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HELP!! re-take A levels or should i just do a degree ?(im 21 right now) watch

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    (Original post by VampireWithSoul)
    I live in London, what do u think of uni's like Kingston,Westminster,Goldsmiths, Brunel are they really that bad compared to kings,ucl,imperial?
    It doesnt matter what anyone else thinks - if they do the course you want, and it is the right format/content for you then it will be better for you than kings, ucl wherever. At the end of the day, the Uni doesnt matter really - its the course that is important, in my opinion.
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    (Original post by VampireWithSoul)
    its just that i need make a descision pretty fast, i dont know wether to

    stick with cognitive science, go back next yr for biochem, do a2

    business in the summer, then go back, or do a levels and go to uni in

    sep05?
    In the end it's up to you. But my brother did his a-levels, didn't get what he needed, then decided to not go through clearing and retake his a-levels. He thinks it was a big waste of time redoing a-levels. Because the uni your at doesn't really matter. Although don't go to a really crappy one when you could be at a really good one. Just don't be too picky. If your wanting to do masters and are quite career focused, the difference between an excellent undergrad uni and a good one won't matter.

    When you get your first job, they'll be interested in your masters, they will be less interested in your ug uni. Then when you get your second job they'll be more interested in what you did in your first job.

    This way of thinking probably won't go down too well with the anoraks on this board who could write essays on the difference between the top 10 unis but I personally don't see the differences between them.

    Just take a sensible look at everything and make your decision. Don't assume that doing a-levels again will take you to a better uni. Perhaps you shouldn't go the uni route, maybe you'll be the Richard Branson of your circle of friends. I don't see why you want to go to uni when you haven't made your mind up about what you want to be yet.
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    (Original post by VampireWithSoul)
    I live in London, what do u think of uni's like Kingston,Westminster,Goldsmiths, Brunel are they really that bad compared to kings,ucl,imperial?
    what you gonna apply for, i don't know much bout the london uni's but the main ones in london yeh they're pretty good well a matter fact they're brill
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    (Original post by hattori)
    Just take a sensible look at everything and make your decision. Don't assume that doing a-levels again will take you to a better uni. Perhaps you shouldn't go the uni route, maybe you'll be the Richard Branson of your circle of friends. I don't see why you want to go to uni when you haven't made your mind up about what you want to be yet.
    Re-doing his A levels might not get him into a better uni, but at least he will know he tried, which is better than going through the rest of his life regretting not having done them again.

    However, I completely agree with your last sentence...there is no poing going to Uni for the sake of it. Uni and a degree arent the be all and end all you know. There are plenty of jobs and people out there who are just as successful as people with degrees - m ore so if you go by the Richard Bransons of the world. Maybe Uni just isnt for you?
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    I was at Kingston uni doin pharmaceuticals, they have said i can either go back to continue with that or do 1st yr biochemistry as i have interupted and not withdrawn. I was just thinking have a go at some a/s exams in summer 04, and go to uni next yr whilst doing the rest A2's , as if i do well then i can change to a diff degree or stick with biochem or transfer 2nd yr to a better uni if i do well.
    I was thinking about software engineering or engineering, cos its diff to biosciences and its seems more practical.
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    (Original post by VampireWithSoul)
    I was just thinking have a go at some a/s exams in summer 04, and go to uni next yr whilst doing the rest A2's
    And the point of that would be...?

    If you're going to do A Levels then you should give them your full and undivided attention, or you'll not do as well as you should, and will therefore be in the same situation in 2 years time.

    If you're going to carry on with Uni and do any old degree just for the sake of it then forget about doing A Levels, because once you have a degree they're not that important.

    It comes down to what makes you happy. But remember life isnt a race. You shouldnt keep comparing yourself with what other people are doing - some people race through education getting qualification after qualification, others take a whole lifetime...its down to the individual.

    If I were in your shoes, I would put the HE idea to one side, get a job, earn some money and have a good long think about what you really want to do. Maybe take some time out to travel and experience other cultures, do some voluntary work abroad...broaden your horizons. I can guarantee you wil not be in this situation then.
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    some of the top companies require at least a good 2.1 with 21-24 points at a level
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    (Original post by VampireWithSoul)
    some of the top companies require at least a good 2.1 with 21-24 points at a level
    Do you have 21-24 points at A level? No? well there's your answer then
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    Well it is never too late to go back to uni. I am doing my postgrad now and I'm 23, having had 2 years out.
    You are in a bit of a dilemna I think it depends on what you want to do and whether uni is for you at all.
    You have to face facts that most graduate jobs want a 2.1 and between 21-28 UCAS points (old system), so even if you finish your course with a 2.1 you probably arent going to be considered for graduate scheme positions, as in you wont be able to persuade them because you wont even be offered an interview. But then it really doesnt mean you are down and out in the jobs market there are small companies that will probably take you on. Obviously the pay will be less.
    But then being realistic you probably arent going to have much chance with the top grad jobs even if you do retake your Alevels. They will know by your age that you have retaken and they do normally want to know original and retake grades on application forms and it will go against you that you have dropped out twice. Also there are plenty of graduates with the right Alevel points and the right degree who still cant get a grad job, graduate recruitment is tough. There arent as many jobs as you would think, and graduating with a 2.1 or a first is certainly not guarenteed to get you a grad job you need other skills and you need to be able to show them that you know which path you are taking in life, and you dont sound like you do know really...
    If you hate this course then obviously there is no point continuing with it but i dont see how going back and taking more A Levels are the answer. When you had your year out you could have done A Levels at night school and worked but you didnt. Was that because you didnt really want to do them?
    If you are interested in the chemistry or pharmaceutical side of things have you thought of getting a job in a lab or something and try to do a degree on the open university or the university of London external programme at the same time? The same applies really with the computing idea if you get an entry level position and then study parttime.
    Maybe this would be the best option for you because you would have the job stability and be gaining experience whilst getting your degree. This experience would do a lot to counter act your bad A Level grades.

    Heres some info
    http://www3.open.ac.uk/courses/essential/info.shtm
    http://www3.open.ac.uk/courses/subje...logy_page.shtm

    http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/

    Hope this helps.
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    (Original post by ShOcKzZ)
    hey ishrat..noticed u been replyin on alot of threads concerning medicine..i've also applied at manchester, kings, liv+ leeds
    where have u applied?

    I havn't applied anywhere yet i'm doin my As i just wanted ideas, you've chose great uni's hope you get in
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    Thanks alot for the help,

    It just seemed to me that when i was studying pharmaceuticals I wasnt learning anything exciting or new. It was basically a lecture regurgitating stuff from text books. I just felt like another number to fill the quota. I quess i had stupid romantic notions of going to uni and learning loads of new exciting stuff and having a great time gowing and expanding creatively.

    I guess that i am a generalist in alot of areas, and if i take the plunge to study something specific i am questioning if i made a wrong choice. I am scared to decide on one thing to study for 3/4yrs and devote hundreds of hours too, because ill have cut off the amt of time studying other areas.

    However, i am comforted by leonardo da vinci's saying: everything is connected. I am fascinated by learning, and learning to learn-and have tried to improve my memory and read lots of books. Thats why i chose a cognitive science degree this yr, but its so dull and a joke, the uni is rubbish. I think im more interested in philosophy than psychological testing and analysis. I like using my hands to create something, the thing that gives me the ultimate buzz is having an idea and see it develop, or solving a problem through creative thinking processes, the ''aha'' moment.

    I do have a passion for art, and sketch when i have the energy. I remember long, long time ago, i really enjoyed making a ''shadouf'' in construction, a shadouf is a eqyption water transporting device. I had fun working out how to build it, why it was built, what relevant it had to the eqyptians at that time. I like logic and analytical problems, but i need to have some meaning behind it, or some context into why its relevant and how it affects people.

    I did a personality test, called Myers-Briggs,

    http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm

    and got INFP, which means introverted,intuitive,feeling and perspective. Good careers involved psychologists,psychiatrists, writers. I think architecture seems quite interesting. However the more i think about my life, the more i want to do something to help give something back (like being a doc), ive been looking at software enginnering, i like the idea of turning something quite dry into something creative. But i think i apply my way of thinking to everything, as i can try to find meaning in any subject. The training involved in medcine does appeal to me, because u learn about everything from psychology to biochemistry, i also like the idea of the right of passage to becoming a doc, but i guess thats with any degree.
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    unless you get a glittering degree classification from a decent uni, chances are those grades will be your downfall. unless you feel you can acheive the former, retake the latter. the other option would be to forget and make your way in the world by some other means at considerably less debt to yourself and cost to the taxpayers.
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    (Original post by vienna95)
    unless you get a glittering degree classification from a decent uni, chances are those grades will be your downfall. unless you feel you can acheive the former, retake the latter. the other option would be to forget and make your way in the world by some other means at considerably less debt to yourself and cost to the taxpayers.
    Id be paying for the fees myself and or A levels for myself, taxpayers are paying nothing, and it wouldnt cost that much if i do really well and get a ''good'' job to pay it back
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    (Original post by viviki)
    But then being realistic you probably arent going to have much chance with the top grad jobs even if you do retake your Alevels. They will know by your age that you have retaken
    If he did different subjects then they wouldnt be classed as resits, as they would be the first time he'd taken them. And I'm sure graduate employers would be more interested in why he's older and what he's learnt from doing other things...they wouldnt automatically reject him because he didnt follow the conveyor belt of gcses, a levels, degree grad job all before you're 25 or whatever. If they did there'd be no point going to Uni if you're over 18.

    (Original post by vienna95)
    the other option would be to forget and make your way in the world by some other means at considerably less debt to yourself and cost to the taxpayers.
    That's a good idea...you may be having difficulty deciding because Uni just isnt for you. There are many many jobs out there where you can get to the top, you just start lower down, which isnt a bad thing, because you're earning money and gaining experience...and experience goes a long way these days. There are also lots of employers that will help you take further qualifications, some even pay for you to take them, as it will ultimately benefit them. And if they dont, you can always use your spare time to study with the OU...then you're passion for learning will be satisfied, and you'll be earning money too.
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    (Original post by *starbuck*)
    If he did different subjects then they wouldnt be classed as resits, as they would be the first time he'd taken them. And I'm sure graduate employers would be more interested in why he's older and what he's learnt from doing other things...they wouldnt automatically reject him because he didnt follow the conveyor belt of gcses, a levels, degree grad job all before you're 25 or whatever. If they did there'd be no point going to Uni if you're over 18.

    The traditional graduate employers do normally want people under 25 who received good A Levels first time. Thats who I was referring to. There are other options which I also mentioned. Also if you want to study biochemistry (which was mentioned) at a top uni you would have to have good grades in biology and chemistry, so they would be resits.
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    (Original post by viviki)
    The traditional graduate employers do normally want people under 25 who received good A Levels first time. Thats who I was referring to. There are other options which I also mentioned. Also if you want to study biochemistry (which was mentioned) at a top uni you would have to have good grades in biology and chemistry, so they would be resits.
    That's me out then!!! What hope is there for the rest of us non-school leaver University goers?

    Also, if he wanted to do Biochem, he could do that now without doing more A levels, I think the point of doing more A levels was to get decent grades and do a different subject at a better Uni?
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    I'm not saying that there arent plenty of jobs around but the traditional grad training schemes obviously cant state it in their material (because of being accused of discrimination) but they do want under 25s I have been on psychometric test and interview days for quite a few firms and I didnt see a single person who looked more than 25.
    But thats not to say that there arent other options my dad did software engineering after doing an access to higher education course at the age of 45. It wasnt at that brilliant a uni just a local one but he got the first job he applied for when he finished at a small firm who were looking for someone mature and reliable and his earnings arent too bad.
    I assumed when I did my degree that I would have no trouble getting on a grad scheme I have 24 ucas points a 2.1 at a good uni loads of work experience but it wasnt enough, I would get through a few rounds of recruitment and then come up against Oxford and Cambride grads with masters degrees and then I would come unstuck. There are far far fewer grad schemes than graduates, most grads dont get graduate training scheme positions unless you are from a top ten uni and have fantastic grades.
    Oh and dont be fooled my university statistics for graduates in education post degree. They will put you down as working if you are temping or working part time. I know a lot of grads who 2 and 3 years down the line have jobs that poorly paid that they are still working on bars and the majority of people I know at uni with me at the moment doing postgrads are doing so because they couldnt find a job they felt was suitable for them post degree. There are people here from unis such as Liverpool, Leeds, Durham, Edinburgh, Birmingham which are darned good unis. I dont mean to sound depressing but I think that people should know how hard it is before they decide to go to uni. Especially now that Labours target is to get 50% of school leavers into higher education it will get worse, there simply arent enough jobs to sustain this.
    I fell into a trap where I am not suitable for grad jobs but I get rejected from entry level positions because of my degree I am over qualified. My friend went into accountancy straight from school she is a qualified accoutant earns a small fortune and she has done a maths Open University degree in her spare time and got a first. I wish I had considered this.
    I was working as a civil servant prior to this for a measly salary and there were plenty of grads there because they couldnt get jobs with a decent salary. A lot of grads can only get jobs earning 12,000-13,000 per annum when they graduate.
    Also most grad training schemes only want you if you have graduated in the last three years so you dont have much time to get relevant work experience and reapply. I'm sorry to sound depressing but thats the reality of the situation, it will get worse. With more people studying undergrads more people are being forced to study postgrads incur massive debts and there is no guarantee that you will get a fantastic job at the end of it!
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    (Original post by viviki)
    A lot of grads can only get jobs earning 12,000-13,000 per annum when they graduate.
    Actually, I understand this, because I used to work as an Accounts Assistant for a national company...and I was on 12.5K, doing the same job as many graduates. I also left school at 16, did an NVQ and had I stuck at it longer, would now have completed a Business, Finance and Management Degree and be Assistant Manager at the large medical centre I was at.

    Random information there, you just reminded me though.
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    I would certainly stick with education tbh. So long as you think you can make a go of it. If you think a degree is in reach then grab it. Otherwise get back to college

    Im 21 now and when i go off to Uni i'll be 22 bang on. Have left it late but hey i was very imature in relation to my work but what counts is that i've sorted myself out and thought "..smegging hell!". All me mates are either in uni finishing their degree or sitting about getting stoned everyday. I dont take drugs so Uni it was for me

    Take the initiative and go speak to people about this, ring up colleges/universities and have a good chat to them. Tell them your situation. I've been doing that and it helped a LOT.

    Good luck in your endeavours man :]
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    (Original post by deanimate)
    I would certainly stick with education tbh.
    Education isnt everything. There's nothing that says someone cant go out there and get a job, work their way up taking qualifications on the way and get to the same level as someone with a degree. In fact there are plus points to not going the education route - debts for one!

    If its that problematic coming to a decision about Uni, then to me its clear that uni isnt the right choice, for now anyway. There's nothing wrong with taking some time out, earning some money and seeing where that takes you - only forward imo.
 
 
 
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