CIE Frequently asked questions about retaking A Level examination?

What's the point of retaking A-levels?

  • Candidates may decide to retake a GCE A-level unit for a number of reasons. The most common reason is dissatisfaction with the grade you received. As A-level units are modular, but aggregate towards the total mark (for both AS and a2) retaking a unit might result not just in a better unit score but a better overall score as well.

When is retaking a good idea?

  • Retaking is a good idea if you feel that you will be able to do better and will be able to improve your grade.

Do universities accept GCE A-level retakes?

  • They are not obliged to and more popular destinations are unlikely to. If you miss your target grades you will enter a process at UCAS called “clearing” This is designed to match unfilled courses to students with acceptable qualifications. If, after this process, you do not have a course and you still wish to pursue one you will have to reapply anyway and retakes may well be part of this strategy.

Do I have to resit all the AS or a2 units?

  • Not if you are retaking a unit with the same exam board. You can retake any unit you want. The board will take your best result for that unit and that is the mark that will be considered for an award.

When can I retake A-level units?

  • Retakes can only be taken during a session when the exam is offered. As not all units are examined in the January session it might not be possible to retake until the May/June session.

What happens to my old A-level result when I resit?

  • You will receive the best mark of the unit or units being retaken. As long as your exam centre applies again for the appropriate cash-in, a new certificate will be generated if you qualifiy for an award.
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