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Articles / Applying to College / Should International Student Send Low A-Levels to College?

Should International Student Send Low A-Levels to College?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Sept. 12, 2019
Should International Student Send Low A-Levels to College?

I am an international student who got accepted to Yale with an excellent IGCSE result and SAT score. But the night before my first A-level exam, my father had an aneurysm and had to undergo immediate surgery and then remained on a ventilator for almost a month. I informed Yale about the whole situation and they deferred my entry. Now that the results for the A-levels are out, I got a B, E and E. I am extremely worried that Yale may rescind my admission even though I'm registered for a retake next month. Please suggest if I should send Yale my scores or wait for the retake results to come in.

I'm very sorry to hear about your father's health situation. I'm sure that the stress it has caused you and your family is immense.

Has Yale said that you MUST submit A-level scores? At many US colleges, these results are used to award credit but aren't part of the actual admission process. So unless Yale has specifically requested your A-level results, you might begin by emailing your Yale admission rep and simply explaining that your A-levels coincided with your father's surgery and you didn't do nearly as well as expected. Ask if you need to send scores at all and only send them if you are required to do so, again reminding Yale of the unfortunate timing of the exam schedule.

The problem with waiting until you see your fall results is that these may not come out until mid-January. If so, if your scores don't improve and Yale decides to revoke your acceptance, it will be too late to apply to many other US colleges —assuming that you might want to do so. Thus, if you contact Yale now and explain that you received atypical A-level results and plan to retest in two months, you can then ask if your acceptance might be in jeopardy if scores are poor and don't go up this fall. If the answer is, “No, you're fine," you can breathe a sigh of relief. But if the answer is “Yes, you will lose your place in the class" or even “Maybe," you might want to consider submitting other applications before you find out how you fared on your retests.

If Yale tells you that you are not required to send A-level scores at all, then don't send the current ones and only submit the new ones if they're strong enough for you to earn credit. Good luck! I hope your father is doing well.


If you'd like to submit a question to College Confidential, please send it along here.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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