Did not get the grades for medicine? - You may need to resit your A-levels

Not getting the grades that you need despite having offers from medical school is very distressing. This is compounded by the fact that other students who have made the grade will likely be celebrating, along with the school. It may be the first time in your career so far that you have not been successful in an application. This may mean you may need to resit some A-levels but don’t let that put you off.

If you have offers, ring up the medical schools and see if they will take you with your grades. Our own experience from Blue Peanut research from our own students is that they have not (so far) gone below AAB. However, these students also reported exceptional interview performance so perhaps this is the case why the medical school accepted lower grades.

If you had extenuating circumstances, for example a severe illness or bereavement, whilst you were sitting your exams and it may have affected your performance, then contact the medical school and inform them of this. You will likely have to provide some evidence, such as a medical report from your GP.

  • Some medical schools will only accept resit candidates if there are extenuating circumstances.

  • Others will accept resit examinations on an equal footing with first time applicants.

  • Some will add extra conditions for resit applications, for example higher entry requirements.

  • They may only allow applications from students that have marginally missed the initial offer (for example if you have grades ABB on your first attempt)

  • There may be a limited time period in which you are permitted to resit

  • The medical school may ask you to resit all three subjects

If you have the grades, but no offers, then you can try going through UCAS clearing. You will likely be called for interview. If you need interview training you can contact us and we may be able to arrange some Skype sessions for you to help you prepare. We have been able in previous years to successfuly help students through interviews at medical school following UCAS clearing applications.
If your grades are simply not high enough to meet entry requirements for medicine, then the next step may be for you to resit. You may also need to resit any entrance examinations, such as UCAT if your score was not high enough the first time.

Do some research to see which medical schools permit resit applications and whether you meet the requirements for a new application. You can use the year to also focus on work experience and enhancing your revised application.
You will likely need to apply again through UCAS with a revised personal statement. Mention why you needed to resit in the statement, and ensure your referee gives you a positive supporting statement. We can help you write your revised statement from scratch if needed - click here for details.

We would advise caution with using the strategy of accepting your fifth choice with a view to transferring to medicine as a postgraduate. Not only is there a financial impact for several years of study (on a degree programme that you may really not want to do) but also there is usually no concrete guarantee of transfer to a medical programme part way through or at the end.

Good luck!

Click here to look at our medical school interview course
Click here to look at Interview Training 1:1 over Skype