The Student Room Group

Private Candidate, Extenuating Circumstance and Predicted Grades

I know I posted this in a random forum but I wanted to remain anonymous. A lot to discuss here but here’s a lil trauma dump/vent with some advice needed:

I’m thinking of taking a gap year. I’m predicted ABC for my A levels. My original idea was to study materials science or mechanical engineering but my parents basically forced me into applying onto a different course. My initial thought was to just find a diff course in clearing on results day, however they are super controlling and regulating what school I go to. I wanted to go to a London university but they said Im not allowed and that they “can force me to do what they want as they please”. As well as this, they’re in control of my student finance (it goes to their account) so I can’t just apply to where I want to.

So I thought taking a gap year would be a good choice. Since I was younger it was my dream to go to a top school and I know I’m academically capable, I just have had a bit of hardship (more on that later). However my parents are extremely against the idea of a gap year. So I was thinking of “running away” (I’m 18 now, it’s not running away it’s technically just moving out and cutting contact). I was going to move to London with my boyfriend who’s going to a great university there and we were going to share a flat. And during this time I’d retake my A level subjects, whilst working part time (I will be able to support myself financially, I won’t go into that but don’t worry about the financial aspect). Before applying to Imperial for materials science, Cambridge Engineering, UCL mechanical engineering and then 2 “safe” options which I haven’t thought of. Here’s where my first question comes in though - how do I obtain predicated grades? I spoke to my exams officer and she said I can retake as many a levels as I need to, but they can only predict me the SAME grade, or one grade higher if I was on the cusp of a higher grade (which makes no sense! and is so annoying!!) so I was thinking of getting an external person to help with this. Perhaps a tutor from superprof or something? Would they be able to set predicted grades? How does this work? I just think it’d be really valuable to have predicted grades to show my improvement from A levels first time around. I’ll also be applying to top schools so will not having predicted grades put me at an extreme disadvantage? I’ll be applying to uni in october 2023!

I know I won’t get great in my A Levels. If i’m being realistic I might get two Cs and a D. However I know I’m capable of getting way better grades. I worked really great in Year 12, and my teachers were even going to raise my predicted grades at the beginning of Year 13 if I consistently got As and A*s in class tests and all. However, I was SA’d and got into a whole police investigation about it. It really took a toll on my mental health and definitely affected my school performance. Would this count as an extenuating circumstance? It’s not exactly on par with bereavement but it did disrupt me a lot, and ultimately distracted me from my studies massively. Is there a way to talk about it on UCAS? Will I need evidence, like from the police officer who worked on my case? I just want to let the universities know that my A level results may have been poor, but I AM capable of getting good grades I was just going through a difficult point at a really inconvenient time.

Any advice would be appreciated, thank you so much :smile:

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