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Need AAA but predicted AAB? watch

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    (Original post by serendipity)
    Leekey what I said was 100% accurate, having had experience of going through the difficult process of applying for English lit, I can tell you that I was told by a number of universities that they do not consider English applicants with predicted grades below AAA. However, they rarely ask for students to achieve AAA (except for Exeter), more regularly asking applicants to achieve AAB or ABB. Therefore for English students with AAB predictions it is advisable to consider very carefully before applying to somewhere like Nottingham, where an admissions tutor told me specifically that they only consider students with AAA predictions.

    Yes. Because they can afford to. They have the pick of the best.

    In fact what I said was that they do - it's the PREDICTED GRADES i was talking about.:rolleyes:

    Consider, Leekey, that English is a hugely competitive subject and that universities go for the best, BECAUSE THE BEST APPLY.

    Sam - If you're a bloke you have a HUUUUUUGE advantage - male English applicants are less plentiful than female. If you're male then you have an excellent chance of getting in wherever you like for English Lit. My (male) friend had predicted grades of ABB (could have been AAB, can't remember) and was accepted to Notts.

    Edit: from your profile I see you're not!
    Ok, allow me to begin taking apart this little mess of cynicism and negtive experience based twaddle (I'll take it in paragraphs if thats ok).... :rolleyes:

    1) What you said was highly based on a synical and bitter view of the entire applications process. I would also question how you aquired the knowledge of the inner workings of the admissions process through simply applying to them. Do honestly believe that universities are going to say things like that and actually mean them?!? I think it is far more likely to be said as a marketing ploy to attract the elité students in any given year group. By suggesting that AAA applicants are the only possible candidates they consider they automatically give students an inflated opinion of the course and university (ie. they will accept ANY offer given to them). If your going to based you knowlegde on the words of admissions tutors then you would believe some very interesting things. You seem to like playing the "English is more competative that almost any other subject" card but unfortunately the statistics show that while yes, it is competative, there are FAR more competative subjects out there. Do you think that applications for those subjects are rejected én mass as you have suggested for english?!? :confused:

    2) How many AAA applicants do you think there are in the UK? Take that number and multiply it by something like 0.5 (VERY kind estimate of people taking english), then you should divide that number by 6 (ie. number of uni's). The number you have represents the number of students that an elite group of about 10-15 unis must compete to attract. It is this stat that makes the course competative (not the overwhelming demands placed by uni's). The simple fact is that if top uni's did reject all none AAA applicants, they would find there courses in clearing due to lack of acceptances very quickly. Do the math!!! :rolleyes:

    3) I know that you seem to possess this idylic image of the requirements uni's place upon thier applicants and the fierce competition for places but how do you explain the fact that some of the courses you mention are nowhere near AAA (i.e. 30 points) standard?!? Does this mean that uni's ONLY want good predicted grades and don't actually care so much about what you actually achieve?!? Or would you opt for the more likely idea that uni's consider more than just your predicated grades when applying and they actually do make offer to good candiates who are not quite 30 point standard? I know which one is more likley.
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    Serendipity, you're worrying me! (I can see your point though). I guess I'll just have to see what happens and try to stop panicing about it. If I end up with no offers, I'll just take a gap year (which is what I wanted to do anyway, but my parents are against it because of the top-up fees).

    It just seems so unfair that the whole process is based on predicted grades. It's so biased and depends a lot on how nice the teachers are. Some teachers will give a prediction of an A to people who have a small possibility of getting it, and others like my geog teacher said he will only predict what people are almost certain of getting
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    (Original post by ~Sam~)
    Serendipity, you're worrying me! (I can see your point though). I guess I'll just have to see what happens and try to stop panicing about it. If I end up with no offers, I'll just take a gap year (which is what I wanted to do anyway, but my parents are against it because of the top-up fees).

    It just seems so unfair that the whole process is based on predicted grades. It's so biased and depends a lot on how nice the teachers are. Some teachers will give a prediction of an A to people who have a small possibility of getting it, and others like my geog teacher said he will only predict what people are almost certain of getting
    If you end up with no offers, I promise to take out a loan, buy the world 11 and bring them to Anfield (or I'll buy Warwick and you can have it)....


    Seriously though, you should not let the random crap that myself or little miss downer here say deter you from applying from where you really want to go. No matter what the requirements, you owe it to yourself to try and get into somewhere you will be happy.
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    (Original post by Leekey)
    If you end up with no offer, I promise to take out a loan, buy the world 11 and bring them to Anfield (or I'll buy Warwick and you can have it)....
    That sounds good I don't really want Warwick though, think I'd rather have the world 11! Just out of interest, who will be in it?
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    (Original post by ~Sam~)
    That sounds good I don't really want Warwick though, think I'd rather have the world 11! Just out of interest, who will be in it?
    Buffon, Salgado, Carlos, Nesta, Sami, Stevie, Didi, Zidane, Totti, Mickey, Milan

    I thought I'd stick a good sprinkling of my favorites in there as well as the superstars!!!

    PS - I'm with you on the Warwick thing, as if I'd want to buy a field in Coventry. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Leekey)
    Buffon, Salgado, Carlos, Nesta, Sami, Stevie, Didi, Zidane, Totti, Mickey, Milan

    I thought I'd stick a good sprinkling of my favorites in there as well as the superstars!!!

    PS - I'm with you on the Warwick thing, as if I'd want to buy a field in Coventry. :rolleyes:
    Lol, a team picked by a true Liverpool supporter! And not a united player in sight! U heard the rumours about us getting Ballack in return for didi and money (dunno how much)? What do you think? I love Didi! But Ballack is a really good player...
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    I feel the need to back a certain person up, because I agreed with a lot of her realistic comments - which are echoed in a lot of the literature which I have read and in the comments of a senior teacher at my school (who is a seasoned, seasoned pro in terms of UCAS/university/Oxbridge/popular course matters).

    (Original post by Leekey)
    Ok, allow me to begin taking apart this little mess of cynicism and negtive experience based twaddle (I'll take it in paragraphs if thats ok).... :rolleyes:

    1) What you said was highly based on a synical and bitter view of the entire applications process. I would also question how you aquired the knowledge of the inner workings of the admissions process through simply applying to them. Do honestly believe that universities are going to say things like that and actually mean them?!? I think it is far more likely to be said as a marketing ploy to attract the elité students in any given year group. By suggesting that AAA applicants are the only possible candidates they consider they automatically give students an inflated opinion of the course and university (ie. they will accept ANY offer given to them). If your going to based you knowlegde on the words of admissions tutors then you would believe some very interesting things. You seem to like playing the "English is more competative that almost any other subject" card but unfortunately the statistics show that while yes, it is competative, there are FAR more competative subjects out there. Do you think that applications for those subjects are rejected én mass as you have suggested for english?!? :confused:
    - This is not nearly as ridiculous and unlikely as you seem to make out. English, at the most competitive unis, is not far off the likes of Law and Medicine and is probably level with something like Economics - hugely competitive. With 20 applicants per place, an English admissions tutor will discard applications that fail to achieve certain levels crucial benchmarks. It wouldn't surprise me for a minute if they decided AAA prediction, at least 7As at GCSE and no Cs were the requisite entry grades. Not everything is made clear in the prospectus - for competitive courses, there are several unstated requirements, which are not divulged in the public domain.

    2) How many AAA applicants do you think there are in the UK? Take that number and multiply it by something like 0.5 (VERY kind estimate of people taking english), then you should divide that number by 6 (ie. number of uni's). The number you have represents the number of students that an elite group of about 10-15 unis must compete to attract. It is this stat that makes the course competative (not the overwhelming demands placed by uni's). The simple fact is that if top uni's did reject all none AAA applicants, they would find there courses in clearing due to lack of acceptances very quickly. Do the math!!! :rolleyes:
    A lot!
    Some schools are all too willing to predict As.
    AS levels are the easy part, they form the main basis for a predicted A2 grade.
    Virtually everybody applying will have an amazing PS/Teacher reference!!!

    3) I know that you seem to possess this idylic image of the requirements uni's place upon thier applicants and the fierce competition for places but how do you explain the fact that some of the courses you mention are nowhere near AAA (i.e. 30 points) standard?!? Does this mean that uni's ONLY want good predicted grades and don't actually care so much about what you actually achieve?!? Or would you opt for the more likely idea that uni's consider more than just your predicated grades when applying and they actually do make offer to good candiates who are not quite 30 point standard? I know which one is more likley.
    You seem to miss the point - they can and will demand AAA for predicted A-levels (which come on mate, are based on an easier exam), regardless of the A2 grade offers that they eventually make. I went to the LSE openday, they make a lot of offers for AAB for Law - but very few people apply without having AAA predicted grades. This was made clear by a Senior Lecturer and admissions tutor on the openday - you really do need AAA predicted A2 grades for a course with 25:1 applicants/places.

    If A2 predictions are made largely on the basis of the actual results in the AS-exam - which is significantly easier than A2, it follows that a lot of people will seemingly 'underachieve' and drop a grade between their A2 predicted grade and their eventual A2 grade.
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    (Original post by mobbdeeprob)
    I feel the need to back a certain person up, because I agreed with a lot of her realistic comments - which are echoed in a lot of the literature which I have read and in the comments of a senior teacher at my school (who is a seasoned, seasoned pro in terms of UCAS/university/Oxbridge/popular course matters).



    - This is not nearly as ridiculous and unlikely as you seem to make out. English, at the most competitive unis, is not far off the likes of Law and Medicine and is probably level with something like Economics - hugely competitive. With 20 applicants per place, an English admissions tutor will discard applications that fail to achieve certain levels crucial benchmarks. It wouldn't surprise me for a minute if they decided AAA prediction, at least 7As at GCSE and no Cs were the requisite entry grades. Not everything is made clear in the prospectus - for competitive courses, there are several unstated requirements, which are not divulged in the public domain.


    A lot!
    Some schools are all too willing to predict As.
    AS levels are the easy part, they form the main basis for a predicted A2 grade.
    Virtually everybody applying will have an amazing PS/Teacher reference!!!



    You seem to miss the point - they can and will demand AAA for predicted A-levels (which come on mate, are based on an easier exam), regardless of the A2 grade offers that they eventually make. I went to the LSE openday, they make a lot of offers for AAB for Law - but very few people apply without having AAA predicted grades. This was made clear by a Senior Lecturer and admissions tutor on the openday - you really do need AAA predicted A2 grades for a course with 25:1 applicants/places.

    If A2 predictions are made largely on the basis of the actual results in the AS-exam - which is significantly easier than A2, it follows that a lot of people will seemingly 'underachieve' and drop a grade between their A2 predicted grade and their eventual A2 grade.
    A cogent, reasoned argument, this I like and shall actually take the time to consider what your saying...

    The first thing I would say is that the idea that each place recieves 20 appliactions is simply wrong. I'm sure there was a thread about this a while ago when PQ proved it but I'll have to hope that she can shed some light of that one soon. Even if it was true (and I know that English is highly competative) do you think that every applicant would be of AAA standard?!? If that were true then we really would be seeing huge grade inflation!!! I've absolutely no doubt that there are certain benchmarks which candidates must meet, the original question was querying AS and predicted grades though so I would suggest that we should stick to that line of enquiry (i.e. screw GCSE's ). Again I will come back to the admissions tutors and the fact that they are paid to select the best possible candidates from the crop thay they are given. It's insanity to think that a university would be willing to miss out on a candidate who can easily meet their requirements (I mean what they ACTUALLY want as opposed to ask for) simply because of a single grade prediction. If this were true then I know 2 girls who must have slept with admissions tutors at Nottingham and Bristol to get offers because I assure you that they were not predicted AAA. Whilst these understated requirements would not be prevelent pre-application, surely if you look at the informtation about the accepted candidates they would become immediately apparent. Due to the fact that I have NEVER seen any such trend (other than the obvious good grade standard) I must assume that each application is assessed on its own merits and therefore candidates without AAA predictions would be considered. You did spot the immediate flaw in my argument about the grade offers and predicted results but based on the ideas that I have just argued I think that the idea that AAA is the ONLY acceptable is dead in the water. In response to your final point, I would suggest that admissions people will have seen enough applicants to know that grades can go up as well as down and that AAB at AS doesn't mean AAA at A2 is impossible (I'll let you know in a month if that holds true).

    Look at it from the point of view of university admissions. 9000 (approx) students apply for english each year. Of these I would (being VERY nice to you) say that maybe 1000 are predicted AAA. Assuming were talking "top 15" unis here, I will say that each uni is looking for around 100 students across their various english based courses (stats I've got are general so cover everything ). Assuming the uni's are nice and equally divided this leave a 35 place deficite at each uni. Consider now that they make approximately 2.4 offers per place (based in KCL information). Are you honestly going to suggest, that even with these approximate figures, that uni can even contemplate not considering none AAA applicants?!?
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    (Original post by ~Sam~)
    Lol, a team picked by a true Liverpool supporter! And not a united player in sight! U heard the rumours about us getting Ballack in return for didi and money (dunno how much)? What do you think? I love Didi! But Ballack is a really good player...
    As far as I'm concearned we already have the best German player in our midfield already. As much as I'd like to see Ballack at Anfield I wouldn't trade Didi for the world. I'm hoping we will be able to buy him straight out and have the both of them in the squad. I think we have a great midfield when everyone is fit though so I don't really demand any signings there. I think we still need cover at centre back though (Biscan is NOT good enough for me).
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    (Original post by Leekey)
    As far as I'm concearned we already have the best German player in our midfield already. As much as I'd like to see Ballack at Anfield I wouldn't trade Didi for the world. I'm hoping we will be able to buy him straight out and have the both of them in the squad. I think we have a great midfield when everyone is fit though so I don't really demand any signings there. I think we still need cover at centre back though (Biscan is NOT good enough for me).
    *thread officially hijacked*

    lou xxx
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    (Original post by lou p lou)
    *thread officially hijacked*

    lou xxx
    Yeah but come on, whats the point in being red when you can't even mention it when you have the world's best midfield (I promise I'll post a picture of Kewell next time so you can swoon etc... )!!!
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    (Original post by Leekey)
    Yeah but come on, whats the point in being red when you can't even mention it when you have the world's best midfield (I promise I'll post a picture of Kewell next time so you can swoon etc... )!!!
    oooh please... and at least it was the right team

    lou xxx
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    (Original post by lou p lou)
    oooh please... and at least it was the right team

    lou xxx
    *Tempted to start LiverSoc but thinks that sounds too medical maybe RedSoc...*
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    (Original post by Leekey)
    *Tempted to start LiverSoc but thinks that sounds too medical maybe RedSoc...*
    no but then we could be hijcked by man u scum and arsenal- maybe anfieldsoc?

    lou xxx
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    (Original post by lou p lou)
    no but then we could be hijcked by man u scum and arsenal- maybe anfieldsoc?

    lou xxx
    Bit to geographical for my taste. We should leave the wording upto Sam, she appears to be decent at English!!!
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    (Original post by Leekey)
    Bit to geographical for my taste. We should leave the wording upto Sam, she appears to be decent at English!!!
    lol, what are you implying? that we're both mathsy people? heaven forbid...

    lou xxx
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    (Original post by Leekey)
    A cogent, reasoned argument, this I like and shall actually take the time to consider what your saying...

    The first thing I would say is that the idea that each place recieves 20 appliactions is simply wrong. I'm sure there was a thread about this a while ago when PQ proved it but I'll have to hope that she can shed some light of that one soon. Even if it was true (and I know that English is highly competative) do you think that every applicant would be of AAA standard?!? If that were true then we really would be seeing huge grade inflation!!! I've absolutely no doubt that there are certain benchmarks which candidates must meet, the original question was querying AS and predicted grades though so I would suggest that we should stick to that line of enquiry (i.e. screw GCSE's ). Again I will come back to the admissions tutors and the fact that they are paid to select the best possible candidates from the crop thay they are given. It's insanity to think that a university would be willing to miss out on a candidate who can easily meet their requirements (I mean what they ACTUALLY want as opposed to ask for) simply because of a single grade prediction. If this were true then I know 2 girls who must have slept with admissions tutors at Nottingham and Bristol to get offers because I assure you that they were not predicted AAA. Whilst these understated requirements would not be prevelent pre-application, surely if you look at the informtation about the accepted candidates they would become immediately apparent. Due to the fact that I have NEVER seen any such trend (other than the obvious good grade standard) I must assume that each application is assessed on its own merits and therefore candidates without AAA predictions would be considered. You did spot the immediate flaw in my argument about the grade offers and predicted results but based on the ideas that I have just argued I think that the idea that AAA is the ONLY acceptable is dead in the water. In response to your final point, I would suggest that admissions people will have seen enough applicants to know that grades can go up as well as down and that AAB at AS doesn't mean AAA at A2 is impossible (I'll let you know in a month if that holds true).

    Look at it from the point of view of university admissions. 9000 (approx) students apply for english each year. Of these I would (being VERY nice to you) say that maybe 1000 are predicted AAA. Assuming were talking "top 15" unis here, I will say that each uni is looking for around 100 students across their various english based courses (stats I've got are general so cover everything ). Assuming the uni's are nice and equally divided this leave a 35 place deficite at each uni. Consider now that they make approximately 2.4 offers per place (based in KCL information). Are you honestly going to suggest, that even with these approximate figures, that uni can even contemplate not considering none AAA applicants?!?
    I understand and indeed share some of the points which you make. Although it is difficult to make statements which aren't backed up by the relevant statistics which you and I would like to express in our arguments.

    Yesterday, I was reading a book at school by Brian Heap - Degree Course Offers (2005 entry). Not only do I wish to God that the book was in front of me now, because it has some very useful statistics and commentary, but I would recommend it to everybody either applying this coming autumn or who has an interest in such matters (like yourself). The information is clear and concise and I have never seen anything like it - not on websites, not in league tables, not at open days, not in prospectuses. It is worth every penny of the £27 advertised price, and I can tell this from just a 10 minute skim read. Advertising done .

    Back to point, my essential problem comes in the form of a conflict between stated grade requirements and actual grades. Of course, a good candidate who feels that they will make, there-or-thereabouts, the stated grade requirement should apply! I made this clear in my first post.

    To use personal experience, I go to school with somebody who is truly talented at English - he should walk into Oxbridge - because he does have a gift. This guy just so happens to be the biggest idler and stoner on the face of the earth though - I sincerely doubt whether he will come anywhere near to an AAA prediction for A2, but his undoubted propensity for the subject demands that he should apply there (or to any other top institution, for English). I would be shocked if, were he to apply, he was denied a place following an interview.

    My basic point therefore, is that if somebody has ability and is willing to back themselves - they should really look to apply. Although they must be mindful of the fact that it is a competitive course. For sure, the views expressed about admissions tutors may appear to be a tad cynical. But having 2046 applications land on your desk for 145 places is no laughing matter. Of course, admissions tutors will try to adopt a case sensitive approach. However, there is only so much that you can ascertain from simply looking at personal statements and references - which will be similar - grades are likely to come into the equation. Though there is no shame in applying with AAB whatsoever.

    Of course admissions tutors are looking for the strongest candidates, but the fact is that once they have filtered out the obvious dross and people who have obvious flaws (i.e. people who have much lower grades compared to the competition e.g. BBC, an ambiguous/misguided PS and/or a reticent teacher reference) there is still very little to chose between candidates. You are right - the universities want the best people, they do not want to resort to paying too much attention to the predicted A2 grades. However sometimes they have little choice in the matter.

    My final point is that the person in question should look at themselves, outside of the context of predicted grades and outside the context of statistics (i.e. applicants per place, the rhetoric that I and others spout :rolleyes: ). They need to appraise their ability, matched with their desire to pursue the subject. Should they decide that they are up to the task, they must commit wholly and totally ignore statistics/what people say etc. etc. but similarly, they must recognise how competitive the course is and ensure that they get the best grades that they can - although if this doesn't happen, it does not mean that an application is doomed.

    It is a competitive game, but you *must* have confidence in your own abilities. It is not for people on this thread to make decisions for others about their application suitability - only one person can do that. They must set their heart on a goal, and do all they can to meet whatever other criteria is thrown up. Should they fall short - then that is not the end of the world whatsoever.

    Read the Heap book though people - it looks really useful!
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    (Original post by mobbdeeprob)
    I understand and indeed share some of the points which you make. Although it is difficult to make statements which aren't backed up by the relevant statistics which you and I would like to express in our arguments.

    Yesterday, I was reading a book at school by Brian Heap - Degree Course Offers (2005 entry). Not only do I wish to God that the book was in front of me now, because it has some very useful statistics and commentary, but I would recommend it to everybody either applying this coming autumn or who has an interest in such matters (like yourself). The information is clear and concise and I have never seen anything like it - not on websites, not in league tables, not at open days, not in prospectuses. It is worth every penny of the £27 advertised price, and I can tell this from just a 10 minute skim read. Advertising done .

    Back to point, my essential problem comes in the form of a conflict between stated grade requirements and actual grades. Of course, a good candidate who feels that they will make, there-or-thereabouts, the stated grade requirement should apply! I made this clear in my first post.

    To use personal experience, I go to school with somebody who is truly talented at English - he should walk into Oxbridge - because he does have a gift. This guy just so happens to be the biggest idler and stoner on the face of the earth though - I sincerely doubt whether he will come anywhere near to an AAA prediction for A2, but his undoubted propensity for the subject demands that he should apply there (or to any other top institution, for English). I would be shocked if, were he to apply, he was denied a place following an interview.

    My basic point therefore, is that if somebody has ability and is willing to back themselves - they should really look to apply. Although they must be mindful of the fact that it is a competitive course. For sure, the views expressed about admissions tutors may appear to be a tad cynical. But having 2046 applications land on your desk for 145 places is no laughing matter. Of course, admissions tutors will try to adopt a case sensitive approach. However, there is only so much that you can ascertain from simply looking at personal statements and references - which will be similar - grades are likely to come into the equation. Though there is no shame in applying with AAB whatsoever.

    Of course admissions tutors are looking for the strongest candidates, but the fact is that once they have filtered out the obvious dross and people who have obvious flaws (i.e. people who have much lower grades compared to the competition e.g. BBC, an ambiguous/misguided PS and/or a reticent teacher reference) there is still very little to chose between candidates. You are right - the universities want the best people, they do not want to resort to paying too much attention to the predicted A2 grades. However sometimes they have little choice in the matter.

    My final point is that the person in question should look at themselves, outside of the context of predicted grades and outside the context of statistics (i.e. applicants per place, the rhetoric that I and others spout :rolleyes: ). They need to appraise their ability, matched with their desire to pursue the subject. Should they decide that they are up to the task, they must commit wholly and totally ignore statistics/what people say etc. etc. but similarly, they must recognise how competitive the course is and ensure that they get the best grades that they can - although if this doesn't happen, it does not mean that an application is doomed.

    It is a competitive game, but you *must* have confidence in your own abilities. It is not for people on this thread to make decisions for others about their application suitability - only one person can do that. They must set their heart on a goal, and do all they can to meet whatever other criteria is thrown up. Should they fall short - then that is not the end of the world whatsoever.

    Read the Heap book though people - it looks really useful!
    I completely agree with almost all of what you have said in there. Out of interest I'm actually going to do a stat hunt tommorow (break from coding ) to try and identify the kinds of numbers were actually dealing with. I hope that serendipity can see the obvious distinction between the balanced analysis that you have given and the randomly perverted cynical approah she adopted. At the end of the day it is a competative course but that does not mean that good applicants do not get places. AAA is in no way a prerequisite and I for one am thankful that it is not. The seemingly "knowledgable" rants of some fourm users based on limited experience should be put into context against the majority of quality applicants who secure places at great universities despite not having this AAA golden standrard that people seem to brandish all too willingly. Students with grades in the range AAA-BBB are still very much in the buyers market when it comes to university places and talented applicants should not be discouraged from applying to any top university. The admissions process is too intricate and complex to be glossed over with the "all none AAA students get rejected" brush and I have more faith in the admissions people than to suggest that they cannot select the best candidates.

    PS - I remember reading the 2004 edition of that book. I would recommend the series to anyone looking for a more frank and genuine assessement of the state of higher education.
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    (Original post by mobbdeeprob)
    I A lot!
    Some schools are all too willing to predict As.
    AS levels are the easy part, they form the main basis for a predicted A2 grade.
    Virtually everybody applying will have an amazing PS/Teacher reference!!!
    It's often the case that if students get a good B at AS, they will be predicted A at A-level, and honestly it dosen't take much to get a B at AS. And from the rumours I've heard (and read), certain university will only consider students predicted AAA, even if the standard offer is AAB/ABB.
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    (Original post by Leekey)
    I completely agree with almost all of what you have said in there. Out of interest I'm actually going to do a stat hunt tommorow (break from coding ) to try and identify the kinds of numbers were actually dealing with. I hope that serendipity can see the obvious distinction between the balanced analysis that you have given and the randomly perverted cynical approah she adopted. At the end of the day it is a competative course but that does not mean that good applicants do not get places. AAA is in no way a prerequisite and I for one am thankful that it is not. The seemingly "knowledgable" rants of some fourm users based on limited experience should be put into context against the majority of quality applicants who secure places at great universities despite not having this AAA golden standrard that people seem to brandish all too willingly. Students with grades in the range AAA-BBB are still very much in the buyers market when it comes to university places and talented applicants should not be discouraged from applying to any top university. The admissions process is too intricate and complex to be glossed over with the "all none AAA students get rejected" brush and I have more faith in the admissions people than to suggest that they cannot select the best candidates.

    PS - I remember reading the 2004 edition of that book. I would recommend the series to anyone looking for a more frank and genuine assessement of the state of higher education.
    Agreed.

    Although I would add that, in my opinion, admissions tutors are faced with a ridiculously hard job.They have to choose the best people, from an assortment which ranges from good to exceptional - and averages out around excellent. The more that I think about it, the more ridiculous Gordon Brown's interventions in the case of a certain Oxford reject seem.

    The lynchpin of the admissions system is a set of decidely dodgy exams (the new A-level) - which fail on two main counts:
    1. They do not filter out the very, very top people - too many applicants to the competitive courses get excellent grades (BBB and higher).
    2. A-levels are not a great predictor of who will make a success of university anyway.

    I would literally pull hairs out at having to sift through 1200 applications, many of which would be from evenly matched people. In the end, I would probably drink a lot more coffee than I should and resort to forging nefarious schemes in an attempt to whittle down numbers. 7 As, 2 Cs at GCSE = a good medic? I think not (it depends on more than GCSEs) - but, to make some headway through the mountain of applications, Birmingham Uni decided to eliminate every candidate for Medicine who failed to achieve these grades.

    Admissions tutors always have good intentions (i.e. admit the best), but their position is not an enviable one - they are compromised from day one.

    To get an offer on a competitive course is an achievement.
 
 
 
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