SuicidalLemming
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#21
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#21
(Original post by eviltimmehempire)
If you have serious extenuating (hey you spelt it right!) circumstances (death of a relative, serious illness, etc.), and i'm not talking about you saying something about how you were stranded cause of the icelandic volcano and couldn't revise, then yes, retakes are ALWAYS an option and even accepted by the likes of oxbridge.

On the otherhand if you got a mediocre score with no extenuating circumstances and proceeded to retake, not even leicester will accept you let alone anything in the top 30. all unis might not expressly forbid retakes but given the competition for places nowadays the admissions tutor is likely to trash your application upon reading the words IB and retake in the same application.

EDIT: just to be clear, this response is aimed at the OP, not attempting to belittle suicidallemming's circumstances or anything!
Haha yeah I'd agree with what you posted tbf, and don't worry I don't think your belittling my circs. Bloody serious illness
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Bobscob
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#22
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#22
(Original post by eviltimmehempire)
If you have serious extenuating (hey you spelt it right!) circumstances (death of a relative, serious illness, etc.), and i'm not talking about you saying something about how you were stranded cause of the icelandic volcano and couldn't revise, then yes, retakes are ALWAYS an option and even accepted by the likes of oxbridge.

On the otherhand if you got a mediocre score with no extenuating circumstances and proceeded to retake, not even leicester will accept you let alone anything in the top 30. all unis might not expressly forbid retakes but given the competition for places nowadays the admissions tutor is likely to trash your application upon reading the words IB and retake in the same application.

EDIT: just to be clear, this response is aimed at the OP, not attempting to belittle suicidallemming's circumstances or anything!
mate your talking rubbish, how do you think you know this stuff out of interest, i've spent the last week calling uni's and many of them do not have a large problem with IB retakes even without extenuating circumstances, obviously you will be bared from the v top uni's but if you are doing retakes then your grades would not be good enough for that anyway. OP dont rule out retakes on the world of those who don't really know
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Thingeh
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#23
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#23
(Original post by Bobscob)
mate your talking rubbish, how do you think you know this stuff out of interest, i've spent the last week calling uni's and many of them do not have a large problem with IB retakes even without extenuating circumstances, obviously you will be bared from the v top uni's but if you are doing retakes then your grades would not be good enough for that anyway. OP dont rule out retakes on the world of those who don't really know
That's a bit of a misguided assumption. Someone who's got the potential to attain 38+ could easily suffer extenuating circumstances and not perform as well as they should, for instance.
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Bobscob
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#24
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#24
(Original post by Thingeh)
That's a bit of a misguided assumption. Someone who's got the potential to attain 38+ could easily suffer extenuating circumstances and not perform as well as they should, for instance.
sory i should have made it clear i meant that your original grades would not have been good enough to get into top uni's else why would you retake also i was primeraly talking about those who were retaking without extenuating circumstances
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Byron'Buster'Bluth
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#25
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#25
(Original post by Bobscob)
mate your talking rubbish, how do you think you know this stuff out of interest, i've spent the last week calling uni's and many of them do not have a large problem with IB retakes even without extenuating circumstances, obviously you will be bared from the v top uni's but if you are doing retakes then your grades would not be good enough for that anyway. OP dont rule out retakes on the world of those who don't really know
I know several people who did retakes last year and I'd be careful there. Though most admissions tutors won't put a blanket ban on retake candidates (what if someone was ill and got 34 on his first attempt and 44 on his second?), the unis who don't explicitly rule out retake candidates look down upon them big time. A friend was even told that his original attempt grades were too low and was consequentially denied an offer.
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bondj02
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#26
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#26
I'm a retake candidate, and tell you now that all this negativity is crap. Very very few univeristies will penalise you for retakes- even Cambridge, the issue was not that I retook but that due to my course being excessively competitive you can't apply a second time.

I recieved 5 offers the first time, and 5 offers the second time, with equal offers. This includes English universities and Scottish, so it's not just an issue in Scotland either. St.Andrews are an exception, and whilst all universities say "We may regard retake candidates differently" as a disclaimer, from my experience that's not the case.

Also, the retake scores replacing your old ones is a slight misunderstanding. You are right, your new diploma is issued with the subjects you chose not to retake, and ONLY the second scores of your retake subjects. But your original diploma is still valid, as are all your individual subjects on it. Therefore, even if you go down, you can state the higher score, though this would have to be explained upon application to the individual universities. Also, subjects become slightly modular on the second run. You can choose to just redo coursework, just exams, or the whole subject. This way you can ensure you won't go down.

Also, if you go down something has gone seriously wrong. It will not happen, especially not considering how much retakes cost...

If you feel you need to retake, do it. You will improve.

31 points the first time, 37 the second

And I wasn't locked in the whole time, I was just more prepared. I had just as much life as I did when I first did the IB.
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AnonymousPenguin
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#27
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#27
(Original post by bondj02)
I'm a retake candidate, and tell you now that all this negativity is crap. Very very few univeristies will penalise you for retakes- even Cambridge, the issue was not that I retook but that due to my course being excessively competitive you can't apply a second time.

I recieved 5 offers the first time, and 5 offers the second time, with equal offers. This includes English universities and Scottish, so it's not just an issue in Scotland either. St.Andrews are an exception, and whilst all universities say "We may regard retake candidates differently" as a disclaimer, from my experience that's not the case.

Also, the retake scores replacing your old ones is a slight misunderstanding. You are right, your new diploma is issued with the subjects you chose not to retake, and ONLY the second scores of your retake subjects. But your original diploma is still valid, as are all your individual subjects on it. Therefore, even if you go down, you can state the higher score, though this would have to be explained upon application to the individual universities. Also, subjects become slightly modular on the second run. You can choose to just redo coursework, just exams, or the whole subject. This way you can ensure you won't go down.

Also, if you go down something has gone seriously wrong. It will not happen, especially not considering how much retakes cost...

If you feel you need to retake, do it. You will improve.

31 points the first time, 37 the second

And I wasn't locked in the whole time, I was just more prepared. I had just as much life as I did when I first did the IB.
Which course is that and who told you that? It makes very little sense. I applied twice to medicine at oxford, which is about as competitive as they get and there was certainly no problem.
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Byron'Buster'Bluth
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#28
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#28
(Original post by bondj02)
I'm a retake candidate, and tell you now that all this negativity is crap. Very very few univeristies will penalise you for retakes- even Cambridge, the issue was not that I retook but that due to my course being excessively competitive you can't apply a second time.

I recieved 5 offers the first time, and 5 offers the second time, with equal offers. This includes English universities and Scottish, so it's not just an issue in Scotland either. St.Andrews are an exception, and whilst all universities say "We may regard retake candidates differently" as a disclaimer, from my experience that's not the case.

Also, the retake scores replacing your old ones is a slight misunderstanding. You are right, your new diploma is issued with the subjects you chose not to retake, and ONLY the second scores of your retake subjects. But your original diploma is still valid, as are all your individual subjects on it. Therefore, even if you go down, you can state the higher score, though this would have to be explained upon application to the individual universities. Also, subjects become slightly modular on the second run. You can choose to just redo coursework, just exams, or the whole subject. This way you can ensure you won't go down.

Also, if you go down something has gone seriously wrong. It will not happen, especially not considering how much retakes cost...

If you feel you need to retake, do it. You will improve.

31 points the first time, 37 the second

And I wasn't locked in the whole time, I was just more prepared. I had just as much life as I did when I first did the IB.

Where did you end up with 31 and 37? did you have any mitigating circumstances?
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bondj02
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#29
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#29
Cambridge it was Japanese. The policies for Cambridge and Oxford differ quite a lot though, so I don't know about the conditions with Oxford. I should imagine for medicine though, retake candidates would be an iffy subject at Cambridge too though. That really is too competitive.

I have no mitigating circumstances, I just did crap in some of my subjects.
My offers were:

1st Time:
Cambridge
SOAS
Edinburgh
Oxford Brookes
Southampton Solent (My absolute insurance...)

2nd Time:
SOAS
Edinburgh
Sheffield
Oxford Brookes
UCLan

I received the same offers from SOAS and Edinburgh, unconditional from Oxford Brookes and UCLan, (though I had already attained the required grades), and a slightly lower offer than stated in the prospectus from Sheffield.

Obviously, I only have the perspective of one course out of the thousands of combinations offered throughout the country, but I just can't see how my personal experience can differ that greatly from everyone else's. The universities know that not everybody get's it right the first time, and an extra year shouldn't mean anything to them. You've still achieved the same thing- Why in their eyes wouldn't you be the same as every other applicant who got the same grades as you in your retake year? You've still proven that you can achieve it, and better still you've proven that you are motivated enough to go back to school when all your friends have left, and work through hell to get to the places you've applied.

Though this isn't what universities have said, I was commended by many for being willing to return to school. It's not easy being in a class with people you don't know, and it's especially not easy doing what I did and actually undertake new subjects in less than a year (I had to do History HL in 7 months because I couldn't conceivably improve my Computer Science above a 4.)

Universities see your personal statement. As long as they can see from this that you have taken the upperhand in remedying your situation, I don't think it is in their best interest to reject you. You're older, more mature and have developed an entirely different work ethic to what you had the first time round. They'd be silly not to accept you.

And for reference, this is the simple explanation I used in my PS to explain my retakes:

"The broad IB curriculum encourages the research into individual interests as part of the compulsory Extended Essay. Because I am using my gap year to broaden my IB studies further and develop the complexity and depth of knowledge in my subjects in preparation for the challenges of higher education, I have undertaken two of these."

It's a bit wordy looking back, but probably suffered due to that damn character count x(

Good luck OP. I hope you end up where you want to be at the end of all this
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Byron'Buster'Bluth
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#30
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#30
(Original post by bondj02)
Obviously, I only have the perspective of one course out of the thousands of combinations offered throughout the country, but I just can't see how my personal experience can differ that greatly from everyone else's.
Which course did you apply for? No offence but SOAS isn't exactly St Andrews and Economics with Spanish is bound to be a highly competitive course.

(Original post by bondj02)
The universities know that not everybody get's it right the first time, and an extra year shouldn't mean anything to them. You've still achieved the same thing- Why in their eyes wouldn't you be the same as every other applicant who got the same grades as you in your retake year? You've still proven that you can achieve it, and better still you've proven that you are motivated enough to go back to school when all your friends have left, and work through hell to get to the places you've applied.
Yes, but if you don't get it right the first time, you're not good enough for a top 10 university. And short of mitigating circumstances, IB retakes are viewed negatively because it's not the same modular, 'retake allowing' system as the A level system, it's more of an option for the students that fared the worst. You've proven you can achieve it the second time around, which isn't that great compared to achieving it the first time around.


(Original post by bondj02)
Though this isn't what universities have said, I was commended by many for being willing to return to school.
Rightly so. Very, very few people go up by 6 points. An increase in 6 points shows the uni that there was something seriously wrong with your first attempt. However, most people struggle a whole lot and manage to scrape like 1-2 points more at the most, some even get the exact same score. If you apply with a score like that most unis will think of you in an even worse light than they did with your first attempt results. I challenge you to find many other people who didn't have any mitigating circumstances and still increased their grades by 6 points after a retake. The OP will likely get rejected from even his current insurance if he retakes and gets the same score or just 1 point more.
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Greenrent
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#31
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#31
Nice post...Greatly appreciated!!!
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filren
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#32
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#32
I have read the entire discussion but still have a few questions.

What happens if you do your retakes and don't improve your grade in one or several subjects?

Will the universities see this when you apply or can you apply only with your first IB diploma points?

I have a relatively good IB diploma point but would like to try to improve my IB points to 40 by doing retakes.

What do you think? Does anyone have the same problem?
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Banishingboredom
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#33
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#33
Remark every subject instead. The examiners are generally idiots and there's a good chance you'll gain a few points.
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I Like Turtles.
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#34
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#34
(Original post by bondj02)
Cambridge it was Japanese. The policies for Cambridge and Oxford differ quite a lot though, so I don't know about the conditions with Oxford. I should imagine for medicine though, retake candidates would be an iffy subject at Cambridge too though. That really is too competitive.

I have no mitigating circumstances, I just did crap in some of my subjects.
My offers were:

1st Time:
Cambridge
SOAS
Edinburgh
Oxford Brookes
Southampton Solent (My absolute insurance...)

2nd Time:
SOAS
Edinburgh
Sheffield
Oxford Brookes
UCLan

I received the same offers from SOAS and Edinburgh, unconditional from Oxford Brookes and UCLan, (though I had already attained the required grades), and a slightly lower offer than stated in the prospectus from Sheffield.

Obviously, I only have the perspective of one course out of the thousands of combinations offered throughout the country, but I just can't see how my personal experience can differ that greatly from everyone else's. The universities know that not everybody get's it right the first time, and an extra year shouldn't mean anything to them. You've still achieved the same thing- Why in their eyes wouldn't you be the same as every other applicant who got the same grades as you in your retake year? You've still proven that you can achieve it, and better still you've proven that you are motivated enough to go back to school when all your friends have left, and work through hell to get to the places you've applied.

Though this isn't what universities have said, I was commended by many for being willing to return to school. It's not easy being in a class with people you don't know, and it's especially not easy doing what I did and actually undertake new subjects in less than a year (I had to do History HL in 7 months because I couldn't conceivably improve my Computer Science above a 4.)

Universities see your personal statement. As long as they can see from this that you have taken the upperhand in remedying your situation, I don't think it is in their best interest to reject you. You're older, more mature and have developed an entirely different work ethic to what you had the first time round. They'd be silly not to accept you.

And for reference, this is the simple explanation I used in my PS to explain my retakes:

"The broad IB curriculum encourages the research into individual interests as part of the compulsory Extended Essay. Because I am using my gap year to broaden my IB studies further and develop the complexity and depth of knowledge in my subjects in preparation for the challenges of higher education, I have undertaken two of these."

It's a bit wordy looking back, but probably suffered due to that damn character count x(

Good luck OP. I hope you end up where you want to be at the end of all this
I know this is a rather old post, but when you sent in your UCAS application, did you include your actual scores or did you only send your retake scores? I might be retaking only one subject and not too sure how to show that in my application..
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Catrionaxl
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#35
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#35
Update 2018.

I've just phoned 4 universities asking about IB retakes. This is for entry to BA in English Literature.

Edinburgh: Would not consider retakes in A level or IB
Bristol: No problem in considering retakes in IB.
Sheffield: No problem in considering retakes in IB.
Manchester: No problem in considering retakes in IB.
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MalihaMz
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#36
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#36
if you don't mind could you please share which two universities you got into and what subject you did. Because I am thinking of retake to apply for medicine as I am only 1 point off
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