A level retakes courses in London – Retaking A levels

Ashbourne wants to attract ambitious, hardworking and independent students who are capable of reaching at least a B grade standard but want help to push that to A or A*.

Such students will not settle for second best and, despite the initial setback of disappointing results, have the resilience to try again. They thrive in an environment which is encouraging, supportive and ambitious and appreciate the encouragement to explore the depths of any subject without fear. They are competitive and will want to be challenged to fulfil their potential and understand that confidence improves grades. For all intents and purposes, all grades of retake candidates improve with almost 95% at B grade or better. The majority of our students go on to Russell Group universities.

Moving to Ashbourne may involve a change of syllabus but the knowledge a student has already acquired at their first attempt, makes this task quite straightforward. For the same reason, this prior knowledge means completing the syllabus in one year is equally straightforward and allows our students sufficient time to focus on detail that they missed previously. In fact, many of our retake students succeed in their retake year whilst taking a new subject from scratch. Politics, Philosophy, Psychology and Film are frequent choices whose exam results rarely disappoint.

Moving to a new environment might seem daunting but students should be optimistic. Over half of our students have never been here before; the environment is stimulating, never intimidating, so students quickly settle in. Our approach to education is refreshing and exciting. Lessons in groups of fewer than 10 students provide engagement, individual attention and a relationship between staff and students which is grown up and informal. These small groups allow us to feedback to students in ways not possible with larger class sizes, in particular because this feature enables us to set much more homework than most may have experienced previously. Each student has a personal tutor who will guide and direct the UCAS process and oversee their academic progress. We are much more focused on exams and exam technique than is usual, and each half term there is a mock exam based on previous exam paper questions. After this mock exam a progress report will be prepared for you and your parents by each of your teachers.

Ashbourne suits those students who are ambitious, hardworking and independent and in general helps them move from a B standard to A or A*. The majority move on to Russell Group universities. Just over one third of our students come from abroad with Russia, China and Viet Nam among the greatest representations. Among our students there is a wonderful diversity of personalities, interests and goals, in part because we offer more than 25 different subjects at A level. These range from Art and Design and Performing Arts to Maths, Sciences and Economics, including traditional subjects as well as Psychology, Classics and History of Art. These are complemented with an array of co-curricular activities.

 

What to consider before retaking your A level courses

Most universities will regard a decision to retake as a sign of determination, perseverance and ambition. Nonetheless, any student considering retaking their A levels should always ask the relevant university faculty to confirm that a re-application will be welcome and to specify the grades that might now be required.

If you have missed your offer by a small margin you should contact the university’s admissions department who may be pleased to accept you anyway. If not, the university might be able to offer you a place on a course that is closely related to your first choice. You may need to be patient getting through to the department during busy application periods.

 “My A-level journey was not a traditional one. I didn’t perform as expected the first time I completed my AS and A2s. As a result, I ended up doing human biology at Manchester Metropolitan. I realised very quickly that this was completely the wrong place for me. I wish that when I first did my A2s, I would have known the consequences of not doing enough work. So in terms of motivation, I would keep that in the back of your mind. After the first term at Manchester Met, I dropped out to retake at Ashbourne. I worked as hard as I could for 6 months to get the results I needed. In order to do as well as you can, the middle of January is when you really need to start working. The next 6 months, which you will quickly come to realise is a very small and insignificant amount of time in the long run, are some of the most important in your life. If you get the results you want, you will get into your university of choice and have some of the best experiences you’ve ever had and meet some incredible people.”

Theo Kemp (Biochemistry at Bristol, AAA)

 

Benefits of retaking A levels at Ashbourne

  • Outstanding grade improvement Ashbourne is committed to helping students reach their potential. A student who has achieved BBB could, on average, attain A*AA on retake.
  • Lots of teaching time means that you may complete the syllabus in a relaxed and confident manner, with plenty of time for engagement and structured, supervised work in class.
  • Specialist courses Ashbourne offers more than 30 years’ experience in delivering highly successful A Level retake and one-year courses.
  • A fresh, more grown-up approach to education quickly renews the spirit and provides a clean break from stale mind-sets and attitudes. Students’ performance is revitalised through contact with colleagues who share similar ambitions and aspirations.
  • Exam practice is too often in the background at traditional schools. In any field, excellence is achieved through dedicated effort guided by inspired and inspiring teachers and coaches. Our straightforward focus on examination preparation is simple, effective and transformational.
  • Individual attention, communication and feedback. The importance of small classes cannot be exaggerated but they are more effective when complemented by Personal Tutors. These dedicated teachers encourage and guide students to realise their academic potential and are a reassuring point of contact in dealing with parents’ concerns.
Why Choose Ashbourne College?
StudentsParentsTeachers
Ashbourne has provided me with the platform, the time and the space to grow intellectually. We are encouraged to read widely and since Ashbourne offers extra curricular critical theory, I have found my subjects being independently stimulated and motivated by cross disciplinary links. Aside from academic growth, Ashbourne has offered me a chance to feel a part of something. The opportunity to be the co-editor of Ashbourne Identity, the college’s student magazine, has given me a sense of responsibility, creative freedom and pride toward Ashbourne’s diversity. From Ashbourne’s Christmas Revue to its annual European trip, the college’s nurturing and collaborative atmosphere will remain a highlight of my time at Ashbourne
VictoriaEnglish and Drama at University of Manchester
Our grandson was very ready to make a huge step from recluse, out­ of ­step with his age group, not knowing what to do with himself or how to relate to others, many of whom he found terrifying. He found travelling on the tube terrifying and trusted few people. Ashbourne has never pushed him too hard but has always encouraged every step he has taken towards what was sometimes a big risk for him. He has learned to respect himself as a learner, to be realistic about his strengths and what he finds difficult, and is learning what to do about the things he finds difficult. He is becoming sociable, well­ informed good company, smiles 100% more than he did and travels to and from Ashbourne by tube without a qualm. He is punctual (or sends a message if held up). He is learning to trust the many good people he now recognises as on his side. He is very aware of how much Ashbourne has contributed to these huge changes and is looking forward to trying out University in September, becoming a student, knowing lots of other people will arrive by different routes. A real success story/work in progress. Thank you Ashbourne
I see Ashbourne as a place which I feel comfortable to express myself and it creates an environment that encourages me to develop as a leader. I am constantly looking for ways to improve. I am determined to continue to develop myself and I know that this is made more attainable with Ashbourne’s fantastic support and encouragement. I am very lucky to find myself at Ashbourne. It is a truly remarkable place to work.
Dennis FulcherHead of Multi-Media and Social Science Faculty
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2018 retake results

E.A

Portuguese A
English Literature B
Psychology B
Biology B

Original grades: BXXX

A.C

Economics B

Original grade: D

History at Manchester University 

A.C

Economics A
Mathematics A
Physics A

Original grades: CCX

Economics at Warwick University

D.B

Mathematics A
Biology B

Original grades: DC

Sports Science

E.C

Politics A*
Mathematics A
English Literature A

Original grades: BAX

Law at Durham University 

C.L

Mathematics A
Economics B
Chemistry A
Biology B

Original grades: BBXX

Social Science and Quantitative Methods at University College London

W.M

Biology A*
Chemistry A*

Original grades: BC

S.V


Mathematics A
Politics A

Original grades: BX

M.V

Chemistry A
Mathematics A

Original grades: BB

F.R

Chemistry A
Biology B

Original grades: CB

Dentistry at Leeds University

A.S

Politics B

Original grade: X

M.F

Mathematics A
Physics A
Chemistry A

Original grades: BDC

Civil Engineering at Edinburgh University

I.B

Chemistry A*
Biology A
Physics A

Original grades: DDB

Natural Sciences at Durham University

A.W

Chemistry A
Psychology A

Original grades: CX

Biomedical Sciences at Bristol University

M.J

Mathematics A
Chemistry A

Original grades: BX

Economics and Management at Bristol University

K.R

Economics A
Psychology B

Original grades: CC

Psychology at Manchester University

R.G

Politics A
History B

Original grades: XC

International Relations at Exeter University

E.L-P

Economics B
Mathematics D
Art B

Original grades: CEX

International Business at Oxford Brookes University

D.D

Psychology A
Chemistry B
Mathematics C

Original grades: BDE

Natural Sciences at UAE University

S.K

Biology A
Psychology A
Chemistry B

Original grades: BXE

Neuroscience at Leeds University

Note: In Original grades, ‘X’ denotes subject not previously studied.
Grade Percentage
A* A 67%
A* AB 98%
A* ABC 100%
Grade Percentage
A* 8%
A 59%
B 31%
C 2%

Apply to retake your A levels at Ashbourne College

Please contact our Admissions Team for further information or to apply on 020 7937 3858, email admissions@ashbournecollege.co.uk or use our enquiry form.

Ashbourne is a private fee-paying college.

Getting into the right university

Ashbourne’s UCAS Tutors offer individual and expert guidance on finding and applying for university courses that match students’ ambitions and abilities. They also provide invaluable interview technique practice for those applying for demanding and highly popular degree courses. Ashbourne also runs specialist Medical School and Engineering programmes, with seminars and outside speakers, as well as preparation for any aptitude tests required by a particular course.

 


Alternatives to retaking

Remarks

Your grade(s) might be so inconsistent with your own and your teachers’ expectations that you may consider a request to the exam board for remarking. Be aware, however, that grades often do not change as a result of remarks and may even go down! All remarks must be organised by your school. You can find more information on remarking and post results services here

Clearing

If you are unsuccessful in getting a place at the university of your choice you may wish to enter the clearing system. You will automatically be sent a‘clearing passport’ number by email. Should you wish to take up a course at another university you will use this to confirm your acceptance. Courses which are still available may be found on the UCAS website.

Gap year

Taking a gap year to travel and work can often help to clarify your thoughts about your future and thus make the years spent at university, should you decide to reapply, more enjoyable and productive.

 


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