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GCSE and A Level Retakes – What does it mean this year?

Posted by: Junad - 27 July 2022 - MPW Group - Read time: 2 minutes

If you are disappointed this year with the GCSE or A Level results you recieve, you may want to consider retaking the exams to get results you wanted. Here are four reasons why you’ll want to consider it.

1) You believe in the potential to achieve better results

You received your grades and scratched your head at the results awarded. The reality is that, since the pandemic started, exam boards have had to change the grading system back and forth. In 2020, public exams were cancelled, and students were awarded Centre Assessed Grades or CAGs – which are grades they will most likely achieve based on classwork and coursework, etc. And initially whilst students received grades based on their CAGs, the government had U-turned and had to inflate grades due to backlash.

Over the last few years, the changes to learning formats, combined with fluctuating grade boundaries, has made it challenging for some students to demonstrate their true academic potential.  In 2020, the UK government advised that it may even be necessary for some to retake exams in the autumn or summer to get the grades you wanted. And the 2020-21 academic year saw continued uncertainty. Fast forward to today, retaking exams is still necessary for some, and needed for many. If you can benefit from achieving better grades this year, then retaking A levels over the next academic year may be a valid option.

2) Regroup and build confidence

We know exams period is a stressful period for most students. Added the pandemic, lockdowns, uncertainty around exams and grade controversies, impacts on well-being, and things have been tougher for students than ever. The UK is currently in a position of recovering from all the above, but that should not stop you from wanting an academic boost to be satisfied with your grades.

This means perhaps getting that extra bit of tuition to fill the knowledge gaps in a related topic of a subject, and to feel confident again to go into an exam to achieve the grades you want.

3) University institutions will be more stringent and competitive during recruitment

In 2021, almost 49% of students achieved A*-A grades, whilst in 2020 almost 39% of students achieved A*-A grades. Compared to 2019, the last ‘normal’ academic year, where only 25% of students were awarded A*-A, it means university spaces will be more competitive than ever.

An article published by the Guardian, tells the story of how thousands of “good A-level students won’t get top university offers”. Even receiving three B’s will face struggles to get into elite institutions due to the competitive nature. Since the pandemic started, universities were urged to take on more students than they wanted, and this year most universities will be stricter to take in students, “fearful of over-recruiting”.

To make things more complicated, Andrew Hargreaves, founder of Data HE, and former director at admissions services UCAS, has stated that over 10,000 applicants “predicted grades of BBB are not holding a firm offer at any university. That is really shocking”.  This uncertainty around grade boundaries, offers, and university places, is why Retake programmes are being offered to students, so that they don’t settle for second best and get the grades they deserve.

4) Retaking your A-levels or GCSE at MPW

To get the grades you deserve, you may want to consider continuing you A Level to secure your first-choice university place. Our A Level retake programme will:

  • Help you achieve the grades your first choice place requires
  • Has outstanding Russell Group placement record for retake students
  • Both full-year and short-course retake options available
  • Full set of reformed and remaining legacy subjects offered

You’ll spend a long time with your final A level grades and a long time looking back at a university career at an institution and course that you didn’t really want.

Similarly, MPW offer both one-year GCSE courses and short retake courses. Students resitting selected units on short courses will often stick to the same exam board as they have sat before, whereas those studying on one-year courses will typically transfer to MPW’s preferred exam board and take the full suite of units that are available.

In conclusion, if you don’t want to settle for second best, MPW can help you get back on track and fill the knowledge gaps with our retake A Level & GCSE programme. In this programme, you will benefit from small class-sizes, highly qualified tutors, expert UCAS support, supportive personal tutoring system and exam-focused programmes. MPW has an outstanding Russell Group placement record for retake students and our experienced tutors will go the extra mile to ensure you get there.

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