sample reference letterWatch
There is some info in here about the reference.
I think you'll find most people dont get to see their references or if they do just to see if any errors have been made. From what I gather they are generally two thirds of a page to a page (including mailing address, date and all that stuff at the top). Although i wouldnt be surprised if there are some which are much longer.
and does he need to include my predited grades IN the reference or just in the box for predicted grades? thanks
My ref mentioned info about the school (size, type, results) and then some fluff about me being really great , also gave a bit of info about my UMS marks, 'got above x/300 in all y subjects' or something like that, as my AS weren't cashed in so the uni didn't know my grades (that shouldn't matter this year as I think the uni's are given the module grades). They also said I was the most talented student to ever attend sixth form at the school, which sounds impressive but really isn't, and I'm sure anyone who read it took it with a pinch of salt.
As for how much it matters, very little. Nobody who applies is given a bad reference, and there isn't much you can distinguish between applicants. The most important thing IS THE INTERVIEW.
One point where the ref might actually help is if you go to a poor school, if your school gets really bad results and you are like the only person to achieve anything from that school, then there is probably a tendency for them to say 'Do we want the straight A guy who's done it all themselves through adversity, or do we want the straight A guy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth'
It's tough but that's the reality.