Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Distance learning?

Distance learning is characterised by students who study at home via correspondence as opposed to attending lessons at a full-time institution. In many cases of distance learning, the parent or guardian takes on the role of the teacher. At DLA we offer subject material as well as experienced teachers who are able to provide extra aid and thus take the pressure of teaching off parents.

2. What are the advantages of distance learning?

Distance learning considers each student as an individual, where their personal needs are taken into account in terms of learning styles, academic capability and rate of progress. Classroom environments are becoming overcrowded and inadequately staffed causing students to fall behind and misunderstand core concepts which detrimentally affects their academic success.

3. Are distance learning students at a social disadvantage?

This question does not have a straight and narrow answer, but is rather up to personal opinion. Students studying via correspondence do not interact with as many peers or people of their own age as their school-going counterparts. However, this may not necessarily be a negative thing. Many students of varying age groups find social interactions difficult and this leads to bullying, extreme shyness and a poor self image. Students studying via distance learning have to opportunity to progress at their own pace and achieve requirements in their own time. This success creates a strong self-image and an increased self-esteem allowing children and young adults to feel confident within themselves and interact well with others. All students are encouraged to take part in extracurricular events such as sports, dramatic arts, dancing or any other hobbies that includes forms of social interaction.

 

Distance Learning Academy

4. When can I enrol with DLA International?

As we do not have a set enrolment period, students may apply for enrolment at any time throughout the course of the year.

5. What assistance does DLA provide prior to enrolment

Our highly qualified and experienced team will ensure that all of your questions are answered in the best and quickest way possible. We provide assistance regarding career paths, potential university requirements, aid in subject choices and exemption decisions among many other queries.

6. How do I communicate with DLA?

You can contact us directly on (011) 706 7946 or email us at admin@dlaint.co.za

7. Who are the DLA tutors?

Our tutors are highly qualified, SACE registered teachers specialising in both the Cambridge curriculum and their subject field.

8. Do I need a face-to-face tutor to help me with my studies?

Our work plans and online aids are designed in a way that most students will not require extra help. Should a student battle with any section, we have a team of qualified lecturers who are always available to help via skype, email, or on the telephone. In the case that a student requires a face-to-face tutor. You are however most welcome to employ a tutor if necessary.

9. What are the Fees at Distance Learning Academy?

You can find our fees on our website.

10. What is included in our fees?

The fees cover all of the subject material including the study pack, work schedule, assignments, syllabus, past papers and additional help, via telephone Skype or email.

11. What additional fees will we incur?

The only additional fee required from you will be for examination registrations fees and your textbooks. Registration fees are paid directly to the examination centre at which you plan to sit your examinations. Fees are payable during the examinations registration periods and are approximately between R280.00 and R520.00 per subject depending on the grade level and exchange rate.
As our textbooks are endorsed by the CIE, the cost of the books depends on the current exchange rate. We provide you with the barcodes for each book and four online suppliers from which you may purchase your textbooks.

12. Am I liable for postage fees?

Due to amount of time required for posted items to be delivered, we find the best way to communicate and submit assignments is rather via email. However, should you opt to submit an assignment via a postal service, you will be liable for the postage fees.

 

Administration

13. Does DLA run according to a school time table?

Yes, we do because we believe that structure is important. We plan our work schedules around term timetables that are similar to that of full-time schools. This schedule does not have to be followed directly, however it does aid students in ensuring that work is covered on time. The time table also allows for holidays and allocates time to rest, revise and catch up on any work if the need arises.

14. Is there a timetable for submitting assignments?

We do not have set deadlines for assignments as students tend to enrol throughout the academic year. We do however provide each student with a personalised study schedule and assignment dates to use as a guideline. The study material indicates when each assignment should be completed and students should complete and submit their assignment before moving on to the next section of work.

15. Do I need a student card?

No, you will not need a student card. Each student will receive a student number and password to access the subject material and submit assignments. But a student card will not be required.

16. What age should I be to apply with DLA?

As DLA is a secondary school, we provide courses for the equivalent of grades 8 to 12. Therefore, students interested in enrolling with DLA should be at least 14 years of age of above.

 

Courses and Study Material

17. What is the duration of courses at DLA?

Foundation, IGCSE, AS Level and A Level are each designed as one-year courses. However this is simply a guideline. Students who are busy with other activities and cannot put as much time as they like into their studies, can consider completing a course in 18 months, or two years. Others who only have a small number of subjects to work through, can look at completing the course in 6 months. This will depend entirely on the individual student.

18. Must I take a second language?

Yes, in order to gain a Senior Certificate, students must complete a second language. However mature age students, or students looking to complete their full A Levels, are not always required to do so.

19. Must I complete grade 11?

It is recommended that students complete either IGCSE or grade 11 before proceeding to AS level, as this prepares the student academically for the higher level.
IGCSE or Grade 11 results usually accompany a university application, and play a great role in potential acceptance.

20. Where can Biology, Chemistry and Physics practicals be done? Can they be done at home?

There is a limit to the practicals that can be done at home for safety and legal reasons. This limitation is recognised and students at IGCSE level are encouraged to take the “alternative to practical” route, where no practical work is required.

For students at the AS and A level, our practical components are explained from a theoretical viewpoint, so practical work is not required over the course of the year. Prior to examinations, it is always a good idea to get some hands-on practice at the examination centre you plan to write at. Most exam centres offer pre-examination practical workshops.

21. Can you suggest good subject combinations?

The right subject choices is best assessed on a individual basis. DLA provides assistance and guidance in terms of a student’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, abilities and future plans. We suggest that each student considers their own study plans for university level, as the requirements of each university and faculty does tend to differ.

 

EXAMINATIONS

22. When do I write examinations?

Students write their final examination at the end of their course. The lovely thing about Cambridge is that students can write their examinations when they are ready to do so and are not pressurised into writing within a specific time period.

23. When are the examination periods?

Examinations are written during October / November and May/June.

24. When must I enter to write an examination?

For May/June examinations, students must enter by January/February, and by August for October/November examination sittings.

25. How do I enter for an examination?

There are two ways to enter for examinations. The first way is to register with the British Council and they will assign you to an examination centre in Johannesburg or Cape Town. Alternatively, DLA can provide you with a list of examination centres in your area and you can register directly with them. There are examination centres all over South Africa, so this alternative usually suits students living outside of Johannesburg or Cape Town.

26. Where can I find the dates and times of my examinations?

The date and time of your examinations will be detailed on your Statement of Entry from Cambridge International Examination

27. What does ‘exam sitting’ mean?

An ‘exam sitting’ is a date and time set by Cambridge when a particular subject is examined at a Cambridge Centre

28. What happens to my exam entry should I decide to withdraw from an examination?

Students who withdraw from an examination will not be automatically entered at the next session, but will have to reapply for a future sitting and pay the necessary examination fees again.

29. What does AM and PM mean on my Statement of Entry?

AM session starts at 09H30. PM session starts at 13H30

30. Can I change the time or date of a Cambridge examination?

Cambridge examinations have to be written at the set time and date. These cannot be changed

31. How do I know the length of each examination that I’ve entered for?

You can establish how long an examination you have entered for will be by looking at the past papers and relevant syllabus in your work pack.

32. What happens if I miss, or can’t make an examination?

CIE exam dates are fixed as the exams are sent out globally. No special permissions are granted to write a missed exam. If you are ill, try to attend the exam and supply a doctor’s certificate stating that you were not fit to write the examination. CIE will take this into consideration.

33. What happens if I have a clash of two exams at the same time?

Please inform your examination centre of this immediately. They will make provision for you to write the examination at a time later in the day.

34. I struggle with examination technique, what should I do?

Over the course of your study, you will need to submit various assignments. These assignments are structured in the same way as your final examinations. Use both these assignments and memos to familiarise yourself with the CIE way of testing. Furthermore DLA will provide you with CIE past papers and pre-exam workshops in order to prepare for your final examination.

35. Can I get special consideration for extra exam time?

Yes. If you have a condition which requires that you may need additional time to complete your exam e.g. dyslexia, reading difficulty and so forth, then you can apply to CIE for extra time. Do make sure this is done well in advance as CIE will not entertain these requests at late notice. Application for additional time will require medical submissions. In some cases where the student's handwriting is barely legible, students may be apply for permission to use a computer to type. The spell check is disabled when answering an exam by electronic means.

36. How does CIE marking work?

All exams when completed are returned by courier from the exam centre to CIE for marking. Rigorous checks are in place at CIE to guarantee the accuracy of the marking process, double checking of some exam scripts and re marking if the teacher predicted grade varies by more than one grade from the achieved grade, all of which takes time

37. Can I have access to CIE mark schemes?

Unfortunately not. CIE releases the mark schemes only to accredited and registered schools and specifically state that they are not meant to be issued to students. We do however offer our own mark schemes for assignments and other assessments. These include explanations and guidelines as to how to answer questions.

38. How long is the expected delay in receiving results?

Exams marked from the May/June exam sitting can be expected for release by CIE mid-August and the October/ November exams results are released towards the end of January of the following year. The dates will be more or less the same each year.

39. How can students and parents feel assured to register for new courses due to this delay?

In order to ensure constant progression from one level to the next, especially if bound by a time restraint, it is best advised to go ahead and register. There is little harm in trusting that the student will achieve the grade assuming they have been doing well in the assessments. None of this will, however, guarantee the required result. If the necessary grade is not attained and a student has registered for a course, we will discuss the best option available at that point. For example, a possibility may be a rollover to the next exam session to consider tutoring only, as per split course costing for the disappointing result, and delay the activation of the higher level course.

 

Qualifications

40. Are Cambridge qualifications recognised by South African universities?

Yes. The Cambridge International qualifications are recognized by the Matriculation Board (HESA) for exemption purposes

41 What do I need if I want to go to an overseas university?

If you wish to study in the UK or Europe then you will need to have at least three full A-levels along with a suite of AS Levels and IGCSE qualifications (at least 6 subjects are recommended). Many institutions will look at AS levels in combination with the full A-level, but not many mainstream Universities abroad will consider applicants with just AS Levels. Many Australian universities will accept AS-Levels as entrance much the same as South Africa. Most other countries universities will have their own regulations, but will accept CIE IGCSE’s, AS or A levels as entrance to junior colleges and undergraduate studies.

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