The Student Room Group

Defer or resit A Levels to get into medicine

TLDR: wanted to be a chemist so chose A Level Maths, Further maths and Chemistry. Sat A Level maths in Year 12 and got A*. Currently in year 13 but I wanna get into MBBS. Unis said I need to write 3 A Levels in one sitting including Biology. Should I risk it and write all three this year even if I end up needing a resit? Or should I take an extra year and write all three when I’m 19?
(edited 7 months ago)
(Moved to the medicine section.)
Reply 2
Original post by Boyle-ing point
TLDR: wanted to be a chemist so chose A Level Maths, Further maths and Chemistry. Sat A Level maths in Year 12 and got A*. Currently in year 13 but I wanna get into MBBS. Unis said I need to write 3 A Levels in one sitting including Biology. Should I risk it and write all three this year even if I end up needing a resit? Or should I take an extra year and write all three when I’m 19?


If you spend 3 years getting the 3 relevant A levels, then most would consider an application under their resit policy anyway
Original post by GANFYD
If you spend 3 years getting the 3 relevant A levels, then most would consider an application under their resit policy anyway


Yeah that makes sense. Will I have an advantage if I choose one option over the other? Cos I thought if I wait and do it at 19 then my application will look better than other applications under their resit policy cos technically I did 0 resits whereas other would have done 1, 2, etc.

Also, is it possible that I get full A*’s either by one resit or without resit (but when I’m 19) and still get not get a single offer? Does that sort of thing happen often?
(edited 7 months ago)
Original post by Boyle-ing point
TLDR: wanted to be a chemist so chose A Level Maths, Further maths and Chemistry. Sat A Level maths in Year 12 and got A*. Currently in year 13 but I wanna get into MBBS. Unis said I need to write 3 A Levels in one sitting including Biology. Should I risk it and write all three this year even if I end up needing a resit? Or should I take an extra year and write all three when I’m 19?

You don't need biology to apply to all UK medical schools. You can apply to about half with just chemistry plus a second science. However a few may not be keen on the combination of maths and FM in a set of 3 A-levels only. So that might be a bit more limiting.

Generally doing A-levels over more than 2 years is an issue for UK medical schools. If you were going to end up doing them "over 3 years" in some capacity I would just suggest doing your current combination in the normal 2 year timeframe and then do A-level Biology as some kind of accelerated A-level if possible in a gap year. That may not be the easiest thing to achieve factoring in the need to do the science endorsement and how expensive that can be as an external student though.

If you're not applying to UK medical schools then it's a lot harder to advise as TSR mainly focuses on issues around UK universities/courses and studying in the UK.
Reply 5
Original post by Boyle-ing point
Yeah that makes sense. Will I have an advantage if I choose one option over the other? Cos I thought if I wait and do it at 19 then my application will look better than other applications under their resit policy cos technically I did 0 resits whereas other would have done 1, 2, etc.

Also, is it possible that I get full A*’s either by one resit or without resit (but when I’m 19) and still get not get a single offer? Does that sort of thing happen often?

This is a difficult one, as most med schools ask for 3 A levels, at the required grade, in one sitting and do not accept FM as one of them if you also offer maths. But having done the maths A level early, they may - it would mean contacting them to clarify their exact policies.

So for medicine, you need a 3rd A level to go with FM and chem even if they will accept those as your 3 A levels, given you also have maths. BUT, most med schools that accept resits have first sit grade requirements (usually AAB - ABB), so you have to achieve at least ABB, doing bio in a year with chem and FM to have a reasonable number you could reapply to, if needed. I do not know if that is possible for you? Doing an extra year, so sitting FM, chem and bio at 19 means some would want an A* in at least one, if not both, of the subjects you took for 3 years, so grade requirements would become A*A*A or A*AA, even if normally AAA.

It is perfectly possible to have A*A*A*A*A* at A level and still not get a single offer! People with perfect academics get 4 rejections every year (most applicants do, in terms of numbers)

So you need to decide if you think you can get at least ABB if you add bio now PLUS check that med schools would be happy with maths in Yr 12 and then FM, chem and bio in Yr 13 (I think most probably would be). ABB would not get an offer, but it would leave the resit med schools still open to you to re-do any needed in a Yr 14. Obviously, if you get AAA+ in Yr 13, then you should be able to get offers, with a good admissions test score
Original post by GANFYD
This is a difficult one, as most med schools ask for 3 A levels, at the required grade, in one sitting and do not accept FM as one of them if you also offer maths. But having done the maths A level early, they may - it would mean contacting them to clarify their exact policies.

So for medicine, you need a 3rd A level to go with FM and chem even if they will accept those as your 3 A levels, given you also have maths. BUT, most med schools that accept resits have first sit grade requirements (usually AAB - ABB), so you have to achieve at least ABB, doing bio in a year with chem and FM to have a reasonable number you could reapply to, if needed. I do not know if that is possible for you? Doing an extra year, so sitting FM, chem and bio at 19 means some would want an A* in at least one, if not both, of the subjects you took for 3 years, so grade requirements would become A*A*A or A*AA, even if normally AAA.

It is perfectly possible to have A*A*A*A*A* at A level and still not get a single offer! People with perfect academics get 4 rejections every year (most applicants do, in terms of numbers)

So you need to decide if you think you can get at least ABB if you add bio now PLUS check that med schools would be happy with maths in Yr 12 and then FM, chem and bio in Yr 13 (I think most probably would be). ABB would not get an offer, but it would leave the resit med schools still open to you to re-do any needed in a Yr 14. Obviously, if you get AAA+ in Yr 13, then you should be able to get offers, with a good admissions test score

Wow! Thanks for the amazingly detailed answer. Much appreciated.

After mailing a dozen medical colleges, it seems nobody is willing to accept my application as it stands now (Maths at Y12 and FM & Chem in Y13). Everyone requires that 3 A Levels must be completed in the same academic year. I did maths earlier because I wanted to apply to BSc chemistry and I thought it would show I’m an above-average candidate LoL but looks like I’ve shot myself on the foot.

So here’s my dilemma: ABB - Chem, Bio, FM - in Year 13 is doable for me (hopefully, YOLO) but also A*A*A in Year 14 is also equally doable. So out of these two which option would be better?
Original post by Boyle-ing point
I did maths earlier because I wanted to apply to BSc chemistry and I thought it would show I’m an above-average candidate LoL but looks like I’ve shot myself on the foot.

This is somewhat besides the main point of the thread but for posterity for others reading this: this is exactly how university admissions do not work. You don't get "bonus points" for doing an A-level early or doing extra A-levels.

Just do 3 A-levels over 2 years. That's all they want to see, no more and no less. Anything like this you do to try and "stand out" will invariably make you stand out for the wrong reasons.
Reply 8
Original post by Boyle-ing point
Wow! Thanks for the amazingly detailed answer. Much appreciated.

After mailing a dozen medical colleges, it seems nobody is willing to accept my application as it stands now (Maths at Y12 and FM & Chem in Y13). Everyone requires that 3 A Levels must be completed in the same academic year. I did maths earlier because I wanted to apply to BSc chemistry and I thought it would show I’m an above-average candidate LoL but looks like I’ve shot myself on the foot.

So here’s my dilemma: ABB - Chem, Bio, FM - in Year 13 is doable for me (hopefully, YOLO) but also A*A*A in Year 14 is also equally doable. So out of these two which option would be better?

They would not have accepted chem, maths and FM as a combination, anyway, so makes no odds!
And as @artful_lounger says, med schools are not remotely impressed by this sort of thing - they just want 3 A levels, done together with the best possible grades.
If you think you can do it, I would add bio now and go for chem, bio, FM at the end of year 13. If you get AAA+, you can have a lovely gap year. As long as you get ABB, you still have options with resits.
I would say most, if not all, would take maths Yr 12 and FM, chem and bio Yr 13 as a standard applicant, so you would not be limited to the med schools that accept resits and would have more available to you. But do clarify before your application goes in that they would be happy with this combination - as I say, pretty sure it will be fine, it is just maths and FM together as 2 of 3 A levels they will not take

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending