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Chemistry Research, Durham University
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Should I be worried?

Hi. I am an 18 year old applicant who achieved 3 A*s at A level (Biology, Psychology and Religion). I am currently on a gap year and chose to reapply to university in an attempt to do medicine. I didn't do so well on my UCAT and subsequently, have been rejected from my 4 medical school options. Despite this, I have not been feeling too down. I had previously applied for psychology before and knew I loved the subject. In addition, I also fell in love with Durham as soon as I researched the university. So, all in all, rejection after rejection, I became more confident that I had made the correct decision anyway in applying to do psychology at Durham. I sent Durham a psychology-specific personal statement and tried to close all the application's weak points. However, we are now approaching April and I still haven't received a decision. To me, I have taken this as a bad sign. I feel very anxious about getting into Durham because it means so much to me. Even if I was accepted by a medical school to medicine, I would have to seriously consider whether medicine is actually the right course for me, and wouldn't be a big mistake. I suppose what I mean to say is that I have set my heart on Durham. Should I be worried that they are taking a while to reply?
Original post by Anonymous
Hi. I am an 18 year old applicant who achieved 3 A*s at A level (Biology, Psychology and Religion). I am currently on a gap year and chose to reapply to university in an attempt to do medicine. I didn't do so well on my UCAT and subsequently, have been rejected from my 4 medical school options. Despite this, I have not been feeling too down. I had previously applied for psychology before and knew I loved the subject. In addition, I also fell in love with Durham as soon as I researched the university. So, all in all, rejection after rejection, I became more confident that I had made the correct decision anyway in applying to do psychology at Durham. I sent Durham a psychology-specific personal statement and tried to close all the application's weak points. However, we are now approaching April and I still haven't received a decision. To me, I have taken this as a bad sign. I feel very anxious about getting into Durham because it means so much to me. Even if I was accepted by a medical school to medicine, I would have to seriously consider whether medicine is actually the right course for me, and wouldn't be a big mistake. I suppose what I mean to say is that I have set my heart on Durham. Should I be worried that they are taking a while to reply?

No not necessarily - wait until they've replied and plan from there.

You can always take a gap year and reapply. Perhaps do online courses and gain some work experience to strengthen your psychology ps and application :smile:
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
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Frankly 3A* ain’t as meaningful as previous years cause they’re Covid marks but nothing to say you wouldn’t have achieved thT to begin with, frankly there’s loads more people this time round with the same mark if not better in the same position so it’s even more competitive just wait till their response I guess
Reply 3
Original post by Anonymous
Frankly 3A* ain’t as meaningful as previous years cause they’re Covid marks but nothing to say you wouldn’t have achieved thT to begin with, frankly there’s loads more people this time round with the same mark if not better in the same position so it’s even more competitive just wait till their response I guess

Yeah It's still concerning they are taking so long. I also disagree that they can consider a certain year groups A levels 'lesser' because of Covid. If they did that, I am pretty sure they would be breaking the law since those grades are still officially recognised as A*s and it is not up to an individual's interpretation to decide whether a particular year groups grades are more 'valid'. I think that would come under discrimination. For example, if I said that your Maths GCSE was less valid than the previous year because their paper was 'harder', that would be discrimination. A grade's validity is not open to interpretation is what I am trying to say. Also, I am not exactly sure what you mean when you say 'better mark'. Since an A* is the top grade, this has confused me. I am not saying you are wrong but perhaps you could enlighten me to see if I have missed anything. I worked very hard to obtain my grades so that there could be little reason to turn me away unless I failed on an Oxbridge admissions exam or a UCAT - however psychology at Durham requires neither of these. So, I am ultimately concerned that I have done all I can to get into Durham but it still may not be good enough. All I can do is wait. But, like I said, this long period of waiting makes me remain doubtful that I will be accepted.
Hi, Durham are taking a really long time with responses this year, so I wouldn't be too worried. I'd recommend checking out the Durham 2022 applicants thread for some peace of mind - lots of people are still waiting. However, the other commenter is correct in saying that grades are worth less to universities in comparison to PSs & teacher references. This is due to the exams not actually being sat, so the other two are much more "concrete" & representative in terms of an applicant's skill level. This isn't said to diminish the hardwork you put in, as 3 A*s is fantastic, but they are worth less to unis when compared to the rest of your application. Best of luck.
If you haven't heard yet, it's very likely that you have passed any initial 'sifting' of the applicant pool and are at least competitive.

No news is good news until you hear otherwise but I appreciate that its nerve-wracking given that you have already had your other replies back.
Original post by Anonymous
Hi. I am an 18 year old applicant who achieved 3 A*s at A level (Biology, Psychology and Religion). I am currently on a gap year and chose to reapply to university in an attempt to do medicine. I didn't do so well on my UCAT and subsequently, have been rejected from my 4 medical school options. Despite this, I have not been feeling too down. I had previously applied for psychology before and knew I loved the subject. In addition, I also fell in love with Durham as soon as I researched the university. So, all in all, rejection after rejection, I became more confident that I had made the correct decision anyway in applying to do psychology at Durham. I sent Durham a psychology-specific personal statement and tried to close all the application's weak points. However, we are now approaching April and I still haven't received a decision. To me, I have taken this as a bad sign. I feel very anxious about getting into Durham because it means so much to me. Even if I was accepted by a medical school to medicine, I would have to seriously consider whether medicine is actually the right course for me, and wouldn't be a big mistake. I suppose what I mean to say is that I have set my heart on Durham. Should I be worried that they are taking a while to reply?


Hi there

I'm sorry it's taking so long but don't worry, your application would still be under consideration if you haven't heard back yet. It's taking longer this year to avoid the ruckus that was created last year and for the transition to be more smooth :smile:

-Himieka (Official DU Rep)
Reply 7
Original post by Anonymous
Yeah It's still concerning they are taking so long. I also disagree that they can consider a certain year groups A levels 'lesser' because of Covid. If they did that, I am pretty sure they would be breaking the law since those grades are still officially recognised as A*s and it is not up to an individual's interpretation to decide whether a particular year groups grades are more 'valid'. I think that would come under discrimination. For example, if I said that your Maths GCSE was less valid than the previous year because their paper was 'harder', that would be discrimination. A grade's validity is not open to interpretation is what I am trying to say. Also, I am not exactly sure what you mean when you say 'better mark'. Since an A* is the top grade, this has confused me. I am not saying you are wrong but perhaps you could enlighten me to see if I have missed anything. I worked very hard to obtain my grades so that there could be little reason to turn me away unless I failed on an Oxbridge admissions exam or a UCAT - however psychology at Durham requires neither of these. So, I am ultimately concerned that I have done all I can to get into Durham but it still may not be good enough. All I can do is wait. But, like I said, this long period of waiting makes me remain doubtful that I will be accepted.

I don't think it's discrimination. I would say it's down to how many people have 3A*s now. I believe before covid, only 1-2% of people got 3A*, during the TAGs it went up to about 5-7%. At the moment 3A* isn't as valuable as it used to be, this doesn't mean they discriminate against people. They simply have more "qualified" applicants than before making it even harder to make offers

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