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REAPPLYING HELP: Maths A Level, UCAS Reference!? Watch

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    I'm a parent so advice based on going through the mill - universities dont have anything against self-study, in fact they'll probably quite like it. However they may be a bit sceptical of an A grade prediction when you're doing self-study in a year and haven't studied maths for 2 years. What were your A levels as something like physics or economics might suggest you could pick maths back up faster? I've known people self-teach maths but not in a a year and also do a full A level in a year but at college. Isn't there a college you could attend?

    It doesn't have to be head of 6th form who does the reference, you can ask anyone (preferably at your school). So you could ask the maths teacher to tweak last years reference. If you are using a tutor they should supply some input.

    Now - considering Oxford and whether they will accept you they will want to see ongoing academic study and evidence of a genuine interest in the subject. They look for higher standards in reapplicants than in first time applicants. How were your GSCEs? Chose a college carefully and dont think 4 As means a place - they turned down someone with 7A*s this year.
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    (Original post by britters)
    Thanks for your reply!

    My GCSE Maths teacher has confirmed he would be able to predict me an A Grade in Maths, but I would hardly know my maths tutor for him to predict me a grade.

    The school are allowing my to be an external candidate, (i.e. to sit the papers at the school, yes)

    Can anyone provide any information as to how the UNIs would react to this approach?

    Thank you!
    You would need at least 1 A* to get into Oxford or LSE, your teacher would have to predict you an A* in maths.
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    (Original post by TenOfThem)
    Is this your head of sixth?

    Would the reference be suitable without change
    Yes it is.

    The reference would only need to include information about my gap year and Maths A Level to my knowledge!
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    I'm a parent so advice based on going through the mill - universities dont have anything against self-study, in fact they'll probably quite like it. However they may be a bit sceptical of an A grade prediction when you're doing self-study in a year and haven't studied maths for 2 years. What were your A levels as something like physics or economics might suggest you could pick maths back up faster? I've known people self-teach maths but not in a a year and also do a full A level in a year but at college. Isn't there a college you could attend?

    It doesn't have to be head of 6th form who does the reference, you can ask anyone (preferably at your school). So you could ask the maths teacher to tweak last years reference. If you are using a tutor they should supply some input.

    Now - considering Oxford and whether they will accept you they will want to see ongoing academic study and evidence of a genuine interest in the subject. They look for higher standards in reapplicants than in first time applicants. How were your GSCEs? Chose a college carefully and dont think 4 As means a place - they turned down someone with 7A*s this year.

    Thanks for your reply!

    Yes, Economics was one of my A Levels. My head of sixth is however the person best placed to write my reference to be honest.

    I understand that the grades are only a factor in deciding, but since I feel as though I could meet the standards of the university its worth a shot, right? My GCSEs were okay, 2A*'s and 8A's, I understand its not anything amazing.

    I feel strongly about my A Levels though, so hopefully they take that as an additional reason to take me in. There are many factors such as the Personal Statement, Aptitude Test and Interview to decide.
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    (Original post by gearoid94)
    You would need at least 1 A* to get into Oxford or LSE, your teacher would have to predict you an A* in maths.
    The entry requirements for Oxford and LSE are both AAA.
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    (Original post by britters)
    The entry requirements for Oxford and LSE are both AAA.
    Universities often quote the minimum they will consider but actually take only those with higher grades. Oxford publishes detailed figures about the average number of A* GSCEs applicants have and the A levels they go on to get. Based on that I would not rate your chances very highly but you have no chance unless you apply. Apply to 5 universities next time and you can afford to have aspirational choices but if you only apply to 2 you could be looking at clearing or no place next year. Of course if you went to the sort of school where few applicants get any A*s at GSCE you may pick up some allowance for that.

    If there is another school or college where you could do A level maths in a year they would do a reference, using your last year's reference as a base. They could also send a letter later when they knew you better. It would be difficult to do A level maths in a year with no help.

    To improve your chances at the best universities consider what you can do beyond academic study in terms of additional reading - you could also look at personal statements on here to see if there are things like essay competitions that students can do or courses that they attend.
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    Universities often quote the minimum they will consider but actually take only those with higher grades. Oxford publishes detailed figures about the average number of A* GSCEs applicants have and the A levels they go on to get. Based on that I would not rate your chances very highly but you have no chance unless you apply. Apply to 5 universities next time and you can afford to have aspirational choices but if you only apply to 2 you could be looking at clearing or no place next year. Of course if you went to the sort of school where few applicants get any A*s at GSCE you may pick up some allowance for that.

    If there is another school or college where you could do A level maths in a year they would do a reference, using your last year's reference as a base. They could also send a letter later when they knew you better. It would be difficult to do A level maths in a year with no help.

    To improve your chances at the best universities consider what you can do beyond academic study in terms of additional reading - you could also look at personal statements on here to see if there are things like essay competitions that students can do or courses that they attend.
    This is a tremendously helpful response. I got so tied up in wondering why her teacher wouldn't give her a reference that I lost sight of all the obvious stuff.
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    (Original post by parentlurker)
    Universities often quote the minimum they will consider but actually take only those with higher grades. Oxford publishes detailed figures about the average number of A* GSCEs applicants have and the A levels they go on to get. Based on that I would not rate your chances very highly but you have no chance unless you apply. Apply to 5 universities next time and you can afford to have aspirational choices but if you only apply to 2 you could be looking at clearing or no place next year. Of course if you went to the sort of school where few applicants get any A*s at GSCE you may pick up some allowance for that.

    If there is another school or college where you could do A level maths in a year they would do a reference, using your last year's reference as a base. They could also send a letter later when they knew you better. It would be difficult to do A level maths in a year with no help.

    To improve your chances at the best universities consider what you can do beyond academic study in terms of additional reading - you could also look at personal statements on here to see if there are things like essay competitions that students can do or courses that they attend.
    Thank you immensely! Yes, my school was in a dire condition when I did my GCSEs, the universities do understand that.

    I will definitely apply to five universities, you have provided really great advice. I will look into colleges, but I think self study may show some independence and I would hire a maths tutor every week to improve my chances.
 
 
 
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