18th June 2013
The Telegraph’s article http://fw.to/ShSsI2R about what to do if you don’t achieve the A level grades you were hoping for has lots of good advice about making sure you are around on results day and getting in touch with universities – but to describe re-taking your A levels as “an extremely tough route” is very misleading. At Brampton College we see many such students every year. If you have not done as well as you needed in your A levels, the hardest thing may be to accept that you need to do another year of A level study, but once this psychological barrier is passed, the rewards of a further year are enormous compared to the alternative of scrambling for one of the very limited places in Clearing, with hardly any time to consider whether you really want it, or taking your chances in a shrunken job market. This is the choice facing a student who has grades of, say, BBC or below and who has missed out on their insurance choice offer. In our experience, the same student after a further year of study will typically be sitting on AAB with a much wider choice of degree courses to choose from.
Over the years we’ve seen hundreds of such students transform their prospects and sense of confidence after a one year re-sit course. Many will fulfil previously shattered dreams of getting onto even the most competitive university courses, such as Medicine, Dentistry or Law. Students also change a lot between 16 and 18, and the choices they made at 16 may not look half as attractive at 18: re-sitting a year gives students a crucial second chance to get onto the right educational pathway for them now. And on a course that’s right for them, a student will succeed.
Lara re-sat her A levels improving her grades to A*A*A (from CCC originally). She re-sat Biology and Mathematics A levels and also completed Art A level in June 2012. Lara is currently reading Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London.
‘I came to Brampton College after failing to meet the required grades to study Biology at a university level. I was advised to restart my Maths and Biology A-level and complete my Art A-level. At first, the idea of completing two entire qualifications in one year was a little daunting but the ethos of the college, teachers, and similar situations of other students provided me with a great deal of comfort and support that no other education system has or will ever provide me. Classes are small allowing the teacher to attend to the needs of individual students while also allowing friendships between the student and teacher to form. Teachers are enthusiastic about their subject, displaying a desire to share it with their students. They don’t merely transmit information; rather they combine their knowledge and expertise of their subject, pedagogical knowledge, and their knowledge of their learners to teach in the most approachable and understandable way. They didn’t just teach me the concepts of the discipline but improved upon my motivation, confidence, self-direction and independence – skills I have taken with me to a university level. I am now studying Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London. I would not be here or been able to transform my grades of CCC to A*A*A without the aid of the teachers and students at Brampton College. The college has moulded me into the student I am today for which I am eternally grateful’.
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