Published on 14th August 2019 by laurenwade

A student sits an exam

Whatever the reason, come results day, things have not gone the way you wanted which means that resitting A-Levels might be necessary. Don’t worry, you still have the chance to get into Medical School.

If you had any offers, it’s important to ring up those universities and see if they will still let you in with your grades. It might seem like a long shot but it’s worth the chance and you won’t have lost anything by enquiring.

If you’ve explored all of your other options and it’s looking likely that you’ll have to resit one or two of your A-Levels, don’t despair! It’s not the worst thing in the world, and in taking a year out you’ll be able to mature as a person and secure more work experience and voluntary work.

Read on to find out how you can resitting your A-levels can help maximise your chances of getting the grades you need to get into medical school next time.

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1. Find out which universities allow resitting A-Levels

It’s important to find out which universities will and will not allow re-sits from candidates. It’s worth noting that if you get an offer, the grades required from the re-sit can be higher than that of a non re-sit applicant. You will have to make a new application via UCAS with a new personal statement.

You should mention on your personal statement why you have had to re-sit, or what went wrong in the previous year, as well as why you think you will be able to achieve the grades this year. You don’t have to write a completely new personal statement but use bits from your first application to make sure it’s still relevant.

2. Focus on your grades when resitting A-Levels

Although, you might be aiming to complete work experience or voluntary placements, your main focus this year should be to get the required grades when you are resitting A-levels to get into medical school. Don’t let placements or even a part-time job distract you!

Whether you decide to go back to college, or just do the exams at the exam centre at the end of the year, make sure you devote enough time each week to focus on what and where you went wrong last time.

It can be hard to reflect on where you went wrong, but being able to do this can be a good thing and you’ll have more to talk about in your personal statement and medical school interviews.

You can also start doing past papers early, as you would have already learnt most of the content the first time around. If you have got your past scripts back, go through them with a teacher or a textbook and look at where you lost marks. Did you run out of time? Did you not put enough detail into longer questions? Was there a specific area you were not as confident at?

If you didn’t get your past papers back, find a blank copy of the exam paper and look to see where you think you fell down. It’s also worth doing your papers again in exam conditions to see if you have improved. Although you may wish to wait to do this until closer to the summer exams!

3. Don’t rush into making decisions about resitting

Your future is extremely important, so don’t rush into making decisions about it. It can be hard to see your friends go off to university when there is nothing more you want than to be able to join them. Don’t let this influence your decision to not re-sit A-levels and try again.

It can be tempting to accept your fifth choice university offer if you had originally applied for one, or even go through clearing to find another course. If medicine is truly the course you want to do, then do not settle for something or somewhere that’s not right.

Also, it is worth noting the financial implications of studying medicine after doing another course first if this is something you are thinking about.

It is not the end of the world if you didn’t get the grades you wanted, reflect on your performance and come back stronger when you resit A-levels. Good luck!

Words: Julia Manning

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