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Did you know that A-Level resits could change in 2021? Find out what this means for your Medicine application – and see which unis simply won’t accept students who resit their exams.

A-Level Resits In 2021

There could be a big change to A-Level resits this year!

Ofqual is consulting on proposals to allow exam resits to take place in the autumn. Usually, students can resit English and Maths GCSE exams then – but the changes could allow you could re-take GCSE, AS or A-Level exams in any subject.

It’s also possible that if you perform worse in the exams, you’d be able to stick with your teacher assessed grade from the summer. You will still have the option to repeat the year and resit the exams in the summer, too.

We don’t know how universities will view these autumn exams. For 2021 entry, a handful of universities said that sitting exams after you’d been given centre assessed grades wouldn’t be considered a resit – but they also stressed that their usual resit policy would resume for 2022 entry.

Once a decision has been made about these exams, we’ll update this guide to explain how each university will view this.

What Do Resits Mean For My Application?

Whether you choose to resit your exams, there are things you need to be aware of when it comes to your Medicine application. For example, some Medical Schools simply won’t accept applications from students who resit their A-Levels.

However, there are many reasons why you might be considering resits, such as:

  • You need to pass the practical elements of science subjects, regardless of grade
  • You might be able to transform your grades with an extra year of learning
  • If you’re only resitting one or two subjects, you might have more time to work on your application and gain experience
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Which Universities Accept A-Level Resits?

There has been some change in response to the pandemic, which means that more universities are accepting A-Level resits for 2021 entry.

Use the table below to see what each Medical School says about A-Level resits. You can search for a specific university, or review the list alphabetically.

The table was recently updated, but please always consult with the entry requirements at each Med School before you make any application decisions. 

Medical SchoolA Level & AS Level Resit Policy
AberdeenAS module re-sits are permitted providing the final three A-Levels are undertaken simultaneously over two years of study. A-Level resits are only considered under extenuating circumstances. If you couldn't sit exams in 2020 and choose to sit those in 2021, these won't be considered resits.
More details here.
Anglia RuskinA Level resit grades at AAA within two academic years prior to the time of application, as long as you got AAB the first time (or BBB for a Widening Access to Medicine (WAMS) application).
More details here.
AstonOnly considered if you don't repeat the year. Your referee must explain why in their UCAS reference. "Applicants must normally achieve their final qualification profile for consideration in no more than three academic years i.e. allowing for 1 re-sit year attempt only."
More details here.
BartsOnly accepted if you're protected under the Equality and Diversity Act 2010.
More details here.
BirminghamOnly considered in extenuating circumstances. "If you are sitting your A-Level examinations for the first time following your calculated grades in the 2020 pandemic, these grades will not count as resits."
More details here.
Brighton & SussexResits are considered, but "will ordinarily only consider applications from applicants who have slipped a grade in one subject", for example, predicted A but obtained a grade B.
If you're predicted below AAB or not predicted an A in your resist, you need to apply once you have received AAA grades.
More details here.
BristolYes, resits are considered.
BuckinghamIf you get BBB you can apply with a resit. If your grades are lower and you have "significant mitigation", you can apply once you have attained ABB.
More details here.
CambridgeNot typically accepted. They say: "we would be concerned about an applicant who is retaking large numbers of exams, unless this number of retakes was justified by circumstances beyond the applicant’s control and explained in their UCAS reference and/or Extenuating Circumstances Form."
More details here.
CardiffNot accepted.
University of Central LancashireOnly in extenuating circumstances. They suggest considering their foundation pathway if you don't meet the grades required.
UCL (University College London)Not accepted.
DundeeOnly in extenuating circumstances.
Edge HillYes, stressing that all applicants must meet minimum entry requirements.
EdinburghOnly in exceptional extenuating circumstances.
ExeterYes, resits are accepted
GlasgowOnly in extenuating circumstances.
Hull & YorkApplications are welcome if you achieved at least BBB at a first sitting and are taking one additional year to achieve AAA or equivalent. Resit applications from students who achieved below BBB at the first sitting of A-levels are not accepted. More details here.
Imperial"Due to COVID-19 pandemic, for 2021 Entry only, resit examinations will be considered without the need to apply for mitigating circumstances". More details here.
KeeleYou must wait to attain your grades before applying if you're resitting. More details here.
Kent and MedwayOnly in extenuating circumstances.
King's College LondonIf you had a firm or insurance choice and choose to resit exams in 2021, they would be able to issue a guaranteed offer for 2021 entry - but you need to reapply. You won't be asked to re-interview or retake the UCAT. The policy is complicated, please read it here. It hasn't been updated for 2022 entry yet.
LancasterYes, as long as you meet GCSE criteria too. You must have achieved at least ABB in your A-Levels at the first attempt. "Please note, the COVID-19 pandemic on its own will not be accepted as exceptional circumstances". More details here.
LeedsOnly in extenuating circumstances
LeicesterYes, if you got AAB or ABB in the first sitting. You can resit up to two subjects. More details here.
LincolnThe same as Nottingham.
Only for two A-Levels, and only if you have completed your A levels in the last 12 months, you have already obtained at least ABB with at least one A in biology/human biology or chemistry, and achieve AAA after taking your resits. More details here.
LiverpoolResitting if you were awarded calculated grades isn't considered as a resit, unless you chose not to take exams at the very first opportunity. Resits are accepted, but "it's expected that any offer made to resit students would usually be at a higher level to reflect an additional year of study". More details here.
ManchesterYes, but you may only resit Year 12 or Year 13 and must have obtained a minimum of BBB. They say: "All re-sitting applicants are required to achieve Grades A*AA in the A-level subjects specified." More details here.
NewcastleYes, one subject may be resat. "If a subject is being undertaken for a second time after further study the expectation is of a higher level of performance, the grade requirement from the University will also increase by a grade eg A to A*." More details here.
NorwichYes, if you achieved ABB/AAC in the first sitting. "Resit applicants will usually be expected to achieve at least one A* to compensate for the additional time spent studying." There are many arrangements in response to cancelled exams, so please read the policy here.
NottinghamThe same as Lincoln.
Only for two A-Levels, and only if you have completed your A levels in the last 12 months, you have already obtained at least ABB with at least one A in biology/human biology or chemistry, and achieve AAA after taking your resits. More details here.
OxfordIn extenuating circumstances.
PlymouthYes, but you need to get at least ABB in the first sitting. More details here.
Queen's BelfastYes, one resit is allowed. However, the offer for repeat candidates is higher and usually either A*AA or AAA at A-Level plus A in a fourth AS-Level. More details here.
SheffieldYes, one resit per A-Level. More details here.
SouthamptonYes, but not more than once per subject. More details here.
St Andrew'sOnly in extenuating circumstances.
St George'sNot accepted.
SunderlandFor 2022 entry, you may resit the B grade if you got AAB. It was more flexible for 2021 entry. More details here.

Tips For Resitting A-Levels

Before you decide to resit A-Levels, you should think about:

  • Are there any spaces available in Clearing?
  • Would Graduate Entry Medicine be a better option for you?
  • Do you have the right support to boost your grades, such as extra tuition?
  • Are you prepared to resit UCAT and BMAT, too?
  • Do your target Med Schools accept resits?
  • Are you able to strengthen your application while retaking subjects?
Boost A-Level Grades
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