A-Level & GCSE Retake Courses – everything you need to know
March 16, 2017
If you find yourself in a position where you are thinking about resiting your GCSE or A Level examinations you may be feeling slightly disheartened. But don’t be, retaking your GCSE’s or A-level’s couldn’t be easier!
We understand that it can be disappointing and upsetting if you discover that you haven’t achieved the results you’d hoped for. However, it is important to remember that it is far from the end of the world. You still have plenty of options, including the opportunity to resit your exams, meaning that you have another chance to achieve the grade you believe you are capable of achieving.
Why would you retake your GCSE or A Level exams?
If you have failed your GCSE or A Level examinations and needed to gain some qualifications.
If you want a higher grade than the one you have already achieved- some pupils find that, while they might have done well, their results do not match what they had expected or what they want, and therefore retake to try and improve their grade.
If you need a particular grade to get into a university course as Universities and professions often require certain grades in specific subjects. Thus some students may choose to retake if they didn’t manage to achieve what they needed to be accepted into a particular course or university.
Adult learners – those who have found a renewed interest in the subject and want to re-sit it. Maybe the revision courses weren’t available when they were at school, so they want to try to gain additional qualifications now that they are.
Pro’s and Cons of retaking GCSE’s and A-Levels
GCSE and A Level qualifications are those that most Universities and colleges look at. Doing well in your GCSE’s will determine which subjects you go on to study at A Level, which can ultimately influence which course you choose to study at university. It’s much harder to jump into an A-Level course without having taken the GCSE first, so, if you fail or don’t do as well as you hoped at GCSE level, retaking your exams is well worth considering.
Most jobs require a minimum of a C or above in GCSE Maths and English. Even if you have no desire to go to university or college, apprenticeships usually require some qualifications for you to be considered for a place. The better qualifications you have, the more education and job opportunities will be available to you.
Retaking right away means that you still have a good amount of knowledge stored in your short-term memory. The longer you wait the more likely you are to forget the information, resulting in an increased amount of revision hours.
Re-sitting exams takes time and can cause disruption to a student’s education. If there is too much focus on re-sitting exams instead of moving on and learning new material or accepting that perhaps this particular subject is not where your strengths lie, you could end up falling behind in other subjects.
Creates a sense of apathy. It’s paramount not to see the opportunity to re-sit as an excuse not to try your best first time round. Having an attitude of ‘I can always do it again’ is dangerous for self-discipline when it comes to revision and if you can do well first time it is much less hassle!
Schools may not be able to provide the resources to help students who wish to resit their exams. Schools are overstretched as it is and therefore if you do decide to retake you may have to undertake revision and study in your own time. However, hiring a private tutor to help go through course material and work through any areas you had trouble with before, is a fantastic alternative to ensure you give yourself the best chance of success.
You may still not get the grade you require which can feel disappointing and frustrating.
Resitting exams costs money. Each time you decide to retake an exam you have to pay an entry fee and doing this time and time again can add up. You may also wish to hire a private tutor to help with your revision and this is an additional expense. However, at Tutor House we aim to make tutoring available to everyone, with some of our tutors offering to teach for just £20 per hour. Choosing an affordable tutor can mean you achieve that desired grade first time round, saving you time and money in the long run.
What are the alternatives to GCSE and A Level resits?
If you don’t feel as though resitting your exams is the right option for you, there are still plenty of alternative paths that you can consider to help you continue your education or start your career. For example, there are many opportunities for apprenticeships which don’t require you to have any formal qualifications, so these are worth looking into if you haven’t managed to pass any of your exams. You can find out more about apprenticeships here.
Work Experience or internships – if you can get work experience or an internship in an industry you love, you could end up being offered a more permanent role.
Volunteering – do some valuable volunteer work in an area you are interested in. This will look great on your cv which could lead to a paid role. It will also make you feel happy to know you are giving something back too!
Taking a break – you don’t have to resit your exams right away! Explore different avenues and options, and take the time to think about what it right for you. Sometimes getting some distance can help you to think about what you really need, and if you do decide to come back and resit your exams, you can always refresh your knowledge by hiring a tutor to help you.
Resitting your GCSE or A Levels can be advantageous for many reasons, but it is important to think carefully before you decide to. By hiring a tutor to keep you focused, work through difficult topics and help with your revision strategy you will give yourself the best chance of success.
I don’t know why, but education is not considered a mainstream anymore. It’s not cool to enter college or university today, and more and more young people prefer working to studying. Work is not bad of course, but if you want to build a really successful career, your education would be more than useful for that, wouldn’t it? Moreover, the examples of world-famous billionaires, such as Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg for example, who didn’t need a higher education to become rich, don’t make people want to get a degree.
Fortunately, some benefits of higher education still can be found today, and I invite you to check and discuss them here.
Believe it or not, people with a degree still earn 84% more, even when there are 2-3 millionaires who were lucky to get money with no higher education at all. Your degree makes you more valuable for employers, and they will offer a better salary to you anyway. And if you don’t want to spend your time and money on getting a diploma, just think of it as your long-term investment. Moreover, aren’t you feel yourself more skilled and valuable after your graduation? What can be a better motivation for building a career?
Better options for employment
As we all know, the majority of employers want to hire people who have a higher education. According to the latest researches, their number will grow, that is why don’t be in a hurry to throw your diploma out and forget everything you studied at your college. This piece of paper can help you get a job of your dream.
Your diploma will not become your ticket to a ruling social class of course, but it will definitely make it easier for you to enter it. We all understand that people with a higher education have a better social status, that is why your diploma can probably help you improve it to upper class faster.
You are hunted
Sooner or later, we all start hunting for a job of our dreams. The number of candidates is always so big, all of them have their own benefits, and we always have some doubts if we are good enough in comparison with them. But don’t you want to change your status from a hunter to anyone who is hunted? Your education can help here very much. Let employers hunt you, and choose the best place to work and start a career by your own.
Do you still think that your degree is unnecessary to have and not important to get? What proves can you provide except two or three names of well-known billionaires who were probably just lucky to appear at right place?
Volunteer Programs – This is a great opportunity to help out those less privileged. You have the chance to work in a local community. You can teach, work in an orphanage, and help to build new homes and community buildings.
Teaching English in a School – this is a fantastic chance to gain some amazing experience working in a school. You’ll teach English to children as a second language, working closely with them to read and write. You don’t have to be a teacher, you just have to inspire and build confidence in children.
Conservation Projects – These projects are great for people who wish to help preserve the environment. This includes turtle conservation and animal welfare.
Animal Work – This is similar to the Conversation projects, but is ‘centre’ based, working with animals including Horses, Pandas, Elephants and if you’re brave enough (and have insurance) Tigers. ‘Occasionally volunteers are asked to participate in research and help with providing medical care for the pandas. You will also have time to watch, photograph and become completely captivated by these cute, loving animals.’
Conservation and animal projects are a fantastic thing to do if you’re applying to do Veterinary Medicine or Science at University. The experience is priceless and looks amazing in your Personal Statement. A must.
Sports Programs – This again is a valuable asset to add to your Personal Statement and C.V. You have to opportunity to teach sport in a local community and in schools. You can combine a sports program with a volunteer program teaching sport and say English.
Top ten reasons to go on a gap year:
1) The experience – There are so many great things that can be gained from a gap year. Meeting people, experiencing different cultures, helping others and acquiring a huge sense of achievement, to name a few.
2) Teaching English in a School – Pictures speak louder than words.
Teaching abroad is a fantastic chance to gain some amazing experience working in a school, whilst really racking up some brownie points on the CV for university applications. Learn how to teach English to children as a second language whilst working closely with them to read and write. Teaching experience isn’t required, just a passion to inspire and build confidence in children. . It’s an amazing opportunity to help others.
3) Help Animals and Conservation areas to regenerate –
4) Goodbye parents and annoying siblings – enough said.
5) Build your confidence – a gap year is about meeting people, exploring a new country and learning different ways of life. All this will help to build your confidence and efficacy.
6) Travel – “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain.
7) Learn a language – Plenty of people who go on a gap year are inspired by new ways of life and the new languages that they encounter. Picking up on local language and trying to learn it is a great thing to do.
8) Drop in university Applicants- University may not be for everyone! You may need some time off to have a think about University and whether to apply or not. It’s always good to have some time off to reflect and have a think about which career path to take.
9) Grow your hair like Brian May and grow a beard like Brian Blessed. You won’t have another chance!
10) Learn to be yourself and don’t turn into this guy.
We can organise a variety of different gap year choices that can strengthen your university application and are relevant to your chosen course. With the ever-increasing competition for university places (even with the current drop) it is always advisable to do something worthwhile in your year out. Tutor House is pleased to be able to offer students some exciting opportunities to volunteer in Asia