Is it worth it to retake B/C Science GCSEs at 21 before Access to Medicine/A-Levels? Watch

galaxysaway88
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I’m 21 years old. I don’t know the specifics as I can’t find my certificate, but I know I got Cs-Bs in the Sciences in my GCSEs. I want to study medicine and will probably go through an Access to Medicine course or study my A-Levels at home (couldn’t finish them due to mental illness at 16).

Is it worth it to retake the GCSEs now as an adult and aim for A/A* grades? A lot of Medicine degrees seem to only accept Bs minimum for the Sciences and I have a bad feeling I got at least one C. Should I try and retake them now or will it just look bad/not be worth it?
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Mustafa0605
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You should call your school where you did your GCSEs and ask them for your grades
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Joe2Jonas
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Hey many graduate entry medical schools do not look at GCSEs so far the following include: Warwick, Newcastle etc. If you have C's then places like Swansea will accept them too just those who ask higher also look at A level grades such as Birmingham and Liverpool. I would recommend searching Gradumed this company helps you for free for students applying to Graduate Entry Medicine
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GANFYD
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(Original post by Joe2Jonas)
Hey many graduate entry medical schools do not look at GCSEs so far the following include: Warwick, Newcastle etc. If you have C's then places like Swansea will accept them too just those who ask higher also look at A level grades such as Birmingham and Liverpool. I would recommend searching Gradumed this company helps you for free for students applying to Graduate Entry Medicine
But OP is not eligible for GEM, as they state, they have not yet completed A levels?
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galaxysaway88
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(Original post by Mustafa0605)
You should call your school where you did your GCSEs and ask them for your grades
I have, they just haven’t gotten back to me yet and it’s taking a while to get sorted out, so I was wondering what would be the best course of action in the meantime as I know I didn’t get 3 A’s.

(Original post by Joe2Jonas)
Hey many graduate entry medical schools do not look at GCSEs so far the following include: Warwick, Newcastle etc. If you have C's then places like Swansea will accept them too just those who ask higher also look at A level grades such as Birmingham and Liverpool. I would recommend searching Gradumed this company helps you for free for students applying to Graduate Entry Medicine
As someone said above, I am not a university graduate and so that is not an option for me. But thank you.
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GANFYD
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(Original post by galaxysaway88)
I’m 21 years old. I don’t know the specifics as I can’t find my certificate, but I know I got Cs-Bs in the Sciences in my GCSEs. I want to study medicine and will probably go through an Access to Medicine course or study my A-Levels at home (couldn’t finish them due to mental illness at 16).

Is it worth it to retake the GCSEs now as an adult and aim for A/A* grades? A lot of Medicine degrees seem to only accept Bs minimum for the Sciences and I have a bad feeling I got at least one C. Should I try and retake them now or will it just look bad/not be worth it?
Most med schools only require Bs in Eng and maths, though some do ask for it in biology and chemistry too and others will score all your GCSEs. Find out your grades and then you have a decision to make as to whether to sit A levels or look at an access course. If you decide on the latter, do check with them how many of their students progress to med school. I would have thought doing your A levels is the easier route as will leave you the most options open to you
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ecolier
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galaxysaway88 Just to let you know that @GANFYD is one of the most knowledgeable on med school admissions, if not the most, on TSR.

You are definitely getting the right advice - what you decide to do is up to you.
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GANFYD
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(Original post by galaxysaway88)
The thing with A-Levels is that I would either have to try and manage to let them study alongside 16 year olds at a college (which sounds like hell), or do them by myself at home. I’m worried I would be less likely to be able to get the A’s needed for pretty much every medical school without tutor support and a learning environment. And since it seems like it’s 100% exam work, I don’t want to mess up like I did with my GCSES since I am leagues better at coursework.

But I also know that they’re universally recognised in comparison to an Access Course, and would give me more options if I didn’t get the distinctions needed. And the HE Diploma is likely more intensive as it’s a year, even if it could be easier in comparison to A-Levels. It basically narrows my university options down by over a half and could make it harder to apply to them if they look down upon it.

It’s difficult to know which path to take as both have a lot of pros and cons to them, and since I haven’t been in education for 5-6 years I feel very torn and not sure what the right thing to do for me is without having someone with experience in this giving me advice. Hence, TSR. :confused:
I don’t know where you are based, but there are colleges that offer A levels for adults, I believe. Here is a good place to start looking and if you google A levels for adults lots of links come up, eg
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4126795
So it may take some hunting around, but they are out there! The difficulty with chem and bio at A level is unis require a pass in the practical element and it can be hard to find a centre offering this and expensive to sit.
I doubt you will find anyone with the exact answer for you in here, but it is a good place to start looking for possible options
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GANFYD
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(Original post by ecolier)
galaxysaway88 Just to let you know that @GANFYD is one of the most knowledgeable on med school admissions, if not the most, on TSR.

You are definitely getting the right advice - what you decide to do is up to you.
☺️ Gee shucks, thanks
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galaxysaway88
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(Original post by GANFYD)
I don’t know where you are based, but there are colleges that offer A levels for adults, I believe. Here is a good place to start looking and if you google A levels for adults lots of links come up, eg
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4126795
So it may take some hunting around, but they are out there! The difficulty with chem and bio at A level is unis require a pass in the practical element and it can be hard to find a centre offering this and expensive to sit.
I doubt you will find anyone with the exact answer for you in here, but it is a good place to start looking for possible options
I’ve looked there aren’t any within 3 hours of me that are still available. I can’t drive/couldn’t afford train fares to go that far away every day for college, anyway. So I don’t think that’s possible for me. I’ve sent some emails to my local colleges just in case their online info is out of date in the hopes I could study, but the idea of being around 16 year olds is a little humiliating and nervewracking to be honest, if I was the odd one out.

And since I don’t think I could manage doing 3 science based A levels at the same time on my own with basically no support after 5-6 years out of education, and hoping I just manage to get A’s... I’m honestly just not sure what to do. I don’t think unis will accept it if I do them outside of a 3 year period. The HE Medicine Diploma is available nearby to me at a college that’s course is accepted by at least a handful of universities, but not many. And you and some other people don’t seem to think it’s a good idea so it probably isn’t.

I don’t know if I expect anyone to be able to give ne advice on this predicament I’m in, ha. Maybe I should just give up. I just wanted to be able to have the chance to do this since I thought I wouldn’t be able to, but I was probably right? I’ll keep researching I guess.
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GANFYD
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(Original post by galaxysaway88)
I’ve looked there aren’t any within 3 hours of me that are still available. I can’t drive/couldn’t afford train fares to go that far away every day for college, anyway. So I don’t think that’s possible for me. I’ve sent some emails to my local colleges just in case their online info is out of date in the hopes I could study, but the idea of being around 16 year olds is a little humiliating and nervewracking to be honest, if I was the odd one out.

And since I don’t think I could manage doing 3 science based A levels at the same time on my own with basically no support after 5-6 years out of education, and hoping I just manage to get A’s... I’m honestly just not sure what to do. I don’t think unis will accept it if I do them outside of a 3 year period. The HE Medicine Diploma is available nearby to me at a college that’s course is accepted by at least a handful of universities, but not many. And you and some other people don’t seem to think it’s a good idea so it probably isn’t.

I don’t know if I expect anyone to be able to give ne advice on this predicament I’m in, ha. Maybe I should just give up. I just wanted to be able to have the chance to do this since I thought I wouldn’t be able to, but I was probably right? I’ll keep researching I guess.
It is not that Access to Medicine courses are not a good idea, it is just that they limit your options as to where you can apply afterwards, and some courses have no history of students ever getting a place to study medicine! People do get in via this route every year, but it is very competitive and as you say, intense due to the courses generally being a year long.

I would think carefully about A levels, as a med student and Dr you will be mising with people of all ages and backgrounds and will need to be able to interact with them. Most 16 year olds would be pretty impressed at your dedication and motivation, I would have thought! And many more med schools now accept resits of A levels done over more than 3 years (up to around 18 at last count!)

Don't give up now if this is something you want to do and feel you are academically able, continue to investigate things and come back if you have questions you think we can help with.
Good luck!
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