February Newsletter | Academy Online Learning

February Newsletter

Mon, 19/02/2018 - 10:10 -- admin
Welcome to our monthly newsletter, keeping you up to date with important deadlines, such as UCAS, and helpful hints on how to get the most from your course.

In this month's newsletter:

  • GCSEs
  • Enhanced Learning Credits
  • Deadlines for June Moderation
  • UCAS reminder
  • Cut down your word counts while keeping your essays detailed and in-depth


If you need to get your GCSE English, Maths or Human Biology, we have courses available with support from experienced tutors. You can still enrol now to sit your exams in May/June More information

The deadline to register to sit GCSE exams in May/June 2018 was 21 February 2018, but some exam centres allow students to register and pay late entry fees. You will still be able to register for resits in November

Enhanced Learning Credits

Our Access to Higher Education Diploma is eligible for ELCAS funding from the Ministry of Defence for students entitled to Enhanced Learning Credits.

Important Dates

Deadline for GCSE entries

21 February 2018

Dates for June Moderation

To complete your diploma in time for June moderation, you must achieve the following:

  • 15 credits by 21st January (guideline)
  • 30 credits by 4th March (non-negotiable)
  • 45 credits by 15th April (non-negotiable)
  • 60 credits by 20th May (non-negotiable)

UCAS Reminder

If you have received a response from all your UCAS choices, make sure you are aware of the reply deadline for any offers you are holding. If you don’t respond by the deadline given, your offer may be withdrawn.

Cut down your word counts while keeping your essays detailed and in-depth

In previous newsletters we have explained how important it is to expand and explain theories, concepts and research in detail and discuss issues in-depth, however, this can be difficult when you are limited by a tight word count. One way around this issue is to remove all the unnecessary words from your assignment. It is surprising just how many words you can remove without changing the meaning and it often improves the clarity of the writing. Here is an example of a paragraph from a previous newsletter:

Medicines such as benzodiazepines can be used to treat a variety of illnesses, such as stress, anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms and agitation. They bind to GABA receptors, but rather than directly opening chloride channels like GABA does when it binds to the site, it increases the conduction of chloride ions across the membrane when GABA is also bound to that receptor (Griffin et al., 2013). This means that benzodiazepines enhance the sedative effect of the GABA neurotransmitter that is already present.


If unnecessary words are removed, as below it can significantly reduce the word count. In this case, 12 words have been removed from the 82 in the original paragraph - a 15% reduction

An example of a paragraph where unnecessary words have been removed.

Here's another example from last month's newsletter:

Another example of unnecessary words removed from a paragraph

In the example above, the original is 132 words and the edited version is 101, a 23% reduction. If these figures are extrapolated to a 2000 word essay it would constitute a reduction of 460 words.

If you reduce your word count and then find you have the opposite problem and you are significantly under the word count, you now have an opportunity to add more detail and depth to improve your chances of obtaining a high grade.

 Next month: Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism


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