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    What is the secret to getting an offer much lower than that of the 'typical offer' (the typical/usual offer advertised in the prospectus/on UCAS)?

    Having looked at 'offers/rejections' threads on TSR, I notice how some people get offers which are up to 2 grades, or even 3 grades lower than the typical offer (e.g. typical offer AAB going down to BBB/BBC for some applicants), whereas some can be a grade or two higher.

    I'm just wondering, to those who have been in this situation what is your secret?

    What kind of things does an applicant need to do to recieve an offer substantially lower than the 'typical offer'?

    Hope you can help! Thanks!
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    More often than not, there is no 'secret' as in there is nothing you the applicant can do to help such a situation, apart from a solid personal statement. The course you are applying for needs to be uncompetitive in order for you to be accepted with lower than typical offer grades. So courses such as Law, Medicine and Economics would be highly competitive at top 15 universities.

    Another example of how this happens is if a small number of applicants achieve the typical offer grades, for example CASS Business School have high typical offers e.g. AciSci AAA. However the majority of candidates capable of obtaining AAA would not apply to CASS. Therefore it is likely the grade requirements will be lowered.
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    Sometimes your personal statement might make an admissions tutor laugh, or think straight away that you're someone they'd like to see on their course so they give you a lower offer, if you've had an interview they might lower your offer. If you have fantastic GCSEs and a great reference and apply before 15th October you might get a low offer if they think you're applying to Oxbridge so they can be your insurance. Or there might not be much demand that year for the course.
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    There isn't much you can do - it's pretty much luck of the draw. Write a really good Personal Statement and it will help, but it's basically down to an admissions tutor deciding "I want that person". I know that when my Mum applied to Nottingham in the 60s, they offered her EE. But in those days, you just had to seduce the admissions tutor or slip them a bottle of whiskey. If they like you, they might make it easy, but who can know exactly how the minds of these curious creatures work?
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    (Original post by NW8_SW1_EC3)
    Another example of how this happens is if a small number of applicants achieve the typical offer grades, for example CASS Business School have high typical offers e.g. AciSci AAA. However the majority of candidates capable of obtaining AAA would not apply to CASS. Therefore it is likely the grade requirements will be lowered.
    So you're saying in the case of the CASS Business School, the 'typical offer' is actually higher than they would expect most people who apply there to be predicted or to get? Why would they do that? Doesn't it put people off applying? I'm sure this happens in other universities as well - where they cannot get enough people with the 'typical offer' grades to apply.
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    My friend who applied as a mature (aged 21) to Imperial and Manchester medical schools got a pretty ridiculously low offer, he thought they were kidding and had to call them to reconfirm

    I applied to Edinburgh and some other unis for 2007 entry before deciding UCL was my first choice, some of the offers I got made me doubt the unis even though they were strong establishments

    I know a few over 21's who have had some ridiculous offers but then again they tend to have work experience in some top organisations and their personal statements are top notch

    I think for someone straight out of sixth form, your personal statement is your strongest selling point... you have to show a great interest in your proposed subject of study
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    (Original post by Rokit)
    My friend who applied as a mature (aged 21) to Imperial and Manchester medical schools got a pretty ridiculously low offer, he thought they were kidding and had to call them to reconfirm

    I applied to Edinburgh and some other unis for 2007 entry before deciding UCL was my first choice, some of the offers I got made me doubt the unis even though they were strong establishments

    I know a few over 21's who have had some ridiculous offers but then again they tend to have work experience in some top organisations and their personal statements are top notch

    I think for someone straight out of sixth form, your personal statement is your strongest selling point... you have to show a great interest in your proposed subject of study
    Hmm... I will actually be over 21 when I start the university course. However, I don't think being over 21 is an advantage or disadvantage by itself, unless you have done some relevant work experience or can show evidence of maturity/motivation that might be expected to be more present in a 21+ person?

    It's hard to get relevant experience for many degree courses, and I don't have any.

    I've worked hard on my PS and it should be well above average, if I do say so myself.
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    As people have said, there's not a great deal you can do about it. It all depends on the number of applications, your predicted grades and how badly they want you on their course.

    When I applied I got an offer that was quite low for the course (I was offered BBB, the typical was AAA - AAB or something). The course was fairly undersubscribed though, and I think I impressed them a bit with my PS and interview. After they decided they wanted me, they looked at my predicted grades and offered something they thought I'd be able to get.

    Having said that, grades do come into it all as well. A friend of mine was offered the same for the same course but ended up with CCD and they rejected him on results day.
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    A good personal statement always helps.
    But it depends how competitive it is for places on the course, how many people apply to the course etc.
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    I can't speak from experience since all the offers I received matched the typical offer given in the prospectus, but I'd imagine reasons for an applicant being given a lower offer than normal include:

    -Achieved (GCSEs and AS levels) and predicted (A levels) grades. EITHER the applicant has stunning grades and the admissions tutor has no reason to question their ability, so they give them a lower offer to make them more likely to choose that uni and take the pressure off, OR the applicant's grades are a bit below par, but the admissions tutor still wants them for reason, so they give them a lower offer because they're more likely to achieve it.
    -A very impressive personal statement and/or reference.
    -Very impressive work experience and/or extra-curriculars.
    -A very impressive interview.
    -The applicant has applied to Oxbridge (or the admissions tutor assumes they have based on when they applied and their grades, since they don't actually know) so the admissions tutor gives them a special lower offer to make them more likely to choose that uni as insurance.
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    (Original post by Agamemnon)
    So you're saying in the case of the CASS Business School, the 'typical offer' is actually higher than they would expect most people who apply there to be predicted or to get? Why would they do that? Doesn't it put people off applying? I'm sure this happens in other universities as well - where they cannot get enough people with the 'typical offer' grades to apply.
    Well in this case, the course is demanding hence the high grade requirements, however the university (City University) is not considered prestigious
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    (Original post by NW8_SW1_EC3)
    Well in this case, the course is demanding hence the high grade requirements, however the university (City University) is not considered prestigious
    Why have you got a St Johns Wood postcode as a username? Do you live there?
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    (Original post by Rokit)
    Why have you got a St Johns Wood postcode as a username? Do you live there?
    My username is the start of 3 postcodes of where I live, NW8 - St John's Wood being one of them yes.
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    universities dont really like being an insurance kellywood_5. they aim to take potentially top notch students to their organisation.

    And i dont always believe that personal statement are the way to get a low offer. my friend got unconditional offer from sheffield coz of the fact that he got 3 A's in AS level... and he told me he didnt really think he has put anything good on his personal statement (considering english is not his 1st language, he doesnt do it, and he's just been here for 2 1/2 years). your grades at AS is one of the biggest reference that makes your offer, and your teacher's reference. People would rather take words from people pointing at you, rather than you pointing at yourself.
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    That's probably true as well, but I got **** AS grades and my teacher reference was nothing special so...
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    (Original post by iCeCream)
    universities dont really like being an insurance kellywood_5. they aim to take potentially top notch students to their organisation.

    And i dont always believe that personal statement are the way to get a low offer. my friend got unconditional offer from sheffield coz of the fact that he got 3 A's in AS level... and he told me he didnt really think he has put anything good on his personal statement (considering english is not his 1st language, he doesnt do it, and he's just been here for 2 1/2 years). your grades at AS is one of the biggest reference that makes your offer, and your teacher's reference. People would rather take words from people pointing at you, rather than you pointing at yourself.
    It all depends on the uni really. Top unis like Durham, LSE, Imperial, UCL, Bristol and so on don't like being an insurance, but for unis like Kent that can't realistically expect to attract Oxbridge standard students, having one put them as insurance is a big thing because they may actually end up going there if they don't get AAA or whatever they need. Similarly, straight As at AS would impress lesser unis (although I'm surprised it would really impress a redbrick like Sheffield that much) but not top unis where the majority of applicants got those grades.
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    My offer was BBCc when the typical offer is ABB. I think the main reason why I got such a low offer compared to their typical offer was because I had a very good personal statement and also a very good portfolio (I applied for architecture btw). This is probably down to universities wanting students with a range skills, so not just academic skills - but creativity also.
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    I got an ABB offer when the typical offer was AAB at bristol (i know a few people from the same open day who got an AAB offer), but to be honest about a third of us got the lower than standard offer so they must have just chosen a third of us for some reason, probably grades/personal statement.
 
 
 

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