A significant increase in the number of students resitting their A-level exams has been forecast for the coming academic year. There are approximately 60,000 students who face rejection from universities because of an unprecedented amount of competition for places. These students are expected to take a gap year in which they will undertake further study and exam revision in the hope of boosting their grades and being accepted onto a university course.
Despite an ongoing media debate about whether students should be allowed to keep resitting their A-levels, Jerry Jarvis, the managing director of the Edexcel exam board, believes that resits should continue to be allowed. He used the analogy of Mount Everest, pointing out that the growing number of people who managed to conquer the peak did not mean that the mountain had somehow become easier to climb.
However, students who want to resit their A-levels under the present syllabus would be well advised to start making tuition arrangements as soon as possible. As of January next year, the current A-level syllabus will be jettisoned in favour of a new system of more open-ended exam questions which are intended to stretch pupils' thinking skills.
Most resit students are expected to spend the rest of 2009 undergoing additional study - often with a private tutor - to supplement a one-term A-level booster course that will prepare them for exam retakes in January 2010. If they get the necessary grades, the students can reapply to universities for the September 2010 intake.