Psychology: A New Complete GCSE Course, for AQA Specification 4180
This book contains a series of lessons designed to guide you through the AQA GCSE Psychology syllabus. It can be used by people on their own, in groups, with a teacher or without one, at school, in college, at home or work or anywhere you choose to study. Each lesson will guide you through a topic as a teacher would guide you in the classroom. The lessons are designed to explain some complex psychology ideas in a simple way but they don’t treat you like a child. Of course, you don’t have to take an exam; you can use the book simply to find out more about psychology if you want.
For the best results, don’t just read the book, but interact with it. When it suggests that you jot something down, do so; when it suggests you check your understanding, do so. The Check Your Understanding sections are not designed to simulate exam questions, but to help you check and retain the information in the lesson.
What Does it Cover?
The topics covered are those set by the exam board but they include the range of topics that many introductory psychology courses would cover. Most professional psychologists go on to specialise in one or more areas. Not all areas of psychology are included: for example, there is nothing on counselling or psychotherapy. Glance through the Contents page for more details.
What if I Don’t Want to Take an Exam?
If the exam is not too important to you then you can start at almost any lesson or even pick and choose according to the topics that interest you. Occasionally you may come across a lesson that assumes you have read a previous one but it will be obvious if this is the case and you can backtrack to the relevant lesson.
The GCSE Exam
This book covers the AQA GCSE Specification 4180 syllabus. Be sure this is the exam you will be taking if you are working towards a GCSE qualification. You will find a list of schools and colleges willing to take “external” candidates for the AQA GCSE exams in your local area on the AQA website at http://www.aqa.org.uk/student-support/private-candidates/finding-a-school-or-college. You will need to register with them early in the year (e.g. January) so the exams officer can fit you in. You can talk to AQA on 0161 953 1180 or go to www.aqa.org.uk/help-and-contacts to register for it before embarking on the course.
In addition to local colleges and schools, there are a number of home study organisations that offer courses to prepare for the AQA GCSE Psychology qualification. This book will be a good supplement to those courses. Course providers include the National Extension College, ICS and E-learning Centres. Their websites are listed below. Also, by using the Hotcourses website you can narrow down the search for GCSE psychology providers in your local area.
Many of the topics in this book are also part of other GCSE and A-level courses, so the book can be useful for some parts of those syllabuses too. AQA, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC also offer GCSE and GCE A-Level exams. If you are studying for one of these other exams you could compare the contents of this book with their online specifications to see if you find it useful. The websites are listed at the end of this section.
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