gcse retakes“It’s been great being able to start A levels in subjects I’m good at like Politics and Economics while resitting GCSEs I didn’t pass first time round like Science.”
Amrit Dhillon, year 12 student, joined RIC from St George’s School, Gravesend


gcse retakesGCSE Resits in Sixth Form while starting A levels?

GCSE Resits at a UK Boarding School?

GCSE Resits in a repeat Year 11 year?

GCSE Resits on short intensive courses? 

Every year students join us with few or no grade C passes and finish the year with 6 or 7 good grades and are able to start A levels. It shows what can be done when students have the determination to improve their grades. We also specialise in supporting students who have low GCSE grades who need to retake to secure A*s and As for top universities.

We offer both GCSE and IGCSE resit courses to students from both UK and international schools.

GCSE Resits and a Place at UCL Medical School in 2014

retake gcsesCharlie Bicknell joined RIC from Hertfordshire on a two year A level course as a boarder and secured a place at UCL Medical School. His achievement is even more impressive as alongside his A levels he also resat his GCSEs to secure the entry level grades required.

crop 4 (2)zainZain Ahmed has achieved 7 GCSEs including English and Maths all at C and above. This is a remarkable re-launch after enrolling last year with a clutch of D-grade GCSEs.  Zain is proof that hard work and motivation can change your future. Small class sizes and rigorous academic standards are part of the ethos of the college, particularly on the one year GCSE retake programme and this gave Zain the focus to get his grades. Zain joined from Bennett Memorial in Tunbridge Wells.

Fellow 2015 student Olivia Barker has also turned around her academic profile by achieving 5 GCSEs  including Grade B in Film Studies  and Grade B in Photography after leaving Fort Pitt Grammar School with just two GCSEs passes at C. Olivia has now added another five GCSEs including Science and Maths. Olivia worked hard to improve her grades and took advantage of the alternative setting of RIC, and the opportunity provided by the non-selective admission policy. It gave her the chance to prove herself and succeed. Zain and Olivia are now both set to start A levels, something that seemed impossible twelve months ago.

Rochester Independent College is one of the UK’s top specialist boarding schools for students who need to retake GCSEs. We teach in class sizes that average 8.  

i need to retake my gcsesGCSE grades matter. Entry to college courses, selective school sixth forms and access to some A levels depend upon them. Universities use GCSE results, which are declared on the UCAS form, to judge academic performance and potential. Some courses such as Law and Medicine specify the number of As and A*s applicants must offer.

“Students of all abilities, including those who have experienced difficulty with education previously, make outstanding progress.”

gcse retakes intensiveMat Sillet who oversees GCSE resit programmes at the College says: “Many people assume that students only have one have one chance to complete their GCSEs. Here at RIC we truly believe that everyone deserves another chance. There can be many different reasons why a student does not achieve well in their GCSEs first time round but this doesn’t mean that they should have to carry this forward with them. We are used to supporting students with a variety of experiences, helping them to start their GCSEs afresh. Of course the most important subjects to retake are English, Maths and Science. However we offer a wide range of subjects and with the expert support and guidance of our subject tutors we are able to help students get the grades they need for their next academic step. Students often combine retakes with extra one year GCSEs.”  

1 year GCSE retakes for day and boarding students

gcse retakesIf a student needs to retake the bulk of their GCSE courses, either to improve grades for their university entry profile or to pass their key 5 so they can proceed to A level study RIC can help.

GCSE retake course students benefit from a more adult, sixth form environment, small group teaching and a structured revision and exam preparation programme. Students needing to retake most of their GCSEs join a one year intensive course where subject content is re taught and coursework and practical work redone. Some GCSE resit students join RIC intending to apply to other independent schools for sixth form following an intensive GCSE resit programme. Others proceed to our own sixth form.

gcse retakes Resit GCSE alongside starting A levels at Rochester Independent Sixth Form College in Kent

Where students just need to retake a few missing key GCSEs it is often possible to combine doing this with starting A level study and still completing sixth form studies within a two year period.

Focussed GCSE resit courses in Maths and English run from September to November and January. Science GCSE can be retaken over the course of a year alongside AS study. It is quite usual for RIC students to start a two year A level programme while they resit GCSEs as they go along. This avoids the need for a demoralising full GCSE resit year. GCSE resit classes are timetabled around sixth form classes. Students study with those in a similar position, they do not have to go back and attend year 11 classes. Suitability for this programme depends on GCSE results and the choice of A level subjects. GCSE results though are not always the best predictor of A level success and RIC has a more flexible approach than many independent schools to sixth form entry.

gcse maths and english and scienceShort part time GCSE retake courses

RIC offers GCSE resit courses in Maths, English and Science to students from other schools who may need these core GCSEs for entry to university courses or professions such as teaching.

Students needing to retake these key GCSEs can attend the College part time alongside other commitments. Depending on exam board and subject GCSE retakes are available in November, January and May/June. There are no age restrictions on these GCSE retake courses and it is not unusual for mature students and graduates to come to RIC to retake GCSEs alongside more recent school leavers.

Particular congratulations in 2015 go to Mohammed Shakir who joined RIC in January to retake his Grade E English Language GCSE and now has his Grade C pass. Mohammed says:

“Rochester Independent College helped me to achieve Grade C in a few months, which is really unthinkable.  The teaching staff are really helpful and the class was really small. As I have achieved a Grade C in English Language now I can apply for my dream job in the RAF. I can’t find the words to describe my feelings, as I am overwhelmed.”


While most students on GCSE retake courses have failed to pass at Grade C level first time around RIC is also able to offer GCSE resit courses to students who have Bs and Cs at GCSE but who need to improve these to As and A*s for competitive university courses or highly selective school sixth forms.

i've failed my gcses and need to resitFill in our online enquiry form to request a prospectus, arrange a call back to discuss GCSE retakes or book a visit.

Success stories

Rochester student Freddie Topps is celebrating a dramatic turnaround in academic fortunes and an offer from one of the country’s most competitive universities.

Two years ago Freddie joined RIC from a local FE College with an uncompleted BTEC and without key GCSE passes in Maths and English. After two years of A levels and GCSE retakes at RIC he now has his missing GCSEs, is on track for three top A level grades and a place at Edinburgh College of Art.

This seems a good opportunity to say how pleased we are with the progress Freddie has made in his first year at RIC.  He is in his own words ”very proud” to be part of the college. We are more than delighted with Freddie’s AS and GCSE results.  This has been an excellent year for him.  I know Freddie is particularly pleased to now be able to draw a line under the English and Maths GCSEs after his retakes! Freddie will be returning in September and we are confident that he will continue to develop under the care and guidance of your fantastic staff.”
Katriona Topps


Resit GCSE exams at a top UK boarding school.

top boarding school for resitting igcseinternational school gcse retakesRochester Independent College is a boarding school that was established in 1984. Students who resit their GCSEs join others in our boarding houses who are doing so from all over the UK and all over the world.


gcse retake boarding school


GCSE retakes- latest news

i need to retake my gcse english and mathsLast year saw the first decline in the GCSE A*-C pass rate since 1988 and downwards is set to be the trend. Last summer also saw controversy over GCSE English grades with many students expecting C grade passes in fact receiving D grade fails.

Former Education Secretary Michael Gove unveiled plans designed to toughen up GCSEs for the next generation of schoolchildren.

Responding to charges of grade inflation and dumbing down the new exams, from 2015, will have more challenging subject content and more rigorous assessment. Coursework and controlled assessments will be scrapped and papers taken at the end of two years of study rather than modular courses. The entry tier system will be abolished- all students will sit the same exam. The A* to G grading system is set to be replaced with a new numerical scale from 1 to 8, with the top grade being reserved for a very small number of children rather than the 25% or so who get As and A*s now.

resitting gcse private college londonWith exams becoming harder it’s likely that increasing numbers of students are going to find themselves in the position of needing to retake some or all of their GCSEs. Already with existing modular GCSEs the terminal rule states that candidates must be entered for a minimum of 40% of the total assessment to get a grade and that each module can only be retaken once.

Rochester Independent College are GCSE retake specialists and happy to advise students and their parents about the different resit routes available. 

gcse resitsWhile media attention is generally monopolised by headline grabbing high achievers RIC was particularly proud of A level student Omar Iqbal. Omar joined RIC from Temple School in Strood with no GCSE passes. After a one year GCSE retake course and two years of sixth form he now has three A level passes- including English Literature- and has secured a place at Canterbury Christchurch University.

Many selective schools will only allow students to start A levels with As or Bs at GCSE. The success of students like Omar demonstrates that with GCSE retake courses one bad year doesn’t have to mean the end of higher education dreams.

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