A student who achieved five straight A* grades has still failed to land a university place.
Aylesbury Grammar School student Tom Erlandsen, of Beechwood Lane, Wendover, got his excellent results in biology, chemistry, physics, maths and further maths, but despite this he didn’t get any university offers.
Remaining optimistic he said: “I did have to work very hard and I spent a lot of time revising, I gave up my life and spare time but it’s been worth it. I’m on an informal waiting list with Edinburgh University so I’m going to call their admissions office.
“I want to do medicine and it’s a very competitive degree. It’s a bit frustrating, but I’ll have to wait and see how it goes. I may have to take a gap year and if I do I will try and get medical placements for work experience and maybe go to China and work in rural Chinese hospitals.”
Tom applied to Cambridge, Edinburgh, Bristol, Leeds and University College London (UCL) but despite his clear academic ability and 12 GCSE’s at A* he didn’t receive a single offer. A combination of circumstances worked against the bright lad in his endeavours. He said Bristol is very keen on sport and uses that as a factor in the selection process; and his interviews at UCL and Cambridge clashed on the same day.
He said: “A lot of it is based on your non academic achievement. Feedback from Edinburgh was that my personal statement had the wrong focus. They wanted to hear more reflection on my work experience, but I had written it with the focus on Cambridge where they want more information about your studies and reading.”
His friend Ed Mawdsley, of Bedgrove, was more fortunate and has been accepted to study medicine at Cambridge after achieving outstanding results in the UK and Cambridge medical examination tests. He also got five A levels, three at A* and two A’s.
He said: “I’m over the moon, I went onto the internet as soon as I could this morning to find out I had been accepted at Cambridge, but I had to come into school to get my grades.
“I don’t know how I got in and Tom didn’t, when he got better A level grades than me. I hope he re-applies next year and gets in, I would love it if he did.”