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How can i get past a bad school reference.

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    Being completely honest, my life for As levels has been revise like hell in the last minute and gain a good mark (it works). But for the rest of the year do sweet all.
    That includes claswork and homework. Obviously the school will try and make it look as positive as possible for it is in there best interest, however the reader wil see past this. Can i apply in September and put a pending reference?

    Any advice?

    Cheers
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    (Original post by jcrusader)
    Being completely honest, my life for As levels has been revise like hell in the last minute and gain a good mark (it works). But for the rest of the year do sweet all.
    That includes claswork and homework. Obviously the school will try and make it look as positive as possible for it is in there best interest, however the reader wil see past this. Can i apply in September and put a pending reference?

    Any advice?

    Cheers
    Check the reference before it is sent..if you're not happy with it tell your teacher to amend it
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    (Original post by LordMod)
    Check the reference before it is sent..if you're not happy with it tell your teacher to amend it
    Erm, what? Teacher's don't usually let their students see the references they've written for them, and you certainly can't tell them that you're unhappy with the reference. They're doing you a favour by writing one, you ought to be grateful you've got one at all.

    The only way to guarantee a good reference is to use the rest of the time you have left to prove to your teacher that you deserve one. Its not in your teachers' or your school's best interests to lie for you.
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    Some schools may let you see your reference - many do, actually, but they don't have to. You have a legal right to request it from UCAS after your application is sent, but before that, nothing. But referees shouldn't be letting you tell them to change it - they can ask you if you want certain things including, and if they don't ask then you can suggest it. But it's up to them what they include and whether they listen to your suggestions.
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    I had exactly the same problem. what you do is suck up to the teacher that is the nicest, if you dont have one good teacher you are going to have to hire a computer scientist to break into the schools network and change your reference. I dont know what they charge these days but it will be worth it, trust me


    OR...If your computer systems at school are not that secure, try sleeping pills in the staff room meals, once the teachers are down you will have to work quickly, in the referees room you must log in with their account and Finnish the job yourself! Good Luck
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    (Original post by jcrusader)
    Being completely honest, my life for As levels has been revise like hell in the last minute and gain a good mark (it works). But for the rest of the year do sweet all.
    That includes claswork and homework. Obviously the school will try and make it look as positive as possible for it is in there best interest, however the reader wil see past this. Can i apply in September and put a pending reference?

    Any advice?

    Cheers
    I don't know but unis are going to ask why if you don't, it's going to look like you've got something to hide and they'll probably wait until they get a reference to give you an offer.

    No school will change a reference because a student complains, as if the universities stop trusting their references they're disadvantaging all their future applicants for the sake of one.

    Just try and persuade your teachers between now and September that you're worthy of a normal good reference. And how do you know that tactic works if you're still in A1? I tried it and in spite of having done it at GCSE and it working fine, just about scraping through Jan with A's it came back to bite me come June as there was simply too much material to learn.
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    (Original post by jcrusader)
    Being completely honest, my life for As levels has been revise like hell in the last minute and gain a good mark (it works). But for the rest of the year do sweet all.
    That includes claswork and homework. Obviously the school will try and make it look as positive as possible for it is in there best interest, however the reader wil see past this. Can i apply in September and put a pending reference?

    Any advice?

    Cheers
    No, your application will be incomplete.
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    Honestly I was completely shocked when I found out some schools don't let their students read their references before applying. :confused: Mine was completely open about the whole thing, and we were free to ask our teachers to change bits we didn't agree with. Obviously it was up to the teacher in question whether they actually did change it or not, but tbh most were happy to.

    The fact is your reference isn't a report to your parents, and, although I'm sure no teacher is going to outright lie for you, it is in the school's interest for you to get as many offers as possible, and therefore all our teachers were told to focus on the positives and just miss out the negative bits. I'd say just to spend your time between now and September making sure your teachers have lots of good things to say about you (participation in class, enthusiasm etc.) so they've got pleanty to write a reference on, without needing to mention deadlines and homework etc.

    It's got to be worth a try asking to read your reference surely? Or is the way my school did it really that unusual?
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    (Original post by kimja)
    Honestly I was completely shocked when I found out some schools don't let their students read their references before applying. :confused: Mine was completely open about the whole thing, and we were free to ask our teachers to change bits we didn't agree with. Obviously it was up to the teacher in question whether they actually did change it or not, but tbh most were happy to.

    The fact is your reference isn't a report to your parents, and, although I'm sure no teacher is going to outright lie for you, it is in the school's interest for you to get as many offers as possible, and therefore all our teachers were told to focus on the positives and just miss out the negative bits. I'd say just to spend your time between now and September making sure your teachers have lots of good things to say about you (participation in class, enthusiasm etc.) so they've got pleanty to write a reference on, without needing to mention deadlines and homework etc.

    It's got to be worth a try asking to read your reference surely? Or is the way my school did it really that unusual?

    I think it depends a lot on your school. I went to a sixth form college with 1000 students a year, so courses like medicine would have had about 10 or so applicants to each uni and admissions tutors are soon going to remember the college's name if they think references are dodgy.

    I imagine for sixth forms at schools (where there's unlikely to be more than a couple of students applying for the same course and not 10 a year every year) it's probably less of a concern and they can thus be more flexible with the truth. Obviously they're not going to put anything negative and hype you up as much as possible. But admissions tuts are professionals and see thousands of applications each year in most cases, they know that if a student doesn't have certain basics mentioned (good attendance, always punctual, always works to 100% with homework etc.) it's because they don't do these things not because the teacher's forgotten.
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    (Original post by roh)
    I think it depends a lot on your school. I went to a sixth form college with 1000 students a year, so courses like medicine would have had about 10 or so applicants to each uni and admissions tutors are soon going to remember the college's name if they think references are dodgy.

    I imagine for sixth forms at schools (where there's unlikely to be more than a couple of students applying for the same course and not 10 a year every year) it's probably less of a concern and they can thus be more flexible with the truth. Obviously they're not going to put anything negative and hype you up as much as possible. But admissions tuts are professionals and see thousands of applications each year in most cases, they know that if a student doesn't have certain basics mentioned (good attendance, always punctual, always works to 100% with homework etc.) it's because they don't do these things not because the teacher's forgotten.
    There's also that it creates extra work for the teachers - writing a reference is bad enough, but then when an applicant wants a bit adding/editing it's more work for them. Plus they have to find time to give out the references and to discuss them, and occasionally people get mad and demand something is changed when the school thinks it should go in - stick around on TSR for a bit and you'll see that every year there are several threads where people get their parents involved.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    There's also that it creates extra work for the teachers - writing a reference is bad enough, but then when an applicant wants a bit adding/editing it's more work for them. Plus they have to find time to give out the references and to discuss them, and occasionally people get mad and demand something is changed when the school thinks it should go in - stick around on TSR for a bit and you'll see that every year there are several threads where people get their parents involved.
    It can get truly ridiculous, my parents and lot of extended family are teachers and people can behave in bizarre ways, way beyond just getting the parents involved. My college got away with it because they operated akin to a post 16 grammar school and if parents caused problems they told them to take their kids elsewhere as there were plenty waiting to take their place.

    For OP the best advice is just to do the work your teachers expect you to. When it comes to uni you won't be able to busk it on just revising, after first year at least, and in the real world beyond education you aren't assessed once a year and can turn up when you like outside of that period. If you've still got references which don't include things like being punctual, diligent etc. by then you aren't going to get near a graduate job because hundreds of other candidates will. I know that seems far off but you're best breaking bad habits now rather than later.

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