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    Imagine a different application system where people apply to uni after they have received their results. This is made possible by earlier results - say early July as opposed to mid August - and academic year for uni starting in January, about the same time as second semester now, like some courses already do.

    The application system itself would need to be changed to something like the following (it's not ironed out, so please don't pick too many holes): applicants would have a week to complete the application after getting results, although they could have everything set up apart from uni choices; main difference being, they would rank their unis.

    Applications would go in waves, so first choices would receive them, consider them and interview where necessary (so it wouldn't be a week turnover or anything like that - closer to a month), then send replies back. After a certain amount of time, second choices receive the application if the first choice didn't accept it ... and so on. At the end, there's a Clearing session, then everybody know's what's going on by about Christmas-time, and things like accommodation and student finance are sorted (so this would have to be made more efficient.)

    Would you support a system like this, and why or why not?
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    I like the idea of applying to uni after results and still getting help with ps and references and not the hassle of a gap year. So many people do badly at AS, get bad predicted grades, end up applying to unis they don't want to go to, work their asses off then get good grades and end up somewhere they don't want to go and could do much better?

    I don't like the applications in waves thing though. So many people, including myself, often end up changing their minds on first choice
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    (Original post by tillytots)
    I don't like the applications in waves thing though. So many people, including myself, often end up changing their minds on first choice
    Is there a way you can think of where changing your mind could be incorporated? For example, you could still get released and all unis that would have received applications by then would be sent your application - say you changed your mind three months in, second and third application would be sent off first time. Also, you could still voluntarily enter Clearing.

    Or could the current system of applications be condensed, so that unis would receive all applications, but only have a few months to reply?
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    I have wondered before why they have not got such a system in place. It would allow people to make much more informed decisions, rather than potentially submitting an overly cautious (or ambitious) application because they think they might do really well or really badly in their A2's, and it would avoid the hassle of the utterly pointless predicted grades system. People would have plenty of time to research which universities they might apply to before they get their results, and a week is plenty of time to write a good personal statement.
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    How would this work for a UK wide system though because the majority of Scottish applicants to Scottish unis already have their results when they apply?
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    Well, it'd be nice to apply knowing what your results are, but there's a few things I wouldn't have been keen on when I applied.

    Firstly is exam results. I sat exams which determined my university place in July. If results were returned to me within a month for an exam which hundreds of thousands of people had sat, I'd be worried about how rushed the marking had been given the pressure.

    I also wouldn't be keen on starting in January. This would leave the time between June or July to January with little to do. We all love the Summer break, but 6 months is a long time, yet still short enough that may employers wouldn't be too keen on employing you for.

    Lastly I guess would be the selection process. Currently, you are given offers in the hope that you'll achieve what's expected or predicted of you. I managed to secure a place at Nottingham with predictions above their offer, and got in with grades well below their offer. I fear that if universities were given the results up-front, there would be less offers like this as admissions tutors would be more inclined to base their decisions on already-gained results. I'd like to think that I'm a capable student, despite my A-Level shortcomings.
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    (Original post by Kerny)
    I have wondered before why they have not got such a system in place. It would allow people to make much more informed decisions, rather than potentially submitting an overly cautious (or ambitious) application because they think they might do really well or really badly in their A2's, and it would avoid the hassle of the utterly pointless predicted grades system. People would have plenty of time to research which universities they might apply to before they get their results, and a week is plenty of time to write a good personal statement.
    Well, they could have written a personal statement already, so the week could simply be to finalise uni choices.

    (Original post by xCBRx)
    How would this work for a UK wide system though because the majority of Scottish applicants to Scottish unis already have their results when they apply?
    Hmm, I didn't really consider Scotland... Could the same changes in the timetable not apply to Scotland, though? People going with Highers would apply after receiving those results and go to uni in January along with people in English year thirteen ... or, if they did Advanced Highers, apply the year after.
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    (Original post by DarkWhite)
    Well, it'd be nice to apply knowing what your results are, but there's a few things I wouldn't have been keen on when I applied.

    Firstly is exam results. I sat exams which determined my university place in July. If results were returned to me within a month for an exam which hundreds of thousands of people had sat, I'd be worried about how rushed the marking had been given the pressure.
    That's a fair point, and my probably over-simple answer would be to have all exams in late May/early June (this is exactly when I did mine, so it is more than possible), therefore getting results in mid to early July wouldn't feel like a rush.

    I also wouldn't be keen on starting in January. This would leave the time between June or July to January with little to do. We all love the Summer break, but 6 months is a long time, yet still short enough that may employers wouldn't be too keen on employing you for.
    Again, a valid point. People already with jobs would be fine, but those without would be left with a long time in which they can do nothing... Don't really know the answer here, but maybe an increase in things like river restoration projects designed specifically for people in this gap?

    Lastly I guess would be the selection process. Currently, you are given offers in the hope that you'll achieve what's expected or predicted of you. I managed to secure a place at Nottingham with predictions above their offer, and got in with grades well below their offer. I fear that if universities were given the results up-front, there would be less offers like this as admissions tutors would be more inclined to base their decisions on already-gained results. I'd like to think that I'm a capable student, despite my A-Level shortcomings.
    Here, I would disagree with you - the application could be set up in such a way that admissions tutors would read the personal statement and reference before seeing the grades, so that they wouldn't immediately dismiss an applicant but would have to have the whole picture. After all, I presume it was something said here that persuaded them to take you in spite of your actual results.
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    That's a fair point, and my probably over-simple answer would be to have all exams in late May/early June (this is exactly when I did mine, so it is more than possible), therefore getting results in mid to early July wouldn't feel like a rush.


    Again, a valid point. People already with jobs would be fine, but those without would be left with a long time in which they can do nothing... Don't really know the answer here, but maybe an increase in things like river restoration projects designed specifically for people in this gap?


    Here, I would disagree with you - the application could be set up in such a way that admissions tutors would read the personal statement and reference before seeing the grades, so that they wouldn't immediately dismiss an applicant but would have to have the whole picture. After all, I presume it was something said here that persuaded them to take you in spite of your actual results.
    Having all exams at the same time may not be feasible though, which is the only problem - if every exam in the country was held in May/June, bearing in mind that it's more than just A-Levels, then there's a huge possible of clashes, which would cause an administration disaster for examination centres.

    Perhaps more volunteering projects would be useful, but then parents/carers would be funding their kids for 6 months whilst they do very little. Tax credits may need to be extended to cover this period, which is a costly process. It'salso still 6 months where students are doing something they may not particularly want to do for - from their point of view, they could be in education, but there's little they can do about it.

    These two issues both feel as though they can be ironed out though, so they wouldn't be my most pressing concerns.

    It'd be useful for admissions tutors to see PS', references, and such first but, it doesn't detract from the factthat once the tutor has read all of the applications, they have in front of them a set of nationally-moderated results on which to base their decisions. With the increasing number of applications for university, and league tables ranking institutions based on students' average UCAS points, the temptation really would be there if you ask me.
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    (Original post by DarkWhite)
    It'd be useful for admissions tutors to see PS', references, and such first but, it doesn't detract from the factthat once the tutor has read all of the applications, they have in front of them a set of nationally-moderated results on which to base their decisions. With the increasing number of applications for university, and league tables ranking institutions based on students' average UCAS points, the temptation really would be there if you ask me.
    I think there's a temptation to do that anyway, though - there isn't a huge difference between Nottingham's admissions tutor being informed you hadn't achieved the grades and deciding to take you anyway, and this system where they would read all about you, then be informed of your grades and make a decision over whether to take you.
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    I think there's a temptation to do that anyway, though - there isn't a huge difference between Nottingham's admissions tutor being informed you hadn't achieved the grades and deciding to take you anyway, and this system where they would read all about you, then be informed of your grades and make a decision over whether to take you.
    Well there is - by the time the admission tutor starts looking at applicants who haven't met their offer, a number of applications who have met their offer conditions have been given a place at the institution. Sounds like a small difference, but admissions tutors know they can't rely on predicted grades, and so the temptation isn't really there so much now as I think it would be because the full set of applicants' grades isn't in front of them.
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    (Original post by DarkWhite)
    Well there is - by the time the admission tutor starts looking at applicants who haven't met their offer, a number of applications who have met their offer conditions have been given a place at the institution. Sounds like a small difference, but admissions tutors know they can't rely on predicted grades, and so the temptation isn't really there so much now as I think it would be because the full set of applicants' grades isn't in front of them.
    It's getting kind of late - think you're going to need to explain the implications of this difference more, because I still can't really see it. Sorry. It still seems very similar to me; under the current system, unis make conditional offers, then get informed students haven't met them and, space depending, decide on whether to take the applicant or not by using their PS and reference, and what was said at interview if relevant. Under this very rough idea, they would form an opinion based on the PS and reference, compile a short-list and check it against grades, then if you fall below the range they're ideally looking at, decide whether or not other qualities over-rides the grades.

    I think we agree that there is more to applicants than their grades, so definitely not proposing a system where if you meet the grades you're through to the next round, where not meeting them is immediately dismissed - indeed, exactly the opposite, so grades make the last part of it.
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    It's getting kind of late - think you're going to need to explain the implications of this difference more, because I still can't really see it. Sorry. It still seems very similar to me; under the current system, unis make conditional offers, then get informed students haven't met them and, space depending, decide on whether to take the applicant or not by using their PS and reference, and what was said at interview if relevant. Under this very rough idea, they would form an opinion based on the PS and reference, compile a short-list and check it against grades, then if you fall below the range they're ideally looking at, decide whether or not other qualities over-rides the grades.

    I think we agree that there is more to applicants than their grades, so definitely not proposing a system where if you meet the grades you're through to the next round, where not meeting them is immediately dismissed - indeed, exactly the opposite, so grades make the last part of it.
    It is late, and I'm probably talking jibberish tbh :p:

    I'll try and use an example. 500 students apply for a course. The admissions tutor currently would be unlikely to base their offers on predicted grades, because they're not actual grades, and they know how off they can be, as it depends who writes the reference. Out of those 500 students, the tutor makes 300 offers, for a course of 200 people. Come results day, 150 of the 300 make their offer and get in. The tutor is then left with 150 students from which to pick 50 to take the course. These students don't meet their entry requirements, but will get a place on merit of their PS and references.

    In the proposed system, 500 students apply for a course of 200 places. The admissions tutor, I'd say, even after seeing the application as a whole, would be tempted to select the 200 best set of grades from results day and give less weight to PS' and references; as these students would clearly meet the entry requirements, and would provide the best boost in league table rankings too.

    Does this make a bit more sense? I should probably get sleep soon!
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    (Original post by DarkWhite)
    It is late, and I'm probably talking jibberish tbh :p:

    I'll try and use an example. 500 students apply for a course. The admissions tutor currently would be unlikely to base their offers on predicted grades, because they're not actual grades, and they know how off they can be, as it depends who writes the reference. Out of those 500 students, the tutor makes 300 offers, for a course of 200 people. Come results day, 150 of the 300 make their offer and get in. The tutor is then left with 150 students from which to pick 50 to take the course. These students don't meet their entry requirements, but will get a place on merit of their PS and references.

    In the proposed system, 500 students apply for a course of 200 places. The admissions tutor, I'd say, even after seeing the application as a whole, would be tempted to select the 200 best set of grades from results day and give less weight to PS' and references; as these students would clearly meet the entry requirements, and would provide the best boost in league table rankings too.

    Does this make a bit more sense? I should probably get sleep soon!
    That actually makes perfect sense (examples are always good ) and I see the problem now - you can tick the box to say 'Yes, I have read the PS and reference' in order to get access to the grades ... then just pick the 200 with best grades. Obviously depends on the admissions tutor, but some would just do this, and I would guess there's a higher risk at more 'prestigious' unis, which are also likely to have the widest range to pick from.

    I'm sure there's still a way around that though, in order to make sure everyone will be considered on their own merit. I'll have a think of it... Pick this back up when we're in a better frame of mind?
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    Imagine a different application system where people apply to uni after they have received their results. This is made possible by earlier results - say early July as opposed to mid August - and academic year for uni starting in January, about the same time as second semester now, like some courses already do.

    The application system itself would need to be changed to something like the following (it's not ironed out, so please don't pick too many holes): applicants would have a week to complete the application after getting results, although they could have everything set up apart from uni choices; main difference being, they would rank their unis.

    Applications would go in waves, so first choices would receive them, consider them and interview where necessary (so it wouldn't be a week turnover or anything like that - closer to a month), then send replies back. After a certain amount of time, second choices receive the application if the first choice didn't accept it ... and so on. At the end, there's a Clearing session, then everybody know's what's going on by about Christmas-time, and things like accommodation and student finance are sorted (so this would have to be made more efficient.)

    Would you support a system like this, and why or why not?
    I do agree that applying after getting your grades is a good thing but I completely disagree with the wave thing.

    However, I do think there is one big problem with applying after you get your results. If you were predicted BCC then you would research & visit universities that would accept you with those grades, but then if you actually got AAB then what would you do? You would have to apply to universities without visiting them and under the system you proposed you would only have 7 days to research a whole bunch of universities, which could prove difficult or impossible for some people. For example, when the A level grades came out I was on a hiking trip to Everest base camp and didn't get my results till almost 4 weeks after they came out. If you set a short deadline then I wouldn't have been able to apply at all. I'm sure each year there are lots of students who are not around when the results come out and so if you set a strict deadline would miss out.

    When I applied I wouldn't have been able to rank the universities in order. Personally when I applied I hadn't got a clue which I would rather go to out of Lancaster, Warwick, Bath & York. I waited till I got my offers before going and visiting them again and doing more research, speaking to more students, and so on, before I was able to decide which offer to accept. If I were to have ranked my Universities it would probably have gone Warwick, York, Bath and then Lancaster, however when I did more research into them and gave them all a second visit AFTER getting my results I decided that I wanted to go to Lancaster and, more importantly given the way your system is structured, that I wouldn't like it at Warwick.

    At the end of the day though, I don't see any reason to change the current system. One of the key points you have made is that people who have done badly at AS level can work hard to do well at A2, and under the current system those people suffer, but most schools will be prepared to give somebody predicted grades that are better than their AS grades if they believe that the student can do better, and even if they don't believe that, plenty of schools will still predict higher grades if the pupil believes they can do better. Personally I achieved BBCE for my AS levels but my school thought I should have done a lot better, and so did I, and they predicted me AAAB, so despite doing poorly for my AS levels I wasn't disadvantaged when it came to my application.

    Anyway, thats my rather longwinded reply, that actually took me a good 40 minutes to type out because I am very, very drunk right now. I just got back from a night out having given up early because I started drinking at 7pm and have to be on a train in 5 hours time. I'm so drunk it took me 15 minutes to unlock my front door so I hope to god that this reply makes sense. Don't blame me if it doesn't.
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    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    That actually makes perfect sense (examples are always good ) and I see the problem now - you can tick the box to say 'Yes, I have read the PS and reference' in order to get access to the grades ... then just pick the 200 with best grades. Obviously depends on the admissions tutor, but some would just do this, and I would guess there's a higher risk at more 'prestigious' unis, which are also likely to have the widest range to pick from.

    I'm sure there's still a way around that though, in order to make sure everyone will be considered on their own merit. I'll have a think of it... Pick this back up when we're in a better frame of mind?
    I am trying to think of ways around this actually, as the rest of the system could have specifics ironed out for me to fully support it

    But yeah, something for another time; will sleep on it.
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    I personally wouldn't coz there's no way I'd have got into Oxford under that system :rofl:

    Generally speaking though, I imagine loads of people would benefit from not applying until they have their A2s. Loads of people on my course had applied post-A2 and the whole system appeared to be much less stressful for them :yes:
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    I think the main issue here is the universities wouldn't be able to get back to everyone in time.

    It takes them long enough now.

    5 weeks and only 2 offers from 1 university, still 3 offers to go - come on UCAS.
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    (Original post by jb9191)
    I think the main issue here is the universities wouldn't be able to get back to everyone in time.

    It takes them long enough now.

    5 weeks and only 2 offers from 1 university, still 3 offers to go - come on UCAS.
    Well, they'd have 6 months, which I imagine is a great deal of time when you have the final results of the applicants. The problem is setting an application deadline, and then fitting in open days and interviews, because I normally recommend open days to everybody. I reckon these could all be ironed out though; specifics.

    (Original post by TheSownRose)
    That actually makes perfect sense (examples are always good ) and I see the problem now - you can tick the box to say 'Yes, I have read the PS and reference' in order to get access to the grades ... then just pick the 200 with best grades. Obviously depends on the admissions tutor, but some would just do this, and I would guess there's a higher risk at more 'prestigious' unis, which are also likely to have the widest range to pick from.

    I'm sure there's still a way around that though, in order to make sure everyone will be considered on their own merit. I'll have a think of it... Pick this back up when we're in a better frame of mind?
    Coming back to this, slept on it, and can't think of much which would prevent it for one simple reason: any move to change howthe admissions tutor views candidates isn't fair; it should be up to the institution how they decide which applicants to take, and it's not really UCAS' place to try and alter this.

    Having said that, my only real objection to having more emphasis on grades is that A-Levels and such just aren't good enough at selecting the best candidates any more. Clearly somebody with 3 As is a great applicant, but they just don't seem to separate anyone at the moment, which is why universities do opt to give interviews, ask for additional personal statements, copies of work, and so forth. Perhaps we could change the SE/FE education system at the same time? :p:
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    No, I wouldn't. Who would want the long 'summer' holiday to be from September to December? Those are the ****test months of the year, and most of the things people do during their uni break wouldn't be particularly good during those months. It would also leave a hundred thousand people with nothing to do for six months between finishing sixth form and university.

    And the system just wouldn't work as a time scale. Even if people had their marks back by the end of July, that now only leaves five months for people to make their application, the unis to sort them out and call people for interviews, then consider each applicant, then make offers, and the students choose which offer to take. Under the current scale, the unis have at least three months to consider applicants.

    I also admit that for most universities, I can't see the point as it wouldn't even help. Nearly everyone who applies to Oxbridge will get the grades. Unis like UCL and Bristol etc never go into Clearing for the vast majority of courses, so clearly they're not handing out offers to people who aren't achieving them.
 
 
 
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