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INFP 648 sx/sp
2,937 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So! Sit yourself down, and get yourself a nice hot drink. Maybe some popcorn, this is going to take a while.

Some of you may be aware that here in the UK, the exams prerequisite to going to university are called A-levels, done over two years. First year, 'AS Levels', I've just completed, and finally got my exam results from. Second year, 'A2 Levels', are about to start. Those of you who live in the UK and are students may well know this somewhat already, in which case your input would be useful.

Now, the UK has a hilarious university applications process. The AS actual results (i.e the ones I have) are taken into account by teachers when they make Predicted Grades for you. This isn't a terribly formal process, at my school I'm told (no reliable information whatsoever) that the predicted grades are entirely to the discretion of the teacher, can take into account performance over the whole year and other stuff, and are usually worked out by talking to the student. Other schools just decide them and don't let you know the results but I don't think I go to one of those.
ANYWAY, those predicted grades are used to apply to university with. The university provisionally accepts you based on those predictions as if they were actual grades, and then provided you actually get those grades in your A2 exams or damn close, you get to go to that university. Keeping up? Good. So, interesting system. Now forget all of that, that's not the problem.

Essentially, I've had some pretty bad depression over the past two to three years. Really very bad. As an INFP I don't deal well with the structure of school anyway. While I'm not a model student I'm intelligent (even if not in the way I am directed by the school) and my teachers know it. They like me, because I tend to know stuff about the subject they might not and engage them about stuff other than what's in the curriculum. I do think my teachers think fairly highly of me because I have a very good understanding of my subjects, even if in a way not directly applicable to my studies. They respect me anyway. I got lucky and for my three (remaining) subjects have six of the nicest teachers in the school.

I've managed to hold it together academically this past year. I've been (inconsistently, mind - I have my bad days/weeks) getting A and B grades for more-or-less the whole year. But when the exams came up my mind just fell apart. As a result I got one C and two Ds. (Those suck, by the way)
At GCSE level, my previous exams, I saw the same thing happen. Did good most of the year, managed to just about cope, and crashed at exam time.

Now because I live in a shithole I despise, my plans for university are to go to the University of Queensland, Australia. Because down under they don't have enormous grade inflation, for an equivalent quality of education they demand lower grades. Which is good. That means that I need predicted grades of only B-C-C. However that's one higher across the board than the C-D-D I have. I will start sorting out predicted grades in September.
I want to make it clear at this point that the grades I have will not get me into any good UK uni. I don't want to stay here anyway. For my mental health I desperately want to get as far away from the UK as possible, so please don't suggest anything contradicting that. Brisbane is where I want to go.

Some schools are kind and generally bump predicted grades up one from AS grades anyway. Maybe my school is like that? Not going to leave it to luck. So, come September, I'll start talking to my teachers (hopefully! still no guarantee they'll listen or consult me) about why I did so shit. I'm going to point out that they know I did well for the rest of they year and hopefully get some leeway. However, I also intend to tell them about my depression. It is an entirely valid reason to have felt like shit these past three years and done badly. None of them know.

And now, THE QUESTIONS, for those in the know:
- Will the school be willing to take this [depression] into account, do you think? (Would your school?)
- Do British schools, generally because I know it varies, consult students on predicted grades at all?
- Should I try to get a note from my doctor and stuff? I've seen him about depression before.

Bear in mind I never got much treatment for depression. There are many reasons I don't want to, not right now. I'm holding up and I'm treating myself best. Sadly, this means there aren't any professionals I have a longstanding history with to back me up. At most, I have a note from my doctor saying I told him about it, I note from a therapist I saw saying I attended some therapy, and an unofficial note from my form tutor at school saying I've had depression. I have told her before, off the record.

Is just breaking down crying in front of them a good idea? I could totally go for some of that.

As an aside, I'm getting really panicky about this, combined with other things, which some of you may already have heard me vent about. I am not in a good place right now so any advice or encouragement is appreciated. Since my escape from my current shitty life literally depends exclusively on my predicted grades, as per the current plan and a great number of my backup plans, things aren't good now.

Sorry for the really haphazardly-arranged post, the questions are in there somewhere.
Oh! And if anyone wants to magically fix everything wrong with my life I'd be up for that too.
One last thing! Resitting the exams are not an option. Anything which costs any money is not an option.

Last thing: Does anyone know how strict Australian unis are with grade requirements?

5,245 Posts
Speak to your A levels personal tutor to see what they can suggest to perhaps see if you can downgrade to a lesser A level type (just thinking of the BTEC National I did that could be downgraded to 1 years BTEC Diploma with similar UCAS points being all Universities care about in the UK)*.

*... as a University graduate higher A levels are sought to apply for better jobs; quite paradoxical really when I got a First Class Honours degree but only had 240 UCAS points (not the desired 280-300+ all too often sought) as a different story.
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