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    So I got assigned my reference writer and she's new. She's my new politics teacher, who doesn't know me at all. I wanted another politics teacher who is sooo good!
    Should I ask her if I can change?


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    It doesn't matter. References are barely even read. As long as it doesn't say you're a psycho axe murderer, you'll be fine.

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    (Original post by justag)
    References are barely even read

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    Of course they are.
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    (Original post by Prina_R)
    So I got assigned my reference writer and she's new. She's my new politics teacher, who doesn't know me at all. I wanted another politics teacher who is sooo good!
    Should I ask her if I can change?


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    I think it depends a lot on your circumstances. If there's a specific reason you want a teacher you know well to write your reference (e.g. health problems you're not comfortable discussing with someone you don't know well), then it is worth asking to change. Otherwise I would consider asking her if you can meet to discuss your reference, or if there's anything she'd like to know about you to put in the reference. I would hope she will speak to your other teachers to get some idea of you as a person before writing it- she'll have to ask them for your predicted grades anyway.

    You could ask her if she's willing to let you read the reference before your UCAS form is sent off, and if there's anything in it that's incorrect, or you think she's made a mistake, then bring it up.

    I don't think this is ideal, but presumably the other teacher isn't willing to write everyone's references, which is why this teacher has been assigned some- so asking to change without a good reason might not get you anywhere.

    (Original post by justag)
    It doesn't matter. References are barely even read. As long as it doesn't say you're a psycho axe murderer, you'll be fine.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    I disagree with this- obviously it varies from uni to uni, but most unis do consider references, and in some circumstances they can be very important. One, if an applicant has extenuating/mitigating circumstances, these should be discussed in the reference. Two, for candidates who are on the borderline of getting an offer, the reference is often closely looked at along with the PS- in this case a short or unenthusiastic reference might possibly harm a candidate's chances.
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    (Original post by Danny the Geezer)
    Of course they are.
    Barely read? Yes, they are barely read.

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    (Original post by justag)
    Barely read? Yes, they are barely read.

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    How do you know?
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    I think it depends a lot on your circumstances. If there's a specific reason you want a teacher you know well to write your reference (e.g. health problems you're not comfortable discussing with someone you don't know well), then it is worth asking to change. Otherwise I would consider asking her if you can meet to discuss your reference, or if there's anything she'd like to know about you to put in the reference. I would hope she will speak to your other teachers to get some idea of you as a person before writing it- she'll have to ask them for your predicted grades anyway.

    You could ask her if she's willing to let you read the reference before your UCAS form is sent off, and if there's anything in it that's incorrect, or you think she's made a mistake, then bring it up.

    I don't think this is ideal, but presumably the other teacher isn't willing to write everyone's references, which is why this teacher has been assigned some- so asking to change without a good reason might not get you anywhere.



    I disagree with this- obviously it varies from uni to uni, but most unis do consider references, and in some circumstances they can be very important. One, if an applicant has extenuating/mitigating circumstances, these should be discussed in the reference. Two, for candidates who are on the borderline of getting an offer, the reference is often closely looked at along with the PS- in this case a short or unenthusiastic reference might possibly harm a candidate's chances.
    Yep true, but in most cases the PS has more weight than the reference. There's no point having a glowing reference and an average PS.

    The applicant with an excellent PS but average reference is more likely to be offered a place, all things equal.

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    (Original post by Prina_R)
    So I got assigned my reference writer and she's new. She's my new politics teacher, who doesn't know me at all. I wanted another politics teacher who is sooo good!
    Should I ask her if I can change?


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    it depends on how the system in your school works.

    In mine each subject teacher writes a paragraph then the referee pulls all those reports together into a cohesive reference. Usually this referee is a teacher from the subject the student is applying for but some schools use tutors and not subject teachers.

    My only concern would be whether the new teacher has written UCAS references before and knows how to write them.
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    I think it depends a lot on your circumstances. If there's a specific reason you want a teacher you know well to write your reference (e.g. health problems you're not comfortable discussing with someone you don't know well), then it is worth asking to change. Otherwise I would consider asking her if you can meet to discuss your reference, or if there's anything she'd like to know about you to put in the reference. I would hope she will speak to your other teachers to get some idea of you as a person before writing it- she'll have to ask them for your predicted grades anyway.

    You could ask her if she's willing to let you read the reference before your UCAS form is sent off, and if there's anything in it that's incorrect, or you think she's made a mistake, then bring it up.

    I don't think this is ideal, but presumably the other teacher isn't willing to write everyone's references, which is why this teacher has been assigned some- so asking to change without a good reason might not get you anywhere.



    I disagree with this- obviously it varies from uni to uni, but most unis do consider references, and in some circumstances they can be very important. One, if an applicant has extenuating/mitigating circumstances, these should be discussed in the reference. Two, for candidates who are on the borderline of getting an offer, the reference is often closely looked at along with the PS- in this case a short or unenthusiastic reference might possibly harm a candidate's chances.
    I think im going to ask the other teacher because we can ask to change if we want. I want the other teacher because shes known me for a year and shes really good at writing references. Everyone that she wrote about every year has gotten there first choice or an unconditional offer
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    (Original post by justag)
    Yep true, but in most cases the PS has more weight than the reference. There's no point having a glowing reference and an average PS.

    The applicant with an excellent PS but average reference is more likely to be offered a place, all things equal.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    What are you basing this on?

    From my experience talking to admissions tutors, I would say there isn't a hard and fast rule, and some unis definitely value the reference more than the PS.

    Ideally, you'd want both to be above average. The biggest issue is if either your PS or your reference raises red flags- a bad reference is probably more likely to lose you an offer than a fairly average PS.
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    (Original post by Prina_R)
    So I got assigned my reference writer and she's new. She's my new politics teacher, who doesn't know me at all. I wanted another politics teacher who is sooo good!
    Should I ask her if I can change?


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    Heya! :hello:

    In my sixth form, my form tutor writes the reference and then they ask the teacher whose subject is closest to our chosen degree to tighten it up a bit with anything that they may know about us.
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    (Original post by Prina_R)
    I think im going to ask the other teacher because we can ask to change if we want. I want the other teacher because shes known me for a year and shes really good at writing references. Everyone that she wrote about every year has gotten there first choice or an unconditional offer
    If you are allowed to ask to change then definitely ask

    This seems like a strange way of doing references really- at most schools they are done by your form tutor, who obviously ideally knows you well and has experience of writing references.
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    If you are allowed to ask to change then definitely ask

    This seems like a strange way of doing references really- at most schools they are done by your form tutor, who obviously ideally knows you well and has experience of writing references.
    in our school, our reference writer is the teacher that does the subject i want to do at university. I want to do economics and politics and therefore got a politics teacher. They dont ask form tutors because we have 26 in our form and each reference at our school takes 5 hours to make it perfect
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    If you are allowed to ask to change then definitely ask

    This seems like a strange way of doing references really- at most schools they are done by your form tutor, who obviously ideally knows you well and has experience of writing references.
    My form tutor does not know me at all; my reference is going to be written by the deputy headmaster... who knows me even less.
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    What are you basing this on?

    From my experience talking to admissions tutors, I would say there isn't a hard and fast rule, and some unis definitely value the reference more than the PS.

    Ideally, you'd want both to be above average. The biggest issue is if either your PS or your reference raises red flags- a bad reference is probably more likely to lose you an offer than a fairly average PS.
    Unless a teacher has some odd vendetta against a student, no school is going to write a bad reference for the majority of students. Schools want students to get into uni; it gives them more to boast about. How many schools advertise the percentage of students they got into uni? Loads.

    This obviously isn't the case if a student has been really horrible or something, but that's a tiny minority. I imagine the OP is an average student.

    A lot of reference writing is copy and paste, that's why less attention is generally paid to it. The PS and grades are of far more interest.

    Those unis who claim to value references more are probably not very good.

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    (Original post by Prina_R)
    So I got assigned my reference writer and she's new. She's my new politics teacher, who doesn't know me at all. I wanted another politics teacher who is sooo good!
    Should I ask her if I can change?


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    kindly request the teacher you want to do your ref. And if she says yes, you can go to the new one and say the other one is doing it and you'd like her too as it's only fair that way. Sending off applications are stressful enough and the last thing you need is to be worrying about your reference. For your comfort and satisfaction ask the one you want
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    (Original post by RevisionNad)
    kindly request the teacher you want to do your ref. And if she says yes, you can go to the new one and say the other one is doing it and you'd like her too as it's only fair that way. Sending off applications are stressful enough and the last thing you need is to be worrying about your reference. For your comfort and satisfaction ask the one you want
    yeah i think i will, if she cant then i know that i tried
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    (Original post by Danny the Geezer)
    How do you know?
    I've answered this.
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    (Original post by justag)
    Unless a teacher has some odd vendetta against a student, no school is going to write a bad reference for the majority of students. Schools want students to get into uni; it gives them more to boast about. How many schools advertise the percentage of students they got into uni? Loads.

    This obviously isn't the case if a student has been really horrible or something, but that's a tiny minority. I imagine the OP is an average student.

    A lot of reference writing is copy and paste, that's why less attention is generally paid to it. The PS and grades are of far more interest.

    Those unis who claim to value references more are probably not very good.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Equally, universities will definitely want to weed out those students who are so awful that they get a less good reference. Yes, schools like to boast about the number of students who get into uni, but equally they do not want to damage their reputation with universities (especially universities which are a popular choice for their school leavers) by leaving out serious incidents from a reference. The reference must also be checked for mentions of extenuating circumstances to avoid discrimination. For this reason, most references are at least skim-read.

    Bristol, who are fairly open about their admissions policies, seem to value the reference equally to the PS for most subjects, as an example of a "good" university who says they care about references. I'm not saying all unis value the reference highly at the expense of all else, rather that you're overstating the value of the PS in comparison to the reference. In most cases, grades are much more important than both the reference and the PS.
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    Equally, universities will definitely want to weed out those students who are so awful that they get a less good reference. Yes, schools like to boast about the number of students who get into uni, but equally they do not want to damage their reputation with universities (especially universities which are a popular choice for their school leavers) by leaving out serious incidents from a reference. The reference must also be checked for mentions of extenuating circumstances to avoid discrimination. For this reason, most references are at least skim-read.

    Bristol, who are fairly open about their admissions policies, seem to value the reference equally to the PS for most subjects, as an example of a "good" university who says they care about references. I'm not saying all unis value the reference highly at the expense of all else, rather that you're overstating the value of the PS in comparison to the reference. In most cases, grades are much more important than both the reference and the PS.
    Barely reading is skim reading; that's the amount of importance placed on references for many universities.

    I've already said that references have a use to highlight terrible students, but those are in a minority. As I've already stated. The reference is essentially just a check to verify an applicant is not crazy or awful. If you're fine/normal, then that's the check done.

    Universities sensibly value a PS over a reference because that is in the control of the applicant, unlike the reference. Universities are aware that many schools have different ways of dealing with references; some are more personal - others less so. It depends on the size of the school and the staff to student ratio.

    It would be unfair for a university to give favour to a student with a glowing reference but an average PS simply because he or she happened to go to a school that had the time to craft such a reference. Most schools don't put vast amounts of effort into every reference as there is just so little time to fit that in between marking and lesson planning, which takes priority. Teachers have plenty of other things to think about besides one student's individual reference.
 
 
 

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