A level Retake Advice: Economics
If you need to resit your A level Economics there are some important things you can do to prepare yourself.
Firstly, it is important to discover what things let you down the most. You can find some of this out yourself, by requesting a copy of your script (s) from you previous school. There is, of course, a deadline for this, so the quicker you get the script back the better. Once you get the script back go through each question and see which topic areas you were weak on, and which skills you failed to employ.
In Economics there are four assessment objectives – (i) demonstrating knowledge and understanding, (ii) applying your knowledge, (iii) analysis of the problem, policy or remedy, and (iv) evaluation. In most cases it is a deficiency in (ii) and (iv) that causes the most under-performance – not enough application to the context and a lack of in-depth evaluation. If you are unsure yourself, you can always make an appointment to see Richard Howarth at Rochester Independent College, who will look through your script and give you an honest appraisal.
Once you have decided that you need to retake your A level it is often advisable to resit all units again – you should only consider ‘banking’ a unit score if you have achieved in excess of 90%. It really depends upon how many marks you need for your target grade. However, even a student on a ‘B’ grade of 290/400, who needs just 30 more marks for an ‘A’, should consider resitting all units. This spreads the risk and, because the A2 units are synoptic, refreshing your knowledge of the AS units will always help your A2 performance. Of course, some students feel that re-doing all units again is unnecessary, and, clearly, all cases are different, so it is best to seek proper advice before making a final decision.
Finally, think positively – even the very best students of Economics struggle at times, and need extra support. Economics is a technical subject and unless you really know the underlying models and how to apply the correct concepts and diagrams you may also under-perform. The key is to get the right balance between realism and positive forward thinking. You must be realistic enough to identify your weaknesses and limitations and be positive enough to take action to do something about it in the knowledge that the changes you make will be worthwhile.
At Rochester Independent College the small group sizes enables our Economics specialists to quickly identify existing weaknesses and close skills and knowledge gaps, while providing a learning environment where students feel confident to ask for support and advise on topic areas and examination technique. Regular testing and reporting also helps maintain the necessary work ethic and sustained focus which is required of a student resitting their A levels.
Richard Howarth. After graduating from Birmingham, Richard played professional cricket and, after working in the City for a leading shipping insurance broker, entered the teaching profession. Richard specialises in Economics, and Economics and Business Studies and is an examiner for A Level Economics. He left Lansdowne College in London in where he was Head of Economics for over 20 years, to join RIC. He currently contributes to a leading economics blog, and has advised several schools on teacher training for Economics. As well as teaching, Richard advises students on university applications to read Economics.
Kent’s Sixth Form Specialists
Every September many students join RIC directly into Year 13 for their final year of sixth form or for an extra year of sixth form to retake their A levels. RIC is able to offer teaching on all exam boards for most subjects so switching schools can be done with ease. Our university destinations list is dominated by entries to the older and more prestigious Russell Group universities.
“I’ve got a perfection streak and was determined to improve on my AS results. I have though really exceeded my expectations.” Nadine Muncey, RIC Class of 2014, joined after Year 12 at a local grammar school with BDD, left with A*A*A* at A level after switching to Year 13 at RIC