Re-sit my A Levels

If you have to re-sit your A Levels, there are several considerations and steps to take to ensure you are prepared and can successfully improve your grades. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to do if you need to re-sit your A Levels:

1. Assess Your Situation

  1. Identify Weak Areas:
  • Review your exam results and feedback to identify which subjects or specific areas you struggled with.
  1. Determine the Cause:
  • Reflect on why you didn’t achieve the desired grades. Was it due to a lack of understanding, poor study habits, exam stress, or personal circumstances?

2. Plan Your Re-sit Strategy

  1. Decide on Subjects:
  • Determine which subjects you need to re-sit. Focus on those that are essential for your university or career plans.
  1. Choose a Study Plan:
  • Self-Study: If you feel confident in studying independently, you can use textbooks, online resources, and past papers.
  • Enroll in a College: Many colleges offer re-sit courses specifically designed to help students improve their grades.
  • Online Courses: Consider online A Level re-sit courses that provide flexibility and resources to study at your own pace.
  • Private Tutoring: Hire a tutor for personalized support in challenging subjects.

3. Understand the Re-sit Process

  1. Exam Boards:
  • Determine which exam board your subjects are with (e.g., AQA, Edexcel, OCR) as each may have different requirements and deadlines for re-sits.
  1. Registration:
  • Register for your exams through your school, college, or as a private candidate. Be mindful of registration deadlines to avoid late fees.
  1. Examination Dates:
  • Re-sit exams are typically held in the summer (May/June), though some subjects might offer a January sitting. Check the specific dates for your subjects.

4. Prepare Effectively

  1. Create a Study Schedule:
  • Develop a detailed study plan that covers all the topics you need to revise, balancing your time between subjects effectively.
  1. Use Past Papers:
  • Practice with past exam papers to familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions that are typically asked.
  1. Seek Feedback:
  • If possible, get feedback on your practice papers from teachers or tutors to identify areas for improvement.
  1. Focus on Weak Areas:
  • Spend extra time on topics you previously found difficult, but don’t neglect other areas entirely.

5. Manage Stress and Stay Motivated

  1. Set Realistic Goals:
  • Set achievable targets for each study session and celebrate small victories to stay motivated.
  1. Take Care of Yourself:
  • Ensure you maintain a healthy balance of study, rest, and recreational activities to avoid burnout.
  1. Stay Positive:
  • Keep a positive mindset. Remember that re-sitting your exams is an opportunity to improve and achieve your goals.

6. Consider the Impact on University Applications

  1. Inform Universities:
  • If you have applied to universities, inform them about your re-sit plans. Some universities may accept conditional offers based on improved grades.
  1. Check Entry Requirements:
  • Ensure that your chosen universities accept re-sit results and understand their policies on re-sits.
  1. UCAS Application:
  • You may need to update your UCAS application with your new grades once you receive them.

7. Explore Alternative Options

  1. Foundation Courses:
  • Consider foundation year programs at universities, which may have lower entry requirements and can lead to a degree.
  1. Vocational Qualifications:
  • Look into vocational qualifications like BTECs, which may align better with your strengths and career aspirations.
  1. Gap Year:
  • Taking a gap year to re-sit your A Levels can provide additional time to prepare while gaining work experience or volunteering.


Re-sitting your A Levels can be a challenging but manageable process. By carefully assessing your situation, planning your strategy, preparing effectively, and maintaining a positive outlook, you can improve your grades and enhance your future prospects. Remember, many successful individuals have had to re-sit exams, and it’s an opportunity to demonstrate resilience and determination.