Mitigating circumstances Watch

someone_somewhere
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By putting down mitigating circumstances on an application for a training contract, how much flexibility will it buy me?
Circumstances being a family breakdown and losing family home at the time of A-level exams. Looking at 280 UCAS points initially. Taken a gap year, with a resit in one subject (now at grade A) and a whole new A-level taken (gaining a grade B).
GCSEs are good (A and A* grades), hopefully going to get a first in my degree at a top 5 uni.
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Lewisy-boy
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They will only see the new grades, so you won't need to put down extenuating circumstnaces.

I like the last line of your post about the first, just wait and see, although I like the way you're aiming high!
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someone_somewhere
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Thanks for replying.
I know how hard it is to get a first, I have done two years of uni already so I appreciate the standard needed. Fingers crossed if I keep my head down etc etc!
Its true that the firm will only know the final grades, but they will need to know the dates of when I received the grades. Two of my A-levels will be a year late so they will know I took a gap year to re-do certain subjects and hence will be able to guess that I did below satisfactory first time round. Right?
Do you think the circumstances I said above will be enough for them not to bin my application before even reading it?
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Lewisy-boy
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lol if you have a first class degree from a top uni I doubt they'll be nit picking over your a levels... you could always email them to check in advance, I did this when in singapore asking about how i would be interviewed and it helps to build a rapport early on with grad rec, or I found it did anyway. makes you look keen also.
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someone_somewhere
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I might just do that, thanks!
I was just worried that a MC firm would rule me out because of not having straight A grades at A-level even though I had mitigating circumstances.
Do you think there are people out there in MC firms without straight A grades?
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Lewisy-boy
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who cares... you can get training every bit as good elsewhere, but I would imagine that some people are indeed in the MC without it. Not everyone there comes from Oxford/Cambridge/LSE etc.
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Ethereal
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I hate to be truely harsh but I don't think firms will accept family break up at the time of A-Level exams as mitigating, epecially when A2s are modular.

Mitigating circumstances are death, severe illness or something traumatic
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Alan Smithee
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I suppose family break ups can be traumatic, though.
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Stealth-Mode
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(Original post by someone_somewhere)
By putting down mitigating circumstances on an application for a training contract, how much flexibility will it buy me?
Circumstances being a family breakdown and losing family home at the time of A-level exams. Looking at 280 UCAS points initially. Taken a gap year, with a resit in one subject (now at grade A) and a whole new A-level taken (gaining a grade B).
GCSEs are good (A and A* grades), hopefully going to get a first in my degree at a top 5 uni.

Heya i had a slightly similar experience to yourself. However if i'm to be frank, i doubt that you will get into a top 5 uni for law with 280 initial ucas points (BBC?) which was then retaken to get ABC/ABB(?)- the extra B A level is not considered for top 15 uni's as they require a single sitting i'm afraid. The re-take mark will only be considered if your mitigating circumstance is found to be mitigating eneough. Lets say it was for arguments sake. No top 5 uni's for law will accept less than AAB though. Try looking at top 20/30 to be safe. Perhaps one top 5 uni on your application would be more prudent?

Sos for bad news but better you consider this now i think.
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TommehR
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(Original post by Ethereal)
I hate to be truely harsh but I don't think firms will accept family break up at the time of A-Level exams as mitigating, epecially when A2s are modular.
What do you mean by this? I had all my A2 exams within a week or two of each other. Just because they're modular doesn't mean they're spread out across the year.

Mitigating circumstances are death, severe illness or something traumatic
You don't that having a family breakdown is traumatic? :eek:
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Lewisy-boy
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That depends... some family breakdowns are traumatic, other are not so. I haven't been through one, but some of my friends did at school, and I can honestly say that it was fairly easy for one of them, and the other one had an absolute nightmare (because his dad slept with a Polish girl who worked for him who was younger than my mate... shocking) and his mum went nuts.
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Stealth-Mode
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It toally depends. Some are very amicable. Others can be emotionally scarring and interupt the life of everone involved. Especially the kids. No-one can know the situation that had led to the family break-up except those involved and how the breadown of the family manifested itself. Sometimes it can be VERY traumatic. You would be surprised at some of the horror stories out there.
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TommehR
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I think that we can assume that by labelling it a family breakdown and that he/she lost their family home, that this probably wasn't amicable.
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Ethereal
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(Original post by TommehR)
What do you mean by this? I had all my A2 exams within a week or two of each other. Just because they're modular doesn't mean they're spread out across the year.
No, but they aren't a terminal 100% paper at the end of two years are they?

You don't that having a family breakdown is traumatic? :eek:
I think it is unfortunate, I don't think it's traumatic.
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TommehR
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(Original post by Ethereal)
No, but they aren't a terminal 100% paper at the end of two years are they?
No, but they make up 50% of your final grade. To have something (that I think is) traumatic happen at the time when you're taking those papers would greatly impair your ability to achieve the best you could
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Lewisy-boy
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Not if you're hard as nails.
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someone_somewhere
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(Original post by [email protected])
Heya i had a slightly similar experience to yourself. However if i'm to be frank, i doubt that you will get into a top 5 uni for law with 280 initial ucas points (BBC?) which was then retaken to get ABC/ABB(?)- the extra B A level is not considered for top 15 uni's as they require a single sitting i'm afraid. The re-take mark will only be considered if your mitigating circumstance is found to be mitigating eneough. Lets say it was for arguments sake. No top 5 uni's for law will accept less than AAB though. Try looking at top 20/30 to be safe. Perhaps one top 5 uni on your application would be more prudent?

Sos for bad news but better you consider this now i think.
Thanks for the advice, but I am already at a top 5 uni studying a non-Law subject...I have jumped that hurdle thank goodness
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Purple
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(Original post by [email protected])
Heya i had a slightly similar experience to yourself. However if i'm to be frank, i doubt that you will get into a top 5 uni for law with 280 initial ucas points (BBC?) which was then retaken to get ABC/ABB(?)- the extra B A level is not considered for top 15 uni's as they require a single sitting i'm afraid. The re-take mark will only be considered if your mitigating circumstance is found to be mitigating eneough. Lets say it was for arguments sake. No top 5 uni's for law will accept less than AAB though. Try looking at top 20/30 to be safe. Perhaps one top 5 uni on your application would be more prudent?

Sos for bad news but better you consider this now i think.
Not all "top 15" universities require the A levels to be obtained in a single sitting.
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ninon
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I think that most reasonable people would consider family breakdown and the loss of the family home in the midst of your A Levels to be disruptive and to have affected your performance. Good GCSE performance and a first class degree further demonstrate that your A Levels at first sit are not indicative of your academic ability.

I also think that you will find that there are plenty of people in MC firms without straight As at A Levels.

I would suggest that it is wise to be straight about the situation on your application forms. Some firms will ask you to provide your A Level and degree certificates, so it pays to be upfront about the resit.

An extra B grade A Level in a year is a considerable achievement - well done!
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someone_somewhere
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(Original post by ninon)
I think that most reasonable people would consider family breakdown and the loss of the family home in the midst of your A Levels to be disruptive and to have affected your performance. Good GCSE performance and a first class degree further demonstrate that your A Levels at first sit are not indicative of your academic ability.

I also think that you will find that there are plenty of people in MC firms without straight As at A Levels.

I would suggest that it is wise to be straight about the situation on your application forms. Some firms will ask you to provide your A Level and degree certificates, so it pays to be upfront about the resit.

An extra B grade A Level in a year is a considerable achievement - well done!
Thank you! Your comments and advice have helped me to relax and given me the encouragement to apply to Law firms next year. Hopefully someone in HR will see beyond a difficult time and give me the opportunity of at least an interview.
Thank you also to everyone else and their advice!
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