I'm an international student and for us, references aren't really straight forward. A teacher of mine gave me my reference I had asked him to do and I'm not really satisfied. You see, he's not familiar with the Ucas system and that's totally justifiable but I don't really feel like sending this reference.
First off, it's very short. You can comfortably read it in under a minute.
It's also very consice and typical. He doesn't go into much detail.
In addition, all of the things he says about me are positive. I don't seem to have any flaws. Do you think that might make the reference look rushed and even more typical?
I could ask my teacher to add more detail but I'm afraid that will come out as an odd request as I am probably the most quiet kid in the classroom. He doesn't know much about me , I'm not close with any of my tutors.
Could you write down ,for me, what the reference must include in order to give him some further guidance?
In general, most reference given by UK schools will only be positive, as they want their students to get into the university. Negatives will be more highlighted by omissions than being outright mentioned.
Your reference should be as close to the character/line limit as possible. If it's not there yet, then it would be a good idea to show him the guidance and ask him to write a bit more. A short reference could look bad, as if the teacher doesn't have much good to say about you. If you explain this to him, then I'm sure he will be willing to write a bit more.
The most important thing for him to include though, is your predicted grades.