Resit A Levels: A Guide To Success (2024)

Resit A Levels: A Guide To Success (2024)

November 17, 2023 | 5months | Exams

What to do if you fail A Levels?

Although failing your A-levels can bring extreme frustration, the truth is that it is not that bad. Fortunately, there is not just one chance to sit for these exams, and retaking them is a very good option. If you have decided that you don’t want to give up and give A-levels a second try, here is the best way to deal with bad exam results.

The first piece of advice we have for you is to have a look at your results, maybe ask for a revision of the exam to get correction details, and try to analyse what were your strongest and weakest points, which need more study. You can also get in contact with tutors and academies specialising in A-level exams for guidance and retake preparation courses to make sure next time you will get the best possible results next time.

Can you resit A Levels privately? Key Takeaways

A-levels can be prepared at the same school where you studied the first time, but you can also switch to a private academy, which offers a set of advantages through the best online A-level courses, especially for students retaking A-levels:

  • Study at your own pace: Most online academies allow you to fast-track your A-levels, reducing the normal 2-year study period to just a few months. Additionally, there are no set study times, so you can create your own schedule, guaranteeing that it can fit around your other daily activities.
  • Review at will: having sat an A-level exam before, studying on your own with online material gives you some flexibility to specially dedicate time to those topics you found most difficult.
  • Tutor support: Once you start the course, you are assigned a study tutor whom you can contact at any moment along the course to revise topics, ask for advice and help you along the process in any way you may need.
  • Studying from home: In the case of CloudLearn, students can prepare for A-levels from any place around the world. This gives students the opportunity to study from anywhere, allowing them to make the most of their time, as they don’t need to commute to educational centres.
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Is it worth retaking an A Level?

A-levels grant you an extra certification to demonstrate how capable you are in the subjects evaluated, which you choose based on your university’s requirements. For this reason, taking A-level exams can be the key to entering a better university, achieving higher grades, getting a better job and, overall, enjoying a better life. Therefore, even after having failed your first opportunity, we highly recommend retrying A-levels. In fact, it might be comforting to know that around 30% of students who apply for A-levels are actually retaking them, which means that you are far from being the only one in this situation.

Do universities care if you retake A Levels?

Some students fear that failing an A-level means the end of their careers, because they don’t know that universities don’t really pay attention to how many times they’ve sat for an exam. In most universities, even the most prestigious ones, you will only be asked about your final marks. First and second (or third) opportunities are worth exactly the same in your academic record. That’s why there is no reason not to try again.

How to resit A Levels? The retake process overview

1. Choosing the right subjects

Our first tip is to analyse your previous experience and learn from it. How many subjects did you sit for? How difficult were they for you? What are your strongest and weakest points? Did you like the topics you studied about?

Asking yourself these questions can help you determine whether you want to repeat the same exams or not. For instance, you may have discovered that you didn’t like the topics you had to study about, which lowered your motivation and affected your dedication. Or you may have realised that taking Further Maths was too difficult and you want to take the Foundation level this time.

You can always ask your tutor for support along this process, as it may be helpful to have an objective point of view to make a decision, and also to give you an outlook of the possibilities you can choose from.

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2. Preparing for the retake

To your comfort, you need to know that resitting for A-levels is not harder than the first time, since exams are exactly the same for all candidates. In fact, it could even be easier for you than for those trying for the first time, as you’ve had extra preparation time and your first attempt serves as feedback about your performance.

Keeping that in mind, we recommend asking for Access to Scripts, a service available for both Edexcel and AQA candidates, that allows students to have a look at their answers in their previous test with examiners’ corrections included. This way, you and your tutor can understand what are those points that need more revision next time and use your study time more efficiently.

3. Exam booking and fees

Once you know what subjects you are sitting for, you need to start your preparation courses. Some students get too anxious about sitting for exams again, and they don’t really think that they need to continue preparing to improve. But you won’t magically improve overnight.

At CloudLearn, you can enrol in preparatory courses at any time of the year, just by accessing our website and filling in the form. You only need to check our available subjects and their fees on your A-level course page.

A level resit dates: when can you resit A Levels?

One of the first questions that come to students' minds after receiving the results of a failed exam is “Do I have to wait a year to retake A-levels?”, but first, they need to understand how A-levels work.

A-levels are only available in June every year, so all students, both those students taking exams for the first time and those retaking them, need to wait for this date to sit for exams. Although some students may wish to resit for exams as soon as possible, we recommend taking advantage of this time to revise and meet other students in the same situation. Doing so can help you feel more confident, as you will feel aligned with someone else’s experience, and you can share new studying strategies to make the process work this time.

Where can I resit A Levels?

A-levels can be prepared for at traditional schools/colleges that include sixth-form courses, or online. However, exams can only be taken in person, so students need to enrol at examination centres, regardless of the type of course they took.

How much does it cost to resit A Levels?

The cost for resitting A-levels is the same as sitting them for the first time. However, each academy has its own pricing charts.

At CloudLearn, A-level courses start at £349 and exam fees (which include all expenses and guarantee no surprise fees) cost between £410 and £540, with the exception of exams including practical sections, which cost £1431. Keep in mind that, throughout the year, CloudLearn offers different discounts of up to £200 to make your A-levels more affordable.

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4. A-level resit day

On the day of the exam, the most important thing is to stay calm. Try to think about how resitting an exam has provided you extra time to revise and learn missing points and how you are now more prepared than you were the first time. You may want to know that normally 50% of students who enrol in resits all over the UK achieve better grades than in the previous one. However, over 58.4% of CloudLearn’s students not only manage to pass A-levels but also achieve grades above B, and 98.2% of students who complete the total 360 study hours achieve a grade A or higher, which means there is a very low risk of not getting improved marks if you follow our total study hours recommendation.

In terms of organisation, we suggest outlining a timetable with the tasks you need to complete that day, to make sure you arrive at the examination centre on time and that you are not missing any important documentation. Remember that, in case any urgency emerges that could delay your arrival at the centre, you can always call organisers to let them know about your situation. This way, you may be allowed to enter the exam room a little later to be able to complete your exam anyway.

5. Waiting for the results

After the exam, all you need to do is wait for the results and see how well you did.

When do A Level resit results come out?

Just like first-time exams, A-level resit results are sent about two months after the day of the exam. Although this time might seem a bit long, examiners need to take their time to properly check exams to appoint the right grades and make fair grading decisions among all students.

What happens if you do worse in A Level resit?

First, you need to know that the probability for this to happen is very low, as students normally do better at second chances than first. If you are still nervous about this possibility, do not worry. You will simply have two certificates on your academic record and universities will only pay attention to the highest grade.

Tips & Advice from A-level retakers

Together with revising your previous results and aiming at opportunities for improvement, most retakers suggest creating a study schedule for the whole study year. As soon as you have enrolled on an online course, have a look at the topics on the syllabus and calculate how much time you have until the day of the exam.

Then you can create a schedule to make sure you have covered all the topics by the end of the course. Don’t forget to consider any holiday time off, or unexpected circumstances like emergencies and sick days to make sure you don’t run out of the stipulated time. Additionally, add a few revision days to your schedule to refresh topics every once in a while.

We also recommend talking to other students, whether they have passed their exams or are retaking them, to learn about their study process and find new strategies that could lead to your success. Teamwork can help boost your confidence and your focus on the topics, as being involved in an academic environment, even if you are taking an online course, can help with your concentration and your overall motivation to study.

Ready to give it another shot? Get expert help!

In conclusion, getting low grades at A-levels is more common than you think and many students decide to resit these exams to get their desired grades. After all, universities don’t mind how many times you have sat for the exam, and preparing for an extra year will guarantee you have all the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Have you made the decision to resit for A-levels? Contact us, enrol on a course, book A-level exams and start learning today!


Who can resit A Levels?

Anyone can resit A-levels: both students who have failed their exams and those who have obtained lower grades than expected, even without age restrictions. Everyone can retake A-levels at traditional schools, colleges and private online academies.

How many times can you resit A Levels?

There is no limit to the number of times you can resit for A-levels. Some schools may set a limit of four opportunities, but the truth is that the majority of students resitting their A-levels manage to achieve better passing grades than the first time, so there is no need to worry about retake limits.

Is there a deadline for enrolment in resit courses?

As with first-time enrolment, A-levels have a specific exam date that determines how much time you have to study. We at CloudLearn accept students despite the proximity to the exam, although we strongly recommend following our guidance on total study hours to ensure a passing mark.

What percentage of people fail A Levels?

CloudLearn A-level result statistics show that only 3.4% of CloudLearn students get a U grade, while more than 58% achieve grade B or above. This shows that the probability of achieving an outstanding grade is almost 20 times higher than completely failing.

student pass rate at CloudLearn

Can you retake a levels whilst at university?

Yes, but the answer to this question depends on the university and course you have chosen. This will be determined by the requirements needed for each course. For instance, a student may want to study a course that requires English, Biology and Physics. Let’s imagine this student has sat for these three exams as well as Literature, which he failed. Because Literature was not requested by his university, he can resit this A-level while studying at the university without any restrictions.

Does retaking A Levels mean you have to retake the year?

Although some students may wish to repeat exams without retaking courses, we highly encourage you to take preparation courses while waiting for the day of the exam, which only takes place in June every year. Retaking courses will allow them to revise those topics they failed at, find new ways of studying and receive tutor support, which can be key to academic success.

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