• Experiences of resitting A levels

Loz's experience

Age: 19

Did you consider trying to find a place through Clearing? Yes

Why did you decide to resit in the end? No courses at any unis that I'd liked at the time. Grades suffered a bit due to moving as well so this was the main reason

Did you resit at your school/college or did you go elsewhere to do them? I self-taught retakes for 2 subjects, and then sat the exams at my previous sixth form, but for my 3rd A level I went to a local college to start a fresh, and picked up another AS

Did you reapply to the same uni and course or different ones? Same course, and some universities were the same.

How did you find the year? For other reasons, very stressful. However in terms of the resits, some went ok and were easy to re-teach myself. I had plenty of resources from the previous 2 years and the board's website to succeed. Going to college for the AS and the restarted A2 was very helpful as I had a lot of support there, however when it came to exam time it got annoying travelling here and there.

Any tips/advice for people considering this option? Plan ahead. Make a schedule of when and what to study and start early. Go over the whole syllabus for that module as thoroughly as possible, but leave a month or 2 for exam practise. Past papers really are the key here!

.Scout.'s experience

Age: 19

Did you consider trying to find a place through Clearing? Yes

Why did you decide to resit in the end? There was nothing in Clearing for my course (English Literature and French), so I thought that the only sensible option was to resit and reapply for my course again.

Did you resit at your school/college or did you go elsewhere to do them? I stayed on at my school to resit, and they also allowed me to pick up a extra subject in a year. I chose to do Sociology AS and A2.

Did you reapply to the same uni and course or different ones? I applied to some of the same universities. I found it tricky as I only misse dmy offer by 5 UMS marks, but most of the unis I applied to originally had increased their entry requirements by the time I had reapplied; which was verrrrry annoying. I also applied to some 'lower' universites, as I knew I didn't want to miss my offer again!

How did you find the year? Very difficult. All my friends were off having the time of their lives at university, whilst I was still stuck at school. My motivation really suffered too, as I felt like such a failure for missing my offers. Socially, it has been a very boring year but atleast that allowed me to concentrate on my resits.

Any tips/advice for people considering this option? Don't rush into Clearing!! Seriously consider whether you really would like to go there, and would actually enjoy the course. Also think about whether it is worth resitting; will your grades realistically go up? Will universities increase their entry reqs? Do you have the motivation to stay on at school? It is a very tough year and many times I have thought of giving up and just going travelling - just don't waste the year!!

Kc91's experience

Age: 19

Did you resit at your school/college or did you go elsewhere to do them? my sixth form wouldn't allow me to resit so I was forced to commute to a different college. At the time I was devastated by this but in the end it was the best decision I made and I only wish I went to the new college beforehand - I probably would have saved a year!

Did you reapply to the same uni and course or different ones? I applied to 3 of the same universities and 2 new ones. I had it in my head that my firm from last year would give me an interview and a place quite easily but I ended up with a rejection without interview from them so just because you had a place one year it doesn't necessarily mean you will get it again.

How did you find the year? Again I found it very difficult. My friends were at uni and I was stuck resitting and cursing myself for not getting the grades and meeting my once in a lifetime offer.The rejection from last year's firm choice really depressed me as I had worked for 4 years to get that offer. Gradually I have got over it but it took a lot of time and once I got over it I realised how lucky I was to be given another chance to do my A Levels again - if you get a 3rd at uni in your final year you can't resit it so I used this as my motivation. My new college have been absolutely amazing - the teachers gave a lot of support (unlike my old sixth form). Academically there were a few problems with differences in syllabi and old/new spec (i resat as/a2 on the new spec having done 2 yrs of old spec) but 90% was straight forward. For me the exams were a challenge because the differences in format. Socially, it was a complete nightmare - the new college was very cliquey and i found it very hard to integrate so spent a lot of my time on my own but then in that time I made revision plans/studied more and had the evenings free.

Any tips/advice for people considering this option? Take time to make the right decision for you - don't just go to uni because your friends are. And I agree with scout - will your grades realistically go up if you resit or have you already reached your peak and do you have the motivation to stay on and resit? Motivation for me was by far the hardest thing I have had to deal with when I was rejected from my firm after I reapplied to them and I felt like walking away but you have to have staying power and see the wider picture.

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