I have always had the idea of studying abroad in Europe, but was aware of the limitations I may face due to following the CAPS syllabus at a South African high-school. When covid struck and my school shut down, the fear of falling behind dawned upon me. I knew that I had to make the decision between staying at my South African school, and hope the year would not be too disrupted by covid, or switch to doing my International A-levels. I chose the A-level option and left my high-school after a few weeks of grade 11.
Initially, I greatly underestimated the A-level syllabus and tried to learn everything by myself, but this quickly showed to be very overwhelming. After a few weeks I knew I had to find help and heard about learning unlimited through my twin sister. We both started our learning unlimited journey together and although the work was challenging, to say the least, the passion and dedication showed by all my tutors made learning extremely enjoyable. I even started to look forward to attending class (I know this surprised me too… I enjoy going to class now).
My sister and I both wrote our AS levels in June/July and our marks definitely required a celebration. I greatly look forward to what I will achieve when I write my A2 exams and I cannot thank the learning unlimited team enough for their unconditional support and for always going above and beyond for my education. I am truly grateful.
Learning Unlimited is an incredible platform that has truly opened my eyes to a whole new world of teaching and learning.
Personally, I used to play professional tennis and compete on the Junior Circuit throughout the year, however, this meant that I spent a lot of time travelling for tournaments. Unfortunately the school I was attending, which is a highly ranked school in Cape Town, was not able to facilitate my needs with regard to catching up on work.
At this point my family and I decided that it would be beneficial to move away from South Africa’s schooling curriculum and towards the International A level curriculum. This allowed me to create a schedule that was tailored to my personal needs and goals.
In general – the syllabus places a huge emphasis on the application of knowledge. The content of each subject is very extensive in comparison to what I was learning before, however, the learning unlimited team helped me to work through the content step by step which allowed my transition to be smooth sailing.
Personally, the most important outcome that comes with the A level curriculum are the doors that it opens for me in the future. I am hoping to study in Barcelona next year. When I began the application process I was unpleasantly surprised to find out that if I obtained a NSC Matric from South Africa, I would then have to complete an 18 month bridging course before I could start first year, however, as I am doing A levels I now get direct acceptance. This is just one small example of how advanced and forward thinking the Internationally recognized A level curriculum is.
I look forward to the rest of this academic year with the Learning Unlimited team!
My experience with Learning Unlimited (LU) has been nothing but amazing beginning with the availability and helpfulness of Sharonwhen it came to getting started and advising on subjects as well as always being available if there happened to be any queries to the top class tutors that guide you through your subjects.
Their teaching is comprehensive and if you struggle to understand they never hesitate to go over certain things with you until you understand them. They are always available and understanding if there are any external factors affecting lesson times or due dates. I have had an amazing experience with LU and put my full trust in them to get you the best academic results for your AS and A level exams!
I am a competitive swimmer at a national/international level. Therefore my schedule needs to be a bit more flexible and LU has been amazing in assisting me and accommodating my very busy swimming career. I am currently living in Italy and I am continuing my studies with LU as I believe that there is no institution better able to give me the best academically while still accommodating my swimming career. I take Maths, Physics and History for A levels. While these subjects require a lot of time and practice LU has never failed to help me get the best of both worlds!
OXFORD UNIVERSITY UK
“The Learning Unlimited team does an incredible job of teaching in a manner tailored to the students to enable them to accomplish their goals and motivate them to go further than just the content.
I know that I benefited hugely from the opportunity to learn with them and this played a significant role in proving my ability to go to the University of Oxford, where I am now a doctoral researcher and am involved in teaching the Mathematics for Chemistry course.
I would certainly recommend them for anyone wanting to broaden their academic horizons or thinking about studying overseas.”
TRANSITION FROM SOUTH AFRICAN NSC TO CAIE IN 2019
“Thanks to the dedication and hard work shown by the Learning Unlimited Tutors I have been able to continue with my education, even through the Lockdown.
I decided to convert to A Levels about 18 months ago and was down to write several AS and A-Level exams in May when Lockdown hit.
Initially, we feared we might lose the year, but Cambridge offered us the opportunity to continue provided we could meet their assessment evidence requirements.
From the beginning, we have found the Learning Unlimited ethos to be very ethical and supportive. They really stayed true to their core value throughout. One hears of so many stories of companies exploiting this crisis, but Sharon and her team continued to put our educational needs above their own.”
HARVARD GRADUATE 2019, USA
” Learning Unlimited provided the foundation for everything I have achieved over the last decade. Studying for the A Levels with my mother, Sharon, prepared me for the SATs and enabled me to Matriculate from Bishops with a 95% average.
More than that, my mother taught me—like all of her students—how to learn. And that ultimately made it possible for me to thrive at Harvard, where I went on to study Computer Science, and in Silicon Valley, where I am now the founder of a healthcare technology start-up with more than R80m in funding and customers around the United States.”
ACCEPTED BY TWENTE UNIVERSITY ENSCHEDE, EU FOR 2020
Jordyn Abrahams completed her A level Studies with Learning Unlimited and wrote her final exams in May 2020 despite the lockdown. She is preparing to enter Twente University, Enschede, Holland to commence her studies in “Industrial Design Engineering” in September 2020. Here is a letter from her parents:
A huge thank you to you, Kimberly, Ernest, and Tapuwa for coaching and tutoring Jordyn through A-levels. She would not have managed through the past 2 years without the commitment and perseverance of her outstanding tutors. We are most grateful for the tremendous effort that they all applied to the distance learning process, and to getting her over the finish line.
We wish you all every success in future and will be sure to pass your details along to other interested parents and students.”
The Juilliard School, New York
2020 Cambridge Examination Board A-Levels graduate
Leo has just been admitted to the Julliard School in New York USA to pursue his dream of becoming a concert pianist.
“I have been working with Sharon Levy in Cape Town since I was 9 years old, initially for extension learning in Mathematics and Science, but our lessons were not restricted to these topics and covered a broad range of subjects. Sharon was critical to the development of my intellectual curiosity and these weekly meetings were fun, I looked forward to our time together. Entering high school I became more serious about my musical aspirations and transitioned from conventional schooling to homeschooling with Learning Unlimited.
Sharon, with the help of tutors Ernest and Tapuwa, worked closely with me to complete my International GCSEs in a record 5 months in 2017. Shortly thereafter, we moved to the USA and I have recently completed my A-Levels with Learning Unlimited. The tutors have been completely dedicated to making this happen. They have been flexible to time zones and timetables, and have been patient and caring, as well as brilliant in their teaching.
Their work has allowed me to follow my passion as a musician without sacrificing an excellent education, and empowered my acceptance into my dream college. For this, I am deeply grateful.”
MOVING TO UK SCHOOL IN SEPTEMBER 2020
“We have been so fortunate to have Sharon and her team of tutors from Learning Unlimited assist our two children, Connor, 15 and Imogen, 12. We are moving to the UK and keeping our children within their age group at school. In their case, they will be missing over a year at school. Connor will be going into Year 11, where he will be required to sit his GCSE exams. GCSE preparation begins in Year 10. Imogen will be going into Year 8 – the second year of senior school.”
Therefore, to help them bridge the gap and make the adjustment to the UK syllabus in advance, we began our journey with Sharon. It’s been an intense period of tutoring, tailored to meet the needs of both children. Using the curriculum provided by the future school, and their own experience and knowledge, they have developed a bespoke plan that prepares the children well into the year ahead. It is evident that, in some areas, there is a marked difference in the expectations of the children, so not only has it been a bridging process, but also a new approach to some of the subjects.
I’ve really benefited from the tutoring. It has been an intense, but enjoyable experience. I’ve noticed some differences between the UK and SA curriculums. The Sciences syllabus in the UK is incredibly thorough and there is a higher volume of work and input of information all round. I’ve also been aware that the Maths has been expanded further on certain levels, but with a good grounding it’s been manageable. English is particularly different in terms of expectations. There is a greater need to apply your learning and be creative. I think generally, the UK syllabus focuses on applying your knowledge and demands more problem-solving along with creativity. Thanks for all your input Sharon!
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STUDYING AT TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF DELFT, EU
“As a Dutch family who moved from Holland to South Africa in January 2010, we were told that no Dutch university would accept any South African high school diploma as entry-level. This was an issue as our son, Thomas, wanted to be enrolled at a Dutch University, the Technical University of Delft.
He would have to show American AP certificates or an A-level diploma. We opted for the last one and halfway grade 11 Thomas started his AS/A2 journey with Learning Unlimited.
We decided to let Thomas do his last A2 exams a half year after his final IEB matric exams in November since he wouldn’t be starting University in Holland anyhow till 9 months after.
A good decision because doing prelims and AS exams at the same time was quite hectic. It was only days before he had to start in Delft that he got his A-level results and heard he passed. In line with the Dutch tradition, we hang his schoolbag above the door to celebrate.”
Dutch tradition: hanging your backpack above the door to show the world you passed your school leaving exams.
GOLD AWARD WINNER IN THE ANNUAL UCT MATHS COMPETITION AND TOP CAIE A LEVEL MATHEMATICS ACHIEVER IN 2019.
” It has always been a long term goal of mine to study abroad, in the UK. As my school does not offer A-levels, private tuition through Learning Unlimited was a good option.
Despite only having time for one or two lessons per week, outside of school, their tutors managed to prepare me skillfully for all of my A-level exams through well prepared, interactive lessons as well as an expert knowledge of the syllabus.
I have learnt so much through Learning Unlimited and it is thanks to them that I feel very confident of achieving my required grades for university.”
Thomas attended Bishops Diocesan College on a full-time basis but with the aim of studying at a top UK university, he decided to study independently for A levels through Learning Unlimited.
Having completed three A levels, he feels confident about being at the same level, academically, with his fellow British students. Thomas was a Gold Award winner (top 10 place) in the annual UCT Maths Competition for all 5 years.
Thomas achieved the top score in his Cambridge A level Mathematics in South Africa.
“I am absolutely thrilled that my two children have been accepted into private UK schools, where they will start this September 2020. This is a huge achievement given how sought after the particular schools are; how far behind the UK academic curriculum we discovered our kids were (albeit the excellent schools in Cape Town they attend); and with only 4-5 weeks in which to prepare them for the UK academic assessment tests.
When I approached Sharon from Learning Unlimited, to help my kids prepare and pass the UK school academic tests (a precursor for their being accepted), my husband and I were horrified to discover they were 18-24 months behind their British peers in the academic curriculum. With only the Christmas holiday period to prepare before the tests in early January, we dived into a 5-week intensive study program, prioritising English, Maths, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning.
This was initially a big undertaking for my kids to get their heads around studying when all their friends were enjoying the school holidays. But thankfully their efforts have been rewarded with acceptance into two excellent schools. I don’t think this would have been possible without Sharon’s expert guidance, tuition and support. Her passion for learning spilt over to the kids to the point they looked forward to their lessons which she made enjoyable by adopting various techniques and games that expanded their minds by approaching problems (questions) in a whole new way to find the solutions.
Towards the end of their study program, I noticed a very big shift in my kid’s learning; in that, they were understanding the questions and seeing the answers clearly, quickly and precisely … to the point they took great delight in explaining the solutions to me that I hadn’t grasped as well or as quickly as them. This is when I knew their study program with Learning Unlimited had been a great success.
Realistically we did not expect them to have learned 18-24 months of the syllabus in 4-5 weeks, however, they were able to grasp the main concepts very well and went on to sit the tests with confidence in their abilities and without stress.
While I don’t necessarily recommend an intensive study program (although in our case it was necessary), I would definitely recommend a study program that is worked into the kids termly schedule in a more manageable timeframe, for example once per week either as an individual lesson or joining a peer-group lesson.
I’m grateful to Sharon for the work she does and her enthusiasm for teaching.
Cambridge University, UK
MPhil Genomic Medicine
“I started working with Sharon when I changed from Grade 11 NSC to doing my A Levels in order to leave school and pursue my sport as a South African mountain-biker. I did 6 AS subjects with Sharon and her team over 18 months.
Learning with Sharon was when my curiosity and love of science developed, she not only helped me to achieve academic results but also helped me to develop an enquiring mind.
Doing my A Levels helped me to prepare well for medical school and I felt that it gave me a head start academically, allowing me to adjust to other aspects of university life.
After finishing my AS exams I got accepted at Stellenbosch University to study an MB, ChB which I have now completed and am now about to begin an MPhil in Genomic Medicine at Cambridge University.”
“This test was different to any I’d done before. It tested a variety of different skills and abilities instead of just asking “what I like to do in my free time“. The format and instructions for each question made me feel comfortable with answering as it was made very clear. I somewhat enjoyed taking the test even though it was difficult. The wide range of tests incorporated an array of different exercises and challenges that tested some things I didn’t know were actual skills. It also showed me possible learning styles that might suit me and the way I work.
The exercises that involved sound and tones were unique and something I’ve never had to do before.
Where I’ve struggled with taking some previous tests is when it asks about what careers I might like doing. Seeing as I have no idea what I want to do (hence Im taking a careers test) I usually choose ‘indifferent’. But what was great about the HAB test is that instead of asking what I liked to do, it tested my abilities and found what my skills were. It generated career fields that I would do well in. Overall, I thought the test was a great, eye-opening experience.”
SOUTH AFRICAN FIGURE SKATER
OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTER USA
“Courtney Kuhn showed promise from a very early age to excel as a figure skater . We, as parents , were very torn between balancing her education and allowing her to train the hours needed to to reach the pinnacle of her sport .
We were incredibly fortunate to have teamed up with Sharon Levy and Learning Unlimited who made it possible for our daughter to follow her heart , live her dream and train at the highest level – often complicated by the fact that she trained in the USA at the Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs .
Sharon Levy has always supported and encouraged Courtney in her endeavors and has creatively worked around her schedule and time zones making sure she was more than prepared with her work , whether it be preparing her for a six month training block in the USA – making sure that she was prepared academically to work remotely or preparing her for her exams and working around a physically demanding training schedule .
Courtney has been the National Champion across the various age groups in South Africa ; Juvenile , Pre Novice , Novice and Junior and has represented her country at competitions held in Hungary , Italy , South Korea , Slovenia and the Philippines as well as having trained in Germany and the USA .
Courtney has fostered a supportive role in actively bringing back the latest cutting edge training skills and methods and held Master Classes at one of the newest rinks in our country , Port Elizabeth .
She is currently preparing to debut as a Senior skater and has her eyes set on representing her country at The Four Continent Championships , the World Championships and ultimately the Olympic Games . All , once our world returns to normal after the Coronavirus pandemic .
She has successfully petitioned to train full time as a Professional Athlete , under the USCIS P1 Visa in Colorado Springs , USA under Olympic coaches with the most renowned being Christopher Dean , from Torvill and Dean fame – who can forget Bolero from the 1984 Olympic Games in Sarajevo where they captured gold for Great Britain with their iconic performance that revolutionized the world of figure skating .
Learning Unlimited has been instrumental in molding and shaping our daughter into the person and athlete she is today , they have given her the confidence to believe in her dreams , taught her to balance her academic life and the courage and ability to think outside of the box .
We are forever grateful to Sharon Levy for giving our daughter wings to fly and for showing us there is a different and equally beneficial route to educating our youth of today!”
Chris and Karin Kuhn