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Medicine prospects for students with poor AS grades
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Medicine Prospects for Students with 'Poor' AS Grades

Some students who wish to pursue medicine at university become daunted on results day, when they find that they have not achieved as highly as they hoped. These students often ask how much impact the predictions from their college/school will have on their application, and whether not having predictions of AAA at A2 will put an end to their hopes to apply for medicine.

Unfortunately, you do require AAA predictions; otherwise, you'll be automatically filtered out of the application process for the standard 5 year programs by all medical schools via automated computer software. Furthermore, be aware that more and more medical schools are adopting entry requirements of A*AA, for which medical schools you should adjust the following advice.

However, it isn't over. You can try and battle for AAA predictions and if you succeed, apply during year 13 to medicine. If you do so, research medical schools which do not put large emphasis on AS grades.

If you fail to get AAA predictions, don't apply to medicine as it will be a waste of time. Instead, apply to degree programs which would be a good stepping stone for graduate entry (if you're that passionate). If you get them, accept a firm and insurance offer and work your socks off in an attempt to try and get AAA+ grades on A2 results day.

If, on results day, you do not get grades of AAA+, but still meet your firm/insurance, you can either:

  1. Accept one of those offers and do well enough in university to hopefully put yourself in a position for graduate entry much later on.
  2. Take a gap year and try again to get grades of A*AA, given that you can then be predicted those grades. These higher grade requirements are because many of the few medical schools that will accept a resit applicant will require that you get an A*AA. If you choose this option, bear in mind that your variety of medical schools will be severely restricted as most medical schools frown on those who take their A Levels over more than two years. I would recommend extensive research on which universities would allow it and which constraints they would put on you, as well as sending emails to medical schools to clarify your situation. If you have extenuating circumstances, your choice of medical schools will not be so restricted. Visit Medical School Resit Policies.

On the other hand, if on results day you get AAA+ grades, you've put yourself in a position to be able to take a gap year and apply again to medicine. A friend of mine was in this position and we will both be going to Manchester to study medicine.

Ensure that, in either case, you make good plans for your gap year. You'll need those so that you don't get bored and obviously so that you can have a good shot at an impressive application to medicine. This would mean declining your offers unless you wish for your choices of medical school to be severely restricted (see Applying for Medicine Whilst on a Different Course). Also, meanwhile, try and gain more experience. Finally, throughout all the advice I've given you, consider that graduate entry pathways are the least advisable, as you have to fund yourself for the first year of study, and graduate entry is significantly more competitive (I've seen this message run thick and consistent throughout med applications advice).

Alternatively, look into Medical School Foundation and Widening Access to Medicine Programs, and if your predicted grades match those for such programs, apply to those.

All of this advice may make it sound as though medical school is an age away. Take heart in the fact that, once you're set on your ambition, you'll work so hard and be so busy that the time will fly by - and every minute will be worth it once you secure that place at medical school.

Good luck!
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