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Insurance choice or retake exams?

I have previously gotten offers to study Architecture at the Universities of Cambridge and Bath. Both required A*AA grades. I chose Cambridge as my firm and Edinburgh as my insurance.

I received A*A*BC for my A-Levels. I am disappointed with my 2 latter subjects and Cambridge has rejected me.

I have have a place to study at Edinburgh but I am not completely happy going there. I understand it will be a good experience attending there but I would rather spend my years at Bath/Cambridge/UCL.

I have previously done very well at GCSE and AS level.
I am thinking of reapplying and retaking the 2 subjects I did poorly in next year and hope I can secure at least a placement at Bath and hopefully one at UCL. Cambridge will be very difficult and I hope I can make it to the interviews despite my grades.

Will my application still be strong enough to secure a place at bath and interviews for Cambridge/UCL? I am worried about throwing away my current place at Edinburgh and not receiving an offer from at least Bath next year. I am worried for potentially not receiving an interview from Cambridge because of my poor A2 results that I plan to retake. My references will probably be weaker references than my previous application.

Should I take a year out and reapply to universities and retake my subjects? (A2 modules in further maths and the entire of physics)
Or should I be grateful that I have an insurance at Edinburgh and not spend the year starting the whole application process again.

I have to make this difficult decision very soon and would appreciate your insight and any advice that you may have for me.
Answered by Alison Patterson
Hi Alison

This is obviously a personal decision, but we'll give you what advice we can.

Bear in mind that Cambridge may not look favourably on resitting candidates that re-apply. Check immediately if they will consider you if you re-apply.

If they will, you have a big choice. There is no guarantee that you will get offers from Cambridge and Edinburgh and Bath for 2018 so you should apply to other excellent universities as well or instead (checking if they accept resits).

Look carefully at the Edinburgh course curriculum on the university website and see whether it is what you want. It is the simplest option to settle for Edinburgh and you should not underestimate the opportunity.


Make sure you talk to your advisers - parents, teachers and phone the universities for advice about resitting and reapplying.

Bear in mind that an application for UCAS 2018 must contain information about your previous application.

Many people do re-apply and resit A levels after poorer than expected A levels.

Whatever happens, Good luck!

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