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Resitting A levels 2023

Just got my exam results but was kind of disappointing with them. For Psychology I got an A which I’m glad about but for Bio a C and Chemistry a D. I didn’t think I’d do that horribly in Bio and Chem and had some hope but clearly didn’t work out.

I could just apply through clearing but very limited options for me. So now considering a resit, but is it worth it? I’m worried if I still don’t get better at Chem as I have some hope for Bio atleast. And the thought of going through the whole exam process again sickens me. Also my sixth form is not very good either and have some bad quality science teachers which I could partially blame. I’m calling other sixth forms but don’t have high hopes. I’m worried and scared, what shall I do??

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Original post by aria1010101
Just got my exam results but was kind of disappointing with them. For Psychology I got an A which I’m glad about but for Bio a C and Chemistry a D. I didn’t think I’d do that horribly in Bio and Chem and had some hope but clearly didn’t work out.

I could just apply through clearing but very limited options for me. So now considering a resit, but is it worth it? I’m worried if I still don’t get better at Chem as I have some hope for Bio atleast. And the thought of going through the whole exam process again sickens me. Also my sixth form is not very good either and have some bad quality science teachers which I could partially blame. I’m calling other sixth forms but don’t have high hopes. I’m worried and scared, what shall I do??

What subject are you hoping to study at uni?

Did you have you heart set on a particular uni?

You say, "I could just apply through clearing but very limited options for me." Does that mean that there are very few options, but they're options which you're happy with? Or does it mean the options available aren't particularly interesting to you?
Original post by aria1010101
Just got my exam results but was kind of disappointing with them. For Psychology I got an A which I’m glad about but for Bio a C and Chemistry a D. I didn’t think I’d do that horribly in Bio and Chem and had some hope but clearly didn’t work out.

I could just apply through clearing but very limited options for me. So now considering a resit, but is it worth it? I’m worried if I still don’t get better at Chem as I have some hope for Bio atleast. And the thought of going through the whole exam process again sickens me. Also my sixth form is not very good either and have some bad quality science teachers which I could partially blame. I’m calling other sixth forms but don’t have high hopes. I’m worried and scared, what shall I do??


As above, clearing is an option, but you need to decide whether any of the accessible options are sufficiently appealing.

If you decide against using clearing:

If you are aiming for the next grades up in biology and chemistry, respectively, it may be worth considering a priority remark. Just be aware that you really should give your teachers permission to access your exam scripts first so they can assess your chances of getting marked up enough to get graded up.

If you need higher grades than that, or you are more than 3 marks from the next grade boundary, resitting is absolutely the way to go.

In my experience, chemistry is something you can only do well in if you have attempted and reviewed many past papers first so you can understand the technique required to do well.

My approach to studying A level chemistry is more or less outlined here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7253201&page=2#post97549790
(edited 9 months ago)
Reply 3
Original post by DataVenia
What subject are you hoping to study at uni?

Did you have you heart set on a particular uni?

You say,
Reply 4
I was hoping to study Neuroscience at UCL or Queen Mary. But neither happened for me. And I could just go through clearing and choose city uni of london as I kind of like that uni but then that D I got in chemistry will still follow me through uni and when I apply for a job and that haunts me haha.

The clearing options are limited as in not many universities that I like are available with the degrees that I’m interested in. Even if there was my grades are just too low for them and the same thing about my chem grade following me will still happen.
Reply 5
Original post by TypicalNerd
As above, clearing is an option, but you need to decide whether any of the accessible options are sufficiently appealing.

If you decide against using clearing:

If you are aiming for the next grades up in biology and chemistry, respectively, it may be worth considering a priority remark. Just be aware that you really should give your teachers permission to access your exam scripts first so they can assess your chances of getting marked up enough to get graded up.

If you need higher grades than that, or you are more than 3 marks from the next grade boundary, resitting is absolutely the way to go.

In my experience, chemistry is something you can only do well in if you have attempted and reviewed many past papers first so you can understand the technique required to do well.

My approach to studying A level chemistry is more or less outlined here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7253201&page=2#post97549790


I have considered remark but it’s not really going to help as for bio I’m 7 marks away from a B and chem I’m like more than 10 from a C. Ugh I hate these grades so much and the thought of retaking the same exams absolutely sickens me given how overworked and stressed I was these a levels and even during the ucas application last year.

And I have done plenty of chemistry past papers and even bought 2023 predicted ones online this year and did p1 and p2. But didn’t really help. I genuinely felt like I may of rushed these exams out of fear and to get it done with asap as I was desperate to finish it but also partly my teachers fault for not giving me the help I deserve
Reply 6
Original post by DataVenia
What subject are you hoping to study at uni?

Did you have you heart set on a particular uni?

You say, "I could just apply through clearing but very limited options for me." Does that mean that there are very few options, but they're options which you're happy with? Or does it mean the options available aren't particularly interesting to you?


I was hoping to study Neuroscience at UCL or Queen Mary. But neither happened for me. And I could just go through clearing and choose city uni of london as I kind of like that uni but then that D I got in chemistry will still follow me through uni and when I apply for a job and that haunts me haha.

The clearing options are limited as in not many universities that I like are available with the degrees that I’m interested in. Even if there was my grades are just too low for them and the same thing about my chem grade following me will still happen.
Original post by aria1010101
I have considered remark but it’s not really going to help as for bio I’m 7 marks away from a B and chem I’m like more than 10 from a C. Ugh I hate these grades so much and the thought of retaking the same exams absolutely sickens me given how overworked and stressed I was these a levels and even during the ucas application last year.

And I have done plenty of chemistry past papers and even bought 2023 predicted ones online this year and did p1 and p2. But didn’t really help. I genuinely felt like I may of rushed these exams out of fear and to get it done with asap as I was desperate to finish it but also partly my teachers fault for not giving me the help I deserve

Predicted papers are almost never worth buying, since they are seldom correct, tend to fail to reflect the true difficulty of actual exams and don’t have examiners reports meaning you can’t review them in nearly as much depth as actual past papers.

I can’t think of any better options than retaking your A levels. If you passed the practical endorsement, I’m pretty sure the passes will carry over so you won’t have to do the practicals again. That means no need for write ups and less pressure to get them done. You will also be sitting two subjects as opposed to three, so you will have more time on your hands.
Reply 8
Original post by TypicalNerd
Predicted papers are almost never worth buying, since they are seldom correct, tend to fail to reflect the true difficulty of actual exams and don’t have examiners reports meaning you can’t review them in nearly as much depth as actual past papers.

I can’t think of any better options than retaking your A levels. If you passed the practical endorsement, I’m pretty sure the passes will carry over so you won’t have to do the practicals again. That means no need for write ups and less pressure to get them done. You will also be sitting two subjects as opposed to three, so you will have more time on your hands.


Yeah it’s such a shame though but I guess that’s my only option, also does resitting disadvantage me in any way? I have contacted some of the uni’s that I’m interested in to see if they let in retaking students, still waiting for the reply. But when I told my family and friends I’m considering retaking they really wanted me to go through clearing instead or to just get into a uni and not resit. That kind of worried me as I don’t want to make the wrong decision here
Original post by aria1010101
Yeah it’s such a shame though but I guess that’s my only option, also does resitting disadvantage me in any way? I have contacted some of the uni’s that I’m interested in to see if they let in retaking students, still waiting for the reply. But when I told my family and friends I’m considering retaking they really wanted me to go through clearing instead or to just get into a uni and not resit. That kind of worried me as I don’t want to make the wrong decision here


I guess it’s entirety up to the admissions team’s discretion as to whether your application is less competitive. I’d wait until the unis respond though for a more accurate and authoritative response.

If a valid reason for retaking is given (i.e not all the content was covered etc) in your reference, I imagine retaking will have no bearing on your application.
(edited 9 months ago)
Original post by aria1010101
I was hoping to study Neuroscience at UCL or Queen Mary. But neither happened for me. And I could just go through clearing and choose city uni of london as I kind of like that uni but then that D I got in chemistry will still follow me through uni and when I apply for a job and that haunts me haha.

The clearing options are limited as in not many universities that I like are available with the degrees that I’m interested in. Even if there was my grades are just too low for them and the same thing about my chem grade following me will still happen.

Personally, if City is in Clearing and you "kind of like that uni", then that's what I'd do,. Especially as you say in another post that "the thought of retaking the same exams absolutely sickens me given how overworked and stressed I was these a levels and even during the ucas application last year". Why put yourself through that again?

You say, "that D I got in chemistry will still follow me through uni and when I apply for a job and that haunts me". I really don't think that's true. Once you're at uni, you're at uni. There are no sets, where students who got Cs and Ds are in one set and students who got As and Bs are in another. You're all in the same classes and are all treated equally. Similarly, once you leave university with a First Class Honours Degree in Neuroscience (:smile:), what employer is even going to ask about your A level grades, let alone care about a D? (You know there is no requirement to list your A level grades on your CV, I assume?). The D will only haunt you if you let it.
Reply 11
Original post by DataVenia
Personally, if City is in Clearing and you "kind of like that uni", then that's what I'd do,. Especially as you say in another post that "the thought of retaking the same exams absolutely sickens me given how overworked and stressed I was these a levels and even during the ucas application last year". Why put yourself through that again?

You say, "that D I got in chemistry will still follow me through uni and when I apply for a job and that haunts me". I really don't think that's true. Once you're at uni, you're at uni. There are no sets, where students who got Cs and Ds are in one set and students who got As and Bs are in another. You're all in the same classes and are all treated equally. Similarly, once you leave university with a First Class Honours Degree in Neuroscience (:smile:), what employer is even going to ask about your A level grades, let alone care about a D? (You know there is no requirement to list your A level grades on your CV, I assume?). The D will only haunt you if you let it.


I completely agree with what you said and had a look at city university clearing, unfortunately they do not do neuroscience and the other clearing offers still have entry requirements of BCC and above as they state it’s quite competitive. I am thinking to retake my A levels in a different college or sixth form, as that would make me feel slightly better than going back to the same place that I did my A levels in which they left me in such a vulnerable and lonely position pretty much whole of year 13. Honestly I do kind of wish I can just get into clearing and not worry about retaking a levels again, but I kind of have no option I feel like. I just really want to get to a decent uni with my chosen degree.
(edited 9 months ago)
Original post by aria1010101
I completely agree with what you said and had a look at city university clearing, unfortunately they do not do neuroscience and the other clearing offers still have entry requirements of BCC and above as they state it’s quite competitive. I am thinking to retake my A levels in a different college or sixth form, as that would make me feel slightly better than going back to the same place that I did my A levels in which they left me in such a vulnerable and lonely position pretty much whole of year 13. Honestly I do kind of wish I can just get into clearing and not worry about retaking a levels again, but I kind of have no option I feel like. I just really want to get to a decent uni with my chosen degree.

Ah, when you said earlier that "I could just go through clearing and choose city uni of london", I assumed that was for Neuroscience. If you'd have to change subject to get that place, it's not ideal.

I say that it's worth keeping an eye on Clearing, and keep in contact with the BCC unis. If they don't fill their courses, they might consider lower than BCC in a few days. In the meantime, looking around for other sixth form colleges (as a backup) seems like a sensible approach.

BTW, have you considered Neuroscience with a Foundation year at somewhere like UCLan (currently in Clearing)?
Original post by aria1010101
I was hoping to study Neuroscience at UCL or Queen Mary. But neither happened for me. And I could just go through clearing and choose city uni of london as I kind of like that uni but then that D I got in chemistry will still follow me through uni and when I apply for a job and that haunts me haha.

The clearing options are limited as in not many universities that I like are available with the degrees that I’m interested in. Even if there was my grades are just too low for them and the same thing about my chem grade following me will still happen.

Hi there @aria1010101,

Have you ever thought about coming to study here at UCLan? If you are look at studying Neuroscience we still have places through Clearing.

Our Neuroscience course offers students:
- Our degree is one of the few that offers you a multidisciplinary approach to cover areas of biological science alongside core areas of psychology.
- We have custom-designed laboratories including a psychophysiology suite and brain imaging lab, as well as our pharmacy and biomedical labs.
- Our students learn from specialists in areas including neuroimaging, psychopharmacology, physiological psychology, cognitive neuroscience and molecular neurobiology.

Our Clearing lines are open today until 6pm today and over the weekend if you would like to speak to a member of our friendly team to learn more.

📞 01772 830777

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help!

All the best,
Sarah
Original post by DataVenia
What subject are you hoping to study at uni?

Did you have you heart set on a particular uni?

You say, "I could just apply through clearing but very limited options for me." Does that mean that there are very few options, but they're options which you're happy with? Or does it mean the options available aren't particularly interesting to you?


Hi there, I just received my A levels and it is not one of the best. it’s literally 3D’s and I have resat an AS year aswell because I wanted to change one and now I have achieved significantly below my predicted grades and idk what the best option for me is. I’m currently awaiting clearing but I’m thinking of going into a degree apprenticeship instead which will require me to improve my grades because they require BCC minimum and some internships aswell so I got a concern with A level grades and idk if it’ll be a waste repeating it because I’ll be 2 years behind and I’ll turn 20 when I get my a level results although I’m grateful that I’m safe and there are ppl in a worse position
Original post by Hkufinggyvv
Hi there, I just received my A levels and it is not one of the best. it’s literally 3D’s and I have resat an AS year aswell because I wanted to change one and now I have achieved significantly below my predicted grades and idk what the best option for me is. I’m currently awaiting clearing but I’m thinking of going into a degree apprenticeship instead which will require me to improve my grades because they require BCC minimum and some internships aswell so I got a concern with A level grades and idk if it’ll be a waste repeating it because I’ll be 2 years behind and I’ll turn 20 when I get my a level results although I’m grateful that I’m safe and there are ppl in a worse position

What course were you hoping to do at uni?

What do you mean by "currently awaiting clearing"? Have you checked on UCAS Search to see what unis are offering that course via Clearing? Have you contacted any of them with a view to securing a place via Clearing? If so, what have they said?

Have you accepted the reality that if you did manage to secure a place via Clearing at DDD, it won't be at a well-known university? (Or potentially one you've ever heard of.)

You say "I’m thinking of going into a degree apprenticeship instead". Given that it seems you would need to resit your A levels anyway, what's the motivation for this decision?
Reply 16
Original post by Hkufinggyvv
Hi there, I just received my A levels and it is not one of the best. it’s literally 3D’s and I have resat an AS year aswell because I wanted to change one and now I have achieved significantly below my predicted grades and idk what the best option for me is. I’m currently awaiting clearing but I’m thinking of going into a degree apprenticeship instead which will require me to improve my grades because they require BCC minimum and some internships aswell so I got a concern with A level grades and idk if it’ll be a waste repeating it because I’ll be 2 years behind and I’ll turn 20 when I get my a level results although I’m grateful that I’m safe and there are ppl in a worse position


Oh honestly I’m really sorry to hear that, but my advice is don’t bother resitting again if you already did 3 years of A-levels. Maybe it’s just not for you and the best thing is to go for degree apprenticeship or through clearing. For me I’m having to resit bio and chem because my previous science teachers were absolutely crap and I may of rushed my chem papers. But I’m only bothered to resit them one more time for 1 year and if it still doesn’t work out then I’m off to clearing.
Reply 17
Original post by DataVenia
Ah, when you said earlier that "I could just go through clearing and choose city uni of london", I assumed that was for Neuroscience. If you'd have to change subject to get that place, it's not ideal.

I say that it's worth keeping an eye on Clearing, and keep in contact with the BCC unis. If they don't fill their courses, they might consider lower than BCC in a few days. In the meantime, looking around for other sixth form colleges (as a backup) seems like a sensible approach.

BTW, have you considered Neuroscience with a Foundation year at somewhere like UCLan (currently in Clearing)?


I did have a look but I don’t really feel comfortable moving out for uni. Sorry I seem very picky haha. I’m just going to give this one more shot and try and get better grades. I found a different college where they are allowing retakes and also have good reviews as my last sixth form is absolutely crap and barely anyone got the grades they wanted. No one has gotten higher than a B in chemistry and economics in my school as well as only like 2 people getting A’s in maths
Original post by aria1010101
I did have a look but I don’t really feel comfortable moving out for uni. Sorry I seem very picky haha. I’m just going to give this one more shot and try and get better grades. I found a different college where they are allowing retakes and also have good reviews as my last sixth form is absolutely crap and barely anyone got the grades they wanted. No one has gotten higher than a B in chemistry and economics in my school as well as only like 2 people getting A’s in maths

OK. It sounds like you have a plan. Good luck! :smile:
Original post by aria1010101
Just got my exam results but was kind of disappointing with them. For Psychology I got an A which I’m glad about but for Bio a C and Chemistry a D. I didn’t think I’d do that horribly in Bio and Chem and had some hope but clearly didn’t work out.

I could just apply through clearing but very limited options for me. So now considering a resit, but is it worth it? I’m worried if I still don’t get better at Chem as I have some hope for Bio atleast. And the thought of going through the whole exam process again sickens me. Also my sixth form is not very good either and have some bad quality science teachers which I could partially blame. I’m calling other sixth forms but don’t have high hopes. I’m worried and scared, what shall I do??


i got the same grades as you in the same subjects -ACD-in bio i was 4 marks away from a B so will try to get it remarked but even then i would of loved an A and the D in chem for me was foreseeable will be retaking that either privately or with my school.i was taking a gap year anyways but now ill have to resit 1 or 2 alevels.
(edited 9 months ago)

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