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Should I even bother applying to these universities?

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Rate your uni — help us build a league table based on real student views 19-08-2015
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    Hi,

    I am growing somewhat concerned that I am too optimistic with my university choices. I am looking to study a joint honours in American Studies and English but I am very worried my GCSEs won't meet the standard of my university choices - also I mistakenly carried on with an unrelated AS level at A2 (Graphics) when I could've carried on doing English Language (something more relevant to an English degree - even though I want to study an English Literature joint honours degree).

    Anyhow, below are my academic achievements and measly ECs...

    2007-2011 - Brighton Secondary School
    BTEC Applied Science - Merit
    BTEC Information Technology - Distinction*
    GCSE English Language - A
    GCSE English Literature - A
    GCSE Food Technology - B/A
    GCSE French - C/D
    GCSE History - B/C
    GCSE Mathematics - Foundation Tier - C

    D*M

    AABBCC or AAABCC or AAABCD or AABBCD or AAABCD or AAACCD or AAACCC

    2011-2013 - Brighton College
    AS/A level English Literature - A
    AS/A level Government & Politics - A/B
    AS/A level Graphics - A*/A
    AS level English Language - B

    A*AAb or A*ABb if my G&P goes down

    Extra-Curriculars
    • Play baseball in a local amatuer baseball club
    • Volunteered every other Saturday at a charity shop that raises money for abandoned dogs
    • Won a couple of journalism competitions, one local and one national, as a 12-year-old and 15-year-old respectively


    Jobs
    • I get seasonal work:

    • Had a summer job at a gym
    • Had a Christmas job at a clothes shop
    • Had another summer job at a garden centre
    • Had a Christmas job at the same clothes shop I worked at previously


    I would like to apply to...
    1. University of Sussex
    2. University of East Anglia
    3. University of Kent
    4. University of Leicester
    5. University of Essex


    Should I even consider the universities above?

    Thanks for your time,

    Alexander Cunningham

    NB: I have changed the names of my education institutions...
  2. Offline

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    :bump:
  3. Offline

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    (Original post by ACunningham)
    Hi,

    I am growing somewhat concerned that I am too optimistic with my university choices. I am looking to study a joint honours in American Studies and English but I am very worried my GCSEs won't meet the standard of my university choices - also I mistakenly carried on with an unrelated AS level at A2 (Graphics) when I could've carried on doing English Language (something more relevant to an English degree - even though I want to study an English Literature joint honours degree).

    Anyhow, below are my academic achievements and measly ECs...

    2007-2011 - Brighton Secondary School
    BTEC Applied Science - Merit
    BTEC Information Technology - Distinction*
    GCSE English Language - A
    GCSE English Literature - A
    GCSE Food Technology - B/A
    GCSE French - C/D
    GCSE History - B/C
    GCSE Mathematics - Foundation Tier - C

    D*M

    AABBCC or AAABCC or AAABCD or AABBCD or AAABCD or AAACCD or AAACCC

    2011-2013 - Brighton College
    AS/A level English Literature - A
    AS/A level Government & Politics - A/B
    AS/A level Graphics - A*/A
    AS level English Language - B

    A*AAb or A*ABb if my G&P goes down

    Extra-Curriculars
    • Play baseball in a local amatuer baseball club
    • Volunteered every other Saturday at a charity shop that raises money for abandoned dogs
    • Won a couple of journalism competitions, one local and one national, as a 12-year-old and 15-year-old respectively


    Jobs
    • I get seasonal work:

    • Had a summer job at a gym
    • Had a Christmas job at a clothes shop
    • Had another summer job at a garden centre
    • Had a Christmas job at the same clothes shop I worked at previously


    I would like to apply to...
    1. University of Sussex
    2. University of East Anglia
    3. University of Kent
    4. University of Leicester
    5. University of Essex


    Should I even consider the universities above?

    Thanks for your time,

    Alexander Cunningham

    NB: I have changed the names of my education institutions...
    If you haven't already, take a look at the entry requirements listed on the websites.

    I had a look and can see no reason why you shouldn't bother applying - your grades and subject choices match, and if you're worried about the English language it's probably not too late to continue with it. Extra-curriculars aren't hugely important as long as you've got some that can relate to your course choice (in your case, it will be mostly reading and discussing the influences of the reading in your personal statement - you'll need reading about America, plus also reading for the English part of the statement.)

    The only thing that did strike me is they're all very similar grade requirements; do you have any universities that you might like to look at for an insurance?
  4. Offline

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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    If you haven't already, take a look at the entry requirements listed on the websites.

    I had a look and can see no reason why you shouldn't bother applying - your grades and subject choices match, and if you're worried about the English language it's probably not too late to continue with it. Extra-curriculars aren't hugely important as long as you've got some that can relate to your course choice (in your case, it will be mostly reading and discussing the influences of the reading in your personal statement - you'll need reading about America, plus also reading for the English part of the statement.)

    The only thing that did strike me is they're all very similar grade requirements; do you have any universities that you might like to look at for an insurance?
    UEA's A level requirements are AAB-ABB so that'll probably be my insurance

    Thanks for your time :thumbsup:
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    How can you have B/A, B/c etc as your grades for GCSE? I don't know much about the universities, but consensus appears to be that if you have strong A level results, which it looks like you do, and a good personal statement, then universities will, for the most part, overlook the GCSEs.
  6. Offline

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    (Original post by Pancakeman123)
    How can you have B/A, B/c etc as your grades for GCSE? I don't know much about the universities, but consensus appears to be that if you have strong A level results, which it looks like you do, and a good personal statement, then universities will, for the most part, overlook the GCSEs.
    I am trying to remember my GCSEs of the top of my head - can't find the certificate near me at the moment. I think they might of been AABCCD or AAACCD - can't remember!
  7. Offline

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    (Original post by ACunningham)
    I am trying to remember my GCSEs of the top of my head - can't find the certificate near me at the moment. I think they might of been AABCCD or AAACCD - can't remember!
    oh ok fair enough. Anyway, I think you should be fine!
  8. Offline

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    (Original post by Pancakeman123)
    oh ok fair enough. Anyway, I think you should be fine!
    I hope so If not then I always have BEd Primary Education as a back-up! They have easier entry requirements - but I would end up living in Worcester or Northumbria :mad: I'd much rather spend my university life in Brighton or Norwich - and go abroad to Kansas or Washington DC for my year abroad!
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    :bump:
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    (Original post by ACunningham)
    :bump:
    What?

    all those places make offers ranging across a couple of grades - it could be a strategic blunder to use them as your ucas 5.

    say you ideally want Sussex (indicating AAB on it's website) as your firm and UEA as your insurance

    if UEA which is indicating AAB-ABB on it's website makes you an offer of AAB then you have no insurance.
  11. Offline

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    (Original post by ACunningham)
    Hi,

    I am growing somewhat concerned that I am too optimistic with my university choices. I am looking to study a joint honours in American Studies and English but I am very worried my GCSEs won't meet the standard of my university choices - also I mistakenly carried on with an unrelated AS level at A2 (Graphics) when I could've carried on doing English Language (something more relevant to an English degree - even though I want to study an English Literature joint honours degree).

    Anyhow, below are my academic achievements and measly ECs...

    2007-2011 - Brighton Secondary School
    BTEC Applied Science - Merit
    BTEC Information Technology - Distinction*
    GCSE English Language - A
    GCSE English Literature - A
    GCSE Food Technology - B/A
    GCSE French - C/D
    GCSE History - B/C
    GCSE Mathematics - Foundation Tier - C

    D*M

    AABBCC or AAABCC or AAABCD or AABBCD or AAABCD or AAACCD or AAACCC

    2011-2013 - Brighton College
    AS/A level English Literature - A
    AS/A level Government & Politics - A/B
    AS/A level Graphics - A*/A
    AS level English Language - B

    A*AAb or A*ABb if my G&P goes down

    Extra-Curriculars
    • Play baseball in a local amatuer baseball club
    • Volunteered every other Saturday at a charity shop that raises money for abandoned dogs
    • Won a couple of journalism competitions, one local and one national, as a 12-year-old and 15-year-old respectively


    Jobs
    • I get seasonal work:

    • Had a summer job at a gym
    • Had a Christmas job at a clothes shop
    • Had another summer job at a garden centre
    • Had a Christmas job at the same clothes shop I worked at previously


    I would like to apply to...
    1. University of Sussex
    2. University of East Anglia
    3. University of Kent
    4. University of Leicester
    5. University of Essex


    Should I even consider the universities above?

    Thanks for your time,

    Alexander Cunningham

    NB: I have changed the names of my education institutions...


    Wow, from what you've shown, you have quite an outstanding CV. I mean you have had quite a few jobs - which could help, and you've won journalism awards, surely that will help stand you out in a way. I mean, most Uni's care MOSTLY about A-levels - yours seem very good, and if they look at GCSE's, they can see you're naturally good at English (with your 2 A grades). As it is you stand out, so I find it hard for how you will be rejected; by the way, you have pretty much passed in the essential GCSE's so you shouldn't be concerned. You have around 2As and 2Bs minimum for A-level - which is outstanding. In my opinion, you have a chance and I think it seems fair to say, grade wise, you have made a leap forward, which I've heard Universities like.
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    If you meet the criteria for the degree, you will get on the course; your GCSE results are good enough, that they wont deter admissions officers.

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