6 tips to get the A-level predictions you need to apply for medicine
“My tutor is refusing to predict me the grades I need to apply for medical school!”
It’s almost always too late by the time this question comes up.
I usually hear from desperate would-be applicants who now find their plans ruined. They are terrified of the prospect of taking a year out or changing their career plans because some teacher apparently knows that they won’t be getting an A grade next year and is prepared to put that down in writing.
Now, whilst it seems pretty audacious for a teacher to be able to predict a grade so far in advance, these teachers often have a pretty good track record and are therefore unlikely to change their mind once they’ve decided.
In this article we’re going to show you how best to influence your predicted grade to your advantage, what to avoid at all costs and what to do if you fail to get your desired predictions.
There are two main reasons you aren’t getting the A-level predictions you need.
One is that you have failed to convince your teacher that you are worthy of the grade. The other is that some event has caused your performance to suffer and cause your teacher to suddenly have real doubts about your ability to perform under pressure.
The following 6 steps will ensure that you are as effective as possible in trying to get the right predictions for your application to read medicine.
1. Plan to get the right predictions early
You need to convince your tutors that you are A grade material from the very first day that you sit in one of their lessons.
This means that you should answer questions during lessons and ask enough intelligent questions of your own to make it clear that you’re here to gain a good understanding of the subject.
The best way to do this is to spend ten minutes having a quick read of the next lesson beforehand. Ten minutes is really all you need to gain that extra edge during the lesson.
2. Let your teachers know your plans
You need to let your teachers know as soon as possible that you’re planning on a medical school application and will be aiming for an A grade in every module.
That may seem like your exposing yourself too early but it lets the teacher know you’re serious and should also convince you take things seriously from day 1.
Your teacher can then let you know if you’re not on track in a certain area, and furthermore you have a free license to ask about how to deal with difficult topics without dropping any marks.
By the time it comes to predictions you should already have done enough to easily get an A grade predicted.
If there are one or two modules exams that go badly and you’re suddenly off your target, you still have some negotiating room with the teacher who will be more likely to believe that your poor exam performance was an unlucky blip than a lack of ability.
3. Speak to your teachers as soon as possible after any poor performance
If it’s a key module result that will influence your A2 prediction, have an explanation ready for your poor performance. If you had a family problem for example, le your teachers know as soon as you can. Don’t wait for the B or C prediction before trying to explain things.
If after all of the above you end up with a prediction that is too low, you need to think carefully. If it really means that you’re not good enough for that A grade perhaps you ought to stop fighting the system and plan on alternative routes into medical school.
However, if you’re convinced you can get an A, now is the time to negotiate.
Did you have any reasons for your poor performance in any particular exam? A family bereavement?
Have you recently improved your revision method and are getting better results?
Are you planning on getting some extra tuition in areas of weakness?
Are you planning on retaking any modules and have a revision plan set out already?
These are all excellent negotiating points and can get your prediction pushed up a grade. Just make sure you have your plan set out clearly BEFORE you meet the teacher.
5. Do not rely on your parents to do the talking
There is nothing more annoying for a teacher than to have the quietest student who has just earned a C grade prediction to suddenly bring is his pushy parents who think they can pressure the teacher into upping a prediction so little Johnny can apply for medicine.
If you haven’t followed rules 1 to 4 above, suddenly bringing in your parents will not help and might make things worse.
On the other hand if there are genuinely extenuating family circumstances and you have already discussed these with your tutors, perhaps your parents can come in and clarify things and show that you have some good family support behind you. That can be very helpful indeed. As I hope you can see, it’s all in the tactics.
6. Don’t push your teachers too hard
If you still can’t get that A or B prediction, my advice is simple. Don’t apply yet.
Work hard, make sure you get the grades and apply next year. Keep your teachers on your side as you need them to help you get the best grades possible. If you turn things nasty now over a poor predicted grade, you may not get all the help you need from your teachers.
Remember that teachers are human too and the last thing you want is an angry chemistry teacher out to prove that he was right all along when he said you would get a C at best.
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