Retake A Levels
You can resit any of the A levels sat in summer 2018, whether they were new linear, or old modular ones. If you sat a modular A level this summer you can retake the same modular exam in summer 2019. If you sat a new linear A level, you can resit that too. If you want to retake an A level you took earlier than 2018 life is a bit more complicated: you may find you can only retake the subject in its new linear form.
Linear A Levels
If you took a new linear exam in summer 2018 you can retake it in summer 2019, but you have to resit the whole exam. The only exception to this is coursework, which you won’t be forced to redo – you can ask for your old coursework mark to be ‘carried forward’.
Old Modular A Levels
You can only retake in the summer (January exams disappeared years ago), but you can retake just the modules you need to rather than having to redo the whole exam.
If your modular A level was in a subject being examined for the last time in summer 2018, summer 2019 is the very last time any resit module papers will be set, and only those who took the full modular A level before can enter for the summer 2019 modular exams.
The exam boards will recalculate your modular A-level grade taking the best marks you have achieved for each unit, no matter when or how often those units were taken (so long as all the units came from the same exam specification). You might think it better to retake all the units anyway, but bear in mind that you’ll still have to work hard to improve a unit you have already done well in.
You are perfectly entitled to switch to a new linear exam for your retake if you want to, but you will of course have to take the entire linear exam in summer 2019.
If I Retake A Levels, Will A University Accept Them?
Yes, in almost all cases. A few will increase their standard offer, but most appreciate that students who resit are highly motivated and, because they have overcome disappointment, will work harder on the degree.
Getting an offer is tougher for very competitive courses – medicine for example, or law at Russell group universities.
As a first step, ring up the admissions officers for the degree courses you want, and ask them whether they would consider you with resits. Be ready to discuss why you missed the grades and why you know you can do better. They should welcome your enquiry and give you an honest answer.