Aug 18

Retaking A Levels

Are you disappointed with your A level results? If you failed to get the grades you needed for your university or career of choice you’re probably wondering what to do next? There are options available to you so don’t despair. Read the information below to help you decide on the best course of action for your future.

 Stage 1 – Consider Requesting a Remark

If you narrowly missed out on a higher grade, and you’ll have to rethink your university or career choice as a result, it could be a good idea to request a remark. Be aware this will be much harder to do this year as exam boards have tougher restrictions on the criteria for a remark and it must be requested by your school or college. It is still worth asking for if you are within a mark or two or the grade boundary and that grade will make all the difference.

Retaking A Levels

Option 1 – Retake Part of Your A Level 

If your career or university choice requires a higher grade than you achieved, you could retake part of your A level to try to get a higher grade. Traditionally this was possible with the modular exams but there are no longer January entries so you can’t retake a module in January and will only be able to retake the legacy specifications the following summer ie. summer 2017. You can just take one or two papers as long as they are from the same specification and keep the marks from your previous grade or you can retake all papers.

Option 2 – Retake Your Whole A Level

There could be a number of reasons why you did not get the marks you expected e.g. you were ill on the days of the exam or under particular stress. If, however, you didn’t work hard enough you need to seriously consider whether in a years’ time you are going to be any different.

If you would like to retake your whole A level you have only one year (2016/17) when this will be possible. Schools and colleges will be teaching only the new linear exams (check how this affects your subject as the new exams are being phased in) so you will probably need to get a private tutor to teach you and prepare you for the legacy exam. Some specialised colleges may be offering retake courses either on line or as a full time student, but you need to check the specification.

Option 3 – Retake an AS Level

You need to think through this carefully. The AS levels have been decoupled from the A level so even if your AS grade is disappointing it won’t affect your final A level grade. It would be more beneficial to request your paper back, learn from your mistakes and concentrate on improving your A level grades next year.

Option 4 – Take a New Subject or Take the Same Subject at a New Institution

This can be an option if you did not enjoy the subject or had problems with the previous institution/ teachers or other students but enjoyed A level study. You will need to consider carefully the subjects you are taking and whether they are the new linear A levels or the legacy ones. In some cases if you are taking the subject again but at a new location they may let you join Year 13 directly and take the exam in one year.

So if your results have been disappointing check through the options above and decide on the right steps to take for you. There are a number of paths you can follow at this point depending on your goals and the work you are prepared to put in.