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St Andrews blamed for lack of poor students

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    This makes me amused, bemused and angry all at once. Well done. Again, it tends to be the people that haven't lost parents at a young age, haven't lost their job because they broke their neck through something that wasn't their fault or have had something completely outwith their control happen to them that say 'it'd be just terrible for that poor guy to not get in to his dream choice of university because they gave you extra consideration, now he'll have to go and take a gap year in Tahiti'. My heart bleeds. I assume that if you get hit by a bus on the day of your final exam, it's just dandy that they just fail you for your degree, leave you with no prospects but £50,000 of debt, then flung out of your home, and that you'll still have the same stance? That the guy who you were going to finish above in your class now gets the nice job and nice life? I'm sure you'll shake his hand and say 'when your hamster nibbles dies, Life will have evened things up'.
    Your right , I have not been through much at all. I'm not going to pretend I have. I have been so far.... very lucky. That fact does not exclude me from giving my point of view. It still stands. I'm not changing my mind.

    What you said is irrelevant. Of course if someone gets hit by a bus on the day of his exam he is not going to be able to make it. Thats common sense. There are procedures in place for things like that. Extenuating circumstances and all that jazz. We are not talking about that. What are talking about is circumstances where an individual is ABLE to sit his exam.... but because of home life it may, or indeed may not have had a detrimental effect on his/her grade.

    Thats all I'm going to say to you until you can come back with a better argument than:

    1. You have not had anyone die on you therefore your opinion is irrelevant unless it agrees with the fact compassion should be given. Then in that case your opinion is fine.

    AND

    2. Because person A missed out on a place at university he is somehow not effected because his parents are not dead. He will be fine after all he has his parents still. The fact he will not get to go and study his chosen subject to get a career in a chosen field will not have any effect on his well being what so ever because he has not been very unlucky. Just take a year out? all because he was not chosen despite having better grades because someone from the other side of the countries parents have sadly.... I must stress sadly passed away.


    It needs to be as fair as we can make it. Accepting below par grades over someones elses superioir grades in ANY circumstance is not fair.
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    (Original post by 1tartanarmy)
    What you said is irrelevant. Of course if someone gets hit by a bus on the day of his exam he is not going to be able to make it. Thats common sense. There are procedures in place for things like that. Extenuating circumstances and all that jazz. We are not talking about that. What are talking about is circumstances where an individual is ABLE to sit his exam.... but because of home life it may, or indeed may not have had a detrimental effect on his/her grade.

    Thats all I'm going to say to you until you can come back with a better argument than:

    1. You have not had anyone die on you therefore your opinion is irrelevant unless it agrees with the fact compassion should be given. Then in that case your opinion is fine.

    AND

    2. Because person A missed out on a place at university he is somehow not effected because his parents are not dead. He will be fine after all he has his parents still. The fact he will not get to go and study his chosen subject to get a career in a chosen field will not have any effect on his well being what so ever because he has not been very unlucky. Just take a year out? all because he was not chosen despite having better grades because someone from the other side of the countries parents have sadly.... I must stress sadly passed away.


    It needs to be as fair as we can make it. Accepting below par grades over someones elses superioir grades in ANY circumstance is not fair.
    Ah, if someone has something so bad that he or she misses the exam, then it's reasonable to give extenuating circumstances, but if someone has to deal with the trauma of their parents dying (and y'know, can just put that out of their heads when they're learning quadratic equations after the funeral, or taking the exam) or misses growing up with Leukaemia and does manage to get into the exam hall, the "that's life" argument comes in. I see. Perfect sense. Best hope their parents die and they break their leg on the day of the exam. NOW we have someone that needs special consideration.

    I've worked in university admissions. The big secret is, no one every really has to miss out because they let someone in because of extenuating circumstances. It doesn't work like that. It's not a pot where they say "You know what, Bob? It seems we've finished letting in all the sob stories and now we have to reject all the rest of the kids. Shame, that." Universities receive so many applications from people who sometimes don't make the conditions of the offer, sometimes decline them and sometimes arrive and hate it and bugger off that filling exactly 4128 places for more than five minutes is next to impossible. By contrast, there'll be usually exactly zero with very serious consequences that require a reassessment of their application separate from the rest. And, in certain circumstances when it's clear that something very serious that we cannot expect to happen to 99.9% of people comes along, it is perfectly acceptable to offer a place to someone who we believe is not accurately reflected on paper. They often seize that opportunity. For those that thinking ruining their favourite shirt is a life-changing event, not bothering to turn up having read any of the work is commonplace.

    I suggest you pick up the phone and get onto Oxford. Ask them about the AAA students they've let in and the A*A*A* ones they've rejected. Ask them if they haven't heard of that thing called life, I'm sure they'd be delighted to hear what you think. People who have 'better' grades are often rejected by universities, because they thought maths was a better A-level than Physics for that subject, because they took a shine to some work experience someone else had, or because they came across passionately in a few trivial lines on a bit of paper. I suppose it's fair to base things on personal statements after all. That the brilliant engineer misses out because someone else can write some more elegant sentences about how captaining their football team has made them a better person.
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    (Original post by 1tartanarmy)
    Just want to start by saying that I'm really sorry to hear what has happened to you. I couldn't begin to imagine what that feels like.

    I have to say though that it shouldn't make a difference no. It should be based solely on grades and your personal statement. It would be wrong to give you ANY "extra" consideration or chance or mercy only because you have been really unlucky. Giving you that extra "compassion" could result in another student missing out because YOUR parents died,got sick etc. Now thats my friend would be unfair.

    Theres a little thing called life. People need to be able to deal with it sooner or later. EVERYONE will have to go through trauma at some time or another. To say you should be giving extra consideration because of a traumatic experience suffered early on in life over someone who still has theres to come is wrong.

    That proposal is wrong. Lets say you got the same grades as someone else.... but the uni choose you because of compassion and it "must have been harder" therefore your should get it..... what happens if that person you are against loses all his friends and family in a one off event. Should he/she be contacted to have a place at uni because "everyone you know has died". Although its an extreme case it proves my point. You cant base things on life events. They happen to everyone.

    On another point..... weird choice of username you have? Can I ask why you would choose to have that?
    About the user name. Mum and Dad were killed in January 2010 when I was in year 12 at school. Like it or not what I am now is a product of them having to leave me behind. I am a very different person than I would have been if they were still alive. Posting from the perspective I do and with the username I have chosen keeps their memory alive inside me and that really matters to me.

    As to the rest of what you say - I wonder if you see the consequences of your ideas? No extra help for the blind, the disabled, people injured in accidents caused by others. Just tell them to get on with it.
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    Ah, if someone has something so bad that he or she misses the exam, then it's reasonable to give extenuating circumstances, but if someone has to deal with the trauma of their parents dying (and y'know, can just put that out of their heads when they're learning quadratic equations after the funeral, or taking the exam) or misses growing up with Leukaemia and does manage to get into the exam hall, the "that's life" argument comes in. I see. Perfect sense. Best hope their parents die and they break their leg on the day of the exam. NOW we have someone that needs special consideration.

    I've worked in university admissions. The big secret is, no one every really has to miss out because they let someone in because of extenuating circumstances. It doesn't work like that. It's not a pot where they say "You know what, Bob? It seems we've finished letting in all the sob stories and now we have to reject all the rest of the kids. Shame, that." Universities receive so many applications from people who sometimes don't make the conditions of the offer, sometimes decline them and sometimes arrive and hate it and bugger off that filling exactly 4128 places for more than five minutes is next to impossible. By contrast, there'll be usually exactly zero with very serious consequences that require a reassessment of their application separate from the rest. And, in certain circumstances when it's clear that something very serious that we cannot expect to happen to 99.9% of people comes along, it is perfectly acceptable to offer a place to someone who we believe is not accurately reflected on paper. They often seize that opportunity. For those that thinking ruining their favourite shirt is a life-changing event, not bothering to turn up having read any of the work is commonplace.

    I suggest you pick up the phone and get onto Oxford. Ask them about the AAA students they've let in and the A*A*A* ones they've rejected. Ask them if they haven't heard of that thing called life, I'm sure they'd be delighted to hear what you think. People who have 'better' grades are often rejected by universities, because they thought maths was a better A-level than Physics for that subject, because they took a shine to some work experience someone else had, or because they came across passionately in a few trivial lines on a bit of paper. I suppose it's fair to base things on personal statements after all. That the brilliant engineer misses out because someone else can write some more elegant sentences about how captaining their football team has made them a better person.
    So your admitting universities reject people with A*A*A* and choose others with lower grades based on events? Well thats ridiculous and quite frankly I'm glad you no longer work with admissions. What the hell more can that person do? He/she has went and and owned every exam yet gets rejected because of the subjective view of an individual such as yourself at guessing how hard or easy a time people have had it while studying?

    Also yes.... theres a difference from being PHYSICALLY able to sit an exam eg getting hit by a bus and life events that you have to deal with. The extenuating circumstances are for the fact a person has been physically effected through illness or accident and they can't physically sit the exam. Thats fair in my opinion. Also thats for people deemed already capable of completing the course and have already been admitted. We are talking about the stage before this. There is a difference.

    Don't explain how admissions work. its besides the point. I could have guessed it was that way. At the end of the day people get and and people don't. My points still valid comparing one person to another. Some get in some don't. There has to be a cut off line. You wouldn't/couldn't just let people in indefinitely.

    Why on earth are you talking about subjects now? Of course the subjects matter but thats again irrelevant. We all know an A is better in maths for a mathematics course than an A in Drama would be. Common knowledge I thought? Stop muddying the waters with irrelevant dribble. Again I said GRADES AND personal statement. Whats the point in us making up a good sentence in personal statements if people like you in admissions rubbish them for being better because of some "hunch" you have about the person being genuinely a better candidate. Based on a guess about how difficult a life that person had.
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    (Original post by Orphan)
    About the user name. Mum and Dad were killed in January 2010 when I was in year 12 at school. Like it or not what I am now is a product of them having to leave me behind. I am a very different person than I would have been if they were still alive. Posting from the perspective I do and with the username I have chosen keeps their memory alive inside me and that really matters to me.

    As to the rest of what you say - I wonder if you see the consequences of your ideas? No extra help for the blind, the disabled, people injured in accidents caused by others. Just tell them to get on with it.

    I'm genuinely so sorry to hear that. Its must have been horrible and I want to say well done in managing it. You have clearly done a tremendous job in dealing with a horrific experience. I'm sure they would be very proud of you. Fair play on the username, I was wrong to question it in hindsight.

    What I will not concede however is my view. It still stands. I'm not saying that at all. Are you blind? are you disabled? you do realise that those people don't get given the "blind" card and then suddenly thats them had their bad luck for life... They still would have to deal with the life events that happen to EVERYONE sooner or later. Everyone is going to lose people. Not everyone goes blind or has a disability. Those people shouldn't have "special treatment" when it comes to admissions either anyways. They should have all the support they need. They should have the carers, the helpers, the money etc. But when it comes to the ACTUAL grades that person achieved in an exam compared to another. The person with the better grades should be chosen over the one with the worse. Irrespective as to whether or not the person blind , their ethnicity , their post code or whether or not they have pink hair for all I care. When it comes down to admissions the better candidate should be selected on paper. Not on guesswork by the admissions officers or picking a person over another because they "appear" worse off.

    Obviously most people would be destroyed in the death of a parent. But... despite what you may say, some people don't give two jobby's in that event. How can an admissions officer see that on paper? its impossible. It should be grades and personal statment. Interviews if need be. END OF. No student should be accepting over another with lower grades. Thats plain and simply. WRONG.
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    (Original post by 1tartanarmy)
    So your admitting universities reject people with A*A*A* and choose others with lower grades based on events? Well thats ridiculous and quite frankly I'm glad you no longer work with admissions. What the hell more can that person do? He/she has went and and owned every exam yet gets rejected because of the subjective view of an individual such as yourself at guessing how hard or easy a time people have had it while studying?

    Also yes.... theres a difference from being PHYSICALLY able to sit an exam eg getting hit by a bus and life events that you have to deal with. The extenuating circumstances are for the fact a person has been physically effected through illness or accident and they can't physically sit the exam. Thats fair in my opinion. Also thats for people deemed already capable of completing the course and have already been admitted. We are talking about the stage before this. There is a difference.

    Don't explain how admissions work. its besides the point. I could have guessed it was that way. At the end of the day people get and and people don't. My points still valid comparing one person to another. Some get in some don't. There has to be a cut off line. You wouldn't/couldn't just let people in indefinitely.

    Why on earth are you talking about subjects now? Of course the subjects matter but thats again irrelevant. We all know an A is better in maths for a mathematics course than an A in Drama would be. Common knowledge I thought? Stop muddying the waters with irrelevant dribble. Again I said GRADES AND personal statement. Whats the point in us making up a good sentence in personal statements if people like you in admissions rubbish them for being better because of some "hunch" you have about the person being genuinely a better candidate. Based on a guess about how difficult a life that person had.
    I think you've shown yourself up for how little you know about how universities work. Since the vast majority of people are offered, or not offered, places based on predicted grades, it happens all the time that people who go on to get top grades (like most rejections- we still know they'd be capable of doing the course well) don't get offers- I think that's what you call 'life'? Most of admissions for universities and interviews for jobs are about guesses for how well the candidate will do in an environment they haven't been in yet- scores in tests only form part of that- you might get rejected for a job later because the panel decide they liked the look of someone else. When you've got as far as doing a bit of marking for essays you'll know how subjective personal statements are. One guy might tell you how he is the greatest person ever to walk the planet. Since he's said it, do we believe it? You were the one that said grades + personal statement only, not me.

    Getting hit by a bus is (and correct me if I'm wrong here) a 'life event that you have to deal with'. The difference is that the bus happened on the day of the exam, the parents happened during the preparation for it. I assume that if the roulette of life spins you in an accident on the day an exam is scheduled for, we help you out, but if it happens five months before hand, we don't? Sounds good. I better write that one down.

    Before you go though: You're and your are different words, as are affect and effect. That's requires an apostrophe, ellipsis have three dots only. Direct quotations cannot be used for words I haven't said (hunch). I pick up on these things- sometimes in personal statements. It's why people like me are there to help stop clowns like you getting into universities like mine.
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    I think you've shown yourself up for how little you know about how universities work. Since the vast majority of people are offered, or not offered, places based on predicted grades, it happens all the time that people who go on to get top grades (like most rejections- we still know they'd be capable of doing the course well) don't get offers- I think that's what you call 'life'? Most of admissions for universities and interviews for jobs are about guesses for how well the candidate will do in an environment they haven't been in yet- scores in tests only form part of that- you might get rejected for a job later because the panel decide they liked the look of someone else. When you've got as far as doing a bit of marking for essays you'll know how subjective personal statements are. One guy might tell you how he is the greatest person ever to walk the planet. Since he's said it, do we believe it? You were the one that said grades + personal statement only, not me.

    Getting hit by a bus is (and correct me if I'm wrong here) a 'life event that you have to deal with'. The difference is that the bus happened on the day of the exam, the parents happened during the preparation for it. I assume that if the roulette of life spins you in an accident on the day an exam is scheduled for, we help you out, but if it happens five months before hand, we don't? Sounds good. I better write that one down.

    Before you go though: You're and your are different words, as are affect and effect. That's requires an apostrophe, ellipsis have three dots only. Direct quotations cannot be used for words I haven't said (hunch). I pick up on these things- sometimes in personal statements. It's why people like me are there to help stop clowns like you getting into universities like mine.
    Ok then. I have had enough of this. If you think people with lower grades should be accepted before people with higher in ANY circumstance I don't think you done your job properly. I feel sorry for the students who lost out due to your guess work. That's simply daft and illogical. Again... if you go by your warped logic everything is a guess, I would think guess work should be minimised by ACCEPTING THE BEST GRADES. To not do that is border line retarded in my book. In which case you should be given all the support your currently lacking.

    Well, the difference is that, thats the point. The person hit by the bus is PHYSICALLY unable to sit an exam. Its a raw life event. Thats the reason they have to be filled within a short space of time. The person has had literally zero time to compose them self.

    I'm clearly not an English student. I'm a man of maths and science. I like numbers, statistics , graphs, equations .... data. You shouldn't call people clowns or imply stupidity based on one factor alone. Nothing riles me more than a person who comes out with "Do you even know what word x means?" When they are sitting saying this having only found out the previous night. I don't know how clever you are or are not. It doesen't matter. I know the english language well enough to communicate well verbally and achieve a higher in it. I ask no more of myself. Its not what I do. Or not what I need.
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    (Original post by 1tartanarmy)
    If you think people with lower grades should be accepted before people with higher in ANY circumstance I don't think you done your job properly.
    I think your view isn't one shared by most schools or universities. In practice both my school and my current university have showed great compassion and overwhelming acceptance of the fact that my grades would have suffered because of the death of my parents.
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    Or is it that you accept that my grades did suffer but that is just tough and that no allowances should be made?
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    I accept they could have suffered. At the same time I think it would be highly unfair to reject someone with better grades and pick you. That person has not done anything wrong and should not be punished because you were unlucky and not him. Also that is assuming it did effect your grades negatively.

    If we go by this theory , of every person given compassionate grounds for acceptance. Theres a chance someone gets given it when in in fact they would never have achieved the grades had the event not happened. Hence got into university as a result OF the event and not DESPITE IT.

    You never know... Deep down it could have spurred you on. If it had not happened you may have turned to partying or whatever nonsense and may have got worse grades. You see what I'm saying. To give compassion is assuming a hell of a lot. Whereas if you go by the grades actually achieved. Its a safe bet that the person is deserving of a place.

    Obviously they are not good things. But from bad things good things sometimes arise. To say EVERY person suffering a life event has their grades suffer as a result is crazy. Nothing works with such definite rules..
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    I'm just so thrilled that you feel that my mum and dad being killed might have actually have enhanced my grades. Have you any idea how unkind and cruel that sounds. And how totally out of touch with the reality of my life in years 12 and 13.

    I lived for virtually all of my A2 year on my own in my family home - having to do all my own cooking, cleaning, shopping, washing, ironing and gardening before I even could start school work. Exactly how did that help me? And that is taking no account of the sadness I was feeling. And all of this isn't worth any consideration?

    Why do you think that Personal Statements and References are part of the process? Clearly grades are NOT the only thing that matter to universities.
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    (Original post by 1tartanarmy)
    I accept they could have suffered. At the same time I think it would be highly unfair to reject someone with better grades and pick you. That person has not done anything wrong and should not be punished because you were unlucky and not him. Also that is assuming it did effect your grades negatively.

    If we go by this theory , of every person given compassionate grounds for acceptance. Theres a chance someone gets given it when in in fact they would never have achieved the grades had the event not happened. Hence got into university as a result OF the event and not DESPITE IT.

    You never know... Deep down it could have spurred you on. If it had not happened you may have turned to partying or whatever nonsense and may have got worse grades. You see what I'm saying. To give compassion is assuming a hell of a lot. Whereas if you go by the grades actually achieved. Its a safe bet that the person is deserving of a place.

    Obviously they are not good things. But from bad things good things sometimes arise. To say EVERY person suffering a life event has their grades suffer as a result is crazy. Nothing works with such definite rules..
    Without going into too much personal detail can I ask for your thoughts on my situation (see spoiler)

    Spoiler:
    Show
    In 2001 I, along with my friend, were victims in an assault. The effects of this assault, and the subsequent breakdown of the friendship, had a tremendously negative impact on my mental and physical health as I started my A-levels only a month after the assault. I had undiagnosed epilepsy for a few years, even before my GCSEs (it wasn't diagnosed until I finished my A-levels) and, due to the stress of the assault I went from having three or four seizures a week to one or two every day. We aren't talking the typical tonic clonic seizures here, just partial seizures that any one nearby wouldn't even notice, but they do produce a terrible headache and tiredness for the rest of the day and, on some days, some mild cognitive difficulties (like "brain fog" or lethargy).

    I also became very depressed (six years later I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder - the assault being the trigger).

    In some respect it perhaps did help me as I used academic work as my coping mechanism and effectively buried myself into work. I guess I felt that if I'm still able to work well and get high A grades in weekly essays and coursework then I'm not doing too badly. Deep down though I was very depressed and unwell. There is no question that my exam performance was affected by my difficulties, particulary as I needed to have a sleep deprived EEG test the day before my final exam (meaning that, in the 48 hours before my final exam, I probably only had 4 hours sleep).

    Despite my excellent academic performance during the year I did underperform in some exams. Not helped by the timetabling pressures (e.g. three consecutive exams) I would achieve, say, 97% in one exam but then a D or a C in the next. T

    My predicted grades were AAB and, under normal circumstances, I know I could have achieved AAA-AAB easily. My offer was ABB.

    I missed out on an A in English Literature by two marks and an A in Theology by one mark, finishing with 3 Bs.

    When I phoned up my firm on results day (which was Durham) they told me that, as they are so oversubscribed, they don't give any consideration to mitigating circumstances. Long story short I was able to convince them to re-consider my application if I provide them with medical evidence. They eventually allowed me onto the course.

    I admit I was lucky. I know people who, around that time, applied to Durham and weren't so lucky. One TSR member, who is now doing a PhD (or has already completed it) applied to Durham for his undergrad degree but was rejected on results day as "they didn't think brain damage is a suitable reason for missing an offer". Fortunately I was persistant and able to make my case to a sympathetic admissions tutor.


    You also seem to be assuming that a person with disabilities or a learning difficulty are given appropriate support in the first place. This is not necessarily the case especially for those who aren't diagnosed, find it difficult to get a statement of special needs, or perhaps just at a poor school. I wasn't diagnosed with dyspraxia until years later (aged 22) so was never given sufficient additional time in exams, despite my handwriting being in the bottom 15% of 18 year olds. Again, the epilespy wasn't diagnosed and controlled until the summer I finished my exams. The dyspraxia and depression/bipolar not until around five years later.

    Considering I was predicted AAB, had strong GCSEs, and was consistantly producing outstanding work during my A-levels and, since starting university, have performed as strongly as those who did achieve AAA-ABB at A-level (often ahead of many both in terms of attitude to work and flair for the subject), do you feel I cheated someone out of a place? That someone with higher final grades deserved this place? Particularly as, and keep in mind we're talking about Durham here, many of these AAA-ABB applicants, who had the benefit of attending top private schools, not actually anything special academically but benefited from extensive exam coaching?

    Clearly admissions tutors, by and large, are able to recognise potential and, realising that grades aren't the be all and end all, are able to make sufficient allowances when appropriate.
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    (Original post by 1tartanarmy)

    I'm clearly not an English student. I'm a man of maths and science. I like numbers, statistics , graphs, equations .... data. You shouldn't call people clowns or imply stupidity based on one factor alone. Nothing riles me more than a person who comes out with "Do you even know what word x means?" When they are sitting saying this having only found out the previous night. I don't know how clever you are or are not. It doesen't matter. I know the english language well enough to communicate well verbally and achieve a higher in it. I ask no more of myself. Its not what I do. Or not what I need.
    A man of DATA will then be aware of the quotation 'there are lies damn lies and statistics'. Academic performance before university is one but not the final and definitive indication of intelligence and if you think otherwise you are either not at university or have been there with your eyes shut.
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    im not british but im poor. i studied at st andys.
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    (Original post by Orphan)
    I'm just so thrilled that you feel that my mum and dad being killed might have actually have enhanced my grades. Have you any idea how unkind and cruel that sounds. And how totally out of touch with the reality of my life in years 12 and 13.

    Why do you think that Personal Statements and References are part of the process? Clearly grades are NOT the only thing that matter to universities.
    Firstly if you even READ my posts I have said pretty strongly and multiple times that personal statements and hence, references are also important. They should however not be used for sob stories.

    Its hard for me to argue this because its difficult to say it without sounding mean and evil. As I said earlier... I'll repeat. Yes, it will effect ALOT of people negatively. However , some people it wont. Nobody knows what what have happened if the event didn't happen., For all you know you may have bombed them even worse had the event not happened. How can you say that with 100% confidence? you may not have. It may have gave you something to really fight for. Determination and motivation are key... if something as life changing as that doesn't give you determination then theres something wrong. Are you telling me people never think "this is for Dan" or "this is for gran"? of course they do.

    What I'm saying is that if admissions officers go around giving compassion to anyone thats went through a horrible experience and this stops other people with better grades getting in. Then sooner or later theres going to be some really unfairly treated people. While others get a "free pass" and a "benefit of the doubt" response.

    The best grades should be given the place.
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    (Original post by Aeschylus)
    A man of DATA will then be aware of the quotation 'there are lies damn lies and statistics'. Academic performance before university is one but not the final and definitive indication of intelligence and if you think otherwise you are either not at university or have been there with your eyes shut.
    Whats that got to do with the price of milk?
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    (Original post by River85)
    Without going into too much personal detail can I ask for your thoughts on my situation (see spoiler)
    Well, from my point of view you did not meet the grades but you claim to be capable of achieving them. What I would say to that is that you should have been given the right support, however you may need it from counselling to medication and many more. If the support was truly up to standard then you should have been able to achieve the grades.

    My point of view is summarised below:

    To get into university a person MUST under any circumstances have the required grades whatever they may be. If a person suffers a horrible experience in the preparation for an exam then they should be given top class support to get them ready for it. They still as aforesaid MUST get the grades. No guessing whether or not they would have achieved them should be permitted. No grades = no place = someone with grades gets it.

    Support must be there..... but to me if you don't get the marks.... then you shouldn't be there. Support is key.
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    (Original post by 1tartanarmy)
    Well, from my point of view you did not meet the grades but you claim to be capable of achieving them. What I would say to that is that you should have been given the right support, however you may need it from counselling to medication and many more. If the support was truly up to standard then you should have been able to achieve the grades.
    As I already said, I was not diagnosed with epilepsy, dyspraxia or the depression/bipolar until AFTER my A-levels (in the case of the latter two it years after..I didn't even receive adequate support or allowances during much of my undergrad degree). So how could I have received any support? Whether that's academic (additional time for exams, exam breaks, alternative assessment...) or from the NHS (medication, counselling)?

    Had I taken my A-levels a few years later then a proper, formal process would have been in place and I would have received one or two additional marks (meaning I would have exceeded the offer set by my firm and achieved my predicted grades). However, even this isn't certain as I would have needed a diagnosis (which, as mentioned, I didn't have).

    To get into university a person MUST under any circumstances have the required grades whatever they may be.
    According to you, yes. But thankfully you are not an admissions tutor.

    Admissions tutors are perfectly entitled to use discretion and, if provided with sufficient medical evidence, make appropriate allowances. Grades are only one part of an application and it is actually quite obvious that, if a student were to face the difficulties I faced (or experienced a traumatic event such as the death of two parents), and then only fell short of their offer by a small margin, in my case a single mark, whilst being predicted to achieve well above this and having produced excellent (A* or A grade) work consistantly throughout the year, then they would have likely more than met the grades were it not for the difficulties.

    If a person suffers a horrible experience in the preparation for an exam then they should be given top class support to get them ready for it. They still as aforesaid MUST get the grades. No guessing whether or not they would have achieved them should be permitted. No grades = no place = someone with grades gets it.

    Support must be there..... but to me if you don't get the marks.... then you shouldn't be there. Support is key.
    But, again, many fail to receive support.

    Even with support it can be difficult to adequately compensate. A person who experiences the death of close relatives will feel tremendous grief and, even with appropriate counselling and a supportive academic environment, it is likely his or her academic performance will be affected.

    Or take my final A-level exam which I was sleep deprived for (through no fault of my own). What sort of "support" could have been offered that would have prevented this? The only thing I could have done would have been to delay having the scan, which would have meant I wouldn't have recieved the diagnosis of epilepsy (and medication) for a further few months.

    You don't seem to have much of an idea about disabilities and learning difficulties, the challenges students with these difficulties face, and that the world is a lot more complex than you seem to think it is.
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    (Original post by 1tartanarmy)
    Firstly if you even READ my posts I have said pretty strongly and multiple times that personal statements and hence, references are also important. They should however not be used for sob stories.

    Its hard for me to argue this because its difficult to say it without sounding mean and evil. As I said earlier... I'll repeat. Yes, it will effect ALOT of people negatively. However , some people it wont. Nobody knows what what have happened if the event didn't happen., For all you know you may have bombed them even worse had the event not happened. How can you say that with 100% confidence? you may not have. It may have gave you something to really fight for. Determination and motivation are key... if something as life changing as that doesn't give you determination then theres something wrong. Are you telling me people never think "this is for Dan" or "this is for gran"? of course they do.

    What I'm saying is that if admissions officers go around giving compassion to anyone thats went through a horrible experience and this stops other people with better grades getting in. Then sooner or later theres going to be some really unfairly treated people. While others get a "free pass" and a "benefit of the doubt" response.

    The best grades should be given the place.
    Don't worry you are doing an excellent job of sounding "mean and evil". I can cope with that.

    Your irrational obsession with grades rather than accepting the superiority of the admissions system as it currently exists is harder to accept.

    BTW not for the first time you seem to be suggesting that losing both my parents might actually have improved my chances of getting to university - this time by suggesting that it would increase my motivation and determination. I find this quite offensive but if I explained why you might think it was a just a sob story or that when my circumstances were mentioned by the school (as they were) then all I was after was "a free pass"!!
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    (Original post by 1tartanarmy)

    To get into university a person MUST under any circumstances have the required grades whatever they may be. If a person suffers a horrible experience in the preparation for an exam then they should be given top class support to get them ready for it. They still as aforesaid MUST get the grades. No guessing whether or not they would have achieved them should be permitted. No grades = no place = someone with grades gets it.

    Support must be there..... but to me if you don't get the marks.... then you shouldn't be there. Support is key.
    Who funds this, who decides what support is needed, who provides the support?

    There is zero point you proposing such a radical change to the admissions process without providing at least some pointers that what you are suggesting is both better and affordable. So far you have done neither.

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