Resit FAQs

Timothy Hoffmann


If you’re looking for information about IB Remarks (as opposed to resitting exams), you can find more information here.

NOTE: IB November 2018 registrations close on July 29th. Speak to your school as soon as possible to avoid missing this registration deadline. Contact Elite IB directly for more guidance.

You might have found yourself in a position where you need to resit to attain the Diploma, to increase your university options, or possibly, you just want to prove that you can gain those extra few marks. We understand that this can be a challenging and confusing time, and there certainly isn’t enough information out there for students! At Elite IB we’ve been working for several years as the lead provider of resit support, from free resources to intensive tuition and our exceptional Resit Revision Course, and we are here to answer all your IB Resits questions!

Please see below some of our most frequently asked questions on IB retakes, answered in simple, easy to comprehend language. You can also find our IB Resits FAQ as a video series- click HERE or scroll down to watch. We will be updating this page regularly with new questions from IB students and families, but please let us know through the form BELOW if you have any IB Resits questions.

In addition, we have significant experience liaising between schools and students to coordinate resit guidance; if you would like to discuss how we may be able to support your student(s) in their resit preparation, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please feel free to call at the number below, where we will be happy to discuss the specific support required, and to advise on similar guidance we have provided previously. Where several students are looking to resit at the same school, we can arrange group lessons and revision sessions in addition to usual one-to-one tuition, online or face-to-face.


How many subjects can I retake?

IB Resits FAQ: How many subjects can I resit?

In the newest video of our IB Resits FAQ video series, Bella explains how many of your International Baccalaureate subjects can you resit. Read the full IB Resits FAQ on the Elite IB website at #IBResits #IBResources #InternationalBaccalaureate

Posted by Elite IB Tutors on Friday, 21 July 2017

You can retake all six of your academic subjects, as well as the core components, or any combination of these, if your subject(s) are offered by your IB World School and they are happy for you to sit each subject or component through them. Candidates can sit a subject up to three times, in three different exam sessions, which do not have to take place consecutively. If you took your exams in May originally, this gives you, for instance, November of the same year, and May of the following year to resit the exams, although not all subjects are available in both May and November sessions. Alternatively, you may wish to wait a full year before resitting any IB exam, and then opt to resit again the same November or following May.

You can also revise or complete a new Extended Essay. A new Extended Essay can be registered in the same or in a different Diploma subject. However, if you are submitting a new or revised Extended Essay in the session six months after your EE was submitted (November, for May graduates), it must be registered in the same Diploma subject. You can also retake Theory of Knowledge, but must be aware you cannot carry over marks from the TOK essay, as the prompts change year-to-year and it is an examined.

Should I retake in November or May?

IB Resits FAQ: Where can I resit my exams?

In our third #IBresit video, Bella explains how to find a school to resit in the #IB at. You can read the full Resit FAQs on the Elite IB website at #IBresources

Posted by Elite IB Tutors on Friday, 14 July 2017

This depends on what your plans are for university and how quickly you think you can reach the level you want. For example, if you are going to university in Australia, South Africa or most countries in the Southern hemisphere, it would be best to do your retakes in November as the university academic year starts in February. This way you will not have to take a year and a half out before university, but rather just 6 months or so.

If the academic year for your universities of choice begins in September, then it all depends on considering your current academic level, aims for your resit subject(s), and commitment to working hard over the coming months and deciding if you feel that you will be able to make enough progress before November to achieve the required grade(s). If you are not confident that the time between May and November will be enough, you should consider resitting in May of the following year. Although, please remember for UK applications that the UCAS application deadline is January 15th, and the November session results are released on January 6th. Therefore students looking to apply, or reapply, to UK unis will be able to apply to university with their concrete resit results, rather than their predicted grades- which further boosts your chances if these  as well as you are hoping! (Although, you will need to weigh this against preparing your application correctly – we can help with that also through our Consulting support.)

When do I register for resits?

IB Resits FAQ: When should I register?

In the second video of our Resits FAQ video series, Bella explains the various deadlines for resits candidates. Don’t forget, you can read the full IB Resits FAQ on the Elite IB website at! #IBResits #IBResources #InternationalBaccalaureate

Posted by Elite IB Tutors on Friday, 14 July 2017

For November exams, candidates must be registered by 29th July if they want to pay the lower registration fees. All candidates that register after 29th July will have to pay higher registration fee, including a late subject fee for each subject or core element registered. The IB will not accept any candidate registrations after the final deadline of 15th October, regardless of when students first took their IB exams.

The deadlines for May exams differ from the November resit deadlines. If you are resitting in May, you need to register by 29th January to attract lower registration fees. The equivalent IB final deadlines for May resit sessions is 15th April.

For students looking to resit an exam six months after their last attempt (in November of the same year for May exam students, for instance), the final registration deadline is July 29th for November exams and January 29th for May exams- the later October/April deadline is not applicable to six-month retake students.

However, you should consider your school’s final internal deadline for registration will vary, and may be much earlier; remember, also, that schools, and therefore IB Coordinators, are often not accessible throughout the summer, and therefore aiming to finalise your plans with the school before the summer holidays begin is strongly recommended. As always, then, it is best not to leave it to the last minute!

How do I register for resits?

IB Resits FAQ: How do I register for resits?

In the first video of our series on IB Resits, Bella explains how to register to resit in the IB. You can read the full IB Resits FAQ on the Elite IB website at Find out when you should register in the next video! #IBResits #IBResources #InternationalBaccalaureate

Posted by Elite IB Tutors on Friday, 14 July 2017

Candidates must be registered through an IB World School – this is vital! The school you have previously sat your exams with is the most obvious choice, but if you have moved or found yourself otherwise unable to retake through your school, it is your responsibility to find a school who will let you resit through them. Elite IB can provide all the tuition for your resit, but we cannot submit your exams, register you as a candidate, or supervise your IA or other non-examined work. You should make speaking with your school’s IB Coordinator a matter of top priority if you decide to resit- schools do not have an obligation to offer you the opportunity to resit through them, and so it can prove difficult to find a school willing to provide you with this chance, particularly if your current school are not happy or able to do so.

Do I retake just my exams, or do I have options to retake my IAs too?

IB Resits FAQ: Resits & IAs

Working out how to handle your Internal Assessments when you’re resitting the IB can be one of the most challenging things to deal with. In our new #IBResits FAQ video, Bella has all the answers you need! #IBResources #InternationalBaccalaureate

Posted by Elite IB Tutors on Friday, 28 July 2017

You do not have to retake all the assessed aspects of your retake subject(s); you may just sit the exams and not change your Internal Assessments. Alternatively, your school may offer you the option of revising or redoing your IAs. In this case, your teacher will be responsible for marking the new IA(s), and must be able to confirm that it is all your own work and that it is significantly different to any previously submitted work. In order to be able to guarantee this to the IBO, students re-submitting an IA or any other non-examination-based work must attend classes at the school they will sit the retake through, making some schools wary of taking on new students who wish to resubmit their IAs in addition to sitting the final exam papers. However, you do not have to attend classes in order to sit the exams for one or more IB subjects, making schools sometimes happier to take on students not planning to re-do their IAs.

How do retakes affect my UCAS applications?

IB Resits FAQ: Resits & Universities

In this week’s #IBResits video, we talk you through the things you need to know about resits and the effect on your university offers. You can read the full IB Resits FAQ on the Elite IB website at #IBResources #InternationalBaccalaureate

Posted by Elite IB Tutors on Friday, 18 August 2017

Most universities do not officially rule out resit candidates, and indeed, we have seen time and time again that IB graduates remain attractive to universities, whether their Diploma was attained over one exam session or two. However, in the cases of many top UK universities, the resit marks must be significantly above the points required for an offer, and there are a small group of institutions who do state they will not consider resit candidates. In order to prove your determination and commitment to your chosen course of study, we would recommend having firm plans for the remainder of your time before your university studies would commence, linked to your course or industry, in addition to the time spent focusing on your exam revision. This shows that not only have you (hopefully!) exceeded your universities’ entrance requirements, but that you are aware of how best to use your time.<\p>

Where can I take my resit exams?

IB Resits FAQ: Where can I resit my exams?

In our third #IBresit video, Bella explains how to find a school to resit in the #IB at. You can read the full Resit FAQs on the Elite IB website at #IBresources

Posted by Elite IB Tutors on Friday, 14 July 2017

You can find a list of all IB World Schools and the exam session(s) in which they participate on the IB website. Please note that not all schools offer retake sessions, and that schools are not obliged to take on resit candidates. You should consult with your current Diploma Programme Coordinator, as well as calling all other local IB schools should your current school be unable or unwilling to support you with your IB retakes, and we recommend doing this as soon as possible, in order to give you the best possible chance of making the necessary arrangements in good time before the registration deadline.

Can I get my resit exams re-marked?

IB Resits FAQ: Resits & Remarking Exams

In our penultimate IB resits video, we explain how to coordinate your IB remarks with the decision to enter yourself as a resit candidate. Don’t forget, you can read the full IB Resits FAQ on the Elite IB website at #IBResources #InternationalBaccalaureate

Posted by Elite IB Tutors on Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Your examiners will not know that you are a resit candidate, and so the re-marking process is the same for you as for any other student taking their exams that session. Do be aware that the deadline for re-marking exam papers is very soon after the release of results though! Also remember that your IB Coordinator must request the re-mark for you, and as you will have left your school, they may ask for you to pay the fee up-front.

How much help will I get for my retakes?

IB Resits FAQ: How much help can I get?

In our final #IB resits video, Bella explains the support options for students resitting the IB, and who and what resources to make use of when preparing for your exams. Don’t forget, you can read the full IB Resits FAQ on the Elite IB website at #IBResources #InternationalBaccalaureate

Posted by Elite IB Tutors on Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Your school can offer you a wide range of support, from merely helping with administration and marking, to offering a full scheme of study- the IB state that any World School must not “simply adopt the role of a “retake centre””, and so must support each candidate, whether they are sitting for the first, second, or third session in a subject. Whatever your circumstance, Elite IB Tutors are here to help. We have a wonderful team of experienced tutors who can provide guidance and support every step of the way, our in-house team of IB graduates take great care to stay on top of IB procedures each year so we can advise students, and our Resits Revision Course is the ideal way to boost your revision in small groups of exam-focused workshops.