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I scored poorly in AS Level.. will I automatically get rejected?

I am an early applicant 2024 as I am applying for Cambridge law. My other choices include Queen Mary and other campuses of UofL which have relatively lower entry requirements (Varying from CCC - ABB/AAB). I am predicted with A*AA for A levels. I have actually skipped a grade from an IB school (I transferred to an A level school in the middle of MYP) therefore I did not have sufficient time to do enough revision and lacked overall support from teachers, I scored BCD. I know this will significantly disadvantage me but I still would like to give it a try. I do have my referees explaining about why there is such gap between my actual AS results and A levels prediction. I drafted my personal statements and got it reviewed by a lot of tutor and did whole bunch of extracurriculars. Do universities automatically ignore all parts of my application if my AS grades are looking nasty like this|?
Original post by jasriverfield
I am an early applicant 2024 as I am applying for Cambridge law. My other choices include Queen Mary and other campuses of UofL which have relatively lower entry requirements (Varying from CCC - ABB/AAB). I am predicted with A*AA for A levels. I have actually skipped a grade from an IB school (I transferred to an A level school in the middle of MYP) therefore I did not have sufficient time to do enough revision and lacked overall support from teachers, I scored BCD. I know this will significantly disadvantage me but I still would like to give it a try. I do have my referees explaining about why there is such gap between my actual AS results and A levels prediction. I drafted my personal statements and got it reviewed by a lot of tutor and did whole bunch of extracurriculars. Do universities automatically ignore all parts of my application if my AS grades are looking nasty like this|?

Some university will pay absolutely no attention to those AS level grades. For example, Queen Mary say here that, "We do not take into consideration AS grades when making a decision on your application. The only exception to this is if you are applying for Medicine or Dentistry and started your A-levels before September 2015."

Other universities will consider them when reviewing your application. For example, Cambridge say here that:

"Every applicant is considered individually in an holistic assessment using all the information available to us:
their academic record, including GCSE and AS (or equivalent) grades and marks and A Level (or equivalent) grades or predictions, this record being considered in the context of the quality (but not type) of schools/colleges at which it was achieved
the school/college reference
the personal statement
submitted work, where requested
performance in any written assessment
contextual data
performance at interview, if interviewed"

They key word with Cambridge is "holistic" - they will look at your application as a whole, as won't make any interview or offer decision solely based upon a single piece of information (e.g. AS grades).
Reply 2
Original post by DataVenia
Some university will pay absolutely no attention to those AS level grades. For example, Queen Mary say here that, "We do not take into consideration AS grades when making a decision on your application. The only exception to this is if you are applying for Medicine or Dentistry and started your A-levels before September 2015."

Other universities will consider them when reviewing your application. For example, Cambridge say here that:

"Every applicant is considered individually in an holistic assessment using all the information available to us:
their academic record, including GCSE and AS (or equivalent) grades and marks and A Level (or equivalent) grades or predictions, this record being considered in the context of the quality (but not type) of schools/colleges at which it was achieved
the school/college reference
the personal statement
submitted work, where requested
performance in any written assessment
contextual data
performance at interview, if interviewed"

They key word with Cambridge is "holistic" - they will look at your application as a whole, as won't make any interview or offer decision solely based upon a single piece of information (e.g. AS grades).

Hey! Thank you so much for your reply! Appreciated:smile: This is super sweet!
Original post by jasriverfield
I am an early applicant 2024 as I am applying for Cambridge law. My other choices include Queen Mary and other campuses of UofL which have relatively lower entry requirements (Varying from CCC - ABB/AAB). I am predicted with A*AA for A levels. I have actually skipped a grade from an IB school (I transferred to an A level school in the middle of MYP) therefore I did not have sufficient time to do enough revision and lacked overall support from teachers, I scored BCD. I know this will significantly disadvantage me but I still would like to give it a try. I do have my referees explaining about why there is such gap between my actual AS results and A levels prediction. I drafted my personal statements and got it reviewed by a lot of tutor and did whole bunch of extracurriculars. Do universities automatically ignore all parts of my application if my AS grades are looking nasty like this|?


Hi @jasriverfield,

Unfortunately, there is no straight answer! Lots of unis will pay no attention to AS grades as they are no longer a requirement and lots of students do not sit them at all. Of course, if they are on your application there may be some questions by certain institutions to why there is such a gap, however, if this is explained by mitigating circumstances and supported by your referees then this explanation will also be taken into consideration. It is important to remember that every student is viewed through their entire application and not just one aspect. Therefore, although grades are important, they are not the be-all-end-all and if the rest of your application is very strong including your predicted grades then a slightly lower set of AS grades shouldn't hold you back at all!
I would recommend looking at ensuring you make the other parts of your applications as strong as you can and I am sure you will not be held back at all. Besides, your AS grades aren't even bad and I certainly would not describe them as looking "nasty".

I hope this has helped to settle your mind a little and good luck, I am sure you will smash it!

Sophie :smile:
Reply 4
Original post by UniofLaw Student
Hi @jasriverfield,

Unfortunately, there is no straight answer! Lots of unis will pay no attention to AS grades as they are no longer a requirement and lots of students do not sit them at all. Of course, if they are on your application there may be some questions by certain institutions to why there is such a gap, however, if this is explained by mitigating circumstances and supported by your referees then this explanation will also be taken into consideration. It is important to remember that every student is viewed through their entire application and not just one aspect. Therefore, although grades are important, they are not the be-all-end-all and if the rest of your application is very strong including your predicted grades then a slightly lower set of AS grades shouldn't hold you back at all!
I would recommend looking at ensuring you make the other parts of your applications as strong as you can and I am sure you will not be held back at all. Besides, your AS grades aren't even bad and I certainly would not describe them as looking "nasty".

I hope this has helped to settle your mind a little and good luck, I am sure you will smash it!

Sophie :smile:

Thank you so much Sophie :smile: <3
Reply 5
Hi there, i am in the exact same postion as you. I have applied for theology religion and philosphy at cambridge but i only acchieved B B C in my AS levels. I had to take a lot of time off of school due to my health (i have ms) which caused me to miss classroom time and crutial revision rescource lessons. I have been told, by a very reputable source, that cambridge take into account all grades, extenuating circumstances and, your personal statement. As long as your PS really shines through and you submit thought prvoking admissions essays (or do well on the admissions test) i think you stand a very good chance.

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