The Student Room Group

What do I do for uni

This time last year I was targeting Cambridge for university. I was predicted great grades and applied to Cambridge, Bristol, UCL, Imperial, and Birmingham. My UCAS grades were A*A*A*A*A for Maths, Further Maths, Design and technology, EPQ, and Physics respectively. These grades have since gone up to 5A* for predictions as I achieved these in my mocks and was predicted an A* by my supervisor after handing my EPQ in. I also have a past internship as a mechanical engineer and did 2 pieces of work experience both in the engineering sector. I applied through UCAS in early October for the Oxbridge deadline for a mixture of mech eng and aero eng programmes. I got an offer from Birmingham for AAA within a day and then nothing. For Cambridge I did OK at the admissions test and got an interview but recieved a rejection. For Imperial I did really well in my admissions test scoring 80 percent when I saw others on this forum getting 50-60. I then got through to interview and the first part went great but when i got to the technical part I couldnt understand the question that the interviewer was asking as they wanted a very vague answer and spiralled going through 10 or so attempts at solving it and getting nowhere every single time. Eventually the interviewer gave up and told me I had run out of time. I was subsequently rejected. Then last week I was rejected from Bristol because my GCSE grades were not up to standard with their admissions policy ( I acheived 2 9s, 6 8s, and 2 7s and they wanted at least 8 grade 9s). They told me that they would consider me for electrical engineering instead of aero as I would be better suited to that but looking at their ranking I dont think its a great course and I am also not interested in the field. The last decision I am waiting for is UCL and I am no longer too confident given what has already happened. I know that I am not going to take the birmingham offer as it is not good enough ( i sound very cocky but my parents and teachers feel the same way) and I don’t know what to do during a gap year given that I am going to have to take one at this rate. I have secured an internship for the summer and could ask to extend it given that I arranged it myself. I would also probably travel a bit but have nobody to do it with as all of my classmates are going straight to uni and i have no friends outside of school since I have been full boarding from year 7. Im just a bit lost and wonder if anyone here has some decent advice on what to do next and where I could possibly find work that isnt in a supermarket for a gap year.
this definitely sounds tough! it's always good to have a back-up plan and reapplying and taking a gap year might be a good idea? tbh with grades like yours i wouldn't want to go to brum either haha

With reapplying and taking a gap year you'll have time to solely focus on admission tests and your personal statement (and consider an additional year of experience!). If they don't let you extend your internship past the summer then you can always look somewhere else and broaden your career experience. Of course, travelling sounds fun too! my friend is currently travelling solo and she's made so many friends so don't be put off by going alone (although i know it's scary). i believe she goes with animal/wildlife volunteering groups and meets people there (and gets free/cheaper accom). in terms of work i don't know much about the engineering sector at all, but while you're still in school it'd probably be beneficial to see if they can direct you anywhere in those regards! i definitely recommend taking advantage of any resources they can give you now

this isn't a lot but i hope it helps a little bit, it's very easy to feel overwhelmed and lost in these situations
Could you summarise your very long post into two sentences and a question?
Reply 3
Original post by Alimaster2677
This time last year I was targeting Cambridge for university. I was predicted great grades and applied to Cambridge, Bristol, UCL, Imperial, and Birmingham. My UCAS grades were A*A*A*A*A for Maths, Further Maths, Design and technology, EPQ, and Physics respectively. These grades have since gone up to 5A* for predictions as I achieved these in my mocks and was predicted an A* by my supervisor after handing my EPQ in. I also have a past internship as a mechanical engineer and did 2 pieces of work experience both in the engineering sector. I applied through UCAS in early October for the Oxbridge deadline for a mixture of mech eng and aero eng programmes. I got an offer from Birmingham for AAA within a day and then nothing. For Cambridge I did OK at the admissions test and got an interview but recieved a rejection. For Imperial I did really well in my admissions test scoring 80 percent when I saw others on this forum getting 50-60. I then got through to interview and the first part went great but when i got to the technical part I couldnt understand the question that the interviewer was asking as they wanted a very vague answer and spiralled going through 10 or so attempts at solving it and getting nowhere every single time. Eventually the interviewer gave up and told me I had run out of time. I was subsequently rejected. Then last week I was rejected from Bristol because my GCSE grades were not up to standard with their admissions policy ( I acheived 2 9s, 6 8s, and 2 7s and they wanted at least 8 grade 9s). They told me that they would consider me for electrical engineering instead of aero as I would be better suited to that but looking at their ranking I dont think its a great course and I am also not interested in the field. The last decision I am waiting for is UCL and I am no longer too confident given what has already happened. I know that I am not going to take the birmingham offer as it is not good enough ( i sound very cocky but my parents and teachers feel the same way) and I don’t know what to do during a gap year given that I am going to have to take one at this rate. I have secured an internship for the summer and could ask to extend it given that I arranged it myself. I would also probably travel a bit but have nobody to do it with as all of my classmates are going straight to uni and i have no friends outside of school since I have been full boarding from year 7. Im just a bit lost and wonder if anyone here has some decent advice on what to do next and where I could possibly find work that isnt in a supermarket for a gap year.

I took a gap year and I'm going to study aerospace at Bristol for 2024 entry. What I did was, worked at the hospital for 5 months as admin assistant, went travelling for 1 month. Planning to learn further maths on the side over the next few months, before uni
Original post by Alimaster2677
This time last year I was targeting Cambridge for university. I was predicted great grades and applied to Cambridge, Bristol, UCL, Imperial, and Birmingham. My UCAS grades were A*A*A*A*A for Maths, Further Maths, Design and technology, EPQ, and Physics respectively. These grades have since gone up to 5A* for predictions as I achieved these in my mocks and was predicted an A* by my supervisor after handing my EPQ in. I also have a past internship as a mechanical engineer and did 2 pieces of work experience both in the engineering sector. I applied through UCAS in early October for the Oxbridge deadline for a mixture of mech eng and aero eng programmes. I got an offer from Birmingham for AAA within a day and then nothing. For Cambridge I did OK at the admissions test and got an interview but recieved a rejection. For Imperial I did really well in my admissions test scoring 80 percent when I saw others on this forum getting 50-60. I then got through to interview and the first part went great but when i got to the technical part I couldnt understand the question that the interviewer was asking as they wanted a very vague answer and spiralled going through 10 or so attempts at solving it and getting nowhere every single time. Eventually the interviewer gave up and told me I had run out of time. I was subsequently rejected. Then last week I was rejected from Bristol because my GCSE grades were not up to standard with their admissions policy ( I acheived 2 9s, 6 8s, and 2 7s and they wanted at least 8 grade 9s). They told me that they would consider me for electrical engineering instead of aero as I would be better suited to that but looking at their ranking I dont think its a great course and I am also not interested in the field. The last decision I am waiting for is UCL and I am no longer too confident given what has already happened. I know that I am not going to take the birmingham offer as it is not good enough ( i sound very cocky but my parents and teachers feel the same way) and I don’t know what to do during a gap year given that I am going to have to take one at this rate. I have secured an internship for the summer and could ask to extend it given that I arranged it myself. I would also probably travel a bit but have nobody to do it with as all of my classmates are going straight to uni and i have no friends outside of school since I have been full boarding from year 7. Im just a bit lost and wonder if anyone here has some decent advice on what to do next and where I could possibly find work that isnt in a supermarket for a gap year.

Did Bristol only offer one alternative course? If not pick the best and go to the Offer Holders Day on the 1st May 2024. At least you will learn if Bristol is for you. Take the opportunity to speak to the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Do your homework well before result day. Be ready to contact Universities on your radar I think you will be snapped-up.

With respect to taking a gap year did you know that “Unsuccessful Oxbridge applicants who reapply are frequently successful on their second try, and often go on to achieve First class degrees at Oxford or Cambridge”. So, some Oxbridge reject become Oxbridge success.

Engineering needs people like you.
Original post by Alimaster2677
This time last year I was targeting Cambridge for university. I was predicted great grades and applied to Cambridge, Bristol, UCL, Imperial, and Birmingham. My UCAS grades were A*A*A*A*A for Maths, Further Maths, Design and technology, EPQ, and Physics respectively. These grades have since gone up to 5A* for predictions as I achieved these in my mocks and was predicted an A* by my supervisor after handing my EPQ in. I also have a past internship as a mechanical engineer and did 2 pieces of work experience both in the engineering sector. I applied through UCAS in early October for the Oxbridge deadline for a mixture of mech eng and aero eng programmes. I got an offer from Birmingham for AAA within a day and then nothing. For Cambridge I did OK at the admissions test and got an interview but recieved a rejection. For Imperial I did really well in my admissions test scoring 80 percent when I saw others on this forum getting 50-60. I then got through to interview and the first part went great but when i got to the technical part I couldnt understand the question that the interviewer was asking as they wanted a very vague answer and spiralled going through 10 or so attempts at solving it and getting nowhere every single time. Eventually the interviewer gave up and told me I had run out of time. I was subsequently rejected. Then last week I was rejected from Bristol because my GCSE grades were not up to standard with their admissions policy ( I acheived 2 9s, 6 8s, and 2 7s and they wanted at least 8 grade 9s). They told me that they would consider me for electrical engineering instead of aero as I would be better suited to that but looking at their ranking I dont think its a great course and I am also not interested in the field. The last decision I am waiting for is UCL and I am no longer too confident given what has already happened. I know that I am not going to take the birmingham offer as it is not good enough ( i sound very cocky but my parents and teachers feel the same way) and I don’t know what to do during a gap year given that I am going to have to take one at this rate. I have secured an internship for the summer and could ask to extend it given that I arranged it myself. I would also probably travel a bit but have nobody to do it with as all of my classmates are going straight to uni and i have no friends outside of school since I have been full boarding from year 7. Im just a bit lost and wonder if anyone here has some decent advice on what to do next and where I could possibly find work that isnt in a supermarket for a gap year.

Hi! Sorry, I was just wondering, if you got predicted that many A*s, surely they can't be asking for all those 9s in GCSEs because you got the grades predicted in A-levels, that sounds tough, I checked the website and they're only asking for a 4/C in English and 6 in Maths for Bristol.
Original post by ayeshashoaibA
Hi! Sorry, I was just wondering, if you got predicted that many A*s, surely they can't be asking for all those 9s in GCSEs because you got the grades predicted in A-levels, that sounds tough, I checked the website and they're only asking for a 4/C in English and 6 in Maths for Bristol.

They said for me to have had a competetive application I needed 8 grade 9s at gcse
Reply 7
Original post by ayeshashoaibA
Hi! Sorry, I was just wondering, if you got predicted that many A*s, surely they can't be asking for all those 9s in GCSEs because you got the grades predicted in A-levels, that sounds tough, I checked the website and they're only asking for a 4/C in English and 6 in Maths for Bristol.

The website is very misleading, the admissions criteria says GCSES are weighted in your overall application

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