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English Applicants 2012

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    Oh the fun of writing a personal statement. I am having the 'should I take out this text - or that text - or just scrap it all and start again? Hopefully my teacher will give me a few pointers.

    Anyone else feeling really nervous about going into A2? I am. It was quite comforting last year knowing I had another year... that vanished quicker than I could say 'Quidditch'.
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    Anyone reapplying for English in 2012?!x
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    I've just finished Fight Club (I didn't expect to like it, but it really is one of the best books I've ever read!) and I too am about to start The Great Gatsby. Once I've finished Wuthering Heights for school, that is....
    As for university, I want to go to UEA. I'll apply to others, but that's the one I want to go to.
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    (Original post by Obsidian)
    Oh the fun of writing a personal statement. I am having the 'should I take out this text - or that text - or just scrap it all and start again? Hopefully my teacher will give me a few pointers.

    Anyone else feeling really nervous about going into A2? I am. It was quite comforting last year knowing I had another year... that vanished quicker than I could say 'Quidditch'.
    I'm quite anxious because two of my choices have A* offers... if by some miracle I get into either then I will have a very stressful summer ahead of me! We started looking at 'The Pardoner's Tale' today. The Middle English is hilarious - it sounds like it's being said by a drunken Geordie
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    (Original post by eunoia)
    Anyone reapplying for English in 2012?!x
    Yeaa boy - which unis did you do last year and what are you planning on this time?
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    Just finished the Great Gatsby, currently trying to get through Tess of the D'urbervilles/As I Lay Dying, which isn't going too well, but I'm finding it hard to put one on hold for the other. I really don't feel like I used my summer well in terms of reading, definitely regretting that now because PS is looming :eek:. Hoping to apply to Leeds, Leicester, and Birmingham, but I still haven't decided on the others!
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    (Original post by British_Student^^)
    Just looked at this list and feel a little ill. I have only read one of these books (Wuthering Heights). Guess I've got a lot of catching up to do. :p:

    (Original post by cmas123)
    Wouldn't worry, I've only read five and I thought I was pretty well read! It's more about the stuff you're interested in than having just crammed loads of books down! (I Hope)
    There is no reason to worry; the list is not Books You Should Have Read.
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    Hello!

    I'm applying to 4 big hitters this year ( UCL, Cambridge, St. Andrews, Edinbrough ). I can't visit till I have (hopeful!) acceptances on hand so they're pretty varied! I'm applying for the Republic Of Ireland so I'd say my teacher might not be much help with the ps. Which sucks because I'm tearing my hair out here. It all seems to be random poems with absolutely no cohesion.
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    Hai this might be a little cheeky, but i've just started writing a blog which is mini-essay appreciations of unseen poems, as practice for uni admissions tests... If anyone's interested on reading them and honing their critical skills by judging how I do and commenting, then I'd be chuffed Here's the blog

    http://impracticalcriticism.wordpress.com/

    So far there's a Thomas Hardy poem and a Henry King poem, i'll be adding a Shakespeare Sonnet essay tomorrow!
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    (Original post by thethinker)
    Ok thanks! I'm doing Faustus for A2 as well, and I'll probably go and see the current production at the Globe
    I have tickets to see this! Really excited because I love going to the Globe, and I'm also doing Faustus for A2.

    Most people on this thread seem to be applying for the big universities - anyone going somewhere else? I have my heart set on English and Creative Writing at a small uni like Chichester or Winchester. They don't have the same record as Oxbridge etc., but having visited I really liked the atmosphere. I come from a small school so I feel happier going to a small uni.

    Oh, and in terms of books I like, I'm really into Austen and all that type of stuff
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    (Original post by codle)
    I have tickets to see this! Really excited because I love going to the Globe, and I'm also doing Faustus for A2.

    Most people on this thread seem to be applying for the big universities - anyone going somewhere else? I have my heart set on English and Creative Writing at a small uni like Chichester or Winchester. They don't have the same record as Oxbridge etc., but having visited I really liked the atmosphere. I come from a small school so I feel happier going to a small uni.

    Oh, and in terms of books I like, I'm really into Austen and all that type of stuff
    My school's doing a trip to see the Globe show, I'm really looking forward to it

    I do really like the idea of going to a smaller university, but that is actually one of a number of reasons why I am applying to Cambridge (and Durham and St. Andrews and so on). Although Oxford+Cambridge have about 3 times as many students as Chichester and Winchester do (having just Wikipedia'd the figures ), it's mitigated a bit by the collegiate system. The college I am foolishly going to waste an application slot on, for instance (Peterhouse), has about 300 undergrads - so it's smaller than most secondary schools, or, indeed, just a little larger than most sixth forms. It's possible that you might get a much cosier (for want of a better word) experience there than at a non-collegiate university with thousands of students in it, though obviously I am not a student at either, so there is a degree of guesswork at play here.

    I'm not trying to pressure you into changing your choices or anything like that - you seem to be pretty clear about where you want to go! - it's just that, depending on what exactly you are looking for in a 'small uni' experience, Oxford/Cambridge/what-have-you might be closer to what you're looking for than you might think!
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    (Original post by Orinooko)
    Hai this might be a little cheeky, but i've just started writing a blog which is mini-essay appreciations of unseen poems, as practice for uni admissions tests... If anyone's interested on reading them and honing their critical skills by judging how I do and commenting, then I'd be chuffed Here's the blog

    http://impracticalcriticism.wordpress.com/

    So far there's a Thomas Hardy poem and a Henry King poem, i'll be adding a Shakespeare Sonnet essay tomorrow!
    Having just finished reading English at Cambridge, I can confidently tell you that your practical criticism is excellent (albeit with the rigid assurance that A-level teaching in English breeds)--but that's unavoidable, my pre-Cambridge prat. crits had the same tone. As long as you do this orally, in interview also, I think you'll have a good chance as any as getting a place, wherever you're applying.

    P.S. Have you read Oronoko?
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    (Original post by Orinooko)
    Hai this might be a little cheeky, but i've just started writing a blog which is mini-essay appreciations of unseen poems, as practice for uni admissions tests... If anyone's interested on reading them and honing their critical skills by judging how I do and commenting, then I'd be chuffed Here's the blog

    http://impracticalcriticism.wordpress.com/

    So far there's a Thomas Hardy poem and a Henry King poem, i'll be adding a Shakespeare Sonnet essay tomorrow!
    This is really great thanks
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    Hi everyone
    I would really like to go to UCL to do english lit. I know the grades are very high, AAA minimum.
    I got AAC (plus another dropped A) at AS, and my predicted grades will be AAB.
    Should i bother applying or will they turn me down straight, despite good ps and ref??
    thanks
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    I am currently reading 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde. Its great (if you like the gothic genre) would recommend to anyone.

    I am looking to apply to Nottingham, Sussex, Royal Holloway, Southampton and Kent for English (and Philosophy Joint Honours).

    Good luck everyone!
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    (Original post by Forget that)
    Hi everyone
    I would really like to go to UCL to do english lit. I know the grades are very high, AAA minimum.
    I got AAC (plus another dropped A) at AS, and my predicted grades will be AAB.
    Should i bother applying or will they turn me down straight, despite good ps and ref??
    thanks
    Unfortunately it may be difficult for you. I was told at a Uni Open day (Nottingham, but I imagine its the same most places) that people who do not meet the typical offer in form of predicted grades on application can struggle..

    Saying that, If you really have your heart set on going there, everything is down to you! Fight with your teachers and make them predict you the AAA you need. Tell them they will 'ruin your dream' if they don't . End of the day if you put the work in and really want it, I dont see why you cant make it happen!

    Good luck!!
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    Just thought I'd add my 2 cents here. Speaking as an English graduate, I'd think very long and hard about whether you absolutely want to do this subject. So many English grads are out of work because it is an MA, yes it's a good degree but it will by no means get you a job easily. Be sure that there is no other subject that will help you out more when it comes to finding a graduate job. Looking back I wish I had done something different, same as many of my peers.

    PS Don't do Modernism. Ever.
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    (Original post by Oh Hi)
    Unfortunately it may be difficult for you. I was told at a Uni Open day (Nottingham, but I imagine its the same most places) that people who do not meet the typical offer in form of predicted grades on application can struggle..

    Saying that, If you really have your heart set on going there, everything is down to you! Fight with your teachers and make them predict you the AAA you need. Tell them they will 'ruin your dream' if they don't . End of the day if you put the work in and really want it, I dont see why you cant make it happen!

    Good luck!!
    This helps no one. If an unrealistic prediction secures an offer which the applicant cannot meet, it makes things ten times worse than being realistic from the outset and also gains the school a reputation for unreliability which handicaps further students. English is a massively competitive subject and the wise applicant is one who applies to universities they have a realistic chance of getting into.
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    (Original post by carnationlilyrose)
    This helps no one. If an unrealistic prediction secures an offer which the applicant cannot meet, it makes things ten times worse than being realistic from the outset and also gains the school a reputation for unreliability which handicaps further students. English is a massively competitive subject and the wise applicant is one who applies to universities they have a realistic chance of getting into.
    Woah woah woah. Easy, I completely agree with everything you say here. I did say that it is completely down to them..There is nothing stopping him/her other than themselves. Also how can you know how realistic his predictions are? How do you know he doesn't have some miserable old boot for a teacher that has predicted him lower than what he can get?

    Finally remember we can apply the five universities! What is the point in applying to 5 Uni's which are all 'very safe' choices. You should have one University which is a little aspirational. 'Those who dare win'
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    (Original post by Oh Hi)
    Woah woah woah. Easy, I completely agree with everything you say here. I did say that it is completely down to them..There is nothing stopping him/her other than themselves. Also how can you know how realistic his predictions are? How do you know he doesn't have some miserable old boot for a teacher that has predicted him lower than what he can get?

    Finally remember we can apply the five universities! What is the point in applying to 5 Uni's which are all 'very safe' choices. You should have one University which is a little aspirational. 'Those who dare win'
    I'm basing my advice on 23 years experience of being a sixth form tutor and 28 of being an English teacher and I've seen many kids get no offers out of 5 by applying unrealistically. University admissions tutors aren't stupid and without an explanation in support in the reference, they will be suspicious of a predicted grade 2 or 3 grades higher than what was achieved at AS, especially as from this year, AS grades must be declared on the form. The usual advice is to go for a spread of universities, something like 2 high, 2 medium, 1 low, or a variation of this, but the experience we have had, at the school where I work, over the last 7 or 8 years has been that an offer rate of 2 or 3 out of 5 is really very good for English. It therefore makes sense to go for the safer combination of 1 high, 3 medium, 1 low or thereabouts if you really want to go to university to do English. Predicted grades really need to be based on reality. 'Fighting' with your teachers as you describe it may very well be counterproductive. On results day, there is very little satisfaction to be derived from having won that 'fight' if you didn't get the grades and I can only advise you to have a look at some of the heart-rending threads from the Clearing forums as evidence of that. By all means be aspirational, but you will have seen from the AS threads already in this forum that English Lit marking can be very unpredictable and there has been a notable trend downwards this year. Whilst meteoric rises can happen (one of my students went from D at AS to A* at A2 this year) a teacher really needs to be able to justify a higher prediction on the evidence they have seen thus far. And before you suggest that I am a miserable old boot of teacher (which I am, but you're not to know that), yes we did predict him an A because we had a good deal of hard evidence that he could deliver the goods and could and did cite very sound reasons in his reference why that was the case. If this is so for the OP, then all well and good. That makes it a realistic predicted grade, but all the pleading and 'fighting' in the world will not make getting the higher grade any more likely if the raw material isn't there, so a more realistic apporach would lead to a happier outcome on results day. If the OP has AAB predictions, which he says he already has, based on AAC at AS and the university requires AAA, then it is a wasted application and could be better spent aiming somewhere asking AAB or ABB.

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Updated: September 10, 2012
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