Exam Resits: How to Make Them Count

February 16, 2023

Studying for retakes can be a lonely place. Your friends have trotted merrily off to university while you serve your sentence in an unplanned gap year with only your textbooks for company. Ok, perchance we exaggerate but if you’re feeling a little sorry for yourself pre-exam resits, read on for our words of wisdom on how to keep your morale up in the run up to A-level retakes and guarantee success the second time around.

Start revision well in advance

Exam resits may be in the Summer but believe us, they’ll be there in a flash. So be sure to get started with study early. Chances are you left revision to the last minute the first time around - don’t make the same mistake again! Setting yourself up for success will involve preparatory steps that are sure to take longer than you predict, so procrastination is a no-go zone!

Secure a tutor

We would say that wouldn’t we? But the reality is that investing in a private tutor is the best way to put things into the hands of the professionals and ensure you steer clear of past mistakes. If you’re looking for a more affordable structure, check out our A-level Retake Courses for targeted small group learning. Our retake tutors have years of experience guiding students through this tricky time and helping them achieve their desired outcomes.

Focus on what went wrong the first time

A generous dose of self-reflection is a vital step on the journey to exam resit success. This may not be an easy task; recognising weaknesses can be confronting and mistakes may not be found in the most obvious of places. Consider the study method you favoured, any inherent obstacles you may have been facing, and the topics you struggled with the most. An in-depth understanding of the difficulties you experienced last time will help you approach your study afresh and build your confidence effectively.

Structure your study

When it comes to preparing for exam resits, organisation is key. It’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed by the breadth of work facing you, but splitting your time into manageable chunks will put you firmly in the driver’s seat. Incorporate realistic goals, timetables and deadlines to help you structure your revision productively and effectively.

Track your progress

Exams have a habit of blindsiding students, creeping up on them with unexpected topics they didn’t even know were unclear to them! Guard against this by testing yourself frequently and rigorously assessing your understanding of the topics at hand. Your tutor can help you find appropriate materials, whether past papers, quizzes or flashcards - and you can even make your own! 

Practice, practice, practice!

Everyone makes different mistakes when taking their exams the first time around. Among the most common, however: too much theory, not enough practice. Our tutors consistently highlight the difficulty students have applying their knowledge within an exam context, so don’t let this catch you out!

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Ella Burgess

Ella is a content writer at Tutor House and explores a range of education centred topics, having previously spent time teaching English while living abroad. A foreign language enthusiast and lover of text art, she is devoted to words in all their forms. She'll happily immerse herself in anything wordy from conceptual art to vintage murder mysteries.

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