Does Retaking A-Levels Look Bad? (to Universities)

In A-Level, University by Think Student EditorLeave a Comment

It can feel like the end of the world if you open up your A-Level results and realise that you didn’t do as well as expected. Getting lower results could forfeit your chances at getting into university or an apprenticeship that you really wanted to get into. As a result, many students actually consider retaking their A-Levels to get the grades that they need. However, many others may question this decision. After all, do universities think that students who have had to retake their A-Levels should get a place on their courses?

In general, retaking your A-Levels does not look bad. This is because it shows universities and potential employers that you don’t give up. Instead, you kept working until you got the correct grades that you needed. However, it is true that some universities and certain courses may look at students who only took their A-Levels once in a more favourable manner. Regardless, retaking your A-Levels looks much better than just accepting failure.

If you want to discover more about how universities view A-Level retakes, check out the rest of this article and hopefully you won’t be discouraged from retaking and getting the best results that you possibly can.

Does retaking A-Levels look bad to universities?

Generally speaking, the truth is that retaking your A-Levels does not look bad to universities. As long as you eventually get the grades needed for the course, retaking your A-Levels is not a problem for universities. This is because you are still showing that you are capable of getting the desired grades, even if they are a little late.

Universities you apply to will know that you are retaking A-Levels, as well as your original grade, as you have to put all secondary school qualifications on your UCAS application. Therefore, it is best to actually explain why you re-took your A-Levels to your chosen university.

Perhaps this could be done in your personal statement. You could then describe how the experience has affected you and how you changed your mind-set and strategies when taking your A-Level exams for the second time.

You can learn more about turning an A-Level retake into a positive experience and more information about retaking A-Levels in general in this article from Oxford Learning College.

Do universities accept A-Level retakes?

All of universities across the UK do accept A-Level retakes! After all, there are many reasons that students may have to retake their A-Levels. These reasons could be completely out of their control.

For example, having an illness, losing a loved one or having any kind of disruption to a student’s education could have a negative effect on how they perform in exams. As a result, most universities readily accept A-Level retakes, particularly if there were extenuating circumstances.

All you have to do is apply to university via UCAS again with your new A-Level results. This allows students to perform to the best of their abilities when previously they may not have been able to.

It may more difficult if you are applying to Russell group and Oxbridge universities, more on this later. You can also read more about which universities accept A-Level retakes in this Think Student article.

Do Russell Group universities care if you retake your A-Levels?

Russell Group universities will officially accept students who have retaken their A-Levels. However, occasionally, some of these universities, or specific courses, will look more favourably on students who got the required A-Level grades on their first attempt.

Examples of these harder courses to get into include medicine and engineering. When you give in your new results to your chosen university, you may have to speak to an admissions officer about why you had to retake the exams.

Therefore, you should try your very best to be successful first time during your A-Levels, rather than relying on resits. Check out this article from Think Student for tips if you are worried about your A-Level grades.

As long as your reasons are valid and your maximum potential is shown via your new set of grades, you shouldn’t be discriminated against. You can find out more about Russell Group universities accepting A-Level retakes if you check out this article from Academic Underdogs.

Does retaking A-Levels look bad to Oxbridge?

If you retake your A-Levels, you do still have a chance to get into Oxbridge universities. However, these universities will know that you have had to retake your A-Level exams. Consequently, this could affect how they view your application.

Oxbridge universities will typically require you to explain why you had to retake your A-Levels. You could do this in your personal statement for example.

If you are applying to the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge, you need to be aware that they are searching for the best applicants they can possibly find. As a result, if you have retaken your A-Levels, you must have a legitimate reason for why.

If you don’t, then you probably won’t be considered as a candidate. This is because Cambridge actually stated that “there would be concern about an applicant’s potential to be successful at Cambridge if their application had indicated a need to resit numerous exams”. This can be found in this article from the Oxbridge Applications website.

Does retaking A-Levels look bad to employers?

Your A-Level grades are relatively important to employers, as shown in this article from Think Student. As a result, you want to get the best A-Level grades you can to get the career of your dreams.

If this means that you have to retake your A-Levels, go for it! This won’t look bad to employers as long as you get better grades than your first attempt. This is because your new grades will show them what you are truly capable of.

You could talk to your employer about why you had to retake your A-Levels but do so in a positive way, to show how the experience led to your personal growth. You don’t have to do this of course but it could be beneficial.

Jobs also require employees to have much more than a certain set of grades. Employers are looking for candidates who have a certain set of skills. Perhaps even a certain personality!

As a result, having to retake your A-Levels probably won’t be the end of the world to employers. As long as you have shown them your personality and positive characteristics, your employers are unlikely to care about whether you had to re-sit your A-Level exams or not.

You can discover what employers are truly looking for if you check out this article from UCAS.

Is it bad to retake your A-Levels?

It is never bad to retake your A-Levels if you really feel the need to. You may be worried that your peers will think you aren’t clever, or that you will be looked down upon by others.

However, retaking your A-Levels is never a bad thing. This is because retaking them shows that you are committed, motivated and determined, never settling for what is below you. Retaking your A-Levels after receiving grades that you may not have been satisfied with allows you to reach your greatest potential and the best grades possible.

As this article has already shown, retaking your A-Levels is not seen as bad by universities and employers. As a result, there is nothing stopping you taking them! Tons of students re-sit their A-Levels every year.

Doing this doesn’t make them look stupid. No! It actually makes them look ambitious, as they strive to get a better future for themselves. A-Levels are very important for certain careers, so taking them again should be praised! You can discover how important they are if you read this article from Think Student.

It is only recommended to not retake your A-Levels if there isn’t a chance that you will do better during the second attempt. There is also no point doing them again if you already have the grades you need to get into university!

Once you receive your A-Level results, it is best to retake the exams only if you really have to.

Why should you retake your A-Levels?

There are many reasons why you could retake your A-Levels, if you have got lower grades than you were expecting. The main reason that students retake their A-Levels is to get into a specific course at university.

If a student really has their heart set on a course but realises that their current grades won’t allow them to go to university, retaking their A-Levels would be a great option. After all, students only have to wait a year to take the exams again.

As a result, retaking A-Levels can be a lifesaver to students who really want a place on a specific university course. Getting better A-Level grades could also potentially mean that you have more career options, depending on the subjects you are taking and the careers you are looking into.

Overall, having a good set of A-Level grades is a great stepping stone to reaching your desired career. You can discover more benefits of retaking your A-Levels if you check out this article from University Compare.

However, don’t worry if you can’t or don’t really want to re-sit your A-Levels. There are plenty of other options which are discussed later in this article.

How do you retake your A-Levels?

Students tend to re-sit their A-Levels in the same place that they took them the first time. This would be their sixth form or college. However, if you really want to, you could apply to retake them at a different college and be supported by different teachers.

You can apply to re-take your A-Levels through the school and then be taught the course content again during the next year. To re-sit your A-Levels, you will have to wait a minimum of one year.

This is because A-Level exams are only taken once a year, usually in the summer months. However, this year is extremely useful, as you can use it to your advantage to prepare yourself as much as possible for your next A-Level exams.

If you don’t fancy resitting your A-Levels through a college or sixth form, you could become an online private candidate. This is explained in more detail through this article from ICS Learn. You could also discover the top ten best online courses for A-Levels if you check out this article from Think Student.

However, you do need to be aware that retaking your A-Levels does cost money and quite a bit too. For an idea of how much you may have to pay, this article from University Compare states that it could cost anywhere between £1,500 and £2,000 for the course and exam.

There will be additional exam fees too! As a result, you need to be certain that you need to retake your A-Levels. If you don’t need to, then there really is no need. For a more comprehensive explanation on how to retake your A-Levels, you could check out this article from Think Student.

What can you do instead of retaking your A-Levels?

If you have failed your A-Levels but don’t really want to retake them, that is completely fine! Students who aren’t very academic or are simply just fed up with school may feel this way and it is completely understandable.

There are plenty of other options you can take to still get a good career. For example, you could apply for a foundation year at university. This is an extra year that you complete before you start your chosen university course.

Alternatively, you could apply to do a Higher National Certificate qualification. This type of course accepts students with lower A-Level grades or students that only have one or two A-Levels. This qualification is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate course.

As a result, after you have completed it, you can then go on to study at university, starting in the second year. This is a great alternative to resitting your A-Levels, as it means that you will be at the same part of your university journey as everybody else in your year when you start!

Alternatively, you could apply for an apprenticeship which is at a Level 3. If you are confused about what these levels mean, check out this article from Think Student. A Level 3 qualification is equivalent to A-Level qualifications, as shown in this article from Think Student.

As a result, you only need GCSEs to be accepted into this type of qualification. Apprenticeships are great options for students who enjoy more practical learning.

Another option is to get your A-Level exams remarked if you fail them. Check out this article from Think Student to see if an A-Level remark is actually worth it.

You can discover other alternatives to resitting A-Levels if you check out this article from Unifresher.

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