A-level Autumn Resits 2020 MEGATHREAD!

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SarcAndSpark
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Hey guys

Having talked to a lot of you today, I know there are quite a few people considering at least one resit in the autumn- so I thought it would be good for people to have a place to chat and share tips and tricks.

I will put some revision tips/suggestions in this post over the next few days! It might seem daunting to prepare for a resit after so many months off school, but if you're willing to work hard over the next two months, getting a good grade will be doable!

To discuss how unis will view autumn resits vs summer resits, and whether you can mix/match- please see this thread here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...2#post90858042

Don't forget you need to enter by 4th September. This may be before your school/college goes back, so make sure you get your entries in on time!

Regardless of the changes to grading, autumn resits will still go ahead for those who need them!

But, for now, maybe we could start with some introductions?

Username:
Current Grades:
Subjects Resitting:
Grades you're hoping for:
Any uni offers:

22/09/2020

When reapplying to UCAS, you MUST list your CAG grades from the summer. You then list any exams you are sitting in the autumn as pending, and you can include a new predicted grade.

Not doing this breaks UCAS rules and means that you risk having your whole application withdrawn.

Furthermore, it also looks like you didn't do three subjects last year, which would make you less desirable to universities.


17/08/2020

So, we've all had a weekend to recover from the fiasco that was A-level results day. I'm sure lots of you have already started coming up with revision plans and working hard.

This week, I think the number one job for everyone on the thread is to get entered for resits. Remember, the cut off date is 4th September, but it may be that you will need to find a new school/college to resit at and you don't want to leave things until the last minute, so get on this ASAP.

I'd also suggest using the start of this week to go back over the spec for the subject(s) you are resitting and highlighting areas you think you need to focus on.

You need to come up with a realistic and achievable revision schedule- don't forget to build breaks into this. I think something like 5 hours a day split into half an hour chunks could be very achievable for most people (with days off, obviously) but I know some people are aiming for more. Talk to your family and friends about how you're going to revise and set expectations- e.g. you won't be contactable via social media whilst you are revising.

At the end of this week, I'd suggest trying a full past paper for your subject(s)- this will help you work out exactly what your revision needs to focus on!

26/08/2020

Hopefully everyone has settled into their revision now and has found a schedule that works for them.

For the rest of this week, I'd suggest focusing on creating resources- e.g. notes/flashcards, that you can use for self testing later on. Be strategic- you may not be able to cover the entire course, but choose areas to focus on where you think you can improve your knowledge.

I'd also suggest trying individual past paper questions on topics you revise at the end of your revision to help work on exam technique and get used to the mark schemes.

Make sure all your revision is active and focused! Do it in short chunks, but turn your phone and social media off so you can really focus.

31/08/2020

GET YOUR EXAM ENTRIES SORTED THIS WEEK!

The deadline for entries to be with exam boards is the 4th. That means finalising your plans with school/your exam centre before that! I think most schools in the country will be open to at least staff this week, so do get in touch with them ASAP if you still haven't decided on your retake plans!

Also, if you are planning to make a new UCAS application, do talk to unis if you plan to retake some exams in the autumn and some in the summer- it does seem like some unis are not keen on this, so make sure the unis you want to apply to are happy with your plans.

Beyond that, now most people are now at least two weeks in to revision. Now is the time to really focus on learning content, especially for areas you are weaker on. Personally, I'd avoid full past papers at this stage, but individual exam questions and self-quizzing or using something like seneca to check your knowledge is a good idea.

07/09/2020

For anyone attending school this year, this is probably your first week back, so cut yourself some slack whilst you get back into the swing of it!

Otherwise, continue learning content and self quizzing this week. Make sure your knowledge is really good. Now might be the time to start tackling individual long answer questions if you haven't already!

It may be worth aiming for a full past paper at the end of the week!

14/09/2020

There's probably about a month to go for most people. Hopefully by this stage you have learned/revised most of your content, and can start to focus in more on past paper questions and exam technique. If you haven't already, then definitely start doing full past papers at this stage- as well as doing and marking individual exam questions.

It may be worth asking a (former) teacher to check some of your past paper questions, to check you aren't being too generous or too harsh with yourself!

16/09/2020

We now have our directory set up for all the Autumn Exam Threads you are taking. Check them out here!
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SarcAndSpark
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Hey, just bumping this for attention a little, as I've updated the OP with some important info!
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shadowdweller
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What a fab thread idea!
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Sweetiepie101
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Hey guys

Having talked to a lot of you today, I know there are quite a few people considering at least one resit in the autumn- so I thought it would be good for people to have a place to chat and share tips and tricks.

I will put some revision tips/suggestions in this post over the next few days! It might seem daunting to prepare for a resit after so many months off school, but if you're willing to work hard over the next two months, getting a good grade will be doable!

For now, my top tip is: If you're thinking of resitting, ring your firm/insurance uni and see if they will offer you a deferred place for 2021 entry. A lot of unis are doing this and it will take some of the stress out of the autumn for you.

Don't forget you need to enter by 4th September. This may be before your school/college goes back, so make sure you get your entries in on time!

But, for now, maybe we could start with some introductions?

Username:
Current Grades:
Subjects Resitting:
Grades you're hoping for:
Any uni offers:
I have to wait til 7th for my appealed grades but what should I do apply for autumn exams still but what if I don’t need to sit the exams anymore
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TheDemeaning
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how tf am i meant to start from scrath and do it in 7 weeks
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Cloudiii
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Current grades: B (biology), C (chemistry), D (maths).
Subjects resitting: Chemistry and maths
Grades hoping for: BBB preferably.
Wish me luck, am gonna need it :colonhash:
Last edited by Cloudiii; 4 weeks ago
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by TheDemeaning)
how tf am i meant to start from scrath and do it in 7 weeks
Do what? revise for autumn exams?

You're not starting from scratch- presumably you did some work in Y12 and Y13! You'll be surprised how quickly things will come back to once you start revising. Also, most exams won't be on October 1st, so you'll have more like 2 months.
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TheDemeaning
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Do what? revise for autumn exams?

You're not starting from scratch- presumably you did some work in Y12 and Y13! You'll be surprised how quickly things will come back to once you start revising. Also, most exams won't be on October 1st, so you'll have more like 2 months.
yeah i get ur point but still its gonna be tough, 12 hours a day is the only way im gonna be able to pull this off.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Sweetiepie101)
I have to wait til 7th for my appealed grades but what should I do apply for autumn exams still but what if I don’t need to sit the exams anymore
You might get your appealed grades before the 4th. Speak to your school and see when you need to let them know by!
(Original post by Cloudiii)
Current grades: B (biology), D (chemistry), D (maths).
Subjects resitting: Chemistry and maths
Grades hoping for: BBC and above, BBB preferably.
Wish me luck, am gonna need it :colonhash:
You can do this! We've got faith in you. And feel free to come to this thread for help and advice!
(Original post by TheDemeaning)
yeah i get ur point but still its gonna be tough, 12 hours a day is the only way im gonna be able to pull this off.
I don't think you need to do 12 hours a day- honestly I think that would be counter productive.

I would think about 5 hours a day, with maybe one day off a week- so 30 hours a week, for, say 8 weeks is 240 hours, which is a pretty solid amount of revision! But that revision needs to be super focused.

I would break it down into (roughly) 30 minute slots. Set a timer for each slot. During that time, no social media, no distractions (maybe listen to music but that's it) and really work. Between each slot have a 10 minute break. In the middle of the day have a longer lunch break. And once you're done each day you can relax. But the point is to make your revision time really productive. Make sure it's all active revision, not just reading or watching things.

You can't sit with a youtube revision video on in the background whilst messaging people and call it revising, is what I'm saying.
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TheDemeaning
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
I don't think you need to do 12 hours a day- honestly I think that would be counter productive.

I would think about 5 hours a day, with maybe one day off a week- so 30 hours a week, for, say 8 weeks is 240 hours, which is a pretty solid amount of revision! But that revision needs to be super focused.

I would break it down into (roughly) 30 minute slots. Set a timer for each slot. During that time, no social media, no distractions (maybe listen to music but that's it) and really work. Between each slot have a 10 minute break. In the middle of the day have a longer lunch break. And once you're done each day you can relax. But the point is to make your revision time really productive. Make sure it's all active revision, not just reading or watching things.

You can't sit with a youtube revision video on in the background whilst messaging people and call it revising, is what I'm saying.
240 hours/3 is only 80 hours per subject, i was thinking the roughly 550 hours overall i would have done wouldn't be adequate to cover 2 years of work lol nvm half that figure
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Anonymous17!
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Current: B (religious studies), D (maths), D (chemistry)
Subjects resisting: Hoping to appeal rs so I can do only chem and maths but might need to take all three 😒
Aim: call me crazy but AAA
The grades my teachers gave me were ACC (you can see why I want to appeal one) and idk if it’s possible to go from C to A in 2 months when I haven’t had any teaching for months, but I will try.
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goldenpoop
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Great idea for us all to support each other.
I’m a resit student so I knew I was doing autumn exams a while ago.

My current grades: ABC (A - maths, B - chem , C - biology)
Resit subjects: Chem (EDX) and Bio (AQA)
Aiming for: AA
Offers; ARU (med), King’s (biochem)

Bit of background on my story if you’re interested...

I was very adamant on getting into med, however i’m a bit paranoid and was focused on everything else but my exams to help get me into med. Also, I put things off till last minute bc i want to do everything right and orderly, however last year was anything but that...

I ended up with B, 8 marks off an A in chem knowing full well I hadn’t covered everything. I could honestly count the marks I missed that would have gotten me an A which were all simply based on memorising the content.

I had several peeves about our bio exam board (eduqas) so I switched to AQA and I don’t regret it one bit. My mark for bio was 1 mark off a B, so I’m certain I can get an A feeling more confident in myself after all I had to go through to get an offer (applying with grades way off the requirements, constantly being knocked down by some unis with minimum ABB at first sitting and their refusing of my C even if it was only a mark off a B, being made to feel i’m not good enough for medicine bc i didn’t it right first time, doing the ucat, doing the personal statement and interviews...) It was a big risk for me to take this gap year, and a huge leap of faith in myself. A leap coming from someone who is so calculated about everything. I was so scared to apply to med in the fear I wouldn’t do everything perfectly by 15th october, I chickened out and said I would apply with achieved grades. What I realised this year is you need to take risks if you want to win big. I could’ve came out of this gap year with no offers at all, but I wouldn’t have lost anything - maybe my pride, but that had already been gone so I was in a position where I had nothing to lose. I’m so glad my risk paid off, and I am set on getting through this final hurdle.

At the moment I’m focusing on topic questions for bio and calculations for chem and planning on doing past papers from September. For chem I will be making sure facts are imprinted in my brain! As to not lose any crucial marks.
If you have any good tips on how to get A for bio lmk! Is learning the markscheme a good idea...

That’s another thing about learning with eduqas, I was very lost and it was a spec which focused on higher thinking questions and practical skills which our teachers neglected. There are no predictable questions or answers. Understandably they told us not to memorise the markscheme, but looking back what else could we have done? Teachers told us never to use the textbooks, even though they contain crucial detail unique to our spec. It was shambolic to say the least. But I’m wondering with AQA being a bit more straightforward, whether or not learning markschemes would be wise.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by TheDemeaning)
240 hours/3 is only 80 hours per subject, i was thinking the roughly 550 hours overall i would have done wouldn't be adequate to cover 2 years of work lol nvm half that figure
But you don't need to cover the whole course- you're revising it. Being really honest with yourself, would you have done 550 hours of really focused revision between April and June? It seems unlikely.

I know you've had a gap, and will have forgotten things, but that will be the same for nearly everyone sitting autumn exams, and this will be reflected in grade boundaries too.

I think it's really important to set yourself a realistic, achievable goal you can stick to. If you manage to do more, then great, but if you aim for 12 hours a day and fall short, it's likely you'll end up giving up.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by goldenpoop)
Great idea for us all to support each other.
I’m a resit student so I knew I was doing autumn exams a while ago.

My current grades: ABC (A - maths, B - chem , C - biology)
Resit subjects: Chem (EDX) and Bio (AQA)
Aiming for: AA
Offers; ARU (med), King’s (biochem)

Bit of background on my story if you’re interested...

I was very adamant on getting into med, however i’m a bit paranoid and was focused on everything else but my exams to help get me into med. Also, I put things off till last minute bc i want to do everything right and orderly, however last year was anything but that...

I ended up with B, 8 marks off an A in chem knowing full well I hadn’t covered everything. I could honestly count the marks I missed that would have gotten me an A which were all simply based on memorising the content.

I had several peeves about our bio exam board (eduqas) so I switched to AQA and I don’t regret it one bit. My mark for bio was 1 mark off a B, so I’m certain I can get an A feeling more confident in myself after all I had to go through to get an offer (applying with grades way off the requirements, constantly being knocked down by some unis with minimum ABB at first sitting and their refusing of my C even if it was only a mark off a B, being made to feel i’m not good enough for medicine bc i didn’t it right first time, doing the ucat, doing the personal statement and interviews...) It was a big risk for me to take this gap year, and a huge leap of faith in myself. A leap coming from someone who is so calculated about everything. I was so scared to apply to med in the fear I wouldn’t do everything perfectly by 15th october, I chickened out and said I would apply with achieved grades. What I realised this year is you need to take risks if you want to win big. I could’ve came out of this gap year with no offers at all, but I wouldn’t have lost anything - maybe my pride, but that had already been gone so I was in a position where I had nothing to lose. I’m so glad my risk paid off, and I am set on getting through this final hurdle.

At the moment I’m focusing on topic questions for bio and calculations for chem and planning on doing past papers from September. For chem I will be making sure facts are imprinted in my brain! As to not lose any crucial marks.
If you have any good tips on how to get A for bio lmk! Is learning the markscheme a good idea...

That’s another thing about learning with eduqas, I was very lost and it was a spec which focused on higher thinking questions and practical skills which our teachers neglected. There are no predictable questions or answers. Understandably they told us not to memorise the markscheme, but looking back what else could we have done? Teachers told us never to use the textbooks, even though they contain crucial detail unique to our spec. It was shambolic to say the least. But I’m wondering with AQA being a bit more straightforward, whether or not learning markschemes would be wise.
Welcome to the thread! It sounds like you have been really focused and organised so far- which is a great quality for a future doctor!

FWIW, as a bio teacher, I don't think learning mark schemes off by heart is a good idea, but you should familiarise yourself with mark schemes so you know the language and style the examiner will be looking for. I suggest doing a lot of past paper questions and marking them yourself to help improve your exam technique- and if a similar question does come up in the exam, then that's even better. You don't have to do whole past papers every time, just three or 4 questions on a topic regularly is enough!

I can link some good sources for past paper questions if you want!
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Super_M8rio
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Planning to retake maths from a B to an A, appeal economics as I recieved an A in the mocks and they pushed me down to a C and retake Geography in the Summer as honestly cant believe I will able to do both maths and geography. Also r u guys gonna apply uni this year or just call up on results day next year, honestly very confused.
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Marsharko
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Username: Marsharko

Current Grades: B in Biology, B in Psychology, D in Chemistry

Subjects Resitting: Chemistry for sure. Likely psychology as well for an A grade.

Grades you're hoping for: ABB

Any uni offers: Leicester medical school said they would hold my (already defered) A100 offer I had. All I need to is fix the D I got in chemistry and I can continue on with my life. I'm gonna try and appeal Biology and Psychology because I feel like either could have been an A, and if if don't have to do a 2nd subject exam then if don't want to.


Posting this here to hold myself accountable.

Weirdest thing is that I'm not even upset. I saw that chemistry grade coming from a mile away literally months ago. Throughout the whole 2 years of A-level I put Chemistry on the sidelines in order to focus on my medicine application. I had the intention to just bang out chemistry once I had my offers, but I guess life is unpredictable like that haha.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Super_M8rio)
Planning to retake maths from a B to an A, appeal economics as I recieved an A in the mocks and they pushed me down to a C and retake Geography in the Summer as honestly cant believe I will able to do both maths and geography. Also r u guys gonna apply uni this year or just call up on results day next year, honestly very confused.
Welcome to the thread.

Hopefully, you'd be able to do an application this year knowing your autumn retake grade and your appeal grade, which will put you in a strong postion.

I wouldn't rely on clearing next year, as the courses you want may not be available.
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Theloniouss
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Not 100% sure if I'm resitting, but I'll post here to make sure I don't forget about the thread

And it's looking considerably more likely now

Current Grades: A*AA (A* FM)
Subjects Resitting: Chemistry
Grades you're hoping for: A*
Any uni offers: A*A*A (Cambridge)
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Sweetiepie101
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
You might get your appealed grades before the 4th. Speak to your school and see when you need to let them know by!

You can do this! We've got faith in you. And feel free to come to this thread for help and advice!

I don't think you need to do 12 hours a day- honestly I think that would be counter productive.

I would think about 5 hours a day, with maybe one day off a week- so 30 hours a week, for, say 8 weeks is 240 hours, which is a pretty solid amount of revision! But that revision needs to be super focused.

I would break it down into (roughly) 30 minute slots. Set a timer for each slot. During that time, no social media, no distractions (maybe listen to music but that's it) and really work. Between each slot have a 10 minute break. In the middle of the day have a longer lunch break. And once you're done each day you can relax. But the point is to make your revision time really productive. Make sure it's all active revision, not just reading or watching things.

You can't sit with a youtube revision video on in the background whilst messaging people and call it revising, is what I'm saying.
My school said they’ll find out appealed grades after the deadline for autumn exams
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Theloniouss)
Not 100% sure if I'm resitting, but I'll post here to make sure I don't forget about the thread

Current Grades: A*AA (A* FM)
Subjects Resitting: Chemistry
Grades you're hoping for: A*
Any uni offers: A*A*A (Cambridge)
Welcome, just in case you are!
(Original post by Sweetiepie101)
My school said they’ll find out appealed grades after the deadline for autumn exams
I don't think they can be sure about this, unless they were told directly by an exam board. It's possible some appeal results could come back early!
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