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Missed Oxford Law offer, got in by skin of teeth. Poor A-Level/Law Career hopes over. Watch

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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    First of all, to answer the comment you posted on the other thread Oxford does have proper first year exams; it is just that they are after two terms not three.

    I think if necessary, you do need to do an A level resit. You can probably call in a favour via the old boy network to get past an autofilter because it is Oxford; but do you really want to have to try and call in a favour for every firm, you are thinking of applying to. That probably means attending every reception; sidling up to a partner at each one; making small talk; explaining the problem; collecting his card; then later referring HR back to him each each time. That would be more demoralising than doing the resit.

    Please just forget about the


    It is a load of BS. They wanted you and you are in.

    In the Triassic Era, long before autofilters, I had an EE offer for jurisprudence at Oxford and did my best to achieve it. It never bothered me, Oxford or anyone else.
    Thank you. Good advice given which has been noted. I think I will look into the resit if there is no joy with the remarks.

    I hope I can cope, since Law seems like a pretty unforgiving degree, so I can't allow this to cloud my performance..
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    (Original post by blabbermonkey)
    No offence intended, but if I were you I would not tell people at your college or other lawyers what grades you got. It'll get round college like a flash and whilst I agree you shouldn't be judged for something as ridiculous as a few Alevel grades, Oxbridge colleges all have their fair share of absolute pricks. Thankfully said pricks are a small minority, but I would encourage you to keep your grades to yourself at least for a while. Your tutors won't tell anyone so it's very much in your hands if you want it to be public knowledge or not. As for worries about how you'll perform, it very much comes down to effort. Some people are bone idle so do crap. Some people are bone idle but incredibly gifted so do incredibly well. Most people work quite hard and do quite well. Providing you put in solid amounts of effort you won't fail; law is not the kind of course where that happens.


    Good luck with it all.
    Yeah I envisaged that the situation would be like that. But I wouldn't really like to 'lie' if asked, maybe a little embellishment would need to be done. Just things like not being able to apply for those first year workshops is a bit annoying but life goes on.

    Thanks, yeah I'm starting to realise how much I've got to be thankful for. I could be in clearing for scraps right now, so maybe shouldn't have made this thread in hindsight. Don't understand why I got so much negative rep though. Seriously, most top tier law firms do require AAB ¬¬
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    Why cant you just retake your A-Levels whilst in uni?
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    (Original post by ElChapo)
    Why cant you just retake your A-Levels whilst in uni?
    Some firms require them in 'first sitting' therefore will ignore resits making them pointless.

    Also, if I'm juggling it with first year exams, I can't guarantee that I'll do enough to go up..
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    (Original post by Michael345)
    Hey all.

    First and foremost, I would just to like to stress that this post should not be misconstrued due to the sensitive timing of it. Basically, this morning like many other students I logged onto UCAS Track and saw 'Congratulations your place at X uni has been confirmed'... My firm choice was Oxford, so I was extremely happy and assumed that I had got at least AAA or higher. So, I was feeling very chilled when I got my results. Famous last words. I was met with ABB?! Thought it was a cruel joke

    I was horrified. I was sure that Oxford must have made a mistake in accepting me and kept waiting for an email from UCAS to inform me that the track update was a mistake, but they hadn't. I could only assume that it was down to my LNAT score, my mitigating circumstances which I had informed them of prior to results day or the fact that I had missed the 2 As by a matter of 1 and 3 UMS. The 2Bs are being remarked but not optimistic. I don't think that I really should be going to Oxford if I'm honest. I would be embarrassed to tell anyone at my college that I got ABB, quite possibly would have the lowest grades at the college. Just feel like I'd be punching above my weight on a course with some people who have A*A*A*A*,but that is obviously a different discussion. I question whether I'm even capable of a 2.1.. With ABB, I could quite easily be going to Oxford brookes an ex poly instead, so I feel a urge to tell people I'm not smart when they congratulate me for getting a place. I think I could have lived with AAB, but ABB is just not the sort of grades that I'd be getting.

    To make this relevant to the legal forum, I had wanted to be a solicitor at a city firm, but almost all of the top 40 firms ask for AAB which I clearly don't have. I just feel like I'm doomed before I've started the degree, as I will be binned from the word go. I will obviously go ahead with the degree but I'd like to set my aspirations from now, since with the aforementioned grades, I accept that one of the more highly sought after firms will be beyond my grasp. I don't think I can imagine myself anywhere but London, are places like Pinsent Masons still a possibility?, all other things being good.

    Thanks for any advice.
    Congratulations on getting in. Just bare in mind that Oxford would NOT HAVE accepted you if they thought you weren't good enough or wouldn't cope. They accepted you as they believed very strongly in your abilities. Top firms would take an Oxford graduate with open arms, and you still don't know about the remarks. I want you to go to Oxford in September believing in yourself and knowing that you deserve this place as you have worked very hard. Trust me- if you didn't deserve it you wouldn't have got accepted. Good luck. x
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    (Original post by Michael345)
    Some firms require them in 'first sitting' therefore will ignore resits making them pointless.

    Also, if I'm juggling it with first year exams, I can't guarantee that I'll do enough to go up..
    Well that is a shame. However I'm assuming this AAB requirement is for graduate jobs? If so cant you start in a lesser firm and gain experience and then move on to a better one later?
    Also like to ask if anyone knows - Employers know our grades for A-levels and GCSEs etc from what we put on our CV, if someone were to lie would they know? Are they pedantic in checking with previous schools or asking for certificates?
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    (Original post by Alix_js)
    Top firms would take an Oxford graduate with open arms,
    Sadly, this is no longer true. There is no doubt that Oxford (or the Fen Poly) helps but it is no guarantee of a training contract.
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    (Original post by ElChapo)
    Well that is a shame. However I'm assuming this AAB requirement is for graduate jobs? If so cant you start in a lesser firm and gain experience and then move on to a better one later?
    Also like to ask if anyone knows - Employers know our grades for A-levels and GCSEs etc from what we put on our CV, if someone were to lie would they know? Are they pedantic in checking with previous schools or asking for certificates?
    The work done by city firms is so dissimilar to that done by the rest of the legal profession that trading up is not realistically an option.

    Whether or not law firms check, being caught lying on a CV would be curtains for a career as a solicitor. My firm has dismissed staff when false information was later discovered and the vast majority of firms would do so. We all carry fidelity insurance against dishonesty and not to do so would prejudice that.
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    (Original post by blabbermonkey)
    People probably won't ask unless it comes up in conversation in which case you just find a way round it.

    As for the grades, are remarks an option? What subjects were the B's in? Because if it is English or History (or similar) then a remark may be what is needed. I don't know the procedure anymore but it may be worth ringing the admissions tutor for your college to explain your problem and ask if they will guarantee you your place regardless of the remark. I imagine their first reaction would be to argue but force the point and ask them to consult with the head law tutor at your college and if necessary the dean of the law faculty. Odds are they won't agree, but occasionally common sense does prevail. Frankly I think you have nothing to lose and a phone call will not hurt you. If you want to do this you've got to do it quick though.

    ABB is a nightmare situation I'll be honest. You have a potential avenue to get out of it as outlined above. I knew someone who had the same issue who did a year abroad as part of his course (which is infamously easy and involves no work) and whilst he did it he did an Alevel via an online course in something easy just to get another A. That is an option even if you're on the 3 yr course as after your exams if you do well enough they will invite you to apply to do a year abroad as usually quite a few people drop out. Do you speak any languages as that will help considerably?
    You misunderstand. He is in with ABB. The problem is later employment.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    You misunderstand. He is in with ABB. The problem is later employment.
    If Oxford are making an exception do you really think firms will question their judgement?
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    (Original post by blabbermonkey)
    I know that mate- I'm confused why you think that I don't? I'm simply advising remarks to get one of the B's up to an A (hopefully!) to get through the AAB filter. But because the place is already confirmed he'd probably need Oxford to ok remarks in case his grade went down as otherwise they wouldn't be taking him I doubt.
    Sorry, my misunderstanding.
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    Okay I clearly know nothing about Law lol. My last suggestion is to take a fourth A level during uni and get an A in it, it will be your first sitting still technically? Thats a shame about your A Levels - good luck for the remarks
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    (Original post by John Stuart Mill)
    If Oxford are making an exception do you really think firms will question their judgement?

    (Original post by blabbermonkey)
    Many firms use automatic filters. No judgement comes in it when it's a robot saying no when it doesn't see AAB.
    Exactly, and it doesn't make any difference if the robot is is 21 year old with a newly minted degree in HR. She will be told what to do. She isn't required to think.
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    (Original post by blabbermonkey)
    Many firms use automatic filters. No judgement comes in it when it's a robot saying no when it doesn't see AAB.
    Holy crap I understand why they do it but that's pretty unfair, surely a degree filters this out?
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    (Original post by blabbermonkey)
    People probably won't ask unless it comes up in conversation in which case you just find a way round it.

    As for the grades, are remarks an option? What subjects were the B's in? Because if it is English or History (or similar) then a remark may be what is needed. I don't know the procedure anymore but it may be worth ringing the admissions tutor for your college to explain your problem and ask if they will guarantee you your place regardless of the remark. I imagine their first reaction would be to argue but force the point and ask them to consult with the head law tutor at your college and if necessary the dean of the law faculty. Odds are they won't agree, but occasionally common sense does prevail. Frankly I think you have nothing to lose and a phone call will not hurt you. If you want to do this you've got to do it quick though.

    ABB is a nightmare situation I'll be honest. You have a potential avenue to get out of it as outlined above. I knew someone who had the same issue who did a year abroad as part of his course (which is infamously easy and involves no work) and whilst he did it he did an Alevel via an online course in something easy just to get another A. That is an option even if you're on the 3 yr course as after your exams if you do well enough they will invite you to apply to do a year abroad as usually quite a few people drop out. Do you speak any languages as that will help considerably?
    I've sent them for remarks, but obviously don't want to get my hopes up. The Bs were in History and Economics. History is 3UMS of an A and Economics is 7UMS. The thing is that my Oxford place is now unconditional, so the grades issue is for the future. That was a big part of my opening post, I was shocked that Oxford took me with the grades. However, my feedback post interview hinted to me being the strongest candidate at my specified college interivew/LNAT wise. which may have helped.

    Erm, not to A-Level standard, but A* GCSE French and Spanish, not sure that will be 'advanced' enough.

    just saw your edit to Nullis and I don't think I'd drop to Cs.. I'm on 317 for History, I'd need to drop about 3 grades to get a C overall, similar story with Economics.
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    (Original post by John Stuart Mill)
    Holy crap I understand why they do it but that's pretty unfair, surely a degree filters this out?
    I am afraid the degree doesn't filter it out. As I have explained earlier up the thread, it may be possible to call in a dark blue favour but that is outside the normal recruitment process and it involves continual effort.
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    (Original post by blabbermonkey)
    No offence intended, but if I were you I would not tell people at your college or other lawyers what grades you got. It'll get round college like a flash and whilst I agree you shouldn't be judged for something as ridiculous as a few Alevel grades, Oxbridge colleges all have their fair share of absolute pricks. Thankfully said pricks are a small minority, but I would encourage you to keep your grades to yourself at least for a while. Your tutors won't tell anyone so it's very much in your hands if you want it to be public knowledge or not. As for worries about how you'll perform, it very much comes down to effort. Some people are bone idle so do crap. Some people are bone idle but incredibly gifted so do incredibly well. Most people work quite hard and do quite well. Providing you put in solid amounts of effort you won't fail; law is not the kind of course where that happens.
    Blabbermonkey, of course I respect your comments which I'm sure are based on experience. However, I have to say based on what I've seen in Cambridge and Oxford it's a little far-fetched to suggest that getting ABB will spread round college as some kind of gossip. The only students who might realistically take even a slight interest in OP's A level scores are the other law freshers, who might be trying to get a rough idea of the standard of their new peers. And in my experience, plenty of much better indications of other people's ability are very quickly available to law freshers: you'll be doing small group teaching from very early on, and what genuinely does get around is who stands out in these small group sessions (either for good or bad reasons).

    Obviously it is ultimately for the OP to decide whether he does or doesn't want to reveal his A level scores, but my best guess would be that revealing those scores in conversation would be pretty unremarkable whereas being overly secretive/defensive might seem a bit odd. Not a completely straightforward choice though.
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    (Original post by igwtd)

    I would be so so happy if even one person would read this and throw themselves into their university course without worrying about UMS scores any more. What's exciting (and a bit scary) is that you'll be judged on how good a lawyer you make yourself, not on your past. My advice: get stuck in and don't look back!

    Your one person has arrived.
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    (Original post by blabbermonkey)
    Have you checked with your college that they are ok with you doing remarks? If not CHECK. I'm sure it'll be ok but how awful would it be if they took exception to it?

    History has potential to go up surely? 3 UMS isn't much in the scheme of things.

    Interview is a huge factor. They obviously see great potential in you and I've always been of the view that what they see in the interview tends to be a far better judge than grades. You do have some options to deal with this problem, just keep your spirits up.

    GCSE won't be enough. You can still apply to go to Holland though (no language requirement) and there tend to be a few places each year. When you've been at Oxford for a term or so perhaps express an interest to your tutors in moving over to the Law in Europe course if a place comes up after Mods (first year exams) and perhaps they might be able to pull a few favours. Key is to do well in first year exams so you can get the place on merit to be honest, and given it seems they thought you were the best in your year at interview that suggests that you're going to do well.
    Yeah, I'll give them a call on Monday, thanks. I'm hoping it goes up, since I had expected to do much better, 3UMS is roughly 1/2 mark but we'll see. It's a middling B on the paper when I had expected at least a low A, so fingers crossed. Economics is just a case of 'worth a shot lol'.

    Thoughts on doing a June resit next summer if worst comes to worse?

    Thanks for the help, I'll do my best to try and make the best out of this situation.
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    (Original post by blabbermonkey)
    If you were DESPERATE to resit I think you could possibly manage it. Your college would go insane though and they'd probably threaten you if they found out as I think there is some university statute requiring permission for qualifications in addition to your Oxford studies. I'd also only even consider this if your college is one of the ones that only makes you do one module in the third term of first year. If they make you do any more then you will not have the time to do any work for the resit. 1 module will mean you can probably do it (depends which module though, do you know how your college approaches it?)
    I agree with you regarding the one subject term.

    Although I cannot speak for the OP's law dons, they are likely to be understanding because of the career implications.

    It would have nowhere near the time implications of playing blues or 'tics cricket or running for union office.
 
 
 
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