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Extenuating Circumstances

The Extenuating Circumstances Form is designed to help those applicants whose education, or personal and social background has been disadvantaged in some way. We recognise that in some cases, applicants may have achieved lower grades at GCSE than expected but may have the academic ability and commitment to thrive at Cambridge University on their chosen course.

It may be worth arranging for an Extenuating Circumstances Form to be completed if your education has been significantly disrupted or disadvantaged through health or personal problems, disability or difficulties with schooling. For example you could inform us of:

  • a serious medical condition, especially since the age of 14
  • significant caring responsibilities, recent bereavement or serious illness within close family
  • other circumstances where education has been seriously disrupted – schools should feel free to contact us on to discuss an applicants particular situation.

Extenuating Circumstances Forms are normally completed by a teacher at the applicant’s school or college by the deadline of 22 October. Occasionally, when the school may be unaware of the circumstances it may be more appropriate for a doctor or social worker to complete and validate the form.

Updated May 2022