Exam Resits

exam results being read by a group of students

As we have been planning our highly successful Grade Booster and Revision sessions for  GCSE  and A level students, it has got us thinking about the difference between the students we supported at the Community Schools last year, 100% of whom got at least their predicted grades (with 79% at least one grade above prediction), and those who come for the first time needing with their maths and English exams in advance of their exam resits.

We worry about those students who end up needing to re-sit their mandatory exams four times between 16 and 19 years of age. It seems very harsh and unfair. Stephen Evans, Chief Executive of the Learning and Work Institute agrees. He said, “Nobody disagrees that all young people should meet a standard in English and maths which gives them the best chance at further learning and a good job. That is the ultimate test of any policy. GCSEs are a widely recognised and understood qualification. But retake after retake is not the answer.

We support calls for more clarity and flexibility for learners which includes high quality alternative English and maths qualifications which have the confidence of learners and employers. We should have the highest ambition for all learners.”

Until something changes in the system, the Community Schools are here to help and our Grade Booster and Revision sessions are proven to help with students undertaking exam resits .

Here are a few other thoughts and tips.

  • Many Schools and Colleges will enter students as private candidates, there are also designated exam centres that will do so.
  • Either English Language or Literature at level 4 will count as a pass grade in English
  • Many schools or colleges offer resit courses – may be for November entry and / or for the whole year. It is only maths and English that have exams in November.
  • Many schools or colleges allow students onto A Level courses providing they have met the other course requirements alongside a maths resit or English exam resit course.
  • Some students benefit from a 3 year A level course – the first year being an access to A levels which will include GCSE exam resit courses.
  • For those students who failed to pass the old style GCSE exams at grade C in June will have to take the new 9-1 GCSE course exam.

Preparing for November Exam Resits

  • Practice those skills you had last year
  • Revisit past papers
  • Work with friends
  • Attend any support sessions put on by school or college
  • Attend a grade booster resit day with the Community Schools
  • Maths – daily practice -5 a day www.corbettmaths.co.uk

Other thoughts

Einsein might offer an insight that may help. “Insanity: is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Henry Ford put it slightly differently. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”

Might it be time to try something different?


Community Schools offer a different solution. Our tutoring in small groups, of up to four students, has proven results. We treat people individually, understand how they learn best, re-visit the core skills and build confidence around the things students can do (rather than focus on what they cannot do) and build on the list of accomplished skills. Working with two or three others with similar issues really helps everyone feel better and do better.

For more information about how we can help with your exam resits, contact us on 07747 037441, or send us a message and we’ll reply as soon as we can.

Last Updated on November 5, 2020

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