Extenuating Circumstances? Watch

miles37
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Hi, I'd like some help deciding which A-Levels I should take for applying to medical school considering my atypical circumstances.

I started teaching myself AS Maths and AS Physics (from books and the internet) whilst working part time, 4 months before the 2016 summer exams and got a C in Physics (because I didn't leave myself time to do revision or exam practice), and an A in Maths.

I am now studying AS Biology, AS Chemistry and A2 Maths at a college whilst working ~30 hours a week (as a health care assistant), and was planning to take A level Biology, A level Chemistry and A level Physics here next year. The Chemistry teacher is very good, the Biology teacher is OK, but the Maths teacher who is also the Physics teacher is terrible (from the open day and taster day I had concerns about this Maths/Physics teacher, but of the other Sixth Form colleges within travelling distance, one would only allow me to take subjects with them at both AS and A level, meaning that I would have to either not take A2 Maths and A level Physics, or I would have to repeat AS Maths and Physics first; and the others said they would not take people older than 19 (which I am)); he has also just taken 2 weeks of paternity leave and the cover teacher was not only useless (we just did review exercises set by the usual teacher, and the cover teacher was unable to help with anything that we were unsure of, and not interested in doing so anyway), he was actively disruptive throughout the class (striking up irrelevant conversations, explicitly discouraging work, and being negative about people's chances of doing well in exams and life in general). As a result of this, I am considering not taking Physics next year.

So, what I want to know is: How will medical schools look at my application:
1) What will they think about the two AS levels I taught myself over 4 months which were additional to the standard two years?
2) What will they think about the fact that I am working 30 hours per week along side my A levels at college?
3) What would they think if I told them how bad my Maths/Physics teacher was?
4) What would they think if I didn't take A level Physics (so I would have 3 A levels and 1 AS level, but only 2.5 A levels over the standard two year period)?

I may have given superfluous information, but it is because I am not sure what is relevant, and I thought some of it was interesting anyway. I'll be grateful for any advice you can give me.

Regards,

Miles.

Additional note: I am confident that I will get an A* in Chemistry; I expect that I will get an A* in Biology, and I believe that I will get >=A in Maths (through exceptional and exhausting effort due to the poor standard of teaching); if I were to take A level Physics I believe I would also get >=A in that as well, but once again only through exceptional and exhausting effort, but I don't know if it is worth it, considering there are many other valuable things I could be doing with that time, including just not being extremely stressed out.
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redhelen
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Ditch the physics as that is not necessary for medicine. You have something towards your Maths already so no reason that you cant teach yourself any gaps due to poor teaching like you already have done.

What are your gcses like and out of interest why didn't you do A levels straight away?

Working as a healthcare assistant will really be useful in your application.

Put in for your UKCAT this summer, a high score in that would also be helpful.
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Ze Witcher
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(Original post by miles37)
Hi, I'd like some help deciding which A-Levels I should take for applying to medical school considering my atypical circumstances.

I started teaching myself AS Maths and AS Physics (from books and the internet) whilst working part time, 4 months before the 2016 summer exams and got a C in Physics (because I didn't leave myself time to do revision or exam practice), and an A in Maths.

I am now studying AS Biology, AS Chemistry and A2 Maths at a college whilst working ~30 hours a week (as a health care assistant), and was planning to take A level Biology, A level Chemistry and A level Physics here next year. The Chemistry teacher is very good, the Biology teacher is OK, but the Maths teacher who is also the Physics teacher is terrible (from the open day and taster day I had concerns about this Maths/Physics teacher, but of the other Sixth Form colleges within travelling distance, one would only allow me to take subjects with them at both AS and A level, meaning that I would have to either not take A2 Maths and A level Physics, or I would have to repeat AS Maths and Physics first; and the others said they would not take people older than 19 (which I am)); he has also just taken 2 weeks of paternity leave and the cover teacher was not only useless (we just did review exercises set by the usual teacher, and the cover teacher was unable to help with anything that we were unsure of, and not interested in doing so anyway), he was actively disruptive throughout the class (striking up irrelevant conversations, explicitly discouraging work, and being negative about people's chances of doing well in exams and life in general). As a result of this, I am considering not taking Physics next year.

So, what I want to know is: How will medical schools look at my application:
1) What will they think about the two AS levels I taught myself over 4 months which were additional to the standard two years?
2) What will they think about the fact that I am working 30 hours per week along side my A levels at college?
3) What would they think if I told them how bad my Maths/Physics teacher was?
4) What would they think if I didn't take A level Physics (so I would have 3 A levels and 1 AS level, but only 2.5 A levels over the standard two year period)?

I may have given superfluous information, but it is because I am not sure what is relevant, and I thought some of it was interesting anyway. I'll be grateful for any advice you can give me.

Regards,

Miles.

Additional note: I am confident that I will get an A* in Chemistry; I expect that I will get an A* in Biology, and I believe that I will get >=A in Maths (through exceptional and exhausting effort due to the poor standard of teaching); if I were to take A level Physics I believe I would also get >=A in that as well, but once again only through exceptional and exhausting effort, but I don't know if it is worth it, considering there are many other valuable things I could be doing with that time, including just not being extremely stressed out.
I can't help you much but is that maths/physics teacher your only teacher for those subject? If not, according to my head of sixth form, that circumstance won't count as extenuating. As for the others, I am not too sure.
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Helenia
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I think it will depend on your reasons for choosing this path - having a subjectively bad teacher is not extenuating circumstances on its own (having lots of replacement teachers or no teacher might be), and working 30 hours a week and trying to self-teach around that currently seems like your choice rather than a necessity and therefore not extenuating. You need to contact universities to ask what they think of you taking longer than usual and about your general circumstances.
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