Question on A-levels in the Big 4



I am very interested in joining the big 4 for consultancy or IT related audit (graduate positions).

I probably do not fit the mould as a normal graduate applicant in that I am nearing completion of my PhD which offers significant relevant experience and skills for the service lines I am applying to (but not enough for me to apply as an experienced hire).

Prior to this I have an MSc in Finance and Management, and I achieved a 2:1 in a top10 university.

Problem are my A-levels!! they do not meet the criteria for the big4. My A-levels were due to family bereavement and consequent family problems.

I understand that firms still allow me to apply and mention these circumstances, but I want to know what extent they would still approve my application.

My applications are very strong, I spend a lot of time answering the questions, my knowledge of my service line is excellent and I get everything checked with my careers advisor. However, in the past I have always been rejected for jobs I want and know I will be good at. And the only weakness in my application are my A-levels. 2:1 check, work exp check.

I wish to get your advice on this? sometimes I have more faith in applications which require just a CV as this really highlights my strengths. Everytime I see “A-levels” in an application form, my heart sinks. Esp if theres no space to explain the circumstances. I am 26, and I did my A-levels 8 years ago now, since then I have excellent academic achievements. If I was 35 and still wanting to apply to do ACA gradauate programs, would I still have this problem?

Have any of you got through the initial stages by not meeting their requirements??

Any advice is recieved with thanks…


Hi komalpurewal,

If you apply for KPMG, as stated above, we do have an extenuating circumstances box in our application form. Please list the circumstances there, and a member of the Graduate Recruitment Team will be able to look into this for you.

We look at all candidates academic requirements, not just recent graduates. To be consistent with all candidates, we do have these minimum academic requirements in place, however, as stated previously, we do look into extenuating circumstances.

Best wishes,