Predicted A*AA but rejected from St Andrews... why? Watch

Frank the Tankk
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#21
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At St Andrews, the application review process is different to many other unis. When you send your application, it is reviewed by an academic within the school you've applied to rather than an admissions tutor and they will often be looking for a PS that's heavily focused on academic and super-curricular achievements. However, when applying for joint honours (i.e Econ and IR), your application is sent to an academic from both schools and both have to approve your application in order to be offered a place. So when I visited St As, I was actively discouraged from applying for joint honours as a result (for my course the acceptance rate was around a third, but was only around 10% for joint honours with maths). Your application was probably affected too by IR being one of St As most competitive courses.
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Wahrheit
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Don't listen to the people telling you to go for LSE for no reason other than its prestige. I went to a top uni because of prestige despite not really liking the look of it and I had drop out because I was miserable there. Go where will make you happy.

Also if you wrote a PPE personal statement maybe that's why standrews rejected you? I dunno, sometimes it can seem a bit random.
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Lucas_97
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(Original post by Gaiaphage)
Go to LSE, it's far better IMO!

Anyway to try and answer why you *may* have got rejected - this is only my opinion:

Anyone can do this, it's a nice touch but is definitely not going to get you an offer/compensate for other things

Useless when applying to uni
Useless when applying to uni
Useless when applying to uni
Useless when applying to uni/same as shadowing

Congratulations! for many universities these would be considered very good but at the more prestigious ones this isn't really anything special unfortunately.

Congratulations again Predictions aren't really that important to be honest, I know people that have got 4 Bs/Cs at AS and been predicted 3A*s - basically the admissions tutors will know that actually these *could* be completely made up and unrealistic, even if in your situation they may be entirely achievable as I'm sure they are. Anyway, they're likely to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

Go to LSE, I'd be absolutely delighted with an offer from there!
Thank you! This was exactly what I wanted! My UCAS adviser said that my personal statement was very good though and that my extra-curriculars related to the course I wanted to apply for. In your opinion, what WOULD not be useless for applying to uni then? My personal adviser that they wanted a well rounded academic individual.

(Original post by Capricancer)
Not to be rude or anything, but Economics and especially, International Relations are some of the most competitive courses in St Andrews. Successful applicants usually achieve grades much higher than the asking rate:


A successful IR applicant would usually have the same entry tariff as a Politics student from LSE, so about A*A*A*aa at A Level.

Good luck with wherever you go
Wow... guess I wasn't as good as I thought I was. Maybe I shouldn't reapply then.

(Original post by Wahrheit)
Don't listen to the people telling you to go for LSE for no reason other than its prestige. I went to a top uni because of prestige despite not really liking the look of it and I had drop out because I was miserable there. Go where will make you happy.

Also if you wrote a PPE personal statement maybe that's why standrews rejected you? I dunno, sometimes it can seem a bit random.
Yeah this was exactly what I was worried about! I don't think I can imagine myself there for 3 years and think I would prefer a smaller university. Don't know what everyone's obsession with LSE is lol.

My personal statement was geared mainly towards politics & economics (a small paragraph about Philosophy) and I got an offer from Edinburgh for Economics & Politics so not sure :confused:.

Thank you Hope you're enjoying uni more now.
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Anonynmous
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LSE.

if not :troll:
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Wahrheit
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(Original post by Lucas_97)
Yeah this was exactly what I was worried about! I don't think I can imagine myself there for 3 years and think I would prefer a smaller university. Don't know what everyone's obsession with LSE is lol.

My personal statement was geared mainly towards politics & economics (a small paragraph about Philosophy) and I got an offer from Edinburgh for Economics & Politics so not sure :confused:.

Thank you Hope you're enjoying uni more now.
I'm working at the moment and starting at UCL for econ with a year abroad in September -can't wait! It's absolutely perfect for me. I went to a smaller university myself and it just didn't suit me and I crave big cities too much haha. Everyone is so different though. I hope you have a fantastic time mate
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Lucas_97
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(Original post by Anonynmous)
LSE.

if not :troll:
You got me. LSE is the be all and end all, prestige is the only thing that matters when choosing a university :rolleyes:

(Original post by Wahrheit)
I'm working at the moment and starting at UCL for econ with a year abroad in September -can't wait! It's absolutely perfect for me. I went to a smaller university myself and it just didn't suit me and I crave big cities too much haha. Everyone is so different though. I hope you have a fantastic time mate
Sounds exciting! If you're going to be spending 3 years at a place, it's important to consider whether you will be happy at the university. I'm absolutely ecstatic I got an offer from LSE but I don't think it's totally unheard of for someone to choose Durham over LSE.
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oldlady
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(Original post by Lucas_97)
My UCAS adviser said that my personal statement was very good though and that my extra-curriculars related to the course I wanted to apply for. In your opinion, what WOULD not be useless for applying to uni then? My personal adviser that they wanted a well rounded academic individual.
When we attended an open day at St Andrews the head of the admissions office said what they look for in a personal statement is: 'Subject. Subject. And subject.' They clearly weren't that interested in extra-curricular activities and you would have to be super-convincing that any you did include were direct evidence of your commitment to the academic subject. But different universities want something else, so you can't win. I guess more important, as others have pointed out, was the competitive nature of IR at St Andrews, the problems of a joint subject applicaton, and the fact that actual A level tarriffs of entrants usually far outstrip the stated minimum grade offers.
I'm sure lots of people choose Durham over LSE - both are prestigious universities with great quality, but their atmospheres are very different, so go where you think you will be happier. It's great you can choose from two such excellent places.
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Anonynmous
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(Original post by Lucas_97)
You got me. LSE is the be all and end all, prestige is the only thing that matters when choosing a university :rolleyes:
Not even prestige. Career links are unparalleled.

You're shooting yourself in the foot mate if you give up LSE for St. Andrews/Durham If you're aiming for a career in the city, where LSE pretty much has it all.
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taeht
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Alright man, be proud of yourself for the offers you got!!

Write to St A and ask..because you look very upset about it(


I completely agree with your point of view..and when everyone saying LSE, LSE, LSE it is like a brand you know, but realistically I know many LSE graduates that are actually unemployed lol.
Speaking from personal perspective, luckily I got offer from St A and UCL (for psychology) (would say thats is sort of similar as St A - LSE in your case) and yeah, I will choose St A (I got more reasons, such as finance because I am EU student)

Anyway, undergrads are the same almost everywhere and school won't ''make you''..it will be only and only you)) (working in environment you hate is very frustrating..I believe in environment you feel better, you also got better results and whole experience)
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Gaiaphage
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(Original post by Lucas_97)
Thank you! This was exactly what I wanted! My UCAS adviser said that my personal statement was very good though and that my extra-curriculars related to the course I wanted to apply for. In your opinion, what WOULD not be useless for applying to uni then? My personal adviser that they wanted a well rounded academic individual
I guess maybe 'useless' wasn't the right word for extracurriculars, I apologise! Things that are school-specific (such as being a prefect) are the only real useless things to be honest; although it may well be an impressive achievement the university doesn't know your school so they have no idea whether it's good or not.

Your adviser was right in the sense that extracurriculars are nice to put on your PS, so that the university is assured that you're a normal person. However, what I meant is that good extracurriculars won't get you the offer if you fall down in other areas (not saying you are, just an example) so you shouldn't feel that they let you down. They're just there so the admissions tutor can imagine you as a person better, which is a good thing!

Something that I'd say would be useful in an application is further research as opposed to reading - something where it shows you've been genuinely interested instead of just listing titles like anyone else could do. You'd then be able to write a paragraph in your PS about something you'd discovered and how it had interested you, so the admissions tutors think you'd be a great person to teach and so they give you an offer!
A lot of people just list the titles of books they have(n't) read and it doesn't really mean much. What sets you apart is when you can tell them about something you've done that nobody else can do (ie. someone else doing the same research would find different sites/articles etc and take different messages from it, instead of a book where everyone would read the same words and phrases).

Anyway, I hope that didn't seem like a bit of a ramble! Hope it helped and good luck
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penguinsocks
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(Original post by Lucas_97)
Hi I opened an account because I was wondering why I got rejected...

I just got rejected from MA Economics & International Relations and I don't understand why??
I've done shadowing at my local MP office and at E&Y, got gold duke of edinburgh, school prefect, head of amnesty international at my school and bunch of other extra-curriculars/extra reading. My grades aren't bad as well, I got 6A*s and 4As at GCSE and 5 As at AS, predicted A*AA - got offers from LSE, Durham and Edinburgh (rejected from Oxford PPE post interview :P).

Just got the standard rejection template saying that there were other more academically capable students? But A*AA is above their standard offer of AAA so I don't think that's the real reason...

Especially annoyed since I've been waiting for a reply from St Andrews for 6 months and it was my 1st choice (wanted to take Philosophy/History as my 3rd module) :/... should I re-apply next year?

Hi, I'm at St Andrews so just wanted to get my tuppence worth in. One possible reason is that IR is extremely competitive - it's St Andrews' sort of "flagship" course and the department is very highly ranked. However, I've got friends doing it who I'm sure didn't have as strong an application as you've described.

As far as your application is concerned, while it's true that universities don't care whether or not you've got a personal life that applies more to things like if you've got grade 8 cello or you were captain of the hockey team or whatever. I think the work experience you've listed is absolutely relevant and definitely strengthens your application. Things like amnesty international and being a prefect contribute to an overall impression of someone who's high-achieving and motivated and are important in that they'll suggest to the people reading it that you'll succeed at university but that's all (like, they won't compensate for bad marks although your marks are good so that's not really an issue).

Someone on here's suggested that it's because you wrote a PPE personal statement. I had a friend at school who was rejected by St Andrews and Edinburgh for French and Italian despite having really good grades and she was told that it was probably because her personal statement was too Cambridge-specific and looked like she wasn't likely to take up a possible offer. I do know people at St Andrews doing IR who were rejected for PPE but maybe they didn't make it as clear that they wanted to go to Oxford? I'm slightly suspicious of the whole argument since they must realise that anyone who submits their application by 15th October has done so because they're trying for Oxbridge but if they don't consider any applications until after the January deadline and don't look at when they're submitted then it could certainly be that.
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dufus
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I used to respect LSE until I discovered that if you are an international student, willing to pay overseas fees, you get accepted virtually by return post. My sister applied with American AP Exams. She was accepted within two weeks, providing she agreed to pay overseas fees. LSE become something of a joke in the US--referred to as "Let's See Europe".
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oldlady
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(Original post by penguinsocks)
Someone on here's suggested that it's because you wrote a PPE personal statement. I had a friend at school who was rejected by St Andrews and Edinburgh for French and Italian despite having really good grades and she was told that it was probably because her personal statement was too Cambridge-specific and looked like she wasn't likely to take up a possible offer. I do know people at St Andrews doing IR who were rejected for PPE but maybe they didn't make it as clear that they wanted to go to Oxford? I'm slightly suspicious of the whole argument since they must realise that anyone who submits their application by 15th October has done so because they're trying for Oxbridge but if they don't consider any applications until after the January deadline and don't look at when they're submitted then it could certainly be that.
Well my son applied for PPE to Oxford and various places, but straight philosophy at St Andrews as they didn't offer PPE - he got an offer for philosophy, so the philosophy dept at least wasn't put off by a very PPE-oriented PS. IR is of course more competitive than philosophy, but IR must know a lot of their applicants try for PPE elsewhere. Quite a few schools make everyone put in their application by 15th October whether or not they're applying for Oxbridge, and if St Andrews rejected people simply on the grounds that they might hold an Oxbridge offer they'd be losing a whole group of potentially strong applicants. St Andrews is full of people who also tried for Oxbridge.
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Oxy
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(Original post by dufus)
I used to respect LSE until I discovered that if you are an international student, willing to pay overseas fees, you get accepted virtually by return post. My sister applied with American AP Exams. She was accepted within two weeks, providing she agreed to pay overseas fees. LSE become something of a joke in the US--referred to as "Let's See Europe".
I have a feeling a similar thing happens here...
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Ekrubkkk
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Dude I got into Imperial, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews but rejected from Stirling. STIRLING. Sometimes weird things happen. Just accept it and move on.
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LadyBunion
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this household has a 100% success rate in applications for St Andrews (sample size N=2).

Common features? broad range of subjects at A level, subject based PS with minimal mention of extra-curricular activities.
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Emily141
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I don't think that you can read too much in to this, your grades are obviously good and it sounds like your personal statement was also. At the end of the day they only have a limited number of spaces to fill, and it stands to reason that some very good applicants would be rejected.

I have similar GCSE grades and AAA at AS, predicted AAA at A level and I got an offer from St Andrews for my course, so it really depends on how competitive your course is and a bit of luck
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username1732491
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(Original post by Lucas_97)
Just got the standard rejection template saying that there were other more academically capable students? But A*AA is above their standard offer of AAA so I don't think that's the real reason...
To be brutally honest this probably was the reason. Although I don't know what it's like for Economics, I do know that for maths (which also requires AAA), they expect their students to get A*A*AA, and often reject people who are predicted to get below that, even if they will most likely make the offer.
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