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Is it worth taking a gap year even if you make your offer? Watch

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    (Original post by jneill)
    There's no gaps in your knowledge. You covered the material already.

    You just didn't quite answer the questions as well as you could (assuming your predictions are correct, which they might not be).

    It happens. Move on

    I mean you only need 70% to get a 1st at uni. How slack is that compared to an A*



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    Probably not very slack as I will most likely fail to get either
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    (Original post by tanyapotter)
    Yeah. Perhaps.
    Every time I think I've done badly, I just tell myself that Brian Cox got a D in A-level maths, and if he's a successful physicist with a D in maths then I can probably be a successful engineer with an A in maths xD
    You could make a completely terrible engineer with an A in maths and a brilliant one with a C (and vice versa). There are people with distinctively average grades at school that go to university and perform very well, achieving first class degrees. There are engineers who didn't do all that well at school and worked their way up via the apprentice route who are teaching and mentoring graduates who got A*s and 1st class degrees on how to actually do engineering. It's just not that easy to predict these things.

    Your self esteem appears to be tied closely to your grades. You know it would be "pointless and a waste of time" (your words) to defer a year if you meet your offer. Please realise that grades aren't the be-all end-all, although it can be hard to accept that at the moment at your stage in life. I can't help you with decoupling your self-esteem from your grades, but I can tell you that you have passed on hurdle, so it's time to move onto the next.
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    (Original post by tanyapotter)
    Probably not very slack as I will most likely fail to get either
    You don't know that, but given your performance in your mocks, you're very likely to achieve very high grades.

    Further to my previous post, when you're at university, you will be too engrossed in your academics and making too much use of the social activities to let the difference between an A and an A* bother you. Because you will have succeed regardless, as they will have been sufficient to allow you a place on a university course. You will be at a new stage in your life, things will be new and exciting, and looking back you may even slightly struggle to identify much with the you that sat your A-levels.
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    (Original post by tanyapotter)
    What degree have you done? I hope what you say applies for an engineering degree. I know that I'd want someone with a 1st working on an Airbus for me compared with someone with a 2:1 (just safety reasons xD) because the latter would indicate a slightly diminished grasp of the fundamental mathematical and physical knowledge needed to apply them successfully
    Being practical here, if you get a job at Airbus designing aircraft (or Boeing, or a job at a company that designs anything), you have will been deemed fit to perform such work by engineers who are highly experienced and knowledgeable in that field. I'm not in the aerospace industry, but like other industries I would imagine that there are design codes and standards to follow when designing aircraft and very well define company-wide, perhaps industry wide, codes of practice that are also followed.

    As a graduate engineer, the work that you produce, whether it be a calculation package, computer model, drawing, report, etc., will be checked by a more senior engineer. This is standard engineering practice, and you will at one point have to check the work of others.

    Besides, there are engineers with 2:2s or no degrees who have designed bits of critical infrastructure like bridges, components that go into your car and the aeroplanes that you've flown in. They were deemed competent enough to be offered their jobs by experienced people in their fields, and if you get such a job, you won't be any less of an engineer if you get a 2:1 or below.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    You don't know that, but given your performance in your mocks, you're very likely to achieve very high grades.

    Further to my previous post, when you're at university, you will be too engrossed in your academics and making too much use of the social activities to let the difference between an A and an A* bother you. Because you will have succeed regardless, as they will have been sufficient to allow you a place on a university course. You will be at a new stage in your life, things will be new and exciting, and looking back you may even slightly struggle to identify much with the you that sat your A-levels.
    I've checked the unofficial mark schemes and believe me when I tell you that I'm not going to get an A* in physics. In maths, it's unlikely. German is possible, but I can't be certain.

    And I hope you're right! I just wish I never aimed high in the first place because I wouldn't be disappointed
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Being practical here, if you get a job at Airbus designing aircraft (or Boeing, or a job at a company that designs anything), you have will been deemed fit to perform such work by engineers who are highly experienced and knowledgeable in that field. I'm not in the aerospace industry, but like other industries I would imagine that there are design codes and standards to follow when designing aircraft and very well define company-wide, perhaps industry wide, codes of practice that are also followed.

    As a graduate engineer, the work that you produce, whether it be a calculation package, computer model, drawing, report, etc., will be checked by a more senior engineer. This is standard engineering practice, and you will at one point have to check the work of others.

    Besides, there are engineers with 2:2s or no degrees who have designed bits of critical infrastructure like bridges, components that go into your car and the aeroplanes that you've flown in. They were deemed competent enough to be offered their jobs by experienced people in their fields, and if you get such a job, you won't be any less of an engineer if you get a 2:1 or below.
    Would you say that getting a 2:1 instead of a 1st could ever limit you to a less intellectually-challenging area of engineering in industry, regardless of whether or not this position is more competitive and/or lucrative than others?
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    (Original post by tanyapotter)
    I highly doubt that there are no benefits of getting a 1st.. surely?! I agree that experience is also very key, though. Are you sure you're not being biased at this point?
    A 1st is better than a 2:1, which is better than a 2:2, etc...

    But degree classification isn't the only factor that is taken into consideration; in fact, outside of the positions that specifically specify a 2:1 or above, it's probably only of middling importance at best. Engineering in industry is generally somewhat different to studying engineering at university, hence why degree classification isn't paramount.

    But there's nothing stopping you from achieving a first.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    A 1st is better than a 2:1, which is better than a 2:2, etc...

    But degree classification isn't the only factor that is taken into consideration; in fact, outside of the positions that specifically specify a 2:1 or above, it's probably only of middling importance at best. Engineering in industry is generally somewhat different to studying engineering at university, hence why degree classification isn't paramount.

    But there's nothing stopping you from achieving a first.
    maybe tanyapotter decides they want to do a phd and needs a scholarship???????
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    (Original post by duncanjgraham)
    maybe tanyapotter decides they want to do a phd and needs a scholarship???????
    Lets not get ahead of ourselves. They haven't even got their A-levels yet..

    And PhDs aren't that useful for engineering anyway.

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    Could you start your job and then take a gap year ? or is this out of the question ?
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    (Original post by tanyapotter)
    Would you say that getting a 2:1 instead of a 1st could ever limit you to a less intellectually-challenging area of engineering in industry, regardless of whether or not this position is more competitive and/or lucrative than others?
    Overall I don't know. My background was oil & gas, and somewhat paradoxically, it appeared that the companies doing the managing and operating placed more emphasis on degree classification than those doing the engineering. For example, the BPs and Shells had a 2:1 minimum, and lots of grads there got 1sts, but the companies actually designing the platforms, pipelines and equipment were generally less focused on the degree classification. I remember a while ago one engineer I knew remarked that BP wouldn't hire here as she got a 2:2 but she ended up doing BP's calculations as she got a job with large contractor. I got a grad job with a consultancy/design house, and I don't recall them being that concerned about my degree classification.

    Other industries might be different.

    At the end of the degree, there will likely be some students who no longer wish to deal with equations and maths, and hence may be looking at jobs that allow them to travel, or gain manufacturing or another type of experience, even if they get 1sts. I think that those looking for more technically challenging jobs gravitate towards such jobs, which may also have a more rigorous technical interview component, and that such people are more likely to achieve a first.

    I don't think you should be worrying about not achieving a certain degree classification before you have commenced your degree, though. It's not productive to be worrying about these things. Enjoy your time off before university starts, and if you want to, do some background reading or learn more about industry.
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    (Original post by tanyapotter)
    A-Levels are not just about career prospects though. I really, really wanted to gain a thorough grounding in the maths and physics that will underpin the ideas covered in my degree. And I love learning - not getting an A in physics to me is a slap in the face, because it tells me that I haven't learned as effectively as I could have done, and there are gaps in my knowledge.
    I'm not studying a STEM degree at university but I have a couple house mates who do and my understanding is that in the first year of your degree you will cover the basics (as with any degree) in order to put everyone on the same page and have an equal understanding of concepts to prepare you for the other years of your degree. You should not retake A level modules just to 'gain a thorough grounding' because you will do this in your first year anyway.

    There is a reason A levels are generally recognised as tougher than your first year as an undergraduate...
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    (Original post by democracyforum)
    Could you start your job and then take a gap year ? or is this out of the question ?
    Do you mean after I graduate?
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    (Original post by duncanjgraham)
    maybe tanyapotter decides they want to do a phd and needs a scholarship???????
    From what I have seen, not many engineering graduates want to go into PhDs and hence they're not that competitive, so it's still possible to get funding with a 2;1. But my post wasn't about PhDs and neither was hers, and I still stated that a 1st is better than a 2:1.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Overall I don't know. My background was oil & gas, and somewhat paradoxically, it appeared that the companies doing the managing and operating placed more emphasis on degree classification than those doing the engineering. For example, the BPs and Shells had a 2:1 minimum, and lots of grads there got 1sts, but the companies actually designing the platforms, pipelines and equipment were generally less focused on the degree classification. I remember a while ago one engineer I knew remarked that BP wouldn't hire here as she got a 2:2 but she ended up doing BP's calculations as she got a job with large contractor. I got a grad job with a consultancy/design house, and I don't recall them being that concerned about my degree classification.

    Other industries might be different.

    At the end of the degree, there will likely be some students who no longer wish to deal with equations and maths, and hence may be looking at jobs that allow them to travel, or gain manufacturing or another type of experience, even if they get 1sts. I think that those looking for more technically challenging jobs gravitate towards such jobs, which may also have a more rigorous technical interview component, and that such people are more likely to achieve a first.

    I don't think you should be worrying about not achieving a certain degree classification before you have commenced your degree, though. It's not productive to be worrying about these things. Enjoy your time off before university starts, and if you want to, do some background reading or learn more about industry.
    Thanks for your thorough insight and advice!
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    (Original post by tanyapotter)
    Do you mean after I graduate?
    yes

    take a year off work
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    (Original post by gtswattsy16)
    I'm not studying a STEM degree at university but I have a couple house mates who do and my understanding is that in the first year of your degree you will cover the basics (as with any degree) in order to put everyone on the same page and have an equal understanding of concepts to prepare you for the other years of your degree. You should not retake A level modules just to 'gain a thorough grounding' because you will do this in your first year anyway.

    There is a reason A levels are generally recognised as tougher than your first year as an undergraduate...
    That's very true, but I like having tangible results of my effort there for me to wave around and give myself a false sense of superiority I think it has become very apparent to me that it's my personal esteem issues and not AAAA at A-level that's ruining my life...
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    (Original post by democracyforum)
    yes

    take a year off work
    I don't know - is it possible? I would have thought that with the mountain of debt from student loans, it'd be a bit difficult..I've never considered it! Maybe I'll look into that.

    Having said that, it's not the relaxation/break of a gap year that I'm after. I like being in education/being occupied. It's mainly about retaking some A2 modules to boost my grades.
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    (Original post by tanyapotter)
    That's very true, but I like having tangible results of my effort there for me to wave around and give myself a false sense of superiority I think it has become very apparent to me that it's my personal esteem issues and not AAAA at A-level that's ruining my life...
    As someone (or many people) have previously stated, once you're unpacked and heading to lectures no one will care about your grades, you all made it and the university sees potential in all of you as clean slates, no one is better than anyone else. Bragging about your grades would be a sure-fire way to rub others the wrong way.
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    (Original post by gtswattsy16)
    As someone (or many people) have previously stated, once you're unpacked and heading to lectures no one will care about your grades, you all made it and the university sees potential in all of you as clean slates, no one is better than anyone else. Bragging about your grades would be a sure-fire way to rub others the wrong way.
    Yeah, I'm not that arrogant IRL - I was joking. It's really the personal achievement I value the most (that and making my parents proud etc)
 
 
 
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