Understanding rejection for mod langs *confused* please help! Watch

isitisisitis
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Hi, my question is about my failed applications to Modern Languages in Scotland.

Here's a bit of background about my applications:

I'm interested in languages and good at learning them. I have taught myself French to such a level that I often get mistaken for a native. Just to give a picture: when I took my AH speaking exam the external examiner said to me that my level was better than the levels of people graduating from 5 year French degrees. I have a bit of a gift for languages and have applied this to French - and to Spanish to a lesser albeit significant degree (Italian and Latin too). My language level was exceeding what was necessary to study at a French uni so I went there after finishing school to start a degree in History/ Spanish. I am by no means just a language learning robot and am interested in foreign cultures (literature, anthropology, politics, history, philospohy) both academically and personally. I love to read, learn about people and the world, and think analytically. Unfortunately I had to return from my uni due a severe case of appendicitis and insufficient funds. I'm now looking at French options for postgraduate work.

And here's the info about my current (failed) applications:

In the meantime I am planning to study in Scotland. The unis I applied to were: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, and Stirling. My personal statement I wrote in a rush and - although there are obviously some shortcomings to it - my assessment of it is that it was fairly well written, relevant, expanded, and well rounded. (It included several sections on my current academic interests and I developed these in a way that I thought was within the scope of a PS, also referring to my experience with the Oxford Summer School, a writing project, sports I play, and employment). As for my grades (this gets complicated), I achieved a full round of As at Standard Grade and in two Higher languages one year. The next year I achieved AAA at AS (I had moved countries and then had to drop History due to another move in schools; I had a lot of family stress that year). In my final year, I achieved AAB at AH (I had ongoing family issues that year and endless problems with my school's English department who were, unfortunately, severely incompetent). So I ended up with quite a mix of qualifications, however all with good grades.

Where this leaves me:

I received unconditional offers for the unis of Glasgow and Aberdeen. This was cause for celebration and I was pleased to receive these. I do not particularly wish to attend Aberdeen however as I am personally not a huge fan of the city of Aberdeen. I then received rejections from the unis of St Andrews and Edinburgh. On these occasions I was actually quite disappointed. Although I don't feel 'entitled' to places at either institution, I confess that given my personal talents I was really hoping for offers. I am under the impression that they both have excellent language departments. I'm now struggling with feelings of bitterness that I have been overlooked. In my process of coming to terms with it, I'm searching for explanations as to where I went wrong.

Please share with me, any ideas why I was rejected? Any thoughts about any of these unis? Similar experiences of rejection? Any insights, really! I'm keen to reflect in order to make sense of it and perhaps alter my future approach to applications. I can post up my PS if anyone would take a look. Thanks for reading!
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UnknownAnon
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(Original post by isitisisitis)
Hi, my question is about my failed applications to Modern Languages in Scotland.

Here's a bit of background about my applications:

I'm interested in languages and good at learning them. I have taught myself French to such a level that I often get mistaken for a native. Just to give a picture: when I took my AH speaking exam the external examiner said to me that my level was better than the levels of people graduating from 5 year French degrees. I have a bit of a gift for languages and have applied this to French - and to Spanish to a lesser albeit significant degree (Italian and Latin too). My language level was exceeding what was necessary to study at a French uni so I went there after finishing school to start a degree in History/ Spanish. I am by no means just a language learning robot and am interested in foreign cultures (literature, anthropology, politics, history, philospohy) both academically and personally. I love to read, learn about people and the world, and think analytically. Unfortunately I had to return from my uni due a severe case of appendicitis and insufficient funds. I'm now looking at French options for postgraduate work.

And here's the info about my current (failed) applications:

In the meantime I am planning to study in Scotland. The unis I applied to were: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, and Stirling. My personal statement I wrote in a rush and - although there are obviously some shortcomings to it - my assessment of it is that it was fairly well written, relevant, expanded, and well rounded. (It included several sections on my current academic interests and I developed these in a way that I thought was within the scope of a PS, also referring to my experience with the Oxford Summer School, a writing project, sports I play, and employment). As for my grades (this gets complicated), I achieved a full round of As at Standard Grade and in two Higher languages one year. The next year I achieved AAA at AS (I had moved countries and then had to drop History due to another move in schools; I had a lot of family stress that year). In my final year, I achieved AAB at AH (I had ongoing family issues that year and endless problems with my school's English department who were, unfortunately, severely incompetent). So I ended up with quite a mix of qualifications, however all with good grades.

Where this leaves me:

I received unconditional offers for the unis of Glasgow and Aberdeen. This was cause for celebration and I was pleased to receive these. I do not particularly wish to attend Aberdeen however as I am personally not a huge fan of the city of Aberdeen. I then received rejections from the unis of St Andrews and Edinburgh. On these occasions I was actually quite disappointed. Although I don't feel 'entitled' to places at either institution, I confess that given my personal talents I was really hoping for offers. I am under the impression that they both have excellent language departments. I'm now struggling with feelings of bitterness that I have been overlooked. In my process of coming to terms with it, I'm searching for explanations as to where I went wrong.

Please share with me, any ideas why I was rejected? Any thoughts about any of these unis? Similar experiences of rejection? Any insights, really! I'm keen to reflect in order to make sense of it and perhaps alter my future approach to applications. I can post up my PS if anyone would take a look. Thanks for reading!
Have you emailed the admissions office asking for the reasons behind the rejections?


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abbievictoria
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It might be that your grades just aren't what they are looking for or the qualifications aren't what is required from that university. If a university doesn't like your personal statement (which you've said was very good) they are unlikely to give you an offer


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isitisisitis
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(Original post by UnknownAnon)
Have you emailed the admissions office asking for the reasons behind the rejections?


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I recently found an automated message from Edinburgh on their system saying I don't meet their entry requirements. As I have an unusual combination of English/ Scottish qualifications I thought hat this was perhaps an admin error or too hastily sorted. I have now emailed them enquiring, so thanks for your reply.
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isitisisitis
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(Original post by abbievictoria)
It might be that your grades just aren't what they are looking for or the qualifications aren't what is required from that university. If a university doesn't like your personal statement (which you've said was very good) they are unlikely to give you an offer


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Yes, it sounded like from their automated message that they don't accept unusual combinations qualifications. I had hoped when applying hat they wouldn't be so shortsighted (as there's not much I can do about that now!). Anyway, I've written to them now. Interesting point you make about the PS. Thanks for your reply.
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UnknownAnon
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Did you get people to check your PS? Because sometimes, what you think is good, could probably be improved on. Show me and I'll have a look for you

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isitisisitis
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(Original post by UnknownAnon)
Did you get people to check your PS? Because sometimes, what you think is good, could probably be improved on. Show me and I'll have a look for you

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That's really helpful, thanks very much! I showed it to a few people at the time and a couple of them were able to give me feedback. I'll send it to you in a PM, thanks
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Klix88
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Edinburgh have some of the most stringent and inflexible entry requirements I've ever seen. They don't seem to cope well with non-standard qualifications. Hopefully asking them to look again will get you past that "Computer says no" attitude.
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Carnationlilyrose
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You might find this thread of interest.
http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3956809
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watchingyouwatch
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(Original post by isitisisitis)
I recently found an automated message from Edinburgh on their system saying I don't meet their entry requirements. As I have an unusual combination of English/ Scottish qualifications I thought hat this was perhaps an admin error or too hastily sorted. I have now emailed them enquiring, so thanks for your reply.

Mistakes do happen sometimes( know someone who was rejected last year from a course at Edinburgh for not meeting the minimum requirements which seemed to be an error so they called and emailed and they were then told they were going to be reconsidered and were offered a place!)

Given that they specifically are saying that you were rejected because you didn't meet the requirements when you do it is definitely worth questioning it- if you have not received any reply from the email then give them a call.

Good luck
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Zoe_Cecilia
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I believe that Edinburgh and St. Andrews have quite an emphasis on personal statements. In my experience they look for someone who sounds like they are really passionate about what they are applying for. Maybe, as you wrote it in a rush you didn't quite put this across?

(Original post by isitisisitis)
Hi, my question is about my failed applications to Modern Languages in Scotland.

Here's a bit of background about my applications:

I'm interested in languages and good at learning them. I have taught myself French to such a level that I often get mistaken for a native. Just to give a picture: when I took my AH speaking exam the external examiner said to me that my level was better than the levels of people graduating from 5 year French degrees. I have a bit of a gift for languages and have applied this to French - and to Spanish to a lesser albeit significant degree (Italian and Latin too). My language level was exceeding what was necessary to study at a French uni so I went there after finishing school to start a degree in History/ Spanish. I am by no means just a language learning robot and am interested in foreign cultures (literature, anthropology, politics, history, philospohy) both academically and personally. I love to read, learn about people and the world, and think analytically. Unfortunately I had to return from my uni due a severe case of appendicitis and insufficient funds. I'm now looking at French options for postgraduate work.

And here's the info about my current (failed) applications:

In the meantime I am planning to study in Scotland. The unis I applied to were: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, and Stirling. My personal statement I wrote in a rush and - although there are obviously some shortcomings to it - my assessment of it is that it was fairly well written, relevant, expanded, and well rounded. (It included several sections on my current academic interests and I developed these in a way that I thought was within the scope of a PS, also referring to my experience with the Oxford Summer School, a writing project, sports I play, and employment). As for my grades (this gets complicated), I achieved a full round of As at Standard Grade and in two Higher languages one year. The next year I achieved AAA at AS (I had moved countries and then had to drop History due to another move in schools; I had a lot of family stress that year). In my final year, I achieved AAB at AH (I had ongoing family issues that year and endless problems with my school's English department who were, unfortunately, severely incompetent). So I ended up with quite a mix of qualifications, however all with good grades.

Where this leaves me:

I received unconditional offers for the unis of Glasgow and Aberdeen. This was cause for celebration and I was pleased to receive these. I do not particularly wish to attend Aberdeen however as I am personally not a huge fan of the city of Aberdeen. I then received rejections from the unis of St Andrews and Edinburgh. On these occasions I was actually quite disappointed. Although I don't feel 'entitled' to places at either institution, I confess that given my personal talents I was really hoping for offers. I am under the impression that they both have excellent language departments. I'm now struggling with feelings of bitterness that I have been overlooked. In my process of coming to terms with it, I'm searching for explanations as to where I went wrong.

Please share with me, any ideas why I was rejected? Any thoughts about any of these unis? Similar experiences of rejection? Any insights, really! I'm keen to reflect in order to make sense of it and perhaps alter my future approach to applications. I can post up my PS if anyone would take a look. Thanks for reading!
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999tigger
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I would be careful about posting your PS to strangers as you arent meant to on TSR lest you put yourself at risk of plaigarism. Notwithstanding it was unsuccessful, but you might want to use parts of it next year.If you need help then you cna pay to have it reviewed by TSR accredited trained PS affiliates.
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isitisisitis
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(Original post by 999tigger)
I would be careful about posting your PS to strangers as you arent meant to on TSR lest you put yourself at risk of plaigarism. Notwithstanding it was unsuccessful, but you might want to use parts of it next year.If you need help then you cna pay to have it reviewed by TSR accredited trained PS affiliates.
Thanks, but I was happy sending it to the individual I did. If it were plagiarised then the dates would be testimony to my authorship. In general, I prefer not to start from a default of strong suspicion. The statement was successful enough, thanks, so I won't be applying again through UCAS.
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