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Guide to A level retakes

While many universities are becoming increasingly flexible with entry when students miss their offers, the most competitive ones are not. Re-taking is often the only way of securing a place. RIC specialises in A level resits and we are available in the post results period for reliable, clear advice about what your options are. Expectations are that universities this year will not be able to flexible when students miss their offers and so it is likely demand for revision and resit courses at specialist independent sixth forms like RIC will be high from those not prepared to compromise in Clearing.

Students who aren't happy with the grades awarded in 2023 can opt to retake in May/June 2024. There is no November or January resit opportunity. RIC has very limited places this year for intensive retake courses running September 2023-June 2024 or January 2024-June 2024 so please contact us swiftly to discuss your options.

Rochester Independent College A level re-takers have been successful in recent years gaining places at Durham, Imperial, Exeter, Edinburgh, UCL, Bath and Bristol, among many others. Destinations for students retaking their A levels in 2022 included Pharmacy at Cardiff, Chemical Engineering at Surrey, Architecture at Reading, Psychology at Manchester, Physics at St Andrews, Medicine at Liverpool, Film and Brighton, Fashion UAL Central St Martins and Mathematics at Bristol.

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Dillon, Class of 2020, Destination: Medicine at Sunderland

"I came to Rochester with CDD grades, but I still had a desire to do medicine. My tutor was supportive and helped me through the entire application process including medical interview practice. My teachers were patient and thorough, ensuring I had regained my confidence to reach my full potential to do the best I possibly could. From taking this year, I've learned the value of hard work and dedication, something that I wouldn't have otherwise known. I came to this college because they are known for turning grades like mine around, and sure enough they did. I highly recommend this college.”

Dillon, Class of 2020, Destination: Medicine at Sunderland
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Retake A levels Options at RIC

At RIC students often combine retaking A levels with fresh one year courses to target their first choice university and make their academic gap year more engaging. RIC offers full UCAS support for students retaking A levels to ensure that their new application is carefully put together. It is usual for students retaking A levels at RIC to receive five Russell Group university offers.

Since each university has different rules for A Level resits (even between the individual courses they offer), it’s advisable to phone up the admissions office for all the universities you are interested in applying to and ask what their resit policy is for your chosen degree courses. It pays to do your homework before committing yourself to a resit course.

If you need to retake a reformed A level you will have to resit all of the exam papers that make up the qualification and RIC’s courses are designed to reflect and facilitate this.

In the Sciences a pass in the Practical Endorsement may be carried forward and used alongside the grade achieved in resitting the exams, even if this is with a different exam board.

As well as offering specialist retake courses RIC is a centre for candidates wishing to resit their exams as private or external candidates.

Is it worth retaking for Medicine?

Despite the increased competition and the reduction in places available to those who resit, students from Rochester often gain places at Medical and Dental Schools. Over the last 3 year, 10 of our retake and transfer A level students secured Medical school places. Bolu Alade (Medicine at Liverpool) says: “Retaking seemed a massive risk. But with my place confirmed I know it was all worthwhile. Thank you for all the encouragement and support.” Priya Takhar and Amman Sall both off to dental school, came to the College from the same grammar school with matching ABB grades at A level to retake Biology and Chemistry. Priya gained A*A* and Amman A*A. Amman says: “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all the help at RIC. I really appreciate all the support from everyone there.”

But not everyone who retakes is aiming for university. Some, having matured for a year, proceed onto business apprenticeship schemes which can be as competitive as top universities. Ben Wilson, who won a place on the BP IST School-Leaver Trading Development Programme, adds: “Without the grades I achieved at Rochester Independent College I would not have had the qualifications necessary to apply to BP. I now sit on the Diesel and Jet Fuel Trading Desk in London and manage various risks that are inherent in the oil markets.”

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Sam is delighted with his Imperial place and thank you all at RIC. We are really pleased with all the help and support he received.


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