I'm hoping to apply for secondary maths this year, but I'm worried that my academic record and reference will let me down. Basically:
I have 8A*s, 4As at GCSE and 3A* A-levels and 2 A AS-levels so pre-university I had very good results.
I came to university and I grossly underestimated the amount of effort needed to pass exams. Spent the year partying and started revising a week before all my exams started, which ultimately resulted in me passing my first year with a third. The first year was worth 1/9.
Second year started and for the first month I was getting 2.1s in my tests and keeping up with the material until personal problems started affecting my work. Because of my first year results, the falling behind of my work took a massive toll on me, and coupled with the personal problems I became depressed. Went to see the doctor 3 months before exams. Had extreme side effects to the prescribed medication, but the doctor told me to keep taking them because they'll go away. They didn't and culminated in a mental breakdown and me having to withdraw from exams with mitigating circumstances with my department's support. Stopped taking the medication and I'm currently revising for uncapped exams in September.
I went to my personal tutor about this after and he said he didn't know why I was telling him this. He also said he can't help me with choosing modules next year. Since I'd have to go to him for my reference, I'm worried that the reference will be awful, as it should be considering my first year results! And yes I have mitigating circumstances, but my academic record really doesn't show I'm ready for the demands of PGCE. Also although my depression did affect my work, the thing that made me completely unable to work was the medication, which obviously I will never take again.
How much of a disadvantage does this put me on? I should have 2 weeks of work experience sorted and a decent personal statement.
Maths is a shortage subject so I think they will be more accepting than other more oversubscribed subjects. I think I would see what the universities you want to apply for want for results, (ring them up and ask!) then you will know for sure.
Your personal tutor can't give you a negative reference so I wouldn't worry about that, I would just put my all in to third year and hopefully come out of it all with a grade you are happy with!
I was in a similar situation to you (I ended up repeating 2nd year as I was too depressed to sit the exams). Also applying for Secondary Maths.
I had a place up until July last year when I got my result but because I got a third was told that I did not have enough subject knowledge and would not cope with a PGCE. The uni where I was going to do a PGCE ignored my personal circumstances (being ill for all of my degree, even though I was better by the time I was applying) and said that they hoped my previous uni had given me enough support.
It is likely that it will all come down to your overall grade unfortunately. A good reference, personal statement, interview and experience got me a place, but my degree classification has stopped me being a teacher for now,
On a happier note, there was another university that would have interviewed me (in July) knowing that I had a third and I probably would have got a place there but I have taken time out to get more experience and study towards a MSc (because I know that I can cope with postgraduate study, and they might give me a bursary later on)