01 August 2023

Is it worth retaking A Levels? Sebastian's Journey

Is it worth retaking A Levels?Sebastians Journey

Albert Einstein once said that insanity could be defined by doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So picture the scene:

You open your A Level results on August 17th, and you don’t get what you want - in fact, you miss the grades you required to get the first choice university place you had set your heart on.

You are not the first person in this position, and, vitally, you still have options:

  • You could carry on with your disappointing results, and accept your insurance place, always wondering what could have been.
  • You could take a year out, gain some work experience perhaps, and sit your exams again as a private candidate, employing the same methods of study which brought underwhelming grades.
  • You could enroll in an intensive A level retake course, a specialty of Ealing Independent College. It’s a challenging prospect, but one which can inspire you to build confidence, skills, and the necessary techniques required to secure substantial grade enhancements whilst providing the perfect preparation for university and beyond. Find out more about our A Level Retakes courses

As Einstein suggested, a different approach is required if one wants to see different results.

So what happens at Ealing Independent College which offers such a fundamental change in methods?

How can it produce the kinds of shifts in both grades and attitudes necessary to truly empower students to fulfil their potential?

Let’s explore this through the words of former EIC students in a special series leading up to A Level results day. Each is a student who embarked on our A-level retake course, who not only enjoyed a notable improvement in grades but also underwent a significant shift in their approach to getting the very best from themselves.

Improving Grades Retaking A Level’s - Sebastian's experience in his own words

Sebastian decided to take A Levels resits after initially achieving grades of DDE at a local state school. Through determination and hard work, he remarkably improved his grades to AAA in just two years, earning him a well-deserved place at Bristol University to study Zoology before specializing in Molecular Biology.

Sebastian's Journey: Overcoming Challenges with A Levels Resits

"When coming to the College, it was a completely different atmosphere from my high school. The teachers were top class - they would actually put effort into every student."

A Transformative Learning Experience: Building Strong Connections with Teachers

"You get help if you need it. You could stay afterward, and they'd be more than happy to help, they'd fully explain it - and that's one of the key things that come from a College with small class sizes."

Fostering a Supportive Learning Community: Embracing Diversity

"The community feel was just very different at the College. Such a diverse range of ages, people, religions, and cultural backgrounds, and everyone just mixed so well."

Empowerment through Education: Developing Skills and Time Management

"You are given more responsibilities and trust - but you're also shown and taught in a way how to revise and be efficient with your time. You end up doing as well as you do because of the teaching, the learning, and the environment, which drives you on."

A College Experience Redefined: Accessible Support and Mentorship

"That's what I found out at College - that teachers are easily accessible for support. That you can approach the teachers and get that extra help, and it doesn't feel like you are bugging them or taking their time. It's just normal to do it."

Listen to the full episode of the podcast to find out how Sebastian has moved on to a PhD at Imperial College.





  • 29


    Ealing Independent College Teacher Interview: Debora

    “I think the students at EIC have a lot more freedom to express their identity and they have a lot more freedom to choose their subjects"

  • 25


    The Monday Briefing: Inside of Me

    I’ve become more convinced than ever that one must continue to challenge oneself, and really test the substance of what is inside, otherwise life can...

  • 22


    Laura's Interview: Pastoral care at EIC

    “I am proud of the fact that the number of students with an EHCP has grown throughout my time here, and that many local authorities in London now look...

  • 18


    The Monday Briefing: Love on the Run

    In a sporting sense, the College, with no green fields or indoor courts, may not appear to have much to offer, but that would be a mistaken assumption...

  • 15


    My first week at the college - Jehad

    Having worked in various educational institutions before, I can confidently say that EIC distinguishes itself in many ways but most importantly, the s...

  • 11


    The Monday Briefing: Into the Groove

    I’ve often told students that Ealing is a College which runs on trust. Students have such freedoms here - a less rigid approach to rules and regulatio...

  • 24


    Principal's Response to GCSE Results 2023

    “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving ...

  • 17


    A-Level Results Day 2023 - Principal's Response

    This year, nationally, we’ve experienced the biggest drop in results ever, as the effort to move beyond the grade inflation of the Covid years reaches...

  • 16


    Our Student Reflections Part 2

    Looking ahead to results day, my anticipation is a mix of excitement and determination.

  • 15


    Our Student Reflections

    “Straight away I felt an immediate change, the teachers seemed to care and everyone was much closer like a community, the standard of teaching was muc...

  • 10


    GCSE Retake Success - Evan's Journey

    Ealing Independent College has a great deal of experience in enacting ‘the turnaround’ for students. Many students come to us having ...

  • 09


    A Level Resits - Michelle's Journey

    “If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick those pieces up and start again.” Flavia Weedn A L...