Failed my A-levels, don't want to give up my dream, what can I do? Watch

KFS64
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Hey guys. I am an 18 year student in the UK and have just finished resitting my A-levels. Some of my exams went terribly. My GCSE grades weren't terrible, one A*, the rest a mixture of As and Bs. As for A-Levels, I had a really hard time with my living situation but I don't want to use that as an excuse because other people work super hard no matter their circumstances and get the grades. Anyways, I did poorly, I studied Biology, Chemistry, Psychology & EPQ. I got an A in EPQ, B in Psychology, D in Chemistry and a shocking E in Biology. I resat all of them except for EPQ. I am confident I will get at least an A in Psychology, but Chemistry and Biology I really struggled with. I know some of you will be telling me to be realistic and choose something else, that competition is extremely high and all the rest; I completely understand. However, I have everything a good Medicine student should have, except for the grades. I have A LOT of work experience in many places and always do very well in interviews. I don't ever want to give up on my dreams of being a doctor, I know for a fact that it isn't impossible, even if you think it is, I want to make it possible. The only thing is, because my chances to study in the UK are non-existent, where could I go abroad and who would I have to contact? Would anyone in a different country accept me?
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completecretin
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(Original post by KFS64)
Hey guys. I am an 18 year student in the UK and have just finished resitting my A-levels. Some of my exams went terribly. My GCSE grades weren't terrible, one A*, the rest a mixture of As and Bs. As for A-Levels, I had a really hard time with my living situation but I don't want to use that as an excuse because other people work super hard no matter their circumstances and get the grades. Anyways, I did poorly, I studied Biology, Chemistry, Psychology & EPQ. I got an A in EPQ, B in Psychology, D in Chemistry and a shocking E in Biology. I resat all of them except for EPQ. I am confident I will get at least an A in Psychology, but Chemistry and Biology I really struggled with. I know some of you will be telling me to be realistic and choose something else, that competition is extremely high and all the rest; I completely understand. However, I have everything a good Medicine student should have, except for the grades. I have A LOT of work experience in many places and always do very well in interviews. I don't ever want to give up on my dreams of being a doctor, I know for a fact that it isn't impossible, even if you think it is, I want to make it possible. The only thing is, because my chances to study in the UK are non-existent, where could I go abroad and who would I have to contact? Would anyone in a different country accept me?
If you struggle with Chem and Bio, how can you be sure that you won't struggle with Medicine? You have to be able enough to cope with the workload.
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Royal Oak
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There's always applying to medicine as a graduate. You need to figure out why you struggled though.

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KFS64
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(Original post by ugaaa5)
If you struggle with Chem and Bio, how can you be sure that you won't struggle with Medicine? You have to be able enough to cope with the workload.
I have considered that, I have spoken to tutors and staff that work in Medical Schools like at Keele University for example, they had told me all about the workload, but I don't want to give it up, I will keep studying, I am motivated enough to do so. Just wondering if there are any other chances/opportunities that I could take? Thanks for your response though!
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KFS64
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(Original post by Volibear)
There's always applying to medicine as a graduate. You need to figure out why you struggled though.

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I agree, I'll need to figure out the best ways for me to study, how would applying as a graduate work? What would I be doing in the meantime? Thank you!
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Royal Oak
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(Original post by KFS64)
I agree, I'll need to figure out the best ways for me to study, how would applying as a graduate work? What would I be doing in the meantime? Thank you!
Well you need to get a degree. Preferably in something life science related. But it's incredibly competitive and you're going to need a 2:1 minimum to stand a chance.

You vould also look into access courses but I'm not 100% sure how they work.

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completecretin
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(Original post by KFS64)
I have considered that, I have spoken to tutors and staff that work in Medical Schools like at Keele University for example, they had told me all about the workload, but I don't want to give it up, I will keep studying, I am motivated enough to do so. Just wondering if there are any other chances/opportunities that I could take? Thanks for your response though!
There are, but I don't really want your mental health to suffer at university.
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KFS64
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(Original post by ugaaa5)
There are, but I don't really want your mental health to suffer at university.
Thank you for your concern, it's understandable because I do appreciate the fact that it's extremely hard, harder than any A-Level, but I feel like it's worth it, I'd suffer more mentally if I let my life go to waste on something I felt like I was forced to do.
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Pulchritudinous_
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@KFS64
In this instance, everyone has the potenital to attain exceptionally good grades, however having the means or skill to attain these grades is fundamental in doing so. Having the means or skills is essentially your 'ability' to undertake exams. Unlike potential, ability varies from person to person and can be improved through practice.
∴ the reason as to why you haven't attained results that are much higher than your current attainment is because your way of learning needs to be smarter. In essence, you need to derive the answer using a more efficient method and make links from what you have prevously learnt in order to be more intuitive and feel more confident towards new content.
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KFS64
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(Original post by Pulchritudinous_)
In this instance, everyone has the potenital to attain exceptionally good grades, however having the means or skill to attain these grades is fundamental in doing so. Having the means or skills is essentially your 'ability' to undertake exams. Unlike potential, ability varies from person to person and can be improved through practice.
∴ the reason as to why you haven't attained results that are much higher than your current attainment is because your way of learning needs to be smarter. In essence, you need to derive the answer using a more efficient method and make links from what you have prevously learnt in order to be more intuitive and feel more confident towards new content.
I completely agree, I need to study smarter, not just for longer periods of time. Would there be any other ways other than applying as a graduate that I could study Medicine? Thanks
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Royal Oak
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(Original post by KFS64)
I completely agree, I need to study smarter, not just for longer periods of time. Would there be any other ways other than applying as a graduate that I could study Medicine? Thanks
You could look into foundation entry or access courses and see if they are an option.
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Johnathan94
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(Original post by KFS64)
I completely agree, I need to study smarter, not just for longer periods of time. Would there be any other ways other than applying as a graduate that I could study Medicine? Thanks
I think you really are looking at the graduate pathway at this point - something which is very competitive also.

One option may be to enrol on a life sciences programme (ideally at a university which teaches medicine), do a first year on that programme and absolutely smash it out of the park - straight-A transcript. Using those grades you could put together a medicine application, complete with abundant volunteering and all the other garnishes, requesting access to undergraduate medicine. I don't think many people actually try this option and I don't want to be misleading so I'll say now, many departments won't even consider it... but if you're not fussy about where you study... maybe?

The scenario would then be that if they accept you then great, and if they don't then you continue on through the life sciences degree and apply as a graduate when you're finished.
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Royal Oak
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(Original post by Johnathan94)
I think you really are looking at the graduate pathway at this point - something which is very competitive also.

One option may be to enrol on a life sciences programme (ideally at a university which teaches medicine), do a first year on that programme and absolutely smash it out of the park - straight-A transcript. Using those grades you could put together a medicine application, complete with abundant volunteering and all the other garnishes, requesting access to undergraduate medicine. I don't think many people actually try this option and I don't want to be misleading so I'll say now, many departments won't even consider it... but if you're not fussy about where you study... maybe?

The scenario would then be that if they accept you then great, and if they don't then you continue on through the life sciences degree and apply as a graduate when you're finished.
OP, if you look into this make sure you look at the universities that actually allow transfers to their own medical school. You can't just pick any university that has life science courses and a medicine course and think you can transfer. Also, you'd most likely need to get above 70% in your first year and do well in any admissions exams. It's an incredibly competitive route too so whilst it's an option, don't rely on it.
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Johnathan94
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(Original post by Volibear)
OP, if you look into this make sure you look at the universities that actually allow transfers to their own medical school. You can't just pick any university that has life science courses and a medicine course and think you can transfer. Also, you'd most likely need to get above 70% in your first year and do well in any admissions exams. It's an incredibly competitive route too so whilst it's an option, don't rely on it.
To be fair, I didn't depict it as a reliable option - he's looking for a lifeline and I'm throwing.

I suggested a university that offers medicine because an internal transfer would be a good bet but I wasn't exclusively suggesting internal transfers. If he's able to put together a very strong application, and perhaps formalise the circumstances which impacted his high school results in some way then he might not necessarily be limited to transferring.

EDIT: Also if he's already having to commit himself to a bio degree then he really has nothing to lose in making that application. The volunteering and work entailed in the building of the application will only help him when he graduates and applies via that pathway.
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999tigger
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What volibear said . You need to be honest and figure out why you failed. This is fundamental.
If you are going for GEM then it is even more competitive so you will need to get smart with your academics.
You can also look at the option of going abroad if you are that determined.
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FailedMyMocks
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You could go abroad. I know a lot of people go to Bulgaria Prague and other places to do medicine. It's easier to get in, cheap af and it's also taught in English!

Win-win if you ask me. You seem motivated so you should look into it.
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KFS64
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(Original post by Johnathan94)
To be fair, I didn't depict it as a reliable option - he's looking for a lifeline and I'm throwing.

I suggested a university that offers medicine because an internal transfer would be a good bet but I wasn't exclusively suggesting internal transfers. If he's able to put together a very strong application, and perhaps formalise the circumstances which impacted his high school results in some way then he might not necessarily be limited to transferring.

EDIT: Also if he's already having to commit himself to a bio degree then he really has nothing to lose in making that application. The volunteering and work entailed in the building of the application will only help him when he graduates and applies via that pathway.
Thank you for your input, this really is my best bet, it is all that I am deserving of I suppose. I will try my best and email a few Universities to see how this process works and if I could be eligible for any transfers. I appreciate everyone's support
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the_queen
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(Original post by KFS64)
Hey guys. I am an 18 year student in the UK and have just finished resitting my A-levels. Some of my exams went terribly. My GCSE grades weren't terrible, one A*, the rest a mixture of As and Bs. As for A-Levels, I had a really hard time with my living situation but I don't want to use that as an excuse because other people work super hard no matter their circumstances and get the grades. Anyways, I did poorly, I studied Biology, Chemistry, Psychology & EPQ. I got an A in EPQ, B in Psychology, D in Chemistry and a shocking E in Biology. I resat all of them except for EPQ. I am confident I will get at least an A in Psychology, but Chemistry and Biology I really struggled with. I know some of you will be telling me to be realistic and choose something else, that competition is extremely high and all the rest; I completely understand. However, I have everything a good Medicine student should have, except for the grades. I have A LOT of work experience in many places and always do very well in interviews. I don't ever want to give up on my dreams of being a doctor, I know for a fact that it isn't impossible, even if you think it is, I want to make it possible. The only thing is, because my chances to study in the UK are non-existent, where could I go abroad and who would I have to contact? Would anyone in a different country accept me?
Europe
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KFS64
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(Original post by FailedMyMocks)
You could go abroad. I know a lot of people go to Bulgaria Prague and other places to do medicine. It's easier to get in, cheap af and it's also taught in English!

Win-win if you ask me. You seem motivated so you should look into it.
Ill definitely look into this! Thank you!
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SargentZenj2
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Have you considered applying for medical school abroad?
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