Can a bad grade in an extra, compulsory A Level bring down your chances for uni? Watch

loz876
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At my sixth form, along with our 4 AS Levels we are doing, we also have to do Citizenship AS (not sure if we have to do it A2 as well). We have a Citizenship class once and week, and will be entered for the exam in summer. I want to do medicine and am also doing maths, biology, chemistry and philosophy & ethics, and since in summer I'll be focusing on getting A grades in my other subjects, would, say, a D in citizenship come across worse than if I didn't do that course at all? Or do they look at the required A levels and ignore extras/early ones (I did one early as well).
Thanks for your help
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Genocidal
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I'm not sure but if I were you I just wouldn't turn up to the exam in the summer. And I would check with the school if you have to take A2 level too.
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loz876
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(Original post by Genocidal)
I'm not sure but if I were you I just wouldn't turn up to the exam in the summer. And I would check with the school if you have to take A2 level too.
I see what you mean - because surely failing it (and therefore not having to enter it into my UCAS form) would be better than a bad grade/predicted grade in my UCAS application?
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Genocidal
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(Original post by loz876)
I see what you mean - because surely failing it (and therefore not having to enter it into my UCAS form) would be better than a bad grade/predicted grade in my UCAS application?
Yes that's what I mean. That's why I said don't turn up to the exam because you will get a U and not have to enter it. that's why I also said ask if you have to take it to A2. If you do then I suggest you ask your parents to talk to the school about not doing it because it could be a disadvantage even if the A level is pretty worthless.

I would even go as far in this situation to say that you may have to move college if the school tries to force you to take it to A2.
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loz876
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Although, on lots of unis' sites, it does say for example "x number of points, exlcuding General Studies and Critical Thinking".. wouldn't Citizenship fall into this?
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Persephone9
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(Original post by loz876)
Although, on lots of unis' sites, it does say for example "x number of points, exlcuding General Studies and Critical Thinking".. wouldn't Citizenship fall into this?
Probably, but you would need to email the unis for sure.

Things like gen studies/crit thinking are occasionally looked at in borderline candidates. This is pretty rare though. The same may be true for citizenship.

Is citizenship something you would need to revise for to do well in?
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Genocidal
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(Original post by loz876)
Although, on lots of unis' sites, it does say for example "x number of points, exlcuding General Studies and Critical Thinking".. wouldn't Citizenship fall into this?
It really depends where you are aiming for. If a university gives out offers in terms of points then by all means take citizenship and it will not matter. But the top universities tend to give offers in terms of AAA or AAB.

I would decide where you want to go and which course you want to do first.
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Aristotle's' Disciple
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That's strange? My biology teacher, also our Head UCAS refferee, tells me that even U's go onto the application. Every grade they have of your will go on according to him, this was in a lecture he gave us about how just because some of us will only be taking biology at AS level it does not mean Universities will not see the grade we get.
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thegaffer91
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It shouldn't matter, I have a friend who got AAAAD (D in GS) and he is now doing medicine.
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loz876
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(Original post by Genocidal)
It really depends where you are aiming for. If a university gives out offers in terms of points then by all means take citizenship and it will not matter. But the top universities tend to give offers in terms of AAA or AAB.

I would decide where you want to go and which course you want to do first.
Yeah I've seen that most places for medicine give out offers with specific grades, not points... but if I get a conditional offer of AAB, then surely all other subjects would not count? I'm in the process of deciding where I want to go.. it's hard haha!

(Original post by shahedul)
That's strange? My biology teacher, also our Head UCAS refferee, tells me that even U's go onto the application. Every grade they have of your will go on according to him, this was in a lecture he gave us about how just because some of us will only be taking biology at AS level it does not mean Universities will not see the grade we get.
I thought that if you failed, you didn't have that qualification, so it was as if you didn't take it? Because when you get a U, you don't get the certificate, whereas if you get an E, you get the qualification and certificate, and therefore have to enter it into UCAS. That's what I thought you did anyway.
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Rainbow-Dream
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I'm sorta worried about this as well.
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Aristotle's' Disciple
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(Original post by loz876)
I thought that if you failed, you didn't have that qualification, so it was as if you didn't take it? Because when you get a U, you don't get the certificate, whereas if you get an E, you get the qualification and certificate, and therefore have to enter it into UCAS. That's what I thought you did anyway.
I could be wrong, but I'm sure that's what he said :/
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loz876
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(Original post by shahedul)
I could be wrong, but I'm sure that's what he said :/
I could be wrong too haha. I just assumed if you failed something it was as if you didn't take it in the first place!
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Alian
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I took AS critical thinking as an extra (5th) AS-level and got a D. I still got into my prefered uni (Exeter) with an offer of the lowest grades they offer for my subject of BBB (and I was predicted AAA so they could easily of asked for higher). Don't know what would happen if you applied for Oxbridge or Durham or something but they don't usually count general studies at all so I wouldn't worry about it.
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Persephone9
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(Original post by loz876)
Yeah I've seen that most places for medicine give out offers with specific grades, not points... but if I get a conditional offer of AAB, then surely all other subjects would not count? I'm in the process of deciding where I want to go.. it's hard haha!
The only med school (as far as I know) that uses points is BSMS (they don't use them all the time, my offer was points, others were grades). However, they specify that the points can only be gained over 3 A levels (so an As in anything doesn't count), and exclude things like gen studies, crit thinking (so they may also exclude A2 citizenship, if you were taking it. Anywhere that gives you a grade offer may also exclude citizenship).

Citizenship won't be that useful in terms of fulfilling an offer, but subjects like gen studies/crit thinking (so presumably citizenship) are occasionally (i really do mean occasionally) used to distinguish between borderline candidates.
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ilickbatteries
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(Original post by shahedul)
That's strange? My biology teacher, also our Head UCAS refferee, tells me that even U's go onto the application. Every grade they have of your will go on according to him, this was in a lecture he gave us about how just because some of us will only be taking biology at AS level it does not mean Universities will not see the grade we get.
Lies. Absolute lies.

Minerva (I think that's her username) put a UCAS guide up on here that stated outright that U grades do not go on your UCAS. They can of course put them on in your reference if they want to be complete ********s.

I got U U U U in my first year of college (long story! ) and didn't have to declare it on my UCAS this year.
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loz876
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(Original post by Persephone9)
The only med school (as far as I know) that uses points is BSMS (they don't use them all the time, my offer was points, others were grades). However, they specify that the points can only be gained over 3 A levels (so an As in anything doesn't count), and exclude things like gen studies, crit thinking (so they may also exclude A2 citizenship, if you were taking it. Anywhere that gives you a grade offer may also exclude citizenship).

Citizenship won't be that useful in terms of fulfilling an offer, but subjects like gen studies/crit thinking (so presumably citizenship) are occasionally (i really do mean occasionally) used to distinguish between borderline candidates.
I prefer grade offers not points anyway!
This is good though... I was worrying that a uni might see this extra subject and want a specific grade in it, even though it has no relevance whatsoever to medicine! So, if I get A grades in my other subjects (hopefully!) then there shouldn't be a difference between a B or an E in citizenship?
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Cszb44
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You could try asking your school is they could make it so it's not automatically cashed in so that if you do well you can cash it in and have the grade but if it doesn't go well it's as if it doesn't exist? That's what my school did for all of my year's AS critical thinking results..
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Persephone9
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(Original post by loz876)
I prefer grade offers not points anyway!
This is good though... I was worrying that a uni might see this extra subject and want a specific grade in it, even though it has no relevance whatsoever to medicine! So, if I get A grades in my other subjects (hopefully!) then there shouldn't be a difference between a B or an E in citizenship?
They're basically the same once you've worked out what grades you need to get the points. Points offers are slightly more flexible (In terms of points, AAA = A*AB = A*A*C), but it's not something to worry about unless you apply to BSMS.

I don't think the uni would specify a grade in a subject that they didn't count at A level, as to do that they would have to make it part of your offer, and so would not be excluding it. You may want to check with the unis just to be sure.

At A2, no, what you got in the 4th subject wouldn't matter for medicine, if it doen't form part of your offer (eg. I got A*AAC, C in gen studies).
However, at As your grade may make a difference (if the As grade is certificates/gives you a poor predicted grade). However, as citizenship (assuming it's like gen studies/crit thinking) is only used as a borderline decision maker, it would have a massive affect on your application if you did do badly, especially if you had done well in your other As levels.
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Persephone9
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(Original post by Cszb44)
You could try asking your school is they could make it so it's not automatically cashed in so that if you do well you can cash it in and have the grade but if it doesn't go well it's as if it doesn't exist? That's what my school did for all of my year's AS critical thinking results..
Do they still do that? The year above me (who did A2 in 2009) had the option to do that, but we didn't and were told that you couldn't do that anymore. (Maybe my school were just fed up with the paperwork from it)
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