Should You Retake Your A Levels?

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Consider the situation: it's Thursday 13th August - A Level results day. You haven't got the grades you were after. What to do? What to do? It’s time to face the hard and cold truth. You can, of course, explore the options available in clearing. And if that doesn't work, and you still haven't got a place at the university of your choice?

Let's see whether you should consider retaking your A Levels...

Get some good advice

Firstly, take some advice. Get your facts together. Have a long chat with your class tutor – they're used to questions like this and will be best able to advise you and point you in the right direction.

Where can I retake my A Levels?

The old option of retaking your A Levels in January has ceased to exist – you may only re-sit in June. However, if the idea of going through it all again with younger peers doesn't particularly appeal, then you have the option of an online course.

There are two-year courses available which include both the AS and A2 portion of the A Level award. Another option is to consider a Fast Track A Level to save time. A Fast Track option allows you to complete the course in half the normal time. The beauty of distance learning is its adaptability. You'll be working at your own pace, in your own environment.

Is it worth it?

Of course it's worth it. If you have a specific career in mind, then it's always worth it to consider a re-sit now rather than go down another path. You'll always wonder, what if...?

However, you do have to be certain that you are capable of better marks. The chances are you’ll have to make a lot of improvements – otherwise you're just wasting your own time and effort. Time to change a few bad habits: like leaving revision too late, or partying too hard.

Does retaking look bad?

So, will your future university frown and look down on you or think badly of you for deciding to re-sit? No. Develop a positive spin on the whole experience. Take the clever tack and use the situation to explain in your personal statement to your chosen university how you constructively used the time and breathing space. All these experiences just help, not hinder, your personal development.

And remember that declined grades are not shown anywhere and no one need know any different, just your final certificated grades.

How much will it cost?

That depends on the option you take. Distance learning courses are around £215, with full A Levels around £315.

Earning and learning

Yet another available option is to think about a year off. Clear your head and see some of the big wide world for a year. And it doesn’t have to be all ‘fun, fun, fun’: you can combine your travels, your studies and even incorporate learning with earning, paying for your studies and building up a little extra for next year, too. All the better to start university with.

Thinking of retaking your A Levels? Check out the range of options available with Oxford Learning College.