  1 h, 1.5 h or 2 h

Location: Redland/Whiteladies Road  and other locations

Cost: Pay monthly

Group size: one-to-one

What is covered in the course?

I will cover the AS or A2 course as set out in the exam board specification. Specifications can be found here:

AQA Biology        AQA Chemistry

OCR Biology       OCR Chemistry


Class schedule

Classes will run weekly, with breaks for Christmas (four weeks) & Easter (one week). Lessons will run as normal during October, February and May half-term, and in the second week of Easter. Any cancellations during the non-holiday period will not be refunded on the pay monthly scheme.

Holidays dates (both days inclusive):

19 Dec 16 – 15 Jan 17* (Christmas)

27 Mar 16 – 1 April 16 (Easter break – shorter than school break)

*I will be teaching the week of 19 Dec for students who want lessons. I am away on holiday from 24 Dec to 15 Jan. This will need to be paid for separately and is not covered in the monthly payment scheme.

Lessons can be booked on an ad-hoc basis after this date. I will be teaching til 25 June 2017.


How long is each lesson?

Each lesson will be either 60 minutes, 90 or 120 minutes long. During the first half of the lesson I will take you through the scheduled topic. During the second half of the lesson we will work through past question papers.

 I write out the notes for each lesson as I teach, which you are free to take with you. I will give you printouts of past paper questions to take home with you.


What materials do you provide?

I will provide print outs of past-paper question sets for each session. You will do these as homework and bring them back for the next session. I only provide one copy of past-paper questions for each topic covered. If you need additional copies, these will be charged at £5 per copy.


What do I need to bring to the lesson?

Please bring along the accredited textbook for your exam board, as we will be referring to it all through the lessons. We will also be tackling some of the past paper questions in the book. In addition to this, you will need some writing material, pens and a scientific calculator.


Exam dates – New specification (2015 onwards)

Biol 1 – 12 June 2017            Chem 1 – 13 June 2017

Biol 2 – 20 June 2017           Chem 2 – 19 June 2017

Biol 4 – 26 June 2017           Chem 4 – 27 June 2017


Exam dates – Old specification (last sitting)

Biol 1 – 25 May 2017            Chem 1 – 26 May 2017

Biol 2 – 06 June 2017           Chem 2 – 09 June 2017

Biol 4 – 12 June 2017           Chem 4 – 13 June 2017

Biol 5 – 20 June 2017          Chem 5 – 19 June 2017


UCAS information

If you need help with your UCAS form and personal statement, you can book a separate session with me outside of weekly lesson time. This session will be charged at the standard rate of £30 per hour.


Terms and conditions

Please read the full terms and conditions here. Any absences will not be refunded, nor will lesson time be extended for late arrivals. I reserve the right to terminate lessons with a student if I find their behaviour disruptive or inappropriate. No monies will be refunded in these cases.


Books needed (new specification):


Please ensure that you purchase the new edition (Sept 2015) textbooks.

AQA Biology A-level: Student’s Book;  Glen Toole & Susan Toole; Oxford Press

OCR A2 Biology Student Book;  Sue Hocking et al; Pearson

AQA Chemistry A-level: Student’s Book; Lister & Renshaw; Oxford Press

OCR A-level Chemistry Student Book; Ritchie & Gent; Pearson

You do not need a separate revision guide, as long as you organise your notes from the start. I would notrecommend CGP books for revision.


Registration as an external candidate

There are several colleges that offer registration to external candidates. I will advise you of the options. If you register to take exams under the new specification you will need to sit three 2 h exams, and get endorsed for the practical assessment externally (optional).  Under the old specification you will need to register for 4 written papers and 2 EMPA  (practical) exams. Papers and EMPAs can be taken at different colleges.


EMPA information (old specification only)

You will need to take two EMPA’s in order to complete your A-level. Each EMPA contributes to 10% of your A-level marks.

EMPAs are normally held at the end of April & beginning of May. Each EMPA will have a practical element and a written assessment.

I don’t have the laboratory facilities to carry out EMPAs, so you will need to register for this externally. In the past, it would have been possible for you to register with a local school to take an EMPA. However, the EMPAs have been phased out under the new specification, and it is difficult to find a local school that will accept external candidates for EMPAs. Your best bet is to contact 3A tutors as they cover a wide variety of subjects.


Practical endorsement (new specification – for candidates taking exams from 2016 onwards)

Under the new specification, the EMPAs (practicals) have been replaced by internal practical assessment of 12 core practicals. There are no marks for the practical assessment and it appears as ‘pass’ or ‘not classified’ on your result sheet. As a private candidate I would predict significant difficulty and cost involved in finding a school or college willing to include you in their practical endorsement work. However, not all Universities will ask for practical endorsement from private candidates, therefore I would suggest talking your chosen Universities first before deciding in you want to register for practical work. If you do need to get your practical work endorsed, then 3A tutors are likely the best option in Bristol, but there will likely be significant cost involved.


Are there any other costs?

  • Registration for 4 written papers = £100 (depending on college)
  • Registration for 2 EMPA’s (practical -old specification) = £300-400 (depending on college)
  • 2 x Practice days for practicals cost extra (highly recommended, price depends on college)
  • Travel costs during exams and practice sessions
  • Standard A-level textbooks for AS and A2 = £50 (or can be bought second-hand, please make sure it is the 2015 edition for the new specification or use the links above)


What next?

Please contact me to register your interest in the course.