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Our complete guide to re-taking your A-levels

posted by Savannah on Monday, 14 December 2020

If you’re reading this, we’re going to assume that you’ve already taken A-levels and they didn’t quite go to plan – either you didn’t get the grades you wanted, or perhaps you took them many years ago and you need updated certificates. Either way, you’re not alone! Hundreds of students of all ages commit to re-taking their A-levels with Oxbridge because we offer an exam pass guarantee and the flexibility to progress in your own time and space, with unlimited tutor support. Evidence shows that students can jump up multiple grades when they re-sit exams, having taken the extra time needed to study and prepare. So, if you’re wanting better A-level results, we’ll help you figure out how to get them.

Why should I re-take my A-levels?

student learning re-taking a-levels

Have you got your heart set on a dream career? Maybe you want to become a doctor, an engineer, or perhaps a lawyer? Many professions require A-levels at the very least, but most careers are more accessible if you have a university degree. Now, as you probably already know, universities give potential students a conditional offer, which means they must achieve certain grades in their A-levels to be accepted. Whilst it’s possible to still be accepted with lower grades through the ‘clearing’ process, universities will still decline many people for undesirable results. This is because they fear that students with low grades won’t be able to cope on a higher-level course.

However, retaking is the perfect opportunity to put a positive spin on your abilities in your personal statement. You can show exactly why you’d make a great university student, because you’re committed to achieving your goals and willing to put the hard work in. Retaking your A-levels builds strength of character as you harness a determination that will benefit you throughout life. You’ll be able to apply for any university if you choose, and your chances of employment will be higher, along with your earning potential. So, if you’re ready to boost your potential to higher grounds, you should consider retaking your A-levels.

How do I re-take my A-levels with Oxbridge?

Here at Oxbridge, we empower our students to learn without limits through our online learning portal, MyOxbridge. Opting to retake A-levels online gives you a lot more flexibility to choose how you study, when you study, and where. With no set timetable and no classroom full of students to compete with, you’ll have access to unlimited tutor support from the comforts of home. Therefore, if you’re working full time, doing an internship, or volunteering to support your personal statement, you can make progress on your course as and when it suits your schedule.

Instead of being traditionally ‘taught’, you’ll be given all the materials you need to learn the subject matter independently. All of our course material is written especially for us by experts, and designed to be engaging, fun, and intuitively structured. We know that everyone learns differently, which is why we supplement our modules with quizzes, videos, and even podcasts! You’ll have 24/7 access to your course through MyOxbridge, whether you’re working from a laptop, phone or tablet, making learning convenient on the go. All your progress will be saved, even if you’re out of wi-fi range. What’s more, our A-level courses are written to suit distance learners, whilst adhering to national curriculum guidelines, so it’s easier to digest and understand. And because we work with the best course designers in the industry, all of our A-levels are beautifully illustrated with infographics, diagrams, and other visual aids which makes them a real treat for the eyes, as well as the brain!

a-level history course snippet
A snippet of A-level history

How long will it take me to pass my exams?

Technically, our A-level students have two full years to complete their course, starting from the day they enrol. But regardless of how you study and when you enrol, you’ll still sit exams on the same day as every other A-level student in the UK. This is because the exams are issued by the Awarding Bodies, and each exam is unique to avoid the possibility of replicated papers and cheating. Traditionally, A-levels take two years, but because this is ultra-flexible distance learning, if you’re prepared to study hard, you can enrol now and sit the summer 2022 exams, which would mean completing in eighteen months. We call this ‘fast-tracking’, and we empower our most capable students to be ready for it. What we care most about is ensuring that each student is confident and well-prepared before taking their exams, and our tutors monitor this by giving learners past-papers and detailed feedback on assignments.

Where do I sit my exams and is there a cost?

You’ll need to book your exams around six months in advance. You can either use one of our partner exam centres, at which you’ll be guaranteed a place, or you can find your own exam centre and book as a private candidate. Naturally, there are fees for each exam, which cover the cost of the venue, invigilators, exam papers, and assessors. The exact cost will vary depending on which centre you choose and which exams you’re taking, but fees range from between £120-£150 per exam, which is the standard cost levied by all examination centres. Generally, there are three exams needed for one A-level course.

What kind of tutor support will I receive?

A-level maths course snippet
A snippet of A-level maths

Every Oxbridge tutor is selected because they’re experts in their subject area; they’re passionate about inspiring a love for learning and seeing their students develop. Building confident and capable graduates is their aim, and they do this by taking a personalised approach with each student. No question is a silly one, as our tutors welcome students’ curiosity for knowledge. Therefore, students are encouraged to reach out to their tutor as often as they need. With the option to book one-to-one phone calls, and access to unlimited email responses, our tutors are always on hand to offer guidance and reassurance. But most importantly, our tutors support each individual by motivating them to self-learn, pointing them in the direction of extra resources, learning materials, and insightful information.

If you’re an Oxbridge student and find yourself in difficult circumstances that prevent you from being able to study, we can temporarily pause your course at no extra cost. We know that life sometimes gets in the way and you can’t always control what happens. The tutor support you pay for when enrolling will remain for the duration you’re entitled to, even if you take a break. So, if needed, you can have a study break for up to six months and, when you’re ready, return to your course with the remaining months you had from where you left off.

Which awarding body will issue my certificate?

We work closely with the UK’s most prestigious awarding bodies to mark exams and issue A-level certificates for our students. Depending on the course you’re studying, you’ll either receive a qualification from Pearson EdexcelAQA, or, Cambridge Assessment International. And remember, the certificates you’ll get are identical to the A-levels you’d gain from a traditional school or college. Therefore, they’re just as valuable to employers and universities, regardless of how you studied them.

How does Oxbridge’s ‘exam pass guarantee’ work? 

97% of our students pass their exams at the first attempt, and one third achieve the highest grades. However, if for some reason you should fail, we’ll give you continued access to MyOxbridge and your tutor for no additional cost until you pass – when you invest in us, we invest in you.


Until the end of January, when you enrol on two A-levels with us, we’ll fund 50% of your course fees towards a third. You’ll find more information about our wide range of GCSE and A-level courses here, or you can give our dedicated team a call on 0121 630 3000.