Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 3 months ago
#1
I’m currently on a Gap year and feeling left behind. Sorry in advance about the lengthy message.

Anyways, my school at AS messed up and I ended up with no teachers for the whole year (except for Physics where my teacher left, I wasn’t taught for 3 months, but then we had a TA teach us instead; she wasn’t very good though). Most people ended up dropping Physics.

For one of the other subjects, my teacher left us near the start of the year and came in purely so he could collect his pay check. He claimed he was stressed out from having a baby. When he did teach, he came in on days where ALevel students didn’t have lessons. The only time he taught us was after the exam (when Yr. 12’s come back in for Yr. 13 preparation).

I complained to the headmaster that I had learnt nothing and was able to change all of my subjects to take them in a year. In the process I ended up being too ambitious and doing some extra ALevels as a private candidate to boost my chances to get in to uni. I ended up with 5A’s and a C (which I’m planning on resitting as I ended up with an A in one module and a U in the other which pulled me down significantly). My sibling also went to prison during that time so didn’t have a great time in ALevel.

My concerns are that I’m trying to apply for a competitive course (i.e. A*AA), but feel that my subject choice is too ‘easy’ due to limited options for doing ALevels in one year. I was also predicted one A and a B last year (nothing else as they had no data). I secured a degree through UCAS extra (which I didn’t want to do, but my head of year really wanted me to do that subject). When I told them I was going on a Gap year they weren’t happy at all and wouldn’t support my new application. Hence, I’ve applied to a new college so hopefully they can write my reference.

This year, I’ve decided to sit two extra ALevels which I’m actually interested in (English and Sociology) which are somewhat desirable for my degree choice. Despite this, even if it’s not Oxbridge, I feel that people that apply for the course I want to apply for have perfect A*’s at GCSE and 4A* predictions in very difficult subjects. I can’t help but feeling like I’m not gonna get in because of the comparison. I don’t know if it’s TSR, studytube or just the people around me have insane grades which initimidates me from applying; my friend applied for an AAB(!) course and had A*A*A and 24 GCSEs (mostly A*/As, Some Bs and 1 D).

Short version: I’m applying for Law and have taken weak subjects. I did okay, but not great in comparison to the predicted/GCSE grades of people that will be applying. I keep seeing comments where people got 5A*’s etc... I don’t know if my ALevels this year will count???
1
reply
JosephTheLawyer
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#2
Report 3 months ago
#2
Hey. It sounds like you've had a pretty rough ride. Regardless, coming out with 5 As and a C at a-level is still a great achievement and you should be proud. I think the most important thing to note is that more a-levels isn't always better. Your current a-levels will count towards your application even if you take more, and in theory you can take as many as you like. Having your current a-levels in your UCAS application actually makes you a stronger applicant because you have already sat some exams and demonstrated an academic ability.

As for applying for an A*AA course, you can apply for any course you like. Some top Russell Group universities don't just look at whether you achieve A*AA, some instead look at the UCAS Tariff as each result is worth a certain amount of points. I'm more interested in where you say 'weak' subjects; what subjects did you acheive your 5 As and a C in? As for your friend applying for an AAB course the entry requirements don't necessarily dictate the rigour of the course or the ranking of the University. What IS important to note though is that you have 5 choices to choose in your UCAS application. It's good to have a spread of different entry requirements so you don't sell yourself short. Just ensure all the universities you choose are ones you would be happy to go to.

A good spread with your results and continued may look like this:
1. Oxford/Cambridge
2. A*AA
3. AAA/AAB
4. ABB
5. BBB/BBC

Don't be intimidated by other applicants. Universities look at much more than just your a-levels and your GCSEs, because they want a complete person to study with them. What else have you done outside of your studies which would support your application, and what can you do further? Volunteering work, work experience, et cetera.
1
reply
claireestelle
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#3
Report 3 months ago
#3
(Original post by Anonymous)
I’m currently on a Gap year and feeling left behind. Sorry in advance about the lengthy message.

Anyways, my school at AS messed up and I ended up with no teachers for the whole year (except for Physics where my teacher left, I wasn’t taught for 3 months, but then we had a TA teach us instead; she wasn’t very good though). Most people ended up dropping Physics.

For one of the other subjects, my teacher left us near the start of the year and came in purely so he could collect his pay check. He claimed he was stressed out from having a baby. When he did teach, he came in on days where ALevel students didn’t have lessons. The only time he taught us was after the exam (when Yr. 12’s come back in for Yr. 13 preparation).

I complained to the headmaster that I had learnt nothing and was able to change all of my subjects to take them in a year. In the process I ended up being too ambitious and doing some extra ALevels as a private candidate to boost my chances to get in to uni. I ended up with 5A’s and a C (which I’m planning on resitting as I ended up with an A in one module and a U in the other which pulled me down significantly). My sibling also went to prison during that time so didn’t have a great time in ALevel.

My concerns are that I’m trying to apply for a competitive course (i.e. A*AA), but feel that my subject choice is too ‘easy’ due to limited options for doing ALevels in one year. I was also predicted one A and a B last year (nothing else as they had no data). I secured a degree through UCAS extra (which I didn’t want to do, but my head of year really wanted me to do that subject). When I told them I was going on a Gap year they weren’t happy at all and wouldn’t support my new application. Hence, I’ve applied to a new college so hopefully they can write my reference.

This year, I’ve decided to sit two extra ALevels which I’m actually interested in (English and Sociology) which are somewhat desirable for my degree choice. Despite this, even if it’s not Oxbridge, I feel that people that apply for the course I want to apply for have perfect A*’s at GCSE and 4A* predictions in very difficult subjects. I can’t help but feeling like I’m not gonna get in because of the comparison. I don’t know if it’s TSR, studytube or just the people around me have insane grades which initimidates me from applying; my friend applied for an AAB(!) course and had A*A*A and 24 GCSEs (mostly A*/As, Some Bs and 1 D).

Short version: I’m applying for Law and have taken weak subjects. I did okay, but not great in comparison to the predicted/GCSE grades of people that will be applying. I keep seeing comments where people got 5A*’s etc... I don’t know if my ALevels this year will count???
Email universities that you re interested in and ask
1
reply
Anonymous #1
#4
Report Thread starter 3 months ago
#4
(Original post by JosephTheLawyer)
Hey. It sounds like you've had a pretty rough ride. Regardless, coming out with 5 As and a C at a-level is still a great achievement and you should be proud. I think the most important thing to note is that more a-levels isn't always better. Your current a-levels will count towards your application even if you take more, and in theory you can take as many as you like. Having your current a-levels in your UCAS application actually makes you a stronger applicant because you have already sat some exams and demonstrated an academic ability.

As for applying for an A*AA course, you can apply for any course you like. Some top Russell Group universities don't just look at whether you achieve A*AA, some instead look at the UCAS Tariff as each result is worth a certain amount of points. I'm more interested in where you say 'weak' subjects; what subjects did you acheive your 5 As and a C in? As for your friend applying for an AAB course the entry requirements don't necessarily dictate the rigour of the course or the ranking of the University. What IS important to note though is that you have 5 choices to choose in your UCAS application. It's good to have a spread of different entry requirements so you don't sell yourself short. Just ensure all the universities you choose are ones you would be happy to go to.

A good spread with your results and continued may look like this:
1. Oxford/Cambridge
2. A*AA
3. AAA/AAB
4. ABB
5. BBB/BBC

Don't be intimidated by other applicants. Universities look at much more than just your a-levels and your GCSEs, because they want a complete person to study with them. What else have you done outside of your studies which would support your application, and what can you do further? Volunteering work, work experience, et cetera.
Thanks for the advice. My biggest concern is that I’ve gotten some pretty bad grades at GCSE (along with some good ones). I was rejected from all (not 5) but 6 unis last year (because I quickly changed one when rejected) so I’m feeling pretty crap at the moment. Plus, I don’t know why it makes me feel sick when I think other people are moving on with their life and I’m stuck here... I know uni isn’t right for me at the moment, but I keep getting bombarded with uni emails.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#5
Report Thread starter 3 months ago
#5
(Original post by claireestelle)
Email universities that you re interested in and ask
I emailed a few, but they haven’t gotten back to me. I wonder if it’s because uni hasn’t started or if they’re ignoring my email. It’s been a while. Some said they’re okay with it, but I’m still waiting on the others. It’s gotten me so nervous I haven’t been able to sleep properly.
0
reply
JosephTheLawyer
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#6
Report 3 months ago
#6
(Original post by Anonymous)
It’s gotten me so nervous I haven’t been able to sleep properly.
I know it's hard but please try not to lose sleep over it. At the end of the day, EVERY university regardless of whether it's Russell Group or not is great in its own way. Take me for example: I was predicted A*A*A, and while I got rejected after interviews at Cambridge, I received offers from Warwick, Bristol and LSE. I missed my grades for all of them and came out with ACC and went through to South Bank. South Bank has one of the best graduate prospects for people studying Law out of the London unis. Your personal success is not defined by the merits of the university. At the end of the day, it is more important that you are studying somewhere that you feel comfortable, has a good atmosphere and that you fit in.
0
reply
harrysbar
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report 3 months ago
#7
Moved to the Law forum
0
reply
Notoriety
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#8
Report 3 months ago
#8
Stay on point: the courses you are applying to, your predicted grades and your subjects. Don't need to know about your teacher's cat dying a day before an exam. FOCUS.

(Original post by JosephTheLawyer)
South Bank has one of the best graduate prospects for people studying Law out of the London unis.
Yeah, LSBU has 87.9% of grads in grad prospects, Buckingham has 92.8% and Oxford 83.9% and Leeds 79.2%. JohanGRK and the other LSE grads sitting on a rather meagre 85.8%.
0
reply
harrysbar
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#9
Report 3 months ago
#9
Maybe I should have said, Welcome to the Law forum

I'm going to reply to you properly tomorrow OP, but can you just confirm that you have AAAAAC already (taken in one sitting) and are hoping to convert the C into an A and gain another two A levels during your gap year?

That's an unusually high number of A levels!
Last edited by harrysbar; 3 months ago
0
reply
Notoriety
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#10
Report 3 months ago
#10
(Original post by JosephTheLawyer)
A good spread with your results and continued may look like this:
1. Oxford/Cambridge
2. A*AA
3. AAA/AAB
4. ABB
5. BBB/BBC
Also this spread is ridiculous. More like 4x A*AA and 1 AAA.
1
reply
Scotney
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#11
Report 3 months ago
#11
(Original post by Notoriety)
Also this spread is ridiculous. More like 4x A*AA and 1 AAA.
Could not agree more! This but would temper it a touch A*AAx2 AAA x3
1
reply
silverebo
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#12
Report 3 months ago
#12
(Original post by harrysbar)
Maybe I should have said, Welcome to the Law forum

I'm going to reply to you properly tomorrow OP, but can you just confirm that you have AAAAAC already (taken in one sitting) and are hoping to convert the C into an A and gain another two A levels during your gap year?

That's an unusually high number of A levels!
Yes, I’m going to resit one unit of the C, but also one/two unit of the A’s as History I got high 90s (+ controlled assessment got 58/60) and then 60/100 in the other paper. For Psychology I got 100 on one paper then low 70 in the other.

It’s alright though, you don’t need to reply anymore / anyone else thinking of replying. I have the advice that I need now. Originally I had taken all sciences and maths so felt I wasn’t competitive enough as a guy I know (not in my class) got 4A*’s and another 5 (in those STEM subjects). They attended a different school though; that has 90+ % A*-A (consistently every year).
Last edited by silverebo; 3 months ago
1
reply
Notoriety
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#13
Report 3 months ago
#13
(Original post by Scotney)
Could not agree more! This but would temper it a touch A*AAx2 AAA x3
Path to mediocrity.

That would leave Oxbridge and then another A*AA. Really not enough to ensure you get an A*AA uni, assuming you are competitive for the A*AA unis.
Last edited by Notoriety; 3 months ago
0
reply
silverebo
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#14
Report 3 months ago
#14
(Original post by Notoriety)
Path to mediocrity.

That would leave Oxbridge and then another A*AA. Really not enough to ensure you get an A*AA uni, assuming you are competitive for the A*AA unis.
This is probably going to be the last time I reply to this thread as college starts tomorrow and it would be more productive if I focus on that and stop visiting TSR as it seems everyone has perfect grades.

Honestly, I don’t think I’m going to bother applying to Oxbridge as I doubt I’d get in seeing as they don’t particularly like people who retake no matter the circumstances. I will be just wasting another choice as I have pretty bad GCSEs (I.e. 2A*’s, 7A’s, 7Bs, 2Cs, 4Ds). In hindsight, I did inadvertently ruin the chances of that dream.
0
reply
Scotney
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#15
Report 3 months ago
#15
(Original post by Notoriety)
Path to mediocrity.

That would leave Oxbridge and then another A*AA. Really not enough to ensure you get an A*AA uni, assuming you are competitive for the A*AA unis.
Just looking at OP's own situation. But in general am a go hard or go home type. The josephthelawyer advice is why so many are devastated when faced with the reality of their insurance choice. Schools are still pushing the same rubbish advice they gave out when I was at school and knew no better.
0
reply
Notoriety
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#16
Report 3 months ago
#16
(Original post by Scotney)
Just looking at OP's own situation. But in general am a go hard or go home type. The josephthelawyer advice is why so many are devastated when faced with the reality of their insurance choice. Schools are still pushing the same rubbish advice they gave out when I was at school and knew no better.
When almost all the AAAs are in Clearing anyway and will certainly be in Extra, there is no point in my mind of filling your choices up with them. You want to have a go at the difficult ones where it's hardish to get an offer. If you stop at Oxbridge or even LSE and then KCL, you have quite a drop off to York or Leeds -- when Durham or Bristol might await. Which is what our LSBU mate would have us do. Heavens forbid Leeds doesn't give you an offer, lad would have us apply to UCLan as the next uni down.
2
reply
Scotney
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#17
Report 3 months ago
#17
(Original post by silverebo)
This is probably going to be the last time I reply to this thread as college starts tomorrow and it would be more productive if I focus on that and stop visiting TSR as it seems everyone has perfect grades.

Honestly, I don’t think I’m going to bother applying to Oxbridge as I doubt I’d get in seeing as they don’t particularly like people who retake no matter the circumstances. I will be just wasting another choice as I have pretty bad GCSEs (I.e. 2A*’s, 7A’s, 7Bs, 2Cs, 4Ds). In hindsight, I did inadvertently ruin the chances of that dream.
Well goodnight but those Gcse grades are nothing to be ashamed of and Oxbridge is just 2 unis. Plenty more great places out there. Plus most people on here are taking 3A levels four is frowned on and the people who are taking 5 are a rare breed. As for GCSE the average would be 10 or 11. At son's top grammar best was15 and they were an anomaly.
0
reply
J Papi
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#18
Report 3 months ago
#18
(Original post by JosephTheLawyer)
South Bank has one of the best graduate prospects for people studying Law out of the London unis.
I certainly hope that, with your reasoning skills, you declined all three of your offers

didn't read the rest of the thread, seems like Noto and the lads sorted it out
0
reply
harrysbar
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#19
Report 3 months ago
#19
(Original post by Anonymous)
I ended up with 5A’s and a C (which I’m planning on resitting as I ended up with an A in one module and a U in the other which pulled me down significantly).

My concerns are that I’m trying to apply for a competitive course (i.e. A*AA), but feel that my subject choice is too ‘easy’ due to limited options for doing ALevels in one year. I was also predicted one A and a B last year (nothing else as they had no data). I secured a degree through UCAS extra (which I didn’t want to do, but my head of year really wanted me to do that subject). When I told them I was going on a Gap year they weren’t happy at all and wouldn’t support my new application. Hence, I’ve applied to a new college so hopefully they can write my reference.

This year, I’ve decided to sit two extra ALevels which I’m actually interested in (English and Sociology) which are somewhat desirable for my degree choice. Despite this, even if it’s not Oxbridge, I feel that people that apply for the course I want to apply for have perfect A*’s at GCSE and 4A* predictions in very difficult subjects. I can’t help but feeling like I’m not gonna get in because of the comparison. I don’t know if it’s TSR, studytube or just the people around me have insane grades which initimidates me from applying; my friend applied for an AAB(!) course and had A*A*A and 24 GCSEs (mostly A*/As, Some Bs and 1 D).

Short version: I’m applying for Law and have taken weak subjects. I did okay, but not great in comparison to the predicted/GCSE grades of people that will be applying. I keep seeing comments where people got 5A*’s etc... I don’t know if my ALevels this year will count???
Your academics are somewhat unusual for the UK since it is normal to only have 3 (or more rarely 4) A levels and about 10 GCSEs. Your friend who applied to an AAB course with A*A*A (24 GCSEs is just ridiculous) was severely underselling himself and could have got into a much better uni - don't make the same mistake.

You mustn't be intimidated by the people you know with "insane"grades - your GCSE and A level profile is definitely good enough to get offers from A*AA/AAA unis and you shouldn't consider going any lower than that. You also talk about having taken weak subjects but you don't need any particular subjects for Law. And by the way, you were right not to accept the degree course you got into via Extra - your head of year was overstepping the boundaries by pressurising you to go to a uni you weren't happy with.

Whether or not you apply to Oxbridge is a personal decision - I can't say whether you would or wouldn't be likely to get an offer (maybe BrasenoseAdm from Oxford uni could comment?). It's true that Oxbridge/UCL/LSE/Kings don't like retakes without extenuating circumstances but you are not a typical retake candidate. In all honesty, I don't even know if you will benefit from taking retakes since you already have 5 As taken at one sitting, so the offers you get are likely to be unconditional anyway.

I agree with what others have said about your best tactic being to apply to 5 unis asking for A*AA/AAA. I understand you don't want to debate this forever as you want to concentrate on your studies, but do ask if you have any further questions further down the line
1
reply
BrasenoseAdm
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#20
Report 2 months ago
#20
(Original post by harrysbar)
Your academics are somewhat unusual for the UK since it is normal to only have 3 (or more rarely 4) A levels and about 10 GCSEs. Your friend who applied to an AAB course with A*A*A (24 GCSEs is just ridiculous) was severely underselling himself and could have got into a much better uni - don't make the same mistake.

You mustn't be intimidated by the people you know with "insane"grades - your GCSE and A level profile is definitely good enough to get offers from A*AA/AAA unis and you shouldn't consider going any lower than that. You also talk about having taken weak subjects but you don't need any particular subjects for Law. And by the way, you were right not to accept the degree course you got into via Extra - your head of year was overstepping the boundaries by pressurising you to go to a uni you weren't happy with.

Whether or not you apply to Oxbridge is a personal decision - I can't say whether you would or wouldn't be likely to get an offer (maybe BrasenoseAdm from Oxford uni could comment?). It's true that Oxbridge/UCL/LSE/Kings don't like retakes without extenuating circumstances but you are not a typical retake candidate. In all honesty, I don't even know if you will benefit from taking retakes since you already have 5 As taken at one sitting, so the offers you get are likely to be unconditional anyway.

I agree with what others have said about your best tactic being to apply to 5 unis asking for A*AA/AAA. I understand you don't want to debate this forever as you want to concentrate on your studies, but do ask if you have any further questions further down the line
Thanks for the tag. We are not entirely sure what the prior attainment profile of Anonymous1# is. The entry requirement for Law at Oxford is AAA at A-level. If AAAAAC has been achieved, we can't see why this is an impediment to applying.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • De Montfort University
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Sat, 7 Dec '19
  • Buckinghamshire New University
    Undergraduate Undergraduate
    Sat, 7 Dec '19
  • Regent's University London
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Sat, 7 Dec '19

Which party will you be voting for in the General Election?

Conservatives (92)
19.09%
Labour (238)
49.38%
Liberal Democrats (63)
13.07%
Green Party (29)
6.02%
Brexit Party (6)
1.24%
Independent Group for Change (Change UK) (3)
0.62%
SNP (10)
2.07%
Plaid Cymru (3)
0.62%
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) (0)
0%
Sinn Fein (6)
1.24%
SDLP (0)
0%
Ulster Unionist (3)
0.62%
UKIP (6)
1.24%
Other (4)
0.83%
None (19)
3.94%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise