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Been offered places for uni but not going to meet entry requirements. Advice needed:( watch

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    I'm a mature student doing an Access to HE education course, and applied to do adult nursing.

    Our college is pretty strict with grading and I underestimated how hard it would be to gain distinctions.

    I've got offers from Southampton and Oxford Brooke's. Southampton want 24 distinctions and Brooke's want 15. Unfortunately for me I only have 3 distinctions so far. The rest are merits.

    I am trying super hard all the time to do the best I can but alas I'm still failing to get top marks. There's still 5-6 units left which I can possibly get distinctions from but that's still not gauranteed. 1 unit equals 3 distinctions.

    I got rejected from 2 other uni's and have an interview for the fifth soon but that uni also want 24 distinctions and I'd rather go to Southampton so I'm thinking of rejecting this uni, since it's not any easier to get into.

    The most logical thing to do would be to firm Southampton and Insure Brooke's but i'm scared I won't get the distinctions required even for Brooke's and I get rejected from both. I really like both universities.

    I'm aware that they can still accept me even if I don't meet the requirements but for Southampton I would still be far out.

    I'm just not sure what to do and thinking at this point I'll end up at clearing or worse getting no place at all
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    (Original post by MissDetermined)
    I'm a mature student doing an Access to HE education course, and applied to do adult nursing.

    Our college is pretty strict with grading and I underestimated how hard it would be to gain distinctions.

    I've got offers from Southampton and Oxford Brooke's. Southampton want 24 distinctions and Brooke's want 15. Unfortunately for me I only have 3 distinctions so far. The rest are merits.

    I am trying super hard all the time to do the best I can but alas I'm still failing to get top marks. There's still 5-6 units left which I can possibly get distinctions from but that's still not gauranteed. 1 unit equals 3 distinctions.

    I got rejected from 2 other uni's and have an interview for the fifth soon but that uni also want 24 distinctions and I'd rather go to Southampton so I'm thinking of rejecting this uni, since it's not any easier to get into.

    The most logical thing to do would be to firm Southampton and Insure Brooke's but i'm scared I won't get the distinctions required even for Brooke's and I get rejected from both. I really like both universities.

    I'm aware that they can still accept me even if I don't meet the requirements but for Southampton I would still be far out.

    I'm just not sure what to do and thinking at this point I'll end up at clearing or worse getting no place at all
    Well I think your priority is to speak to your tutor on your course and explain that you've got offers but that you need distinctions and ask for their help and advice on absolutely nailing your final units. If you can get distinctions on your last 6 units then that gives you 21 overall which is excellent. If your tutor knows that you have a specific goal in mind and are willing to put in the hard work but need some guidance on how to boost your work up above that grade boundary then they're usually very helpful

    Secondly I'd suggest a quick phone call to Southampton to talk about your grades so far and ask if they're likely to be flexible on their offer if you miss the strict conditions. If they're very huffy about this then you know that your chances of a place even if you nail your remaining units are pretty slim. If they're sympathetic then that might give you the confidence you're looking for to place them as firm.

    Lastly, prepare for Oxford Brookes to be your insurance. It's absolutely fine to have a risky firm but you need to be mentally prepared and happy with your insurance in that case. Check out their accommodation policy if you're planning to live in halls (https://www.brookes.ac.uk/studying-a...ing-for-halls/ - they don't guarantee insurance students a place but if you ring up they can tell you how many insurance people they turned away in the last few years....and because as an Access student you get your results before A levels you should be unconditional at the point where they start allocating so will likely be in a better position than someone taking A levels who misses their grades slightly - not the warning about not having a car with halls though)

    Lastly lastly, ask again with your college when you'll have your final results and how and when it gets sent to your universities. Regardless of the results the earlier you can get definite answers the better position you'll be in.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    Well I think your priority is to speak to your tutor on your course and explain that you've got offers but that you need distinctions and ask for their help and advice on absolutely nailing your final units. If you can get distinctions on your last 6 units then that gives you 21 overall which is excellent. If your tutor knows that you have a specific goal in mind and are willing to put in the hard work but need some guidance on how to boost your work up above that grade boundary then they're usually very helpful

    Secondly I'd suggest a quick phone call to Southampton to talk about your grades so far and ask if they're likely to be flexible on their offer if you miss the strict conditions. If they're very huffy about this then you know that your chances of a place even if you nail your remaining units are pretty slim. If they're sympathetic then that might give you the confidence you're looking for to place them as firm.

    Lastly, prepare for Oxford Brookes to be your insurance. It's absolutely fine to have a risky firm but you need to be mentally prepared and happy with your insurance in that case. Check out their accommodation policy if you're planning to live in halls (https://www.brookes.ac.uk/studying-a...ing-for-halls/ - they don't guarantee insurance students a place but if you ring up they can tell you how many insurance people they turned away in the last few years....and because as an Access student you get your results before A levels you should be unconditional at the point where they start allocating so will likely be in a better position than someone taking A levels who misses their grades slightly - not the warning about not having a car with halls though)

    Lastly lastly, ask again with your college when you'll have your final results and how and when it gets sent to your universities. Regardless of the results the earlier you can get definite answers the better position you'll be in.
    Unfortunately my tutor is also my teacher for two of my subjects and she hasn't been supportive thus far. She's aware of what is required but the feedback I get is very vague. It's hard to put across but she's not very approachable. I was thinking of asking my other teachers on how I can improve overall though which I plan to do at the next lesson(s).
    I was hoping to speak to careers advice at my college too, though they probably can't give any insight into improving my grades.
    I am happy to insure Brooke's but also a bit worried. If i rejected Southampton and firmed brooke's then my thinking is that if I also miss their requirements there's a better chance of them still letting my in, than if I insure them and miss my requirements - does that make sense?

    I'd be really happy still to go to Brooke's but Southampton is closer for me and also a cheaper place to live. It was originally my first choice. And everyone keeps telling me how much of a good rep it has and how I'd be mad to turn it down :/ so i'm really torn.

    Do you think a phonecall would be better than an email? I only ask because if I ring I may get teary on the phone, not a good impression to make. Feeling quite stressed at the moment and could probably put across what I want to say better in an email - yay or nay?

    I'm feeling very silly for not applying to uni's which have lower entry requirements (such as those who just want merits). I don't expect nursing to be in clearing as it's so competitive and even more so as it's the last year for the NHS bursary!

    Thank you again for your help, it's really appreciated.
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    (Original post by MissDetermined)
    Unfortunately my tutor is also my teacher for two of my subjects and she hasn't been supportive thus far. She's aware of what is required but the feedback I get is very vague. It's hard to put across but she's not very approachable. I was thinking of asking my other teachers on how I can improve overall though which I plan to do at the next lesson(s).
    I was hoping to speak to careers advice at my college too, though they probably can't give any insight into improving my grades.
    I am happy to insure Brooke's but also a bit worried. If i rejected Southampton and firmed brooke's then my thinking is that if I also miss their requirements there's a better chance of them still letting my in, than if I insure them and miss my requirements - does that make sense?

    The chances of them letting you in if you miss your grades will be down to how well other students do, and how many others miss their offers. Although they may look again at your application, it's not based on how much they "like" you, and firming vs insuring won't usually come into it.

    Plus, if you have a firm and an insurance you have two chances to be let in with missed grades (even if it seems unlikely) compared to just one if you only firm Brookes.

    I'd be really happy still to go to Brooke's but Southampton is closer for me and also a cheaper place to live. It was originally my first choice. And everyone keeps telling me how much of a good rep it has and how I'd be mad to turn it down :/ so i'm really torn.

    Do you think a phonecall would be better than an email? I only ask because if I ring I may get teary on the phone, not a good impression to make. Feeling quite stressed at the moment and could probably put across what I want to say better in an email - yay or nay?

    The advantage of phone over email is that you can hear the other person's tone of voice, and they may be willing to say things on the phone that they wouldn't put in writing. I think from an email you would be much more likely to get a standard response, and you won't be able to infer as much from it. You don't need to make the decision today, so maybe wait a week or so until you are less stressed?

    I'm feeling very silly for not applying to uni's which have lower entry requirements (such as those who just want merits). I don't expect nursing to be in clearing as it's so competitive and even more so as it's the last year for the NHS bursary!

    Nursing is very, very rarely in clearing, especially Adult Nursing. Being realistic, how many distinctions do you think you are likely to get in your remaining modules? If you think, for example, there's a high chance you won't get any more, have you looked in Extra at all to see if there's anything that might interest you? What's the back up plan if you don't get into uni this year?

    Thank you again for your help, it's really appreciated.
    Comments in bold. Good Luck
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    Comments in bold. Good Luck
    Thank you for your reply.

    I guess you have a point when you say I have two chances to be offered a place with missed grades instead of one. I just didn't know if applicants were judged on whether we put a uni as insurance.

    I am going to give my all (as before) and try to put even more effort into my units. Realistically I honestly don't know, I only expect to get merits now given my track record so any more distinctions would seem to be a bonus, even if I've worked my ass off. Disappointment is a killer! But maybe 2 or 3 more as opposed to all of them. I'd still miss the entry requirements.

    I can't go through extra unless I decline my offers so it's not a risk i'm willing to take. I'd rather accept my offers and see what happens.

    The only alternative if I don't get into either, and nothing is in clearing, is to reapply next year but I would go for jan/feb intakes as opposed to september, if possible. And of course It'd be a shame to have to pay for my degree but I'm still willing to do that because being a nurse is my ultimate goal. I'd apply for uni's who I know will already accept my qualification, I'd have the diploma by then. That is really last resort though, I've wanted to do this for so long and it's going to seriously hurt if I don't get in this year.
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    I've managed to look at the clearing list and both uni's are in extra, does that mean they haven't given out all of their offers? That would surprise me given the amount of applicants they must have had! Southampton alone have 60 people in per interview session. Am I reading too much into this extra thing?
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    (Original post by MissDetermined)
    I've managed to look at the clearing list and both uni's are in extra, does that mean they haven't given out all of their offers? That would surprise me given the amount of applicants they must have had! Southampton alone have 60 people in per interview session. Am I reading too much into this extra thing?
    UCAS adds courses into Extra automatically and sometimes universities don't get round to notifying UCAS that they are full, so it might be a case of Southampton not telling UCAS yet.
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    (Original post by MissDetermined)
    Thank you for your reply.

    I guess you have a point when you say I have two chances to be offered a place with missed grades instead of one. I just didn't know if applicants were judged on whether we put a uni as insurance.

    I am going to give my all (as before) and try to put even more effort into my units. Realistically I honestly don't know, I only expect to get merits now given my track record so any more distinctions would seem to be a bonus, even if I've worked my ass off. Disappointment is a killer! But maybe 2 or 3 more as opposed to all of them. I'd still miss the entry requirements.

    I can't go through extra unless I decline my offers so it's not a risk i'm willing to take. I'd rather accept my offers and see what happens.

    The only alternative if I don't get into either, and nothing is in clearing, is to reapply next year but I would go for jan/feb intakes as opposed to september, if possible. And of course It'd be a shame to have to pay for my degree but I'm still willing to do that because being a nurse is my ultimate goal. I'd apply for uni's who I know will already accept my qualification, I'd have the diploma by then. That is really last resort though, I've wanted to do this for so long and it's going to seriously hurt if I don't get in this year.
    If you're thinking you're likely to end up with say, 6 distinctions for offers asking for 15/24 distinctions, I think you're fairly likely to get rejected, unfortunately. That's not to say that people don't get in when they miss their grades by a long way sometimes, but it's rare. I think at this stage you have nothing to lose by having Southampton as your firm and Brookes as your insurance.

    I hope you don't think I'm being harsh and I hope you get what you want, and there's every chance you could still end up with enough distinctions to meet Brookes' offer, especially if you can find someone to help you improve at college.

    However, do bear in mind that there might be a silver lining to having to reapply next year- yes, you'll have to pay, but only in the way other students have to pay, it's really not that terrible. Competition for places will likely be a bit less fierce next year as you say. Also, next year is the first time students will be applying with new A-levels (and if they've retaken them possibly new style GCSEs). Applying with known grades makes you a known quantity among lots of students who will be very much an unknown quantity- and that makes you more attractive to universities. Also, you've been through the interview process once, so you know you can do it.

    So, try your hardest to get as many distinctions as possible- put down both choices and see what happens?
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    If you're thinking you're likely to end up with say, 6 distinctions for offers asking for 15/24 distinctions, I think you're fairly likely to get rejected, unfortunately. That's not to say that people don't get in when they miss their grades by a long way sometimes, but it's rare. I think at this stage you have nothing to lose by having Southampton as your firm and Brookes as your insurance.

    I hope you don't think I'm being harsh and I hope you get what you want, and there's every chance you could still end up with enough distinctions to meet Brookes' offer, especially if you can find someone to help you improve at college.

    However, do bear in mind that there might be a silver lining to having to reapply next year- yes, you'll have to pay, but only in the way other students have to pay, it's really not that terrible. Competition for places will likely be a bit less fierce next year as you say. Also, next year is the first time students will be applying with new A-levels (and if they've retaken them possibly new style GCSEs). Applying with known grades makes you a known quantity among lots of students who will be very much an unknown quantity- and that makes you more attractive to universities. Also, you've been through the interview process once, so you know you can do it.

    So, try your hardest to get as many distinctions as possible- put down both choices and see what happens?
    I know you're not being harsh, it's something I'll need to accept and deal with when the time comes. I know I only have a small chance of getting in Southampton and probably more chance for Oxford Brooke's. I am meeting with my Biology teacher next week for some advice on getting better grades.
    I firmed Southampton and insured Brooke's in the end.

    If worst happens and I'm rejected by both then I'll reapply again september but aiming for jan-march intakes as opposed to september. I'll only apply to uni's that will take mostly merits (if that's what I end up with). It sucks that I didn't do A levels when younger and that I'm not excelling as much as I need to be. A lot of pressure at the moment, but I've always been academically an average student.
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    (Original post by MissDetermined)
    I know you're not being harsh, it's something I'll need to accept and deal with when the time comes. I know I only have a small chance of getting in Southampton and probably more chance for Oxford Brooke's. I am meeting with my Biology teacher next week for some advice on getting better grades.
    I firmed Southampton and insured Brooke's in the end.

    If worst happens and I'm rejected by both then I'll reapply again september but aiming for jan-march intakes as opposed to september. I'll only apply to uni's that will take mostly merits (if that's what I end up with). It sucks that I didn't do A levels when younger and that I'm not excelling as much as I need to be. A lot of pressure at the moment, but I've always been academically an average student.
    Meeting with your biology teacher is good, hopefully she can help you know what extra you need to be doing.

    I don't think it's necessarily just down to your academic ability- it does sound like your college could have been more supportive and given you more help and advice on what to do in order to get the top grades.

    As I say, reapplying next year might not be the worst thing, but hopefully you get the results you want and Southampton might surprise you!
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    Meeting with your biology teacher is good, hopefully she can help you know what extra you need to be doing.

    I don't think it's necessarily just down to your academic ability- it does sound like your college could have been more supportive and given you more help and advice on what to do in order to get the top grades.

    As I say, reapplying next year might not be the worst thing, but hopefully you get the results you want and Southampton might surprise you!
    We've been told we can't get offered any help with regards to getting top marks, only clarification on questions that we don't understand. We get taught the minimum in class and then are expected to find further resources to get more information - but usually don't get told what books to look in!
    I have gone out of my way to go my local university library to get better resources but alas it hasn't paid off yet.
    I don't like the grading because it's all subjective between what is good (pass) very good (merit) or excellent (distinction). What I think is excellent may be only good for the teacher so I'm never going to know if my work is good enough. They're not allowed to read it before it get submitted either. So I know our class mates are all being compared to one another in regards to work.

    I have to say this not being good enough for distinctions has really knocked me confidence - I know I'm going to be in pieces if I don't get into uni this year but it's out of my control now, just gotta keep doing the best I can in college :/
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    (Original post by MissDetermined)
    We've been told we can't get offered any help with regards to getting top marks, only clarification on questions that we don't understand. We get taught the minimum in class and then are expected to find further resources to get more information - but usually don't get told what books to look in!
    I have gone out of my way to go my local university library to get better resources but alas it hasn't paid off yet.
    I don't like the grading because it's all subjective between what is good (pass) very good (merit) or excellent (distinction). What I think is excellent may be only good for the teacher so I'm never going to know if my work is good enough. They're not allowed to read it before it get submitted either. So I know our class mates are all being compared to one another in regards to work.

    I have to say this not being good enough for distinctions has really knocked me confidence - I know I'm going to be in pieces if I don't get into uni this year but it's out of my control now, just gotta keep doing the best I can in college :/
    Have you been given (or can you get hold of) the specification and unit specs for your course?
    Those combined with https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/AboutUs...-Section-B.pdf should help you understand what you need to focus on for each unit.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    Have you been given (or can you get hold of) the specification and unit specs for your course?
    Those combined with https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/AboutUs...-Section-B.pdf should help you understand what you need to focus on for each unit.
    We do get assignment briefs. I'm always including all the right information but it's knowing whether something is good or excellent - and even if I think it is my teacher may not think so. The interpretation part is useful, I'm going to give it a proper read this evening. It says that distinction doesn't need to be perfection but I'm sure that's what one of my teacher's expect of us lol. Thank you for the link.
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    I think I just need someone to proof read for me because I can't be objective about my own work! But there's no one to do that.
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    (Original post by MissDetermined)
    We've been told we can't get offered any help with regards to getting top marks, only clarification on questions that we don't understand. We get taught the minimum in class and then are expected to find further resources to get more information - but usually don't get told what books to look in!
    I have gone out of my way to go my local university library to get better resources but alas it hasn't paid off yet.
    I don't like the grading because it's all subjective between what is good (pass) very good (merit) or excellent (distinction). What I think is excellent may be only good for the teacher so I'm never going to know if my work is good enough. They're not allowed to read it before it get submitted either. So I know our class mates are all being compared to one another in regards to work.

    I have to say this not being good enough for distinctions has really knocked me confidence - I know I'm going to be in pieces if I don't get into uni this year but it's out of my control now, just gotta keep doing the best I can in college :/
    That does all sound really demoralizing. There is a forum on TSR for prospective and current nursing students here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=640

    I wonder if talking to people who've been through or are in a similar situation might help?
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    (Original post by SlowlorisIncognito)
    That does all sound really demoralizing. There is a forum on TSR for prospective and current nursing students here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=640

    I wonder if talking to people who've been through or are in a similar situation might help?
    Thank you. I have posted on there but I will ask if there's any access students.

    Thanks to you both for your advice I will keep persevering.
 
 
 
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