Once you have decided on an A level retake course to enrol on, you should start planning how you will improve your grades. This will be an important year and if you are determined to earn the grades you need for your desired university course or future career, then it is crucial that you are prepared with a revision plan. In this article we hope to give you some top tips on retaking A levels.

1) Determination for improvement

The first thing to consider is where you underperformed and why you missed the grades the first time round. You should be honest and ask yourself if you really put in as much effort as you could have or if you tried to cram all your revision into the last few weeks just before the exams. It may be that you missed parts of your previous A level course or your understanding is weak in some areas, or it may be that you need help with academic writing or exam technique.

If you are determined to retake your A levels, you need to be bold enough to make improvements where it counts so that you can achieve the higher grade you require. Our expert teachers will help you identify where you need to make improvements so that you avoid making the same mistakes again. They also adopt an informal and friendly manner with their students, which means you should feel confident to ask any and all of the questions that you need to. Indeed we encourage you to do this!

It is also possible to request back your scripts from the exam board to help you analyse your previous performance. However, there are strict deadlines by which you can make the requests, so be sure to check with your previous school’s exams officer before it is too late.

2) Bite size chunks

Don’t think that the whole two years of studying for your A levels is completely wasted. You’d be amazed at the amount of information you’ve been able to retain, although you probably didn’t manage to recall quite as much or you missed the areas you needed. Nevertheless, the knowledge you have already accumulated is a solid foundation on which to improve.

So how can you make those vital improvements you need to your revision plan? Revision is inevitably going to take time away from your social life, but you will need to consider your priorities if you want to succeed. To start with, it is a good idea to get serious with a revision planner. You can find several resources for this online, or you can just use a calendar and split every day into bite-size chunks of revision.

Depending on the number of A levels you’re planning to retake, you can begin with dividing the day into hours. Doing this will enable you to organise your time more effectively so that you can clearly plan which subjects or topics to revise and when. Be careful not to overload yourself, so keep your plan realistic, but also allow yourself the flexibility to make changes if you find you need to give yourself additional time to revise a particular topic.

3) Exercise your skills

After you’ve settled into the routine of your daily revision plan, you can try some other techniques if you’re finding it difficult to retain certain pieces of information or to generate ideas. Mind maps can be a great tool for visual learners to help come up with ideas and see these around a central theme. They can also help you to organise information and be more creative or productive.

Another useful device to help remember certain chunks of information are flashcards. The main purpose of flashcards is to aid your skills of active recall. A question or prompt can be written on one side of the card with the answer on the other side. You can utilise flashcards for difficult topics or nuggets of information to ensure that they remain firmly lodged in your brain.

4) One-to-one tuition

Of course, these techniques will be of great help if you already have the will to succeed. But even though you may be full of determination, you may still benefit from some extra assistance. If you acknowledge this, it might be an idea to take a look at getting expert tuition to help you to achieve those all-important A level grades.

If it’s not an option to go back to school – maybe you didn’t get the high-quality teaching you needed or the environment didn’t suit you – then enrolling on a retake course at an independent sixth form college such as Westminster Tutors could be the help you need for your required grades in your A level retakes.

Westminster Tutors in central London can provide specialist tuition in the specific areas you need it most. We were established over 85 years ago, and our success and reputation have always been built on the excellence of our teachers. All of our A level retake courses are individually designed to go back exactly over the areas where support is required. In addition, our courses are delivered on a one-to-one basis, in a new and refreshingly mature environment, giving you the best chance of exam success.

Why Choose Westminster Tutors?

  • Top independent sixth form college
  • Average grades 57% A*-A and 80% A*-B
  • 68% placed at Russell Group unis
  • Superbly qualified teachers who care
  • Average A level retake improvement is 1.5 grades
Student studying for her A-Levels
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Westminster Tutors is one of the oldest and best independent sixth form colleges in London. Established in 1934, our culture of scholastic excellence is deeply embedded and sets the standard for other colleges to follow.