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Dear James: I have poor A Level results

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by anon2406, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Dear James
    I decided to stick at my Science PGCE after all (I wrote to you before saying that I was having doubts) however it has now come to the time when I should start applying for jobs. I've seen quite a few out there that I'd really like to apply for but have been put off as they request an 'Excellent academic background' or 'Bio or Chem grade A or B at A Level'. I have neither of them.
    I did OK at GCSE but at A level (7 years ago), I really didn't care much and was more interested in VERY important teenager stuff! I even changed colleges between my As and A level and left with two E's in Chem and Bio at A level, C in Sociology and then a B in As Psychology.
    I managed to get into Uni as I had enough UCAS points to do a Forensic degree (awarded 2:1) and after that went on to work as a Forensic Scientist for 2.5 years.
    I'm really worried that the A Level grades are going to work against me as Science teaching roles are so competitive now. Will they? How do I approach this? I was thinking of leaving them out of my application but it will probably cause more embarrasement if they then ask for them at the interview stage.
    Has anyone else ever been through a similar situation?

  2. One school fed back to me that my academic background wasn't good enough (I got C/C/D at A Level), but what's the point in worrying about it? There's nothing you can do about it - as you say, it was a long time ago - I have completed a degree from a good university since then, and completed my teaching qualification.
    Most applications I have completed have asked for both my GCSE and A Level grades. I would not recommend not putting them down.
    Keep your chin up, to me it's ancient history, if it bothers them then there's not a lot you can do about it. Just dazzle them with the rest of your application.
  3. Thanks. Are you also a trainee teacher? What is your subject and have you been given the chance to at least have an interview to explain?
  4. I'm an NQT, completed my GTP last year.
    It was an application for a local private school. I didn't get to interview, so called and asked for some feedback on my application (it was my first application). This was one of the reasons I was given...

  5. I have Bs & Cs at A level and was interviewed at an Independent school last year (I didn't get the job, but it convinced me to do the PGCE). I was asked about the A levels and had to justify the lower grades compared to my high GCSE grades and 1st class degree - I too was busy doing teenagery type things!

    I was pretty sure I would be asked about them, so was prepared to talk about why I'd got lower grades. When I asked for feedback it wasn't mentioned. I think as long as you are prepared it shouldn't make too much of a difference - you have a good degree & experience. I would have thought that with a good application you'd get to interview as readily as anyone else and then it'll be your performance at interview that counts.

    If you've got as far as PGCE, surely your ITT provider thinks you're good enough!
  6. The best advice I have had from my mentor; don't apologise for what you don't have, boast about you do. Emphasise your strengths, better qualifications and experiance, and wherever possible; use that information as justification for other gaps in knowledge (without actually refferring to them as gaps) 99 percent of recruitment is putting on a show.
  7. Guys, thanks so much for the advice.
    You have most def boosted my confidence. I was considering packing it all in as I was convinced I wouldn't get a job after the PGCE because of my grades. I'll add everything they ask for on my application and just make sure everything else about me reads 'amazing' and hope for the best. I just hope it works and if not well there's no point dwelling on it now is there, I'll just move onwards and upwards.
  8. My specialist subject is Chemistry but I would rather only teach up to GCSE level to be honest so I think I'll be looking for an 11-16 school. Not only will I not have to worry about my A-Levels holding me back but I'll be able to teach up to the level I prefer (I can honestly say I wouldn't be happy with the amount of pressure involved in teaching A-Level) as I find GCSE more fun and interesting.
  9. I have bad A-Levels, but excellent GCSEs, a 1st class degree and hopefully from tomorrow, a PhD as well. The A-Levels shouldn't matter. You are not alone, and you can just say that it gave you a kick up the bum to work hard at uni!
  10. veni_vidi

    veni_vidi New commenter

    I have terrible A'levels (too embarrassed to post) and i think these may have hindered me in getting interviews, plus a non specialist degree. I completed the PGCE last June and applied for about 15 jobs with no interview, i was convinced it was due to my less than shining qualifications. However i took lots of advice on here and from teacher friends about my application, and improved it each time. The last one i sent i thought was my best attempt, and i got an interview and thankfully got the job!
    So, some schools will look at your A'Levels, some will be attracted by your experience. Make sure you have a super application you'll get an interview and have a chance to let them see how good you are.
    Good luck!

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