The stigma about taking an Easter Revision course has vanished
James Barton, Director of Admissions at MPW London, examines the factors behind the growing demand for both GCSE and A level revision courses.
And there is a surge. The number of students taking Easter revision courses is on the up.
Let’s not over play this, we are not talking tidal shifts. However, there is definitely an upturn in the past couple of years, which has continued into 2020, though demand may not be coming from where you would expect.
The draw of an Easter revision course is logical at A level. It represents the last chance saloon for an A level student aspiring to secure the grades for that all-important place at university, and it is seen here through big numbers.
However, in recent times and especially this year, the aforementioned surge is at GCSE level and this can mostly be attributed to the following three factors:
- The educational reforms of the GCSE level. Where things change, there will always be a need for people to seek clarification and this has fuelled demand for GCSE Easter revision courses. The new specifications were designed to address tougher topic areas with more stringent marking and therefore preparing thoroughly on a revision course is a wise investment.
- The reforms saw the demise of the AS level grading system, which meant that universities can only rely on GCSE results as a marking point, in turn increasing the pressure at GCSE. Although importantly, it must be caveated that quality will triumph over quantity here.
- It is also the case though that as schools get ever stricter on admissions into their sixth forms, parents are using GCSE revision courses in large numbers to try and ensure their child’s place for A levels at their chosen school. No one wants to be the wrong side of the line on results day.
There are some big numbers bandied around in the education world and it never seems to stop, though investing in education is seen as a worthwhile use of money. Which is the right word in many ways, ‘investment’, in the future. Whether that is sending students to top fee-paying independent schools or moving area to buy into a good school’s catchment area, a lot of strategy goes into education. It is fair to say that parents are becoming savvier with their monetary choices.
They are a lot more clued up on the reforms now and their questions are much more targeted. Which to our mind adds a level of healthy reassurance, that this is not (pardon the pun) ‘horses for courses’. These are revision courses designed and tailored for the needs of an individual. Education will continue to be something that is impervious to all external troubles and therefore investment at the right time in it would always be considered prudent.
Not surprisingly, students are keen to ensure that their exam preparations are as comprehensive and streamlined as possible during the final few weeks before their exams begin.
The stigma about taking an Easter revision course has vanished. Our experience is that these courses are self-selecting. They work if a student wants to participate in them. They are not simply holiday alternatives. As we have seen, the profile of an Easter revision course student has changed markedly.
These revision courses will never suit everyone and nor should they. That is the beauty of education in that one size must not be the same for all. They work for those who understand why they are doing them and, in a world where we overly analyse past factors, demand will continue to rise.