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I have bad Predicted Grades, Should I take a Gap Year after Year 13

Hi Guys,My GCSEs were very good. Literally every subject that I took was a grade 7 or above. However, Since I've started my A - Levels in September last year, my studying has taken a massive dip in this year. Due to this, my predicted grades are very bad. This means I can't apply to universities from russel group even though I know that I could get into a uni like UCL. Therefore, would it benefit me to work hard and get the grades is should be getting in yr 13, take a gap year and then apply for unis?
It depends on a lot of factors.

Firstly, what's the course you want to apply for? If it's for any of the early entry courses (Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry) where the deadline to send in your application is mid October, then the gap year might be a good idea.

The same deadline applies for Oxbridge applications (Oxford and Cambridge) no matter the course.

Secondly, what predictions do you have exactly? It'd be helpful if you gave the exact grade predictions so you can research on what universities you could apply for if you had to apply in Year 13. If you show your teachers that you're actually serious about improving your grades then I'm sure you could negotiate on some of your predictions. These will inevitably change throughout Year 13.

Thirdly, do you actually want to take a gap year? It's easy to say that you'll work hard now but as someone who ended up deferring their uni entry, I'd recommend that you work super hard from now till the end so you can get the highest grades possible. If you don't wish to apply for university in Year 13, what you could do is prepare your personal statement and references for when you decide to apply during your gap year (if you wish to do so)

Overall, predictions can be a pain, especially when it stops you from applying to the courses you want to apply for.

Wishing you all the best :smile:
(edited 1 year ago)
I personally worked my grades up to A*A*AA after showing super good PPE marks, so it is possible if not doing the october deadline.
Original post by hyacinth77
It depends on a lot of factors.

Firstly, what's the course you want to apply for? If it's for any of the early entry courses (Architecture, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry) where the deadline to send in your application is mid October, then the gap year might be a good idea.

The same deadline applies for Oxbridge applications (Oxford and Cambridge) no matter the course.

Secondly, what predictions do you have exactly? It'd be helpful if you gave the exact grade predictions so you can research on what universities you could apply for if you had to apply in Year 13. If you show your teachers that you're actually serious about improving your grades then I'm sure you could negotiate on some of your predictions. These will inevitably change throughout Year 13.

Thirdly, do you actually want to take a gap year? It's easy to say that you'll work hard now but as someone who ended up deferring their uni entry, I'd recommend that you work super hard from now till the end so you can get the highest grades possible. If you don't wish to apply for university in Year 13, what you could do is prepare your personal statement and references for when you decide to apply during your gap year (if you wish to do so)

Overall, predictions can be a pain, especially when it stops you from applying to the courses you want to apply for.

Wishing you all the best :smile:


Thanks. In terms of my predicted grades there is 2 merits and 2 Cs. At the start of the year, I was predicted As and Distinctions for my course. I know I am capable of going to Oxbridge or a high ranking Uni IF I worked hard, but with these predicted grades, there is no chance. To top all of that off, I am pretty unsure on what course I want to apply for. I also 100% understand where your coming from on saying its all good saying that I would work harder now, but with the mess I've put myself in, I feel as if a gap year can only get me to my high goals I've aimlessly set myself. Do you agree? Or is there a better alternative?

P.S. Just for reference, I've taken Maths, Further Maths, Business and IT.
Original post by crashcody
I personally worked my grades up to A*A*AA after showing super good PPE marks, so it is possible if not doing the october deadline.


I totally get what you mean but I would like to apply for Oxbridge as an option. Also, What is PPE?
Original post by abidabi1034
I totally get what you mean but I would like to apply for Oxbridge as an option. Also, What is PPE?

Past paper exams, my school had multiple test exams pre a-levels. If Oxbridge is your goal then it might still be possible but you have to be very persuading. Maybe ask your teachers now and ask what it would take over the holidays.
Even if you do end up with bad predicteds, there's no harm applying anyway and taking a gap year if you don't get a place. You could perhaps put that in your PS, if you convince them you'll do better they might give you an offer since you'll have to get the grades in the real exam anyway.
Original post by hyacinth77
Firstly, what's the course you want to apply for? If it's for any of the early entry courses (Architecture, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry) where the deadline to send in your application is mid October, then the gap year might be a good idea.

Just to clarify, architecture isn't an October application-deadline subject.
Original post by abidabi1034
Hi Guys,My GCSEs were very good. Literally every subject that I took was a grade 7 or above. However, Since I've started my A - Levels in September last year, my studying has taken a massive dip in this year. Due to this, my predicted grades are very bad. This means I can't apply to universities from russel group even though I know that I could get into a uni like UCL. Therefore, would it benefit me to work hard and get the grades is should be getting in yr 13, take a gap year and then apply for unis?


The other option is to consider repeating year 12 if your school will let you.
I would recommend that you apply while you’re in yr 13. That way you can work through the ucas system once with support from your college and they’ll have produced a reference for you.

If you do get the very high results you hope for then you can see if there’s any universities you like in clearing and if not still take a gap year and reapply (which will be easier if you have already been through the ucas process once and if your college has already got a reference on file). And if you don’t get much higher grades then you have the option of going straight to university.
Original post by normaw
Just to clarify, architecture isn't an October application-deadline subject.


Oh shame, thanks for correcting me :smile:
Original post by abidabi1034
Hi Guys,My GCSEs were very good. Literally every subject that I took was a grade 7 or above. However, Since I've started my A - Levels in September last year, my studying has taken a massive dip in this year. Due to this, my predicted grades are very bad. This means I can't apply to universities from russel group even though I know that I could get into a uni like UCL. Therefore, would it benefit me to work hard and get the grades is should be getting in yr 13, take a gap year and then apply for unis?


I have the same issue .
Original post by abidabi1034
I totally get what you mean but I would like to apply for Oxbridge as an option. Also, What is PPE?

What grades have you been getting throughout the year?

Drop down to 3 subjects; work hard over the summer. Ask to sit tests in September - what degree are you looking at?
Original post by abidabi1034
Thanks. In terms of my predicted grades there is 2 merits and 2 Cs. At the start of the year, I was predicted As and Distinctions for my course. I know I am capable of going to Oxbridge or a high ranking Uni IF I worked hard, but with these predicted grades, there is no chance. To top all of that off, I am pretty unsure on what course I want to apply for. I also 100% understand where your coming from on saying its all good saying that I would work harder now, but with the mess I've put myself in, I feel as if a gap year can only get me to my high goals I've aimlessly set myself. Do you agree? Or is there a better alternative?

P.S. Just for reference, I've taken Maths, Further Maths, Business and IT.


Hiya, I'm probably not the best person to ask because I took all humanities subjects for A Level (Spanish, Philosophy and Classics) but if you're still unsure on what courses to apply for at this stage then I would recommend the gap year. I also feel that I was screwed over a little with my grade predictions (I was predicted BBB) but I was still able to apply for courses at three Russell group universities. I feel that for me, the main reason why I want to take a gap year is because quite frankly, I don't know where I should go. My parents have been incredibly stubborn with me moving out for university to the point where they won't even allow me to discuss it with them. I hold a conditional offer of BBB to a Russell Group university in September 2023 but quite frankly, I don't really want to go there. I'm planning on re-applying in the next academic year (where I'll actually go to open days in person this time!) and explore more universities with my actual grades that will hopefully be a bit better.

If you're adamant on applying to Oxbridge, then I don't see the point of applying when there's more or less no chance to get in unfortunately. I'd say for now, focus on getting the grades that you want, make a list of universities you would like to apply to and then in your gap year you can apply for the universities you'd like to go to. It's good to be ambitious but for me personally, I think the most important thing to figure out is what course you'd like to apply for. If your school is particularly determined to get you to apply in Year 13, you could always apply for foundation courses if you wish. It'd be helpful if you applied in Year 13 because otherwise it might be harder to get support from your school/college, as well as write your personal statement and get your references.

I hope this helped :smile:
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by crashcody
Past paper exams, my school had multiple test exams pre a-levels. If Oxbridge is your goal then it might still be possible but you have to be very persuading. Maybe ask your teachers now and ask what it would take over the holidays.


Yh I get what you mean. Thanks for the help
Original post by ran-dumb
Even if you do end up with bad predicteds, there's no harm applying anyway and taking a gap year if you don't get a place. You could perhaps put that in your PS, if you convince them you'll do better they might give you an offer since you'll have to get the grades in the real exam anyway.

Yeah I get you. Thanks for the help.
Original post by normaw
The other option is to consider repeating year 12 if your school will let you.

Let's see. I think I should have a conversation with my teachers and see where they lie on this topic. Thanks for the help.
Original post by hyacinth77
Hiya, I'm probably not the best person to ask because I took all humanities subjects for A Level (Spanish, Philosophy and Classics) but if you're still unsure on what courses to apply for at this stage then I would recommend the gap year. I also feel that I was screwed over a little with my grade predictions (I was predicted BBB) but I was still able to apply for courses at three Russell group universities. I feel that for me, the main reason why I want to take a gap year is because quite frankly, I don't know where I should go. My parents have been incredibly stubborn with me moving out for university to the point where they won't even allow me to discuss it with them. I hold a conditional offer of BBB to a Russell Group university in September 2023 but quite frankly, I don't really want to go there. I'm planning on re-applying in the next academic year (where I'll actually go to open days in person this time!) and explore more universities with my actual grades that will hopefully be a bit better.

If you're adamant on applying to Oxbridge, then I don't see the point of applying when there's more or less no chance to get in unfortunately. I'd say for now, focus on getting the grades that you want, make a list of universities you would like to apply to and then in your gap year you can apply for the universities you'd like to go to. It's good to be ambitious but for me personally, I think the most important thing to figure out is what course you'd like to apply for. If your school is particularly determined to get you to apply in Year 13, you could always apply for foundation courses if you wish. It'd be helpful if you applied in Year 13 because otherwise it might be harder to get support from your school/college, as well as write your personal statement and get your references.

I hope this helped :smile:

Yh man I get what you mean. Thanks a lot for the help. I hope you get to where you wanna be.

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