Disko0207
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I am in desperate need of help. I am an online student studying my A levels and applying to university next year, BUT I don't have any references. Because of the pandemic I haven't had any employment opportunities so I don't have an employer who can write me a reference. I asked my previous teachers and tutors at my secondary school, but none of them agreed to write me one. I am feeling very stressed and have no clue what to do. No university will take me in, what do I do? This literally keeps me up at night
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PQ
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Ask around your family and friends to find out if anyone is in a professional role and willing to give you a personal reference. Ask your faith leaders. Ask your doctors/health workers. Ask more teachers (and try asking the ones who refused if there's anything you can do to change their mind). Employ a tutor and ask them.
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Disko0207
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(Original post by PQ)
Ask around your family and friends to find out if anyone is in a professional role and willing to give you a personal reference. Ask your faith leaders. Ask your doctors/health workers. Ask more teachers (and try asking the ones who refused if there's anything you can do to change their mind). Employ a tutor and ask them.
I'm on my own, my parents are unemployed with no education. I have no uncles or aunts or anything like that. Teachers have stopped replying to me. I have no one.
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Admit-One
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(Original post by Disko0207)
I'm on my own, my parents are unemployed with no education. I have no uncles or aunts or anything like that. Teachers have stopped replying to me. I have no one.
Email your target unis and explain your situation. They may have suggestions for other acceptable referees or if you are lucky, agree that you could submit an application without a reference.
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Disko0207
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(Original post by Admit-One)
Email your target unis and explain your situation. They may have suggestions for other acceptable referees or if you are lucky, agree that you could submit an application without a reference.
One of my target unis is a Russel Group one - uni of Southampton. I doubt they want to take me in without a reference, even though my predicted grades are AAAB
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Admit-One
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(Original post by Disko0207)
One of my target unis is a Russel Group one - uni of Southampton. I doubt they want to take me in without a reference, even though my predicted grades are AAAB
I work at a RG uni and in some exceptional cases we have accepted people without a ref. Just email Southampton to ask. They're there to provide guidance to potential applicants.

NB. Where have your predictions come from if you are not being tutored?
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Disko0207
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(Original post by Admit-One)
I work at a RG uni and in some exceptional cases we have accepted people without a ref. Just email Southampton to ask. They're there to provide guidance to potential applicants.

NB. Where have your predictions come from if you are not being tutored?
I have online tutors who grade me, but because they are online tutors they won't provide me a reference as they don't know me 'in real life'. The organisation I study with gives me lessons and they grade my tests and mocks, giving me predicted grades.
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Admit-One
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(Original post by Disko0207)
I have online tutors who grade me, but because they are online tutors they won't provide me a reference as they don't know me 'in real life'. The organisation I study with gives me lessons and they grade my tests and mocks, giving me predicted grades.
A very odd position for them to take. They're comfortable giving you predicted grades but not commenting on your academic performance or suitable for HE. It's daft as every single person who uses them and wants to apply for uni will be stuck in the same boat.

As above, contact your targets unis and see what they say. If your tutoring service has a public policy about references that you can link to or attach, it may help.
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Bluerainy
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(Original post by PQ)
Ask around your family and friends to find out if anyone is in a professional role and willing to give you a personal reference. Ask your faith leaders. Ask your doctors/health workers. Ask more teachers (and try asking the ones who refused if there's anything you can do to change their mind). Employ a tutor and ask them.
Hi, if I get a tutor for this year, do you reckon they’ll give a reference in such a short time, without having enough time to know me? Plus what if they refuse? Could you please help me on how I can go about this, it’s already end of October and I’m panicking more by each passing day.
Last edited by Bluerainy; 1 month ago
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Geraldthegoat
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I mean u could get a reference from highschool teachers that had u, UCAS accept that.
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McGinger
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In a reference, all they are being asked to do is comment on your academic ability, your likelihood of getting the grades and your suitability for Higher Education. A dozen lines of text at most. Its really not that demanding.
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PQ
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(Original post by Bluerainy)
Hi, if I get a tutor for this year, do you reckon they’ll give a reference in such a short time, without having enough time to know me? Plus what if they refuse? Could you please help me on how I can go about this, it’s already end of October and I’m panicking more by each passing day.
I have no idea what an imaginary tutor will or wont do. You need to actually talk to the people who you would like a reference from and find out what information they need to feel comfortable providing you with a reference
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Bluerainy
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(Original post by PQ)
I have no idea what an imaginary tutor will or wont do. You need to actually talk to the people who you would like a reference from and find out what information they need to feel comfortable providing you with a reference
True true... but when hiring tutors, should I first ask them first if they can provide a reference or will that seem a bit inappropriate? But if I don’t make sure and after I get someone without knowing if they can and then they refuse, I’ll have no referee... sorry if this sounds like an obvious thing but I just have no one else to seek advice from 😅
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Catherine1973
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Surely the part where they give your predicted grades Is the reference part? If they won’t write anything there, you have no predicted grades?
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McGinger
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Dont panic.

Email your Unis and explain that you cant provide predicted grades or a reference, and why.
Most will accept the occasional exceptional application like this - ie. distance learning qualifications with no 'teacher'.
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