Asking this for someone else.

Their son did really badly in their AS levels, as he didn't work. He did amazingly in GCSE, and had 2A*s, 7As a B and a C. They could have done so much better.

However, this made him complacent and the 12 week break made him demotivated and not work throughout the entire year.

Anyway, he got a B in biology, an E in chemistry, an E in maths and a D in physics. He could have done so much better. Now the parents aren't sure what to do.

They have several options, with lots of pros and cons for each

Also, he wants to drop biology, as he hates it. He refuses to carry on with biology as the exam was really easy, and apparently it was a fluke.

Option 1: Retake the year at same school. (so do year 12 again)


  • Can scrap poor AS results and start again.
  • Government Funded
  • University


  • The new A-Levels seem horrible.
  • The year below are not a very good year, with poor results and lots of not very nice people (chavs)
  • Would lose current friends a year down the line when they go to university.

Option 2: Retake the year at another school


  • Fresh Start
  • Has a good chance of going to university (long term goal)
  • Will improve social life, and makes new friends.


  • Risk of not making friends (slightly socially awkward as bullied at school).
  • Gambling if school will be right, as no time for open days.
  • Social side holding them back. There is a risk of not settling in well.

Option 3: Retake AS papers and do A2 at same time


  • Only take a year
  • No losing friends


  • Less social life (there is a higher chance of having new friends at a new school, and going to parties and things)
  • Increased workload (doubled)
  • High risk of not passing and not getting into university.
  • Will get no offers and will have to apply through clearing for university.

Are there any other plausible options? I have listed the first three options they have thought of.

Note: The son does not want to go to college.

He has no idea what to do either. He needs AAB for university in the total A-Level.

They're in West Kent, in England.

Edit: I'm what this question is about ;)

I haven't taken drugs

I just think I just let my social life take over my work life

  • 3
    This seems very country specific and hard to decipher. What is an AS level? Is there a difference between college and university? Aug 26, 2015 at 8:38
  • 1
    I have no idea about the American system and the UK system. Your question talks a lot about university and then says that the parents do not want to send their son to college. Does that mean they don't want to send their son to university, or is there something in between high school and university called college? Aug 26, 2015 at 9:31
  • 1
    University and college are different things. College and sixth form in the UK (I think) is like high school in the US, and University in the UK is College in the USA
    – George
    Aug 26, 2015 at 9:35
  • 2
    One thing that seems to be missing: What does the SON want? Especially the "parents to not want to send their son to college" sticks out a bit... he would be somewhere around 17? If he has a (realistic) goal for his future, that should be taken into consideration.
    – Layna
    Aug 26, 2015 at 10:30
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it appears to be about careers / educational advice, not about parenting. There's nothing about how to hold the discussion with parents or how to persuade the child etc.
    – DanBeale
    Aug 31, 2015 at 9:38

1 Answer 1


Retake year 12 at the same school. Hopefully this will have woken him up to the merits of dossing. He doesn't need to lose his current friends, but then again he will see them less in lessons and that may not be a bad thing. There needs to be a cost to him of doing this, and if he bears that cost he will have learned a great life lesson.

He will still see his friends outside of lessons, and if the new crowd is a bad year that'll help him greatly. Practically, for his future desires (he wants to go to uni in the UK) he needs to retake yr 12. Going to another school means maybe not seeing his friends much at all, and that can be isolating at a time when he needs to also process his own failure.

  • 1
    I did this - and it worked out perfectly for me. Working with other students that used to be in a lower year just motivated me more to more work. Aug 27, 2015 at 15:21

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