Should universities ditch the predicted grade system?

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Poll: Should predicted grades be removed from the uni application process
Yes (692)
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She-Ra
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-44525719

Based on how your exams have gone this summer how are you feeling about hitting your uni offer? Are you worried?

Last year we saw students still being accepted by their firm - even if they had missed their offer by one or two grades. Despite this though, it can feel massively stressful

Did you/ have you ever considered asking your teacher to inflate your grades (predict higher) to help you get an offer from your dream uni?

Here's what's being discussed in the news today:

The UCU (university and college union) also cites research from 2016 suggesting as few as 16% of predictions for three A-levels or equivalent had proved accurate.

Ucas, which operates the admissions system, says the most recent figures suggest predicted grades are usually higher than the actual results - with 73% of applicants performing less well than forecast by their teachers.
Head teachers have backed calls for a change, saying the current approach is "no longer fit for purpose".
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Pearlfection1
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Yes they should. It is really stressful to hit university offers and worrying. I doubt again this year universities will be accepting firm choices who don't hit the grade as we should have been prepared. It is something on TSR that should be brought to attention!
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jmfllws0010
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I think its an inaccurate way of measuring suitability for a course. I think the personal statement alone should demonstrate passion and drive and that should be more than enough to allow someone to be considered for the course. Many people get low predicted grades but then far surpass them and may have to go through adjustment to get into the Uni they originally wanted to go to (if they were declined for low predicted grades). For me, as long as someone is passionate and willing to put in the work, this is should be the main point of assessment for providing offers. Offers should be given as conditionals on the results but people should not be judged on suitability based on their predicted grades.
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She-Ra
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(Original post by Pearlfection1)
Yes they should. It is really stressful to hit university offers and worrying. I doubt again this year universities will be accepting firm choices who don't hit the grade as we should have been prepared. It is something on TSR that should be brought to attention!
There have been so many questions on predicted grades in the last few days as Y12 students receive their predicted grades. It can really impact your confidence, especially if your grades are lower than expecting and lower than the unis you want to apply for

Have you applied to uni this year?

(Original post by jmfllws0010)
I think its an inaccurate way of measuring suitability for a course. I think the personal statement alone should demonstrate passion and drive and that should be more than enough to allow someone to be considered for the course. Many people get low predicted grades but then far surpass them and may have to go through adjustment to get into the Uni they originally wanted to go to (if they were declined for low predicted grades). For me, as long as someone is passionate and willing to put in the work, this is should be the main point of assessment for providing offers. Offers should be given as conditionals on the results but people should not be judged on suitability based on their predicted grades.
I think the personal statement is really important alongside the teacher reference. Agree with a lot of what you said.

Ultimately, transparency about the actual grade profile that is required for entry and success on the degree programme is really important. To many unis use it now as a marketing tool, "high tariff - selective uni = more prestigious". A lot of universities for non-entry test courses now accept students on courses even if they have missed one grade, or even two.

Similarly we saw students adjusting through clearing last year because they a) did better than predicted grades b) saw through the clearing listings that with their confirmed grades could go to a higher tariff university than their firm and played the game.

It's a bit of a mess.....
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Pearlfection1
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(Original post by She-Ra)
I think the personal statement is really important alongside the teacher reference. Agree with a lot of what you said.

Ultimately, transparency about the actual grade profile that is required for entry and success on the degree programme is really important. To many unis use it now as a marketing tool, "high tariff - selective uni = more prestigious". A lot of universities for non-entry test courses now accept students on courses even if they have missed one grade, or even two.

Similarly we saw students adjusting through clearing last year because they a) did better than predicted grades b) saw through the clearing listings that with their confirmed grades could go to a higher tariff university than their firm and played the game.

It's a bit of a mess.....
I'm an university student. No, I didn't apply this year.
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She-Ra
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(Original post by Pearlfection1)
I'm an university student. No, I didn't apply this year.
Thanks for confirming On reflection do you feel any aspect of your application or university choices were affected by predicted grades?
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Pearlfection1
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Yes I would have applied to different universities had I known my grades. I would have even done a different subject but as I applied and had an unconditional offer I decided to firm this, when I rang the university for the other potential course via adjustments they said they had no place.
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She-Ra
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(Original post by Pearlfection1)
Yes I would have applied to different universities had I known my grades. I would have even done a different subject but as I applied and had an unconditional offer I decided to firm this, when I rang the university for the other potential course via adjustments they said they had no place.
Oh gosh. Are you enjoying your course now though? When you received the unconditional offer did you feel the pressure to accept 'just in case'? Sorry, so many questions. Do you mind me asking what course you are doing and what you had chosen if knew you'd get the grades?
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Pearlfection1
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(Original post by She-Ra)
Oh gosh. Are you enjoying your course now though? When you received the unconditional offer did you feel the pressure to accept 'just in case'? Sorry, so many questions. Do you mind me asking what course you are doing and what you had chosen if knew you'd get the grades?

I am okay with it now. Having to study hard and do well! But that's with any degree! 😏
Yes, exactly!
I'm doing psychology and I would have chosen social sciences but I feared not getting the grades. Hence I decided I would go into something with lower entry requirements.

Its fine idm the questions.
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random_matt
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It's a no brainer, stupid to offer a place on hypothetical grades. Get the grades first, then get an offer.
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xEmilyxx
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Yes I believe another measure should be put in place. As someone who has just finished A2, I was originally predicted BBB which was fine, but my desired university asked for ABB which I thought was achievable for myself. Thing is, I was predicted a B and not a A because at the time the practise essay I produced was a B grade. How my predicted grade could be made from one essay I'll never know. The stress of encouraging her to change it wasn't even worth it at the time. So yes, predicted grades should be dropped.
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SarcAndSpark
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I think we need to move to a post results application system. If Unis started their courses in January, this would definitely be workable. People would need to apply to less places (maybe allow 3 choices per student?) as they wouldn't need an insurance and would have a good idea of where to pitch themselves- so processing could be a bit quicker. This would still allow plenty of time for interviews for courses that want them.

Having six months between the end of A-levels and the beginning of uni would give people a chance to do something positive as well- e.g. a job, an internship, traveling, something like NCS.

It would also be easier to sort out accommodation etc if you definitely knew where you were going a few months in advance.

In the current system with most students now not sitting proper AS exams, I think it's hard for everyone. Some students will miss out. Some will overachieve, many will have lots of stress between exams and results day. It's also pretty hard for unis- I'm sure the current system isn't working ideally for them, and there's a lot of chopping and changing on results day now.

However, A-level study is different to GCSEs, so unis do need some indication of how a student might perform at A-level. Personally, when everyone was declaring their AS grades, I think this was a much more workable system. It forced people to be a bit realistic with their choices and unis could see if a school had massively inflated their predictions.
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morc13
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In my country of birth Year 13 is not graded. You fully study all your subjects for the last year but it doesn't count at all for university. Only Year 12 does.

I guess with the new A-levels they could add an additional year 14.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by jmfllws0010)
I think its an inaccurate way of measuring suitability for a course. I think the personal statement alone should demonstrate passion and drive and that should be more than enough to allow someone to be considered for the course. Many people get low predicted grades but then far surpass them and may have to go through adjustment to get into the Uni they originally wanted to go to (if they were declined for low predicted grades). For me, as long as someone is passionate and willing to put in the work, this is should be the main point of assessment for providing offers. Offers should be given as conditionals on the results but people should not be judged on suitability based on their predicted grades.
I do agree that predicted grades are a bad way of judging suitability, but I don't think a PS/reference is enough either.

You can have all the passion and drive in the world, but still not be academically suitable for the course. There's a huge gap in many subjects between students getting C grades at A-level and those getting A/A*. A C grade student may still have a great passion for a subject, and they may be able to write a good PS. However, when they get to uni and the course is pitched at an A grade level, they will probably end up struggling and potentially failing.

Alternatively, if everything is pitched at a lower level, those who got the top grades at A-level may end up wasting almost a year waiting for everyone else to catch up.

If you're saying you'd still have entry requirements, but no predicted grades, I think this will unfortunately just lead to more stress/difficulty on results day. Everyone sort of believes they can get good grades and if there's no restriction on apply to top unis, surely more people will apply and get offers they sadly have no hope of achieving.
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jmfllws0010
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
I do agree that predicted grades are a bad way of judging suitability, but I don't think a PS/reference is enough either.

You can have all the passion and drive in the world, but still not be academically suitable for the course. There's a huge gap in many subjects between students getting C grades at A-level and those getting A/A*. A C grade student may still have a great passion for a subject, and they may be able to write a good PS. However, when they get to uni and the course is pitched at an A grade level, they will probably end up struggling and potentially failing.

Alternatively, if everything is pitched at a lower level, those who got the top grades at A-level may end up wasting almost a year waiting for everyone else to catch up.

If you're saying you'd still have entry requirements, but no predicted grades, I think this will unfortunately just lead to more stress/difficulty on results day. Everyone sort of believes they can get good grades and if there's no restriction on apply to top unis, surely more people will apply and get offers they sadly have no hope of achieving.
(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
I do agree that predicted grades are a bad way of judging suitability, but I don't think a PS/reference is enough either.

You can have all the passion and drive in the world, but still not be academically suitable for the course. There's a huge gap in many subjects between students getting C grades at A-level and those getting A/A*. A C grade student may still have a great passion for a subject, and they may be able to write a good PS. However, when they get to uni and the course is pitched at an A grade level, they will probably end up struggling and potentially failing.

Alternatively, if everything is pitched at a lower level, those who got the top grades at A-level may end up wasting almost a year waiting for everyone else to catch up.

If you're saying you'd still have entry requirements, but no predicted grades, I think this will unfortunately just lead to more stress/difficulty on results day. Everyone sort of believes they can get good grades and if there's no restriction on apply to top unis, surely more people will apply and get offers they sadly have no hope of achieving.
Yeah I understand completely. I think that its a hard question to answer because there are obviously reasons why the system is the way it is and through debate you can actually come to this realisation and thats probably why it's never changed but I still think that something has to change with predicted grades because a year can change a lot so your achievement in year 12 has minimal relation to progress into year 13 because some people massively progress while some drop because they thought they were good enough and so its definitely a system with flaws but I think that either way, the system will have flaws so its not really something we can avoid and either way people will struggle.
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Realitysreflexx
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Its supposed to be a pressure situation, its your first adult pressure...i think the system is really fair and makes you acutely aware of the significance of where you are going in life. Guys stop being snowflakes, further there are also positive elements, like me i talked my way into higher predictions and achieved exactly what i needed. Waiting on exam results would mean mad dashes for clearing, hell the whole thing would just be a clearing excercise.
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PQ
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Any university making admissions decisions based on predicted grades is violating the principles of fair admissions. They're barely used (and where they are used it's poor practice).

Scrap the requirement for predicted grades.
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Puddles the Monkey
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
IWaiting on exam results would mean mad dashes for clearing, hell the whole thing would just be a clearing excercise.
If everyone had their results before applying there wouldn't be Clearing :holmes:
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Trinculo
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I would bring in a system with A-levels being shorter - lasting only 4 terms with exams in Feb or Y13. Exams are marked earlier and offers made on the basis of known results.
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CoolCavy
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Well what else are they meant to go on what with AS being scrapped
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