Another gap-year after a disastrous UCAS application?

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username4437310
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Last edited by username4437310; 11 months ago
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username4219164
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There is nothing wrong with taking another year out to chase your dream universities. I know loads of people who have done so, especially for more competitive courses such as Medicine, and for competitive universities such as in your case
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cheesecakelove
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(Original post by Talbot!)
I resented my first UCAS application to university deeply. My school took an extremely stingy stance and one of my tutors refused to predict me an A, despite having solid proof that I was capable of such a grade. This left me with a miserable set of predictions (two As, one B) that prevented me from applying to study my subject, History, at any of the universities I saw as desirable. Instead, I had to compromise for a course that bored me at a university which I was indifferent to.

So, it was with great zest that I withdrew that application last summer having achieved three A-stars at A-Level. Good riddance – I shall never regret doing so. However, this, inadvertently, meant taking a year-out, something which I had not planned for. Though I could forget about that while I thrilled at finally being able to apply to study History at universities which excited me; Oxford, Durham, and St Andrews. The other two, Bristol and Warwick, were merely slot-fillers. I was fairly certain that Oxford was a lost cause after the interviews, yet the rejection itself was still, somehow, wounding. At this stage, I was not too concerned. I had perfect grades and two more universities yet to make decisions, I did not doubt that when they did, I would have two offers to choose from. However, then came a surprise rejection from St Andrews with no stated reason behind it. Shortly thereafter, another rejection from Durham, which particularly aroused my dismay. So now all three of my choices are off the table, and my options have dwindled to Bristol or Warwick, neither of which offer courses that I find attractive, in fact, quite the opposite.

I really cannot explain this in terms other than just bad luck. In retrospect, I should have considered other universities for those last two choices, though I struggled to find any outside of London (somewhere I’d very much like to leave) that appealed to me and, understandably I think, never conceived that I would need to. There is an element to this story which is probably the explanation to my failure; my personal statement was geared for History and Politics at Oxford, while I applied for just History at St Andrews and Durham – a risky move, I admit. Though, why should this have been a problem? The statement had nothing in it that was not, strictly speaking, history. Indeed, the History courses at those two universities contain large amounts of political history within them. So, any intelligent reading of my statement should not have disbarred me from a History course.

Anyway, I digress. Essentially my dilemma now is that, while I could choose between the two universities which have very kindly given me offers, I do not want to do what is expedient at the expense of what is right. If I do choose either of them, I know I will come to regret doing so and I cannot imagine myself truly succeeding at either one. Choosing a university is one of the most important things I will ever do and I do not want to be too hasty. So, the logical solution is to take another year-out, and make a new application this summer, and hope that this time I don’t transition from the sublime to the ridiculous quite so totally. Can anyone offer advice? I have friends at Bristol and, socially, it would be good for me to go, but as I have explained, the course is not right. In my current year-out so far, I have not done much, only a bit of work here and there. I would need to make some serious plans to go abroad and do proper gap-year stuff to ensure my social life does not atrophy. Another year out seems a very lonely prospect, and just a bit bizarre also – I mean, who really takes two years out? I’ll be twenty, nearer twenty-one, by the time I arrive next year.

Are my concerns about two years-out illusory? Has anyone done such a thing?
There is nothing wrong with taking a two year gap year. However, what happens if you do take a second gap year to get into a university you have your heart set on, and then you don't get accepted again?
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swanseajack1
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Have you thought about rejecting these offers and applying through extra for another university. Oxford and Durham in particular are very competitive for History. Bristol and Warwick are great universities. Exeter is also good for History. If you would be interested ring there to see whether they have any availability. I suspect if there is availability they would accept you.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Talbot!)
I resented my first UCAS application to university deeply. My school took an extremely stingy stance and one of my tutors refused to predict me an A, despite having solid proof that I was capable of such a grade. This left me with a miserable set of predictions (two As, one B) that prevented me from applying to study my subject, History, at any of the universities I saw as desirable. Instead, I had to compromise for a course that bored me at a university which I was indifferent to.

So, it was with great zest that I withdrew that application last summer having achieved three A-stars at A-Level. Good riddance – I shall never regret doing so. However, this, inadvertently, meant taking a year-out, something which I had not planned for. Though I could forget about that while I thrilled at finally being able to apply to study History at universities which excited me; Oxford, Durham, and St Andrews. The other two, Bristol and Warwick, were merely slot-fillers. I was fairly certain that Oxford was a lost cause after the interviews, yet the rejection itself was still, somehow, wounding. At this stage, I was not too concerned. I had perfect grades and two more universities yet to make decisions, I did not doubt that when they did, I would have two offers to choose from. However, then came a surprise rejection from St Andrews with no stated reason behind it. Shortly thereafter, another rejection from Durham, which particularly aroused my dismay. So now all three of my choices are off the table, and my options have dwindled to Bristol or Warwick, neither of which offer courses that I find attractive, in fact, quite the opposite.

I really cannot explain this in terms other than just bad luck. In retrospect, I should have considered other universities for those last two choices, though I struggled to find any outside of London (somewhere I’d very much like to leave) that appealed to me and, understandably I think, never conceived that I would need to. There is an element to this story which is probably the explanation to my failure; my personal statement was geared for History and Politics at Oxford, while I applied for just History at St Andrews and Durham – a risky move, I admit. Though, why should this have been a problem? The statement had nothing in it that was not, strictly speaking, history. Indeed, the History courses at those two universities contain large amounts of political history within them. So, any intelligent reading of my statement should not have disbarred me from a History course.

Anyway, I digress. Essentially my dilemma now is that, while I could choose between the two universities which have very kindly given me offers, I do not want to do what is expedient at the expense of what is right. If I do choose either of them, I know I will come to regret doing so and I cannot imagine myself truly succeeding at either one. Choosing a university is one of the most important things I will ever do and I do not want to be too hasty. So, the logical solution is to take another year-out, and make a new application this summer, and hope that this time I don’t transition from the sublime to the ridiculous quite so totally. Can anyone offer advice? I have friends at Bristol and, socially, it would be good for me to go, but as I have explained, the course is not right. In my current year-out so far, I have not done much, only a bit of work here and there. I would need to make some serious plans to go abroad and do proper gap-year stuff to ensure my social life does not atrophy. Another year out seems a very lonely prospect, and just a bit bizarre also – I mean, who really takes two years out? I’ll be twenty, nearer twenty-one, by the time I arrive next year.

Are my concerns about two years-out illusory? Has anyone done such a thing?
Lots of people will have taken 2 or more years out for one reason or another, but it seems a little pointless in your case, since Bristol and Warwick are great unis. If the courses at those unis truly aren't right for you, I would reseach other Unis that also have good reputations for History - such as Exeter ( as swansea jack1 suggested) Nottingham or York as it may be that they would still accept you in this UCAS cycle through Extra.

However, if you really can't stop obsessing over the more prestigious uni that you "should" have got into, I don't see that you have any choice but to take another year out and target your next application directly at the straight History courses at Durham and St Andrews. Since your A level grades are so good, I agree that it was probably your Personal Statement that was responsible for your rejections, and unis such as those 2 can afford to be extremely fussy about every aspect of the application being convincing.
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Molseh
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I think the most important thing to do is get advice from the places you actually want to go to as to why they rejected you, and how you can increase your chances if you decide to re-apply.

What did you do in your gap year to add to your personal profile because it clearly isn't your grades that are the problem? Just doing a couple of jobs here and there isn't ideal.
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swanseajack1
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Lancaster is another university with a very good reputation for History. It is similar to Durham and St Andrews in that it is a small city.
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ageshallnot
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If your PS was written in the same style as your post that might also have contributed to your rather unlikely rejections.
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1Person
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TLDR:
OP defines AAB to be a 'miserable set of predictions' and then AAA to be 'perfect grades'.
OP screwed up his/her interview and still ended up being hurt about the rejection from Oxford.
OP says his/her rejection was only due to 'bad luck' and then admits that his/her PS was most likely to be the cause.
OP doesn't like London (so we can't be friends OP :bawling:)
OP criticizes the admission officers reading his/her PS explaining that 'any intelligent reading' should have liked it.
OP is full of him/herself and thus doesn't consider Bristol and Warwick to measure up to his/her high standards.
OP speaks really formal while posting on a forum where users make threads about penis size on a daily basis.
OP should have a reality check.
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