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Guide to A level retakes 2021

While many universities are becoming increasingly flexible with entry when students miss their offers, the most competitive ones are not. Re-taking is often the only way of securing a place. RIC specialises in A level resits and we are available in the post results period for reliable, clear advice about what your options are.

Students who aren't happy with the calculated grades given to them in 2021 can opt to sit an exam this autumn or a one year A level retake programme or study on a shorter course January-June, depending on your target grade and starting point. RIC staff will be able to advise.

Rochester Independent College A level re-takers have been successful in recent years gaining places at Durham, Imperial, Exeter, Edinburgh, UCL, Bath and Bristol, among many others. Destinations for students retaking their A levels in 2020 include Medicine at Sunderland, Medicine at Southampton, Pharmacy at Newcastle, Fine Art at UCL's The Slade, Languages, Culture and Economics at Leeds, Chemistry at Nottingham, Natural Sciences at UCL, Physics at Manchester, Accounting and Finance at Warwick and English Literature at Bristol.

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Daisy, Class of 2020, Destination: Medicine at Sheffield

I joined RIC in 2019 to resit my A levels. I remember the stress of not getting into university and trying to plan what to do next, and all I can say is that I am so relieved I made the decision I did. The teachers here are so different to any others from my previous schools, they are inspiring. It’s a whole different experience being taught by people who are so passionate about their subjects. I came to RIC with B C D grades in Maths Biology and Chemistry, and left after only one year with A* A* A respectively. I am so grateful for the welcoming and safe environment the school provided me with, and I can say with completely confidence that it was solely due to the teachers and staff at RIC that I was able to do as well as I did, and I thank them for helping me to reach my full potential. I knew from reading the website myself before I joined that resit students at RIC often come out with a huge improvement but it seemed unbelievable that I could achieve the same. I can tell you honestly that this school has changed my life, not only academically, and I am only sorry to be leaving so soon.

Daisy, Class of 2020, Destination: Medicine at Sheffield
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Dillon, Class of 2020, Destination: Medicine at Sunderland

"I came to Rochester with CDD grades, but I still had a desire to do medicine. My tutor was supportive and helped me through the entire application process including medical interview practice. My teachers were patient and thorough, ensuring I had regained my confidence to reach my full potential to do the best I possibly could. From taking this year, I've learned the value of hard work and dedication, something that I wouldn't have otherwise known. I came to this college because they are known for turning grades like mine around, and sure enough they did. I highly recommend this college.”

Dillon, Class of 2020, Destination: Medicine at Sunderland
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Retake A levels Options at RIC

At RIC students often combine retaking A levels with fresh one year courses to target their first choice university and make their academic gap year more engaging. RIC offers full UCAS support for students retaking A levels to ensure that their new application is carefully put together. It is usual for students retaking A levels at RIC to receive five Russell Group university offers.

As well as offering specialist retake courses RIC is a centre for candidates wishing to resit their exams as private or external candidates.

Is it worth retaking for Medicine?

Despite the increased competition and the reduction in places available to those who resit, students from Rochester often gain places at Medical and Dental Schools. In 2020 six of our retake A level students secured Medical school places. Bolu Alade (Medicine at Liverpool) says: “Retaking seemed a massive risk. But with my place confirmed I know it was all worthwhile. Thank you for all the encouragement and support.” Priya Takhar and Amman Sall both off to dental school, came to the College from the same grammar school with matching ABB grades at A level to retake Biology and Chemistry. Priya gained A*A* and Amman A*A. Amman says: “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all the help at RIC. I really appreciate all the support from everyone there.”

But not everyone who retakes is aiming for university. Some, having matured for a year, proceed onto business apprenticeship schemes which can be as competitive as top universities. Ben Wilson, who won a place on the BP IST School-Leaver Trading Development Programme, adds: “Without the grades I achieved at Rochester Independent College I would not have had the qualifications necessary to apply to BP. I now sit on the Diesel and Jet Fuel Trading Desk in London and manage various risks that are inherent in the oil markets.”

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Sam is delighted with his Imperial place and thank you all at RIC. We are really pleased with all the help and support he received.


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