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Peer-To-Peer Advice: Resitting Your Exams

22/08/2017 17:01
Stephane Mahe / Reuters

Angel is a coach on BBC Learning's The Mind Set campaign. For information, support and advice on revision and exams visit: www.bbc.co.uk/mindset.

Resitting exams can be stressful.

Stressful because it's irritating having to start revising a subject you thought you had already conquered.

And stressful because you have to sacrifice your free time in an attempt to master whatever dreadful subject seems to have latched itself to your throne.

Trust me, I know. I had to resit my Maths and English GCSEs in college.

This seemed terrible to begin with. I was juggling two A Levels, a BTEC and two resits. I was drowning in work. Every chance I had to grasp a little bit of air to enjoy some 'me' time, alarm bells would chime reminding me I had a deadline to meet.

As I found myself losing out on free time, I began to compare myself to my friends. They were lucky enough to have passed the first time round. I didn't understand why the same hadn't happened to me. I questioned my abilities and found myself pondering why I found maths so difficult.

I spoke to my teacher about how I was feeling - and I'm so glad I did. She was understanding and patient with me and that really made a difference.

It's important to make sure you speak to your teachers and family about any stresses or problems you're having. They're there to support you, and support in difficult times can make a significant difference.

Luckily for me, I wasn't the only one fighting with maths. Those of us resitting the subject had extra classes together. This was great in the sense that I felt comfortable. I was working with others who felt the same way I did. I wasn't alone. 

Strangely enough, after a while I started to enjoy maths. We tend to enjoy subjects we're good at. After figuring out maths wasn't the demon it appeared to be, I felt confident about the upcoming resit.

On the day of my resit I walked into the exam room with my head held high. It was taking a risk and learning to dance with a subject I had been battling with for so long that allowed me to achieve the grade I knew I was capable of.

If you feel like you didn't do as well as you wished, speak to your teacher about the options you have. You won't lose anything by resitting an exam. It's a chance to try again and an opportunity to really push yourself.

Once you've booked your exam, start preparing. If you're revising a subject for the second time, revision might be a little easier.

Dig out the old textbooks you thought you'd never need again. Seeing something as familiar as the textbook you used to revise the first time might jog your memory and help the information to sink in. As you go through your revision material, pick out the topics you struggle to understand so you know to go back to them. 

Past papers are also very useful. The paper you took the first time should be available a few months later. Downloading it and looking at all the questions you found tricky to answer is another great way of revising.

Fingers crossed it'll be second time lucky.

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