Retakes/Resits, Revision and External Candidates

Resits & Retakes 

A resit requires that you sit one item of assessment on a further occasion. A retake requires completion of all elements of assessment on a further occasion.

If you haven’t achieved the exam results you’d hoped for, don’t panic! You are certainly not alone and we are here to assist all students who may want to retake IB Diploma exams in order to improve their grades.

IB DP students can retake any number of the academic subjects as well as the core components and may actually sit them up to three times.

However, there are two issues to overcome to achieve a successful retake.

Firstly, you need an examination centre. The obvious first choice is approach one’s existing school to take you back to sit the exam. However, this may not happen for a number of reasons. Maybe you have relocated to a different country and cannot go back home thousands of miles away. Moreover, some schools refuse to allow old students back to retake an exam. One top 5 UK IB school told us that failed students should have worked harder the first time round- a brutal verdict! However there are some alternatives. In the UK there are institutions called private sixth form colleges which allow other students to attend them as an external candidate centre just to sit exams. However many of them insist they retutor the student.

Secondly we would always recommend a student is tutored for retakes. The original school will rarely offer to do this and so the solution is to either attend a private sixth form college or to get a private tutor.

A few colleges also offer one or two-week revision courses in the Easter or Summer holidays.

When it comes to university applications many establishments are pleased to accept applications from retaking candidates as such students show determination, perseverance and ambition. However each department in a university may have their own policy with regard to retakes.  To know where you stand you should make contact to discover if they welcome reapplications and what grades they require.

Contact us for retake advice

To discuss your requirements or ask questions about the retakes in private 6th form colleges, please complete an enquiry form or contact us on

+44 1622 813870