The Student Room Group

how does gap year works?

Hi i'm in year 12 and international student. currently my grades are B/D/D.
i was thinking about taking gap year cuz i need
more time to improve my skills and especially i'm doing terribly at my a levels. is it possible to apply uni after retake exam and get As(hopefully) or some. i wanna go to oxford in the future even if it takes more than a year,
but is it a gap year for only people who got an offer from uni? please tell how to go to oxford!!!!!
Original post by viviennewestwood
Hi i'm in year 12 and international student. currently my grades are B/D/D.
i was thinking about taking gap year cuz i need
more time to improve my skills and especially i'm doing terribly at my a levels. is it possible to apply uni after retake exam and get As(hopefully) or some. i wanna go to oxford in the future even if it takes more than a year,
but is it a gap year for only people who got an offer from uni? please tell how to go to oxford!!!!!

Yes, you can apply to any university after you have taken your exams.

Note that this would mean two gap years if you also resit those exams. You're in Year 12 right now, so will be taking your A levels in summer 2025, agreed? Most students taking exams then would be applying to university with the hope of starting in Autumn 2025 and would therefore apply before they've sat their exams. (You apply with predicted grades and, if you're made an offer, have that place confirmed if you meet whatever grades the university has asked you to obtain) If you were to apply after you has sat your exams (i.e. with actual grades rather than predicted grades), you'd be applying to start in Autumn 2026. If you'd be applying after you'd done your resits, you'd be applying to start in Autumn 2027.

Note also that the more over-subscribed universities expect candidates to have achieved the required grades on the first attempt (unless that are some extenuating circumstances which explain why the extra year was required). For example, the University of Oxford says here that:

"On the whole, candidates who need to retake exams in order to achieve the required grades have a lower chance of being offered a place. Nevertheless, we recognise that students sometimes fail to achieve their potential on their first attempt at school or college because of circumstances beyond their control, and would always take such circumstances into account if they are brought to our attention."

Are your current grades due to circumstances beyond your control, which you could explain to Oxford?
(edited 3 weeks ago)
Original post by viviennewestwood
Hi i'm in year 12 and international student. currently my grades are B/D/D.
i was thinking about taking gap year cuz i need
more time to improve my skills and especially i'm doing terribly at my a levels. is it possible to apply uni after retake exam and get As(hopefully) or some. i wanna go to oxford in the future even if it takes more than a year,
but is it a gap year for only people who got an offer from uni? please tell how to go to oxford!!!!!

Hi there,

I admire your aspirations and wish you the best with these.

Where I work we've had many students join us to take a gap year who are pursuing Oxford/Cambridge, and lots of them are successful with working as a tutor for us whilst they study their own exams. Oxford and Cambridge typically like 3 or 4 A-Levels at A*/A, the more A-Levels and the higher your grades the better chance of acceptance you have.

As you're in Year 12, there's still lots of time left until you sit your exams in 2025, so if you take the correct steps to revise properly, asking teachers for advice and extra resources, you can significantly boost your grade over that period of time. Starting early is key, so maybe do some research on what gap year options are out there but persevere with your studies in the meantime!

All the best with your prospects!

Quick Reply

Latest