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    Hello!

    I was wondering what people's opinions are on the importance of achieved AS Level grades vs Predicted A-level grades.

    For example, in my case, would an A*AA/AAA course be willing to extend an offer to someone who achieved AAACC (one of the As being in General Studies so usually excluded) on his AS levels but has a predicted of, say, A*AAB with an extra A in general studies.

    My situation (any opinions on this would also be hugely appreciated):

    I aim to apply to a couple A*AA courses, for which I'm quite certain I'd need a place reserved for me through an offer as clearance would be very unlikely at such prestigious universities and purely based on luck. To be sure I chose my other 3 universities to be AAB/ABB/ABB.

    In short, I certainly want to be told that I still have a good chance of being made an offer for an A*AA course, but I'd far more appreciate brutal honesty. I don't even know what my predicted grades are going to be, but I think I can scrape by a predicted A* and then two more As and yet another A in general studies.

    Also, would my 'special' circumstances help me out in securing an offer, based on your opinions? I just moved in 6th form to the UK to a school that is certainly very weak, at least in terms of the subjects I've chosen (humanities; was the only one to get As except in general studies, and one of the Cs was the highest grade in the school). One of my Cs is in economics and I want to apply for Politics, Philosophy and Economics, but I also have months of work experience as an actual assistant economist in my home country.

    And yet another question: is there bias against people resitting their exams? I aim to resit my economics AS exam to achieve an overall A.

    So, yeah, am I in a relatively strong position or will I have to waste one year of my life in a decent university, get good grades, and then perhaps redo the first year in a more prestigious A*AA university? (pretty set on getting into qualification demanding courses)
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    (Original post by Caius Filimon)
    Hello!

    I was wondering what people's opinions are on the importance of achieved AS Level grades vs Predicted A-level grades.

    For example, in my case, would an A*AA/AAA course be willing to extend an offer to someone who achieved AAACC (one of the As being in General Studies so usually excluded) on his AS levels but has a predicted of, say, A*AAB with an extra A in general studies.

    My situation (any opinions on this would also be hugely appreciated):

    I aim to apply to a couple A*AA courses, for which I'm quite certain I'd need a place reserved for me through an offer as clearance would be very unlikely at such prestigious universities and purely based on luck. To be sure I chose my other 3 universities to be AAB/ABB/ABB.

    In short, I certainly want to be told that I still have a good chance of being made an offer for an A*AA course, but I'd far more appreciate brutal honesty. I don't even know what my predicted grades are going to be, but I think I can scrape by a predicted A* and then two more As and yet another A in general studies.

    Also, would my 'special' circumstances help me out in securing an offer, based on your opinions? I just moved in 6th form to the UK to a school that is certainly very weak, at least in terms of the subjects I've chosen (humanities; was the only one to get As except in general studies, and one of the Cs was the highest grade in the school). One of my Cs is in economics and I want to apply for Politics, Philosophy and Economics, but I also have months of work experience as an actual assistant economist in my home country.

    And yet another question: is there bias against people resitting their exams? I aim to resit my economics AS exam to achieve an overall A.

    So, yeah, am I in a relatively strong position or will I have to waste one year of my life in a decent university, get good grades, and then perhaps redo the first year in a more prestigious A*AA university? (pretty set on getting into qualification demanding courses)
    An admissions tutor for this year's cycle said that they usually go by the school's predictions (which means that your application form would be considered), unless there is reason to doubt the school's predictions (e.g. overoptimistic predictions in previous years, or too far a jump from the achieved AS). If I have read your post right, you are saying that, excluding general studies, you achieved AACC and might be predicted A*AAB, which sounds reasonable, with the possible exception of the C to A jump, and therefore should fit the required A*AA hurdle.

    However, having your application being considered might not translate into an offer:
    - have you checked the whatuni website to see what percentage of applicants get offers for your course?
    - universities that do not accept resits should flag this on their entry requirements.
    - check whether you meet all the other entry requirements (eg GCSE Maths, non-native english speaker qualifications at the appropriate level, etc)
    - the offer "range" of A*AA to AAA often means that the AAA offer is only made to applicants from weaker schools - however, it is very important that you read the full details on the website for each subject at each university (and not, for instance, just on the UCAS course search website), and follow through to webpages about general university admissions policies, procedures, criteria etc - and if still uncertain, contact the admissions tutors
    - if you did well at a school where the results were typically below average, then it is probably important that your referee mentions this in their reference about your academic ability
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    Thank you very much for your help and advice; I'll certainly have to look into whatuni.

    And in terms of my school, well... I'm sure that the teachers would be glad to mention that I certainly have passion for the subject, have an immense amount of extra-curricular knowledge (even though perhaps lacking exam technique) and so on, but they would never once mention they are a weak school (or insinuate it in any way) willingly. They are the best of the worst in the area; just one other school is better than them (the only decent school in the area) and so they are quite proud. I doubt they'd be willing to mention that I was the only one to get As. The head of year is also not too kind to me as I'm used to a different sort of schooling system (in which debates are the norm and people are actually passionate about their understanding of their subjects) and so I tended to get on her nerves slightly (had lots of questions to ask like in all my lessons). In all honesty, I can't help but think there is some xenophobia at play too. Could I perhaps send an email to the universities I have applied to in order to explain my situation?

    And even though it certainly is not a good school, it is more decent in terms of sciences. It is a sciences school, actually. But even then in terms of ranking, the only thing that props it up is attendance (and they are truly dogmatic with pupils' attendance), not grades or even attainment.

    Thank you very much for your time.
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    (Original post by Caius Filimon)
    Thank you very much for your help and advice; I'll certainly have to look into whatuni.

    And in terms of my school, well... I'm sure that the teachers would be glad to mention that I certainly have passion for the subject, have an immense amount of extra-curricular knowledge (even though perhaps lacking exam technique) and so on, but they would never once mention they are a weak school (or insinuate it in any way) willingly. They are the best of the worst in the area; just one other school is better than them (the only decent school in the area) and so they are quite proud. I doubt they'd be willing to mention that I was the only one to get As. The head of year is also not too kind to me as I'm used to a different sort of schooling system (in which debates are the norm and people are actually passionate about their understanding of their subjects) and so I tended to get on her nerves slightly (had lots of questions to ask like in all my lessons). In all honesty, I can't help but think there is some xenophobia at play too. Could I perhaps send an email to the universities I have applied to in order to explain my situation?

    And even though it certainly is not a good school, it is more decent in terms of sciences. It is a sciences school, actually. But even then in terms of ranking, the only thing that props it up is attendance (and they are truly dogmatic with pupils' attendance), not grades or even attainment.

    Thank you very much for your time.
    Ah, I see, yes, I agree your point about referees dissing their own school - I was slightly uncertain as to whether it was your previous school that had the poor grade averages.

    Nevertheless, the university admissions staff may take into account not only school averages (although often as a holistic measure rather than by subject) but also area differences, based on the either/both the school's location and the applicant's home address - see three different examples below.

    I'm not sure that emailing the admissions tutors about the teacher-pupil relationship is the best way to improve your chances of an offer. However, a sentence or two in your personal statement (about how you have overcome differences in educational approach/culture etc to achieve your academic goals and gained the flexibility to take on a university course) would probably be helpful to your application.

    I wouldn't worry too much about xenophobia - everyone has their own biases - pro/anti quiet types, redheads etc, and most of us fight hard to overcome these as soon as we recognise any partiality in our behaviour. Difference makes the world go round!

    All the best with your application



    For instance, see these statements from Warwick, at :

    https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/und...ionsstatement/

    "4.6 Contextual Data

    The University of Warwick has a tradition of making a high-quality and challenging university education available to those who are capable of benefiting from it. Our recruitment and application processes are designed to support students with the potential to succeed at the University and we are committed to ensuring that every application is treated fairly and judged on its merits. To this end, we will be using the contextual data available from UCAS in the first instance to analyse the relationship between contextual factors and academic attainment in the Warwick applicant pool, with a view to establishing appropriate, fair and evidence-based indicators of potential to supplement academic information in future application cycles. Contextual data will be used in selection decisions during the main admissions cycle for only a small number of pilot courses in the 2013 admissions cycle, and these pilots will contribute towards research into possible further use of contextual data. These pilots will involve the careful and moderate use of several contextual data indicators, as part of the wider holistic assessment of applicants, to identify students who may otherwise have lost out in a competitive selection process, but whose contextual data indicates that their achievements may have been affected by significant disadvantage. Students identified as disadvantaged may preferentially receive offers from the University although the grades required will be consistent with those for other candidates. Contextual data (both from UCAS and other sources, such as the school or the AWARDS scheme) may also be used in exceptional cases to help with the assessment of borderline candidates, or those applicants who narrowly miss the terms of their offers at results time.
    4.7 Non-standard patterns of examination entry and resits
    We normally expect applicants to demonstrate that they can succeed on a demanding course of study within a limited timescale, as exemplified by (but not limited to) three A levels (not including General Studies and Critical Thinking) over the course of a maximum of two years. Some courses require an additional AS level to be taken over the same period.

    Students who resit individual modules to improve their grades within this timeframe will not be penalised. However, students who resit their final Year 13 examinations may be at a disadvantage when considered alongside those who have attained the required grades within the usual timeframe. Some courses will not consider candidates who have taken three years to reach the required level of attainment.

    Though all applications will be considered on their individual merits, students who follow a curriculum where the normal number of required examinations are spread over three or more years may be at a disadvantage when considered alongside those who have attained the required grades within the standard timeframe, and some courses will not consider such candidates.

    If students take examinations early (relative to the majority of the cohort) allowances will not be made for lower grades"

    and Bristol, at:

    http://www.bristol.ac.uk/university/....html#criteria

    "7.5 - Currently, educational disadvantage is defined as attendance at a school or college where, in the previous year, the school or college was ranked in the bottom 40 per cent of all schools and colleges in relation to the average score per A level entry, the average score per A level entrant or the percentage of students applying to Higher Education. For selection purposes, applicants from schools/colleges in the lower 40% nationally on one of a range of measures may be given a lower offer compared to those from other schools/colleges. There is no 'blanket' discrimination in favour of applicants from any particular type of background and each case is considered on its individual merits. The University will review and refine its definition of educational disadvantage annually."

    and Southampton, at:

    http://www.southampton.ac.uk/student...dmissions.page

    "The following contextual information will be taken into consideration and a student will be flagged if:

    a. You have been in care or looked after for three months or more

    This information is derived from two fields in the UCAS application form, so it is important that care leavers declare this in their application. Further information on support available for care leavers is available below under 'Information for Care Leavers'.

    b. Your home postcode is in a Low Participation Neighbourhood

    If you currently live in a postcode assigned to the lowest POLAR3 quintile according to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and identified by UCAS in the data it transmits to us. HEFCE provides more information about its classification of neighbourhoods including an easy-to-use interactive map and a postcode look-up tool.

    c. You have attended a lower-performing school/college

    If you attended a school/college whose performance places it into the lowest two quintiles for average QCA points per A level student (or equivalent) (in England, Wales or Northern Ireland) as identified by the Department for Education dataset and provided to the University via UCAS."
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    Thanks a lot for your help! I really appreciate it.

    I suppose I shall simply try to get the best predicted grades possible, and if not given an offer, simply hope that clearance will get me through. I doubt Politics Philosophy Economics A*AA courses would have clearance, but at least I know for a fact I'll finish the year with 4As (including general studies) and an A* overall. I've finally acclimated to this ... school, and I'll only have to be working on my exam technique. Worst case scenario I'll go to a 'meh' uni for the first year, get a first, then move to redo the first year at an A*AA course.

    But yeah, again, thanks a lot for the time you've put into your replies. Very informative. Good luck with your own application.
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    (Original post by Caius Filimon)
    Thanks a lot for your help! I really appreciate it.

    I suppose I shall simply try to get the best predicted grades possible, and if not given an offer, simply hope that clearance will get me through. I doubt Politics Philosophy Economics A*AA courses would have clearance, but at least I know for a fact I'll finish the year with 4As (including general studies) and an A* overall. I've finally acclimated to this ... school, and I'll only have to be working on my exam technique. Worst case scenario I'll go to a 'meh' uni for the first year, get a first, then move to redo the first year at an A*AA course.

    But yeah, again, thanks a lot for the time you've put into your replies. Very informative. Good luck with your own application.
    Many thanks!
 
 
 
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