What are the options for failed A’level results?

(98 Posts)
Shimy Fri 25-Jan-19 09:35:22

And still aiming for uni.

Retake whole year
Retake but different subjects?
Degree Foundation year
Are BTECs possible at this stage?

Would like some advice please.

OP’s posts: |
Oblomov19 Fri 25-Jan-19 09:48:47

Depends how badly. What subjects? What grades?
Which uni did you want? What grades did they ask for? Nothing through clearing?

Shimy Fri 25-Jan-19 10:27:30

According to mocks CDD, offers areor BBB.

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CowJumping Fri 25-Jan-19 10:31:17

Impossible to answer with so few details?

What degree subject/discipline?
What sort of university?

And why, having ploughed Alevels - which give an indication of likely success at university- do you want to go to university?

Why did you fail A levels?

This is significant- a decent university course is far harder than A levels.

ShalomJackie Fri 25-Jan-19 10:33:34

Still a chance to get grades up a bit.

Then have a look at what courses are in clearing. Some places will take you even if you don't hit grades. DSS got in for a BBB offer with a BBD.

Did the person in question not apply for a banker? Ie. One that had lower grades in case they didn't meet offers.

Have they left any of their 5 choices unfilled?

Shimy Fri 25-Jan-19 10:44:17

Sorry for not making myself clear, DS is doing his a’levels And has been predicted BBB, however his recent mocks are showing anything but.
I’m trying to plan ahead by looking ahead at what the options are if students fail their A’levels regardless of subjects, uni etc.

If his grades are CDD quite frankly I would t advise going for anything at all through clearing as I think that’s too weak a position To go from to a degree.

I’d like to know what can he then do,can they retake the 3 exams again? Or can he start afresh and do a Btec course?

Do you think this would be a waste of time and he should perhaps try to get on a foundation course?

Can he change his A’levels subjects?

DSs failure is frankly down to sheer laziness not that he’s not capable,so this might give him the kick he needs.

He wants to study computer science. I doubt any of his offers will drop down to CDD and even if they did i’d Be worried how he will cope which is why I didn’t mention them. Swansea, UEA, Cardiff, Essex

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Crinklesmile Fri 25-Jan-19 11:00:41

My dd didn't get the results needed and repeated year 13, switching out two subjects for a combined science (applied) and flew through the year. She's now sitting above her predicted grades, however she admits repeating was hard socially. Her school was very supportive and really, she needed to 'go down' to drive herself up again. She wants to do a teaching degree and its competitive here (NI) so really the best option. Best of luck to your ds


Shimy Fri 25-Jan-19 11:06:12

Crinkle, that’s exactly the kind of thing I needed to hear. I’m glad you’re DD is doing well. How did she find switching to 2 new subjects?

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Fazackerley Fri 25-Jan-19 11:38:03

My dd ploughed her ASs and failed two. She wasn't well but tbh she was struggling academically anyway. She started again in 'year 12' with two new subjects, one a Btec. She took one original a level at the end of original Yr 13 and got a C. She is now in the equivalent of year 14 and is predicted a B and a D* in the btec (a level equivalent). So she will come out with the equivalent of ABC hopefully. She's had four out of five uni offers.

Fazackerley Fri 25-Jan-19 11:38:59

It's worth saying that socially it's been hard but she's grown up a LOT academically and should be absolutely fine at uni.

Shimy Fri 25-Jan-19 11:57:27

Thanks Fazac. That’s encouraging. DS would have to move to a new school as he’s at an indy at the moment.

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Fazackerley Fri 25-Jan-19 11:59:55

Depending on what he's interested in, consider the 3 a level btec. Lots of coursework but fewer exams.

Itscoldouthere Fri 25-Jan-19 12:00:36

Shimy - my DS didn’t get the grades he’d hoped for last year (he hadn’t applied to UCAS as he’d been planning a gap year).
We looked at various options but found them limited.
Local 6th form would only let him do 4 new A levels rather than retake.
BTEC didn’t really work as he wants to study Biological Sciences.
We looked at lots of university’s who used points rather than grades, but it was still limited as most still wanted a B in Biology and he has a C.
In the end he decided to retake Biology and Chemistry, he’s self studying at home with a weekly tutor session, it’s tough but in theory he’s going over everything that was already taught at school.
He applied to 4 unis 2 being aspirational (above his predicted grades) and 2 at his predicted grades. He also applied to both the foundation and standard course at UEA as they said they would take him on to the foundation with his current grades (ACD).
This situation isn’t ideal but I think he is now much more motivated and seems to be working quite hard, he also really likes his tutor which helps.

catndogslife Fri 25-Jan-19 12:04:36

CDD at A level isn't a failure though - it still counts as having passed 3 A levels.
Due to A level reforms Applied Science A level options no longer exist in England (the PP is in NI which has a different education system).
Have you thought about university courses that aren't a full degree (other than the Foundation Year option).
I would suggest looking at the HNC/HND route for computing/IT courses. These give a qualification after 1-2 years study and can be topped up to a degree later on if he does really well. I would also suggest looking at level 3 apprenticeships (not the degree level ones as these require high A level grades).

Shimy Fri 25-Jan-19 12:06:26

Itscold - t’s sounds like a brilliant idea the self studying with a tutor. So where s he going to sit his exams if he’s studying at home?

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Fazackerley Fri 25-Jan-19 12:07:22

Biological sciences have lots of foundation degree courses. Plymouth for example only requires 48 tariff points!

Itscoldouthere Fri 25-Jan-19 12:10:36

Just wanted to add he failed because he didn’t work hard enough (partly because he’s a gamer, but that’s another story).
I know he’s capable he turned around his Grography from a D at AS to an A at A level, he’s learned a lot in the process, failure can be a good thing, and also being a bit older and keener will be good for him.

JulietAconite Fri 25-Jan-19 12:14:23

What are the funding implications? Who pays to repeat a year? (especially seeing as the student hasn't failed A levels, it's just that their grades are lower than they needed/hoped.)
Do colleges just pay for anyone to do a third year??

Fazackerley Fri 25-Jan-19 12:15:49

I don't think it's just anyone. Dd had to have two interviews and the fact that she was a diligent student helped.

Itscoldouthere Fri 25-Jan-19 12:17:47

Frazack - the problem is though if you want to go further (Masters/PHD) which science students often do, you need to think long term and not all courses are equal, the quality of teaching is very varied.
He/we decided it was worth a hard year at home working to end up at a university that will hopefully deliver a more rigorous degree.
Of course this may not go to plan and he may flunk again 🤣

Fazackerley Fri 25-Jan-19 12:18:11

I think there is funding available for a third year in some cases,yes.

Itscoldouthere Fri 25-Jan-19 12:22:34

Shimy - he’s sitting the exams at his old (private) 6th form but they couldn’t teach him. We just pay the exam fees, but we had to pay them last year as well, I think all private schools charge exam fees.

Shimy Fri 25-Jan-19 12:26:24

Great comments coming!. Just to clarify DS is not doing biological sciences! I think it’s another poster whose dc did biological sciences. DS wants to do computer science.

Itscold - DS is a gamer too! And yes that is another story. I might pm you about that.

Juliet - You ask some verygood questions which I hadn’t thought of. Hopefully someone in the know will help out.

Also, can you retake at A’levels at a local secondary school or does it have to be a sixth form college?

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Crinklesmile Fri 25-Jan-19 13:08:03

Shimy, my dd actually dropped from 4 to three subjects, she banked Spanish and switched from Biology/Chemistry to Life and Health science and Health and social care.
Turns out her subject topics have remained similar (sciences) but applied rather than theory based. She also performed better with coursework vs written exams.
Each kid just has a different way to get the job done, and you sound very supportive finding all this out for your ds!

CowJumping Fri 25-Jan-19 15:44:32

Sounds like he needs a wake up call, and needs to face a future where he doesn't go to university.

If he's lazy and a gamer, how will he adjust from a fee-paying school, where there's usually a lot of spoon-feeding, small classes, and individual attention, to a university in a subject such as CompSci where there are large classes and you're expected to be self-motivated & work independently?

He needs to contemplate this. And think seriously - is he suiyed for academic study? University is not for everybody and it's not a middle-class finishing school.

Maybe he needs a gap year (at least a year) in which to grow up & take responsibility.

I think sometimes parents, schools, and the children themselves, get on a sort of treadmill about school, A Levels, University, without really thinking about whether the child is suited to university. It's not compulsory, and there are other things he can do, if he enjoys & wants to make a living out of working in the digital world.

How about BTEC (which is much more hands on & not so academic), and a modern apprenticeship? When he's more responsible and mature, then he can go to university if he wants (or needs) to.

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