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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the name Dumb Ox going to put people off?

We hope not! May we point you to this very successful series https://www.dummies.com/  They use Dummies in their title; you progress from knowing little about a subject to knowing a lot- that’s what we want too! You could just put Dox Learning on your transcript.

What are APs?

Advanced Placement exams are administered by the College Board. In the UK they are equivalent to A ‘levels.

What is happening in the UK?

In the UK, home educating parents are increasingly looking at alternatives to the traditional route of GCSEs and A ‘levels. They would like a more rounded education for their children with flexibility and a richer experience. Many families have successfully pioneered this path and their children have gone onto higher education or employment.

Does my child need APs?

For entrance to UK universities the answer is generally yes. Most courses require a high school diploma, SAT and at least three APs. If you look at any UK university on the international admissions, APs are listed as requirements. If you haven’t done a high school diploma then APs may still be a good route into university.

For more information about the high school diploma see below.

What is happening in the US?

Students in the US want to reduce their College fees and may be applying to top Colleges. The main reason to take an AP exam is to demonstrate mastery of rigorous college-level material. It will often help you achieve a place at a top College. And, by scoring a passing grade on an AP exam (3 or above), you can earn college credit at the majority of colleges and universities in the US and Canada thus lowering College fees.

And the SAT prep courses…

What is the SAT?

The SAT is a 3 hour entrance exam used by many colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The SAT is a multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper test created and administered by the College Board that tests math and evidence-based reading and writing

Does my child need to do a SAT?

In the US many colleges require a SAT. In the UK also, most universities will require a SAT along with the APs.

How much are the AP exams and where do I sit them? 

Students in the UK have been sitting AP exams at Ashville College in Harrogate at a cost of £175 per exam. We now have an additional exam centre in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire for May 2024. We are hopeful there will be a London centre also.

What is the high school diploma?

The high school diploma is a four year course. The students completes a certain number of courses, usually at least 3 English, math, science, social science together with electives, fine arts and physical Education. Assessment will be by the parent or tutor.

How do I complete a high school diploma in the UK?

You could sign up with one of the US providers, do your own, or use ‘Homeschool Directive’ or similar.  It can also work in conjunction with ‘Dreaming Spires’.

In the UK, if I apply to university with US qualifications am I an international student?

If you have APs you would be applying to UK universities as a UK student, but with US qualifications.

Where do I sit the SAT exam?

You can sit this at many locations in the UK. Details can be found on the College Board website. Preparing for the SAT can be daunting so Dumb Ox Learning provides SAT math classes all year round in 8 week blocks. You can be helped by teachers that have coached kids through to the 98th percentile.

Can I achieve a highschool diploma in the UK?

Yes! In fact there is a homeschool provider that specialises in the UK market. Take a look at

https://www.homeschooldirective.com/UKparents and https://homelifeacademy.com/. You would do the high school diploma from ages 14-18 and do AP’s alongside for the last two years.

Can I make an appointment for advice? 

There are one-on-one consultations available with Dumb Ox Learning for £45 for a one hour session. Email helen@dumboxlearing.com to arrange.

Is there any financial help if I really can’t afford the courses?

We understand that some families may experience financial struggles, particularly those enrolling in multiple courses for multiple children. At Dumb Ox, we are committed to ensuring that our courses remain accessible to as many as possible.  If you find yourself in need of financial assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to discuss any accommodations to pricing that may potentially be available.

In your kind generosity, please consider adding a donation at the checkout to support this mission. Your contribution can make a meaningful difference to these families. Thank you for your support and generosity.

Are Dumb Ox courses Christian?

Our teachers are Christian and this may affect some choices in how material is presented or which texts they choose in English, for example. However, the APs are secular and the content and requirements for the APs will be taught.

For English Literature, we will lean towards books which are ethically agreeable in content and deal with true and existential human questions. Next year, we will either read together or have on the list of independent reading “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy, “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, and “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, among others.

The lists of books we will avoid include: “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner, and “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison. There is often value in reading things with which one disagrees. However, to do so in a productive and meaningful way requires the kind of guidance and time which we do not have in this class. Therefore, within the limitations of this format, we will stick to what we need to learn for the exam and choose good texts which are appropriate to that end.

For English Language, we will use texts such as “Atheism: The Last Superstition” by Edward Feser. We will also occasionally use the bible and snippets of church documents, as many secular university courses might do, as they are significant English texts. We will not choose texts which have a perspective which is either contrary to or explicitly against the faith, such as John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty” (where the basis of his ethical system is utilitarianism). We will also avoid topics which paint the Christian faith in a poor light as this class does not have an adequate format to discuss such issues.

For Biology, we acknowledge that people have diverse views about creation, evolution, and different interpretations of what is meant by these terms. Whilst we acknowledge and respect all points of view, the first of the 4 Big Ideas of the AP biology is that ‘The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.’ This means that for every answer there needs to be reference to the diversity and unity of life as per modelled by evolutionary theory and therefore, this is what we will teach.

Our Christian faith does mean that we see diversity and unity as part of God’s creation. Some people think that life is random, without meaning or purpose, but we hope that on investigation students can come to appreciate Beauty, Goodness, Order, and Wonder in the natural world. We do not expect to make reference to God during the course, but presentation of the material will be through its Beauty, Goodness, Order, and Wonder.

The Enrichment courses though will be conducted with a Christian world view where appropriate.

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