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failing a-level but want to do medicine

so i have two more exams left and i know i did bad and i am 100% sure i will get EEU (psychology, biology chemistry) but i have only just realised that i would like to do medicine and i am aware of the different pathways. my options right now:
option 1 - do ucat this summer and resit a levels and some gcses (i got 8,6,6,6,6,6,6,6,5,5) and apply for undergrad med.

option 2 - resit only a levels and apply for undergrad biochem/biomed course and do that and then do postgrad med

btw i have no extenuating circumstances and im not suitable to apply to foundation year med.

please please please give me some honest advice, ik some are gonna be along the lines of "if u have flunked ur a levels and gcses so bad then med school is not for you" idc but if anyone has had similar experience PLEASE share.
Hey there, thanks for posting a question in the Medicine forum. :biggrin:

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Megathreads
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The "Which Medical School Should I Apply To?" Uberthread
The Ultimate 'Am I Good Enough For Medicine?' Angst Thread
Medicine A-Level subjects queries
Work Experience and Voluntary Work

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Official Undergraduate Medicine 2023 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2023 Entry
Medicine 2023 entry for resit / retake / gap year applicants
A100 Medicine for International Students 2023 Entry
Medicine Interview discussion 2023 Entry
2023 entry A100 / A101 Medicine fastest and slowest offer senders
Index of Individual Medical School Applicants' threads 2023 Entry

2024 Applicants :
Official Undergraduate Medicine 2024 Entry
Graduate Entry Medicine 2024 Entry
GAMSAT 2024 / 2025 entry discussions megathread
UCAT 2024 Entry Discussions Megathread
Medicine 2024 entry for resit / retake / gap year applicants
A100 Medicine for International Students 2024 Entry
Medicine Interview Discussion 2024 Entry
2024 entry A100 / A101 Medicine fastest and slowest offer senders
Medical Schools Index 2024 Entry

2025 Applicants :
Official Thread: (Undergraduate) Medicine 2025 entry
Official Thread: Graduate Entry Medicine 2025 Entry
GAMSAT 2025 / 2026 entry discussions megathread
UCAT 2025 Entry Discussions Megathread


Other application years:
Official Thread: (Undergraduate) Medicine 2026 entry
Official Thread: Graduate Entry Medicine 2026 Entry

Useful Articles:
GCSE Requirements for Medicine
Everything you need to know about the BMAT
Work Experience as a Graduate or Mature student
Medicine Personal Statement Advice
Medicine Personal Statement Advice (Graduate Entry)
Interview Frequently Asked Questions
MMI Medicine Interview Tips
What to do after an unsuccessful first application
Funding medicine as a second degree

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Original post by gr00vygal6
so i have two more exams left and i know i did bad and i am 100% sure i will get EEU (psychology, biology chemistry) but i have only just realised that i would like to do medicine and i am aware of the different pathways. my options right now:
option 1 - do ucat this summer and resit a levels and some gcses (i got 8,6,6,6,6,6,6,6,5,5) and apply for undergrad med.

option 2 - resit only a levels and apply for undergrad biochem/biomed course and do that and then do postgrad med

btw i have no extenuating circumstances and im not suitable to apply to foundation year med.

please please please give me some honest advice, ik some are gonna be along the lines of "if u have flunked ur a levels and gcses so bad then med school is not for you" idc but if anyone has had similar experience PLEASE share.


Option 2 is terrible. If you think that undergrad Medicine is competitive, let me introduce you to Graduate Entry Medicine, which is super competitive. Medicine gets around 3.5 applicants per uni place, Graduate Entry Medicine gets, at the very minimum, 7 applicants per place, but many universities have much higher competition rates - the Queen Mary / Barts & the London Graduate Entry Medicine programme gets around 36 applicants per place in the GEM course. Plus, going down the GEM route means more years of university and a whole lot more student debt.

So, option 1 is best, since it maximises your chances of getting into Medicine. Make sure to research your options properly (medical schools resit policies are all over the place, some unis will accept them, some won't) so you can apply to the right universities and good luck!
Reply 3
Original post by Scotland Yard
Option 2 is terrible. If you think that undergrad Medicine is competitive, let me introduce you to Graduate Entry Medicine, which is super competitive. Medicine gets around 3.5 applicants per uni place, Graduate Entry Medicine gets, at the very minimum, 7 applicants per place, but many universities have much higher competition rates - the Queen Mary / Barts & the London Graduate Entry Medicine programme gets around 36 applicants per place in the GEM course. Plus, going down the GEM route means more years of university and a whole lot more student debt.
So, option 1 is best, since it maximises your chances of getting into Medicine. Make sure to research your options properly (medical schools resit policies are all over the place, some unis will accept them, some won't) so you can apply to the right universities and good luck!

okay okay thank you but like i said my gcses are mid aswell should i retake a couple? especially since i have a 5 in maths and 6,5 combined science. and do u recommend that i apply with achieved and predicted grades???
Original post by gr00vygal6
okay okay thank you but like i said my gcses are mid aswell should i retake a couple? especially since i have a 5 in maths and 6,5 combined science. and do u recommend that i apply with achieved and predicted grades???


Yes, you'll need to resit some GCSEs too - particularly Maths, where you'll need to achieve at the very least a 6.

Apply with predicted grades, if you wait until you get your resit grades back you'll be gratuitously taking two gap years for no good reason.

P.S.: you have to declare all your grades on UCAS though, even your original GCSE and A-level grades
Reply 5
Original post by Scotland Yard
Yes, you'll need to resit some GCSEs too - particularly Maths, where you'll need to achieve at the very least a 6.
Apply with predicted grades, if you wait until you get your resit grades back you'll be gratuitously taking two gap years for no good reason.
P.S.: you have to declare all your grades on UCAS though, even your original GCSE and A-level grades
okay okay.
and also i am aware that a lot of unis don't accept resits but i have done a bit of research and have found that unis like aston, edge hill, bristol, southampton accept resits but do you still think i will be HEAVILY disadvantaged?
Original post by gr00vygal6
okay okay.
and also i am aware that a lot of unis don't accept resits but i have done a bit of research and have found that unis like aston, edge hill, bristol, southampton accept resits but do you still think i will be HEAVILY disadvantaged?

That, I don't know. You might have better luck asking in this thread: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7312527
Original post by gr00vygal6
so i have two more exams left and i know i did bad and i am 100% sure i will get EEU (psychology, biology chemistry) but i have only just realised that i would like to do medicine and i am aware of the different pathways. my options right now:
option 1 - do ucat this summer and resit a levels and some gcses (i got 8,6,6,6,6,6,6,6,5,5) and apply for undergrad med.

option 2 - resit only a levels and apply for undergrad biochem/biomed course and do that and then do postgrad med

btw i have no extenuating circumstances and im not suitable to apply to foundation year med.

please please please give me some honest advice, ik some are gonna be along the lines of "if u have flunked ur a levels and gcses so bad then med school is not for you" idc but if anyone has had similar experience PLEASE share.


I think the only GCSEs worth resitting are English language and Maths to meet minimum GCSE requirements. Just avoid GCSE heavy medical schools otherwise and focus on those that don't score GCSEs and only have minimum requirements (such as UCL and Imperial).

You'll need to see what their resit policies are for A-levels though, as this varies between medical schools. Not all accept them, and some will only accept resits in certain circumstances, or require you take them in a certain way (e.g. taking all 3 subjects as resits together - granted this is what you're doing anyway).
Reply 8
Original post by gr00vygal6
okay okay.and also i am aware that a lot of unis don't accept resits but i have done a bit of research and have found that unis like aston, edge hill, bristol, southampton accept resits but do you still think i will be HEAVILY disadvantaged?
Whether you’re disadvantaged or not, I think it will be 100% worth reapplying. Don’t look at what can go wrong, just do your best. I’m in the same position and will also be resitting next year because I can’t accept the grades that I’m going to achieve in August (but I’m applying for compsci). I’ve spoken to people resitting and one person redid all three a levels and got an offer to study medicine at Southampton so don’t worry. Also, the universities will look at your predicted grades and won’t pay attention to the ones you achieved, resitting just shows your determination to improve instead of settling with failure.
Reply 9
Original post by hellorai
Whether you’re disadvantaged or not, I think it will be 100% worth reapplying. Don’t look at what can go wrong, just do your best. I’m in the same position and will also be resitting next year because I can’t accept the grades that I’m going to achieve in August (but I’m applying for compsci). I’ve spoken to people resitting and one person redid all three a levels and got an offer to study medicine at Southampton so don’t worry. Also, the universities will look at your predicted grades and won’t pay attention to the ones you achieved, resitting just shows your determination to improve instead of settling with failure.

thank you so much ! i'm planning to resit some gcses and all my a levels but also do you know what grades your friend got in their a levels the first time round?

good luck with computer sciences :smile:
Reply 10
Original post by artful_lounger
I think the only GCSEs worth resitting are English language and Maths to meet minimum GCSE requirements. Just avoid GCSE heavy medical schools otherwise and focus on those that don't score GCSEs and only have minimum requirements (such as UCL and Imperial).
You'll need to see what their resit policies are for A-levels though, as this varies between medical schools. Not all accept them, and some will only accept resits in certain circumstances, or require you take them in a certain way (e.g. taking all 3 subjects as resits together - granted this is what you're doing anyway).

yeah i think im going to resit english lang, maths, combined science bcs i got 5s and 6s in those. thank you.
Original post by gr00vygal6
so i have two more exams left and i know i did bad and i am 100% sure i will get EEU (psychology, biology chemistry) but i have only just realised that i would like to do medicine and i am aware of the different pathways. my options right now:
option 1 - do ucat this summer and resit a levels and some gcses (i got 8,6,6,6,6,6,6,6,5,5) and apply for undergrad med.
option 2 - resit only a levels and apply for undergrad biochem/biomed course and do that and then do postgrad med
btw i have no extenuating circumstances and im not suitable to apply to foundation year med.
please please please give me some honest advice, ik some are gonna be along the lines of "if u have flunked ur a levels and gcses so bad then med school is not for you" idc but if anyone has had similar experience PLEASE share.


Apply to medicine with a gap year and resit, even tho you won’t have a definite place, get through clearing. It isn’t over yet, you can still do medicine.

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