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Reasons people fail to secure TC?? What constitutes 'low grades' for vac schemes? watch

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    Apologies for the lengthy post, just have a lot on my mind and confidence levels sharply fluctuate by the day.

    I keep reading in articles stuff like 'if you have low grades.....' or 'if your academic record is weak....', but exactly what would you guys say constitutes as low grades at GCSE, A-Level and University.
    I managed to get 5 A*s and 5As at GCSE, A* A B at A-Level and a 2:1 (62) at a russell group uni thats probably on the lesser side of the spectrum. Now im sure many would say that these are decent grades, but are they when applying to training contracts at prestigious city law firms?? Or are these the kind of weaker grades that people refer to?
    As for the poor souls you hear about that never managed to secure a training contract, did they go to top/russell group unis, get A*s and As at GCSEs and Alevels? and if so why didnt they succeed? (if not then what did they get?)
    Further, I got A A C D at AS and absolutely cringe everytime an application asks for AS grades. Will these affect my chances much? Could i omit the D grade and just say I did 3 ASs?

    Im sure some of this would be speculation, but any thoughts would be great.

    PS I am well aware that grades arent everything, but i cant help but feel like firms see them as a bloody good indication.
    Also, I just want to know how my grades are compared to other applicants' e.g on the lower/upper end of the spectrum of graduate grades.... (hope that makes sense)

    Also, does getting a commendation on the GDL boost one's application much?

    Finally, what are your thoughts on the applying to smaller city firms if you didnt get a First at a top uni. I would have thought they would be less competitive then the Allen & Overys, Pinsent Masons, Dentons and Eversheds. However, looking at the figures, it seems like while the smaller firms have one place for every 100-300 applicants, some of the large firms have 1 vacancy for ever 30-100 applicants. To me, this suggests that perhaps going for the larger firms may not be as unrealistic as I thought. Or is that too much of a generalisation and would the applications for bigger firms be of a far higher quality than those to smaller firms, therefore balancing the odds out?

    Thanks for reading and all the best with applications....may we all get offered a thousand TCs each
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    Ok there's a lot of questions here, so I'll try and answer as concisely as possible.

    GCSEs and even A-levels are less important in this day and age.

    Even "62" grades differ. It's likely that someone with a mixture of 2.2s and 2.1s to average out at a 62 will be seen differently to someone who has secured grades of 60, 61, 62, 63 for instance. Someone with a 62 average holding down a part time job or significant extra curriculars would be looked differently to someone with a 72 average who has no other major time commitments.

    There are plenty of people with masters and first class honours degrees who struggle to get TCs. Academics are only a small part of a complex puzzle when it comes to what law firms look for.

    Don't look at application numbers - they are irrelevant. It doesn't tell you the quality of those applications and also if everyone took the approach of applying to firms on the basis they had fewer numbers, it would swing from one extreme to the other each year.

    Why are most people unsuccessful? Honestly here are my top 3 reasons:

    They haven't a clue what they are letting themselves in for.

    They can't write well.

    They lack evidence of excelling - that doesn't just mean academics, it can be shown through other evidence on their CV/application form.






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    Hey

    The way I see your situation is as follows,

    GCSE and A Levels not a problem - you ought not to worry about those.

    University Results - it's a 2.i so that's a tick, admittedly it's at the lower end of the spectrum (62%) but for most firms this isn't a huge factor.

    I think the above poster hits the nail on the head and I'd echo those points - it isn't so much about grades, but the content and substance of your application. I've had a look at many applications and most people fail to get their points across, make a right mess of answering the competency questions, fail to research firms in enough depth, use of generic buzz words and phrases and just poor execution in general.
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    I secured a TC on my first attempt at a mid-large City firm with very similar academic grades to you (7 A*s and 4 As at GCSE, same A Level grades, 65 at lower-end Russell Group uni).

    I'm just repeating what has already been said, but so long as you can support your grades with well-written applications and solid interview showings, those grades shouldn't slow you down. Just make sure you are able to justify lowly-graded modules if it comes to that in an interview.
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    (Original post by El_Cuervo)
    I secured a TC on my first attempt at a mid-large City firm with very similar academic grades to you (7 A*s and 4 As at GCSE, same A Level grades, 65 at lower-end Russell Group uni).

    I'm just repeating what has already been said, but so long as you can support your grades with well-written applications and solid interview showings, those grades shouldn't slow you down. Just make sure you are able to justify lowly-graded modules if it comes to that in an interview.
    out of interest what do you consider a lower end RG uni?
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    (Original post by passportmassport)
    Finally, what are your thoughts on the applying to smaller city firms if you didnt get a First at a top uni. I would have thought they would be less competitive then the Allen & Overys, Pinsent Masons, Dentons and Eversheds. However, looking at the figures, it seems like while the smaller firms have one place for every 100-300 applicants, some of the large firms have 1 vacancy for ever 30-100 applicants. To me, this suggests that perhaps going for the larger firms may not be as unrealistic as I thought. Or is that too much of a generalisation and would the applications for bigger firms be of a far higher quality than those to smaller firms, therefore balancing the odds out?
    The thing is that a lot of the 100-300 applicants will be the same for all those firms and a big chunk of them will be hopeless from the beginning.

    Your last sentence is right. It is wrong to assume that bigger numbers of applications means a higher standard.

    I'd give it a go anyway.

    Also, if you carried on your AS levels to A2, you don't need to put your AS grades down. Only put down your AS grades where you didn't continue that subject to A2.
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    Thanks for the responses, guys.
    Guess I can be a little more confident with my grades and just focus on working on everything else to make my applications spot on.
    All the best
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    (Original post by pp93)

    If you want someone to see where you're going wrong in forms I recommend www.tcsmashers.com


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    Hey, have you used tcsmashers before? Would really like a final opinion on TC before I send them off but am concerned about them being trustworthy with my information or not.
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    (Original post by credodisi)
    Hey, have you used tcsmashers before? Would really like a final opinion on TC before I send them off but am concerned about them being trustworthy with my information or not.
    I'll review it if you want. Upload it to a file sharing site and send me a link in a PM and I'll review over the next few days.


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