In need of some serious guidance.. Watch

Milk Sweets
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Okay.. I got a rejection back from my single choice of university today - it was a big blow and definatly a shock, considering I'd been fairly confident about it - and I need some questions answered, as I'm at a total loss here.

The course I applied for was Japanese BA, and I pretty much had my heart set on the university of Leeds.
I already have a GCSE (A*) and AS (A) and A2 (A) in Japanese, and other miscellaneous things like the fact that I was invited to the Japanese embassy to recite a speech in my CV / personal statement, so I'm sure it would be clear to anyone that I'm definatly serious about the subject matter.

What I'm really wondering is...Have I already screwed myself over without realising?

My GCSEs weren't *spactacular* I got mostly Cs, a B and an A (and an E for maths...which is what I'm mostly worried about)

I also studied for an ND course (Graphics & Illustration) the past two years and came out of it with a triple distinction. (Which is worth 360 UCAS points, and equivalent to A levels - so I'm told.)

So I've basically gotten top grades in everything I've done since leaving school. Is it really conceivable that my prospects are terrible just because of a few dodgy GCSE results?

I quickly applied to a couple more universities that I'm not at all familiar with, but that offer the same course, but I'm not hopeful...especially since now the Jan 15th deadline has passed.

I suspect nobody wants to hear a sob story, but this is heartbreaking for me, and it's the cherry on top of the year from hell ..
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jelly1000
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(Original post by Milk Sweets)
Okay.. I got a rejection back from my single choice of university today - it was a big blow and definatly a shock, considering I'd been fairly confident about it - and I need some questions answered, as I'm at a total loss here.

The course I applied for was Japanese BA, and I pretty much had my heart set on the university of Leeds.
I already have a GCSE (A*) and AS (A) and A2 (A) in Japanese, and other miscellaneous things like the fact that I was invited to the Japanese embassy to recite a speech in my CV / personal statement, so I'm sure it would be clear to anyone that I'm definatly serious about the subject matter.

What I'm really wondering is...Have I already screwed myself over without realising?

My GCSEs weren't *spactacular* I got mostly Cs, a B and an A (and an E for maths...which is what I'm mostly worried about)

I also studied for an ND course (Graphics & Illustration) the past two years and came out of it with a triple distinction. (Which is worth 360 UCAS points, and equivalent to A levels - so I'm told.)

So I've basically gotten top grades in everything I've done since leaving school. Is it really conceivable that my prospects are terrible just because of a few dodgy GCSE results?

I quickly applied to a couple more universities that I'm not at all familiar with, but that offer the same course, but I'm not hopeful...especially since now the Jan 15th deadline has passed.

I suspect nobody wants to hear a sob story, but this is heartbreaking for me, and it's the cherry on top of the year from hell ..
I think its most likely your GCSE in Maths. It's standard for all Universities to ask for a C in Maths minimum even the lower ranking ones. Your going to need to retake it before you have a good chance of getting into university unfortunatley.
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Student#1
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(Original post by Milk Sweets)
Okay.. I got a rejection back from my single choice of university today - it was a big blow and definatly a shock, considering I'd been fairly confident about it - and I need some questions answered, as I'm at a total loss here.

The course I applied for was Japanese BA, and I pretty much had my heart set on the university of Leeds.
I already have a GCSE (A*) and AS (A) and A2 (A) in Japanese, and other miscellaneous things like the fact that I was invited to the Japanese embassy to recite a speech in my CV / personal statement, so I'm sure it would be clear to anyone that I'm definatly serious about the subject matter.

What I'm really wondering is...Have I already screwed myself over without realising?

My GCSEs weren't *spactacular* I got mostly Cs, a B and an A (and an E for maths...which is what I'm mostly worried about)

I also studied for an ND course (Graphics & Illustration) the past two years and came out of it with a triple distinction. (Which is worth 360 UCAS points, and equivalent to A levels - so I'm told.)

So I've basically gotten top grades in everything I've done since leaving school. Is it really conceivable that my prospects are terrible just because of a few dodgy GCSE results?

I quickly applied to a couple more universities that I'm not at all familiar with, but that offer the same course, but I'm not hopeful...especially since now the Jan 15th deadline has passed.

I suspect nobody wants to hear a sob story, but this is heartbreaking for me, and it's the cherry on top of the year from hell ..

WHY DID YOU APPLY TO JUST ONE??

You need to keep you choices open! If you apply to mid-ranking universities, you WILL get in.

So, DONT WORRY ABOUT IT. okay?
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timelordess
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I'm in no place to give guidance but is Japanese the only A-Level you did? It may be that Leeds wants you do to at least one other academic subject to A-Level in addition to your ND.

Good luck with future applications and stuff!
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never_ending
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So where else did you end up applying? SOAS and manchester are good for Japanese. Did you mention any extenuating cirumstances in your PS to explain your E grade?
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Cowtipper
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NDs/HNDs may be equivalent to A-Levels in terms of points, but from an academic standpoint they are not even close.
If your only evidence of academic study post-GCSE is a single A-Level, it is hardly surprising that they are not willing to give you an offer.

Your GCSE grades only serve to bolster this line of thought.
You should have applied to more than one university.
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Helie12
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i would suggest that it might be your E grade in maths because the majority of the higher ranking universities want at least a C in maths, if not a B. Language courses also want a good GCSE grade (C and above) in English, did you get that?

I think somethingbeautiful's advice is good - ask Leeds to explain why they rejected you, and see if you can change anything.

And there is always clearing - i went to uni this year through clearing and i absolutely love it! So dont give up! Good luck!

x
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j_whyte
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I'd imagine SOAS is really good for Japanese too.
Judging from your achievements Leeds university should be a good match and you shouldn't have to go to a lower ranked university because of what appears to be a case of ineffective bureaucracy.
Not having Maths GCSE C grade seems a trivial reason not to allow you on the course.
I'd suggest you contact the uni and ask what your options are. E.g obtaining an offer on the condition that you improve your grade to a C.
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Minerva
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(Original post by Milk Sweets)
Okay.. I got a rejection back from my single choice of university today - it was a big blow and definatly a shock, considering I'd been fairly confident about it - and I need some questions answered, as I'm at a total loss here.

The course I applied for was Japanese BA, and I pretty much had my heart set on the university of Leeds.
I already have a GCSE (A*) and AS (A) and A2 (A) in Japanese, and other miscellaneous things like the fact that I was invited to the Japanese embassy to recite a speech in my CV / personal statement, so I'm sure it would be clear to anyone that I'm definatly serious about the subject matter.

What I'm really wondering is...Have I already screwed myself over without realising?

My GCSEs weren't *spactacular* I got mostly Cs, a B and an A (and an E for maths...which is what I'm mostly worried about)

I also studied for an ND course (Graphics & Illustration) the past two years and came out of it with a triple distinction. (Which is worth 360 UCAS points, and equivalent to A levels - so I'm told.)

So I've basically gotten top grades in everything I've done since leaving school. Is it really conceivable that my prospects are terrible just because of a few dodgy GCSE results?

I quickly applied to a couple more universities that I'm not at all familiar with, but that offer the same course, but I'm not hopeful...especially since now the Jan 15th deadline has passed.

I suspect nobody wants to hear a sob story, but this is heartbreaking for me, and it's the cherry on top of the year from hell ..
I can understand how upset you are about this, but you do need to check with Leeds why they rejected you. I suspect it was the E in Maths, though it's not listed as a standard requirement on their website, but there may have been some other reason which is not immediately obvious. Either way, you need this information to be able to decide what to do next.

I would suggest holding off using up any of your other choices just yet - it's still early for the unis to work out what they've got left over after considering candidates who applied by 15 January, so better to keep the two you have left in reserve for the moment. In any case, always ring the university before submitting a late application because they don't have to look at it and there's no point in wasting a choice.

Interestingly, the Sheffield admissions policy states that a C in GCSE Maths is "normally" required, but does leave it open for individual departments to negotiate. So it might be worth contacting them to have a chat about your position -
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crxdude
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Hi, sorry about your rejection.
I'm in pretty much the same position as you. My GCSE results were ok, mostly B's 1 A* and a D in maths. Went on to study music at college for 2 years and came out with a Level 3 Diploma. I've been told its worth 2.66 A levels (I don't know how they work that out). I then spent half a year doing basic Japanese at night college and then went straight to As level after a little self study. Anyway i got an A at As level and I'm predicted A at A level. I'm also studying Sociology and predicted a C.
However I've applied for BA Japanese and I've currently been rejected from Leeds, Manchester, and Sheffield! I've only got 2 choices left but I'm not counting on anything judging from those rejections. I'm 20 now and will be 21 by the time i start uni, these universities say that they accept diplomas etc but really I think they prefer traditional A levels.
To be honest it makes me pretty annoyed when I see that people get on to these Japanese courses just because they have traditional A levels. I mean some of the people I know are doing it because it looks good, they like 'Manga' etc. They don't seem to have anywhere near the passion that i have for the language. Plus some of them have got A levels showing no relevance to languages. I think its pretty mad! Doing my Level 3 Diploma and A levels, I see very little difference in them, if anything i think the level 3 Diploma prepares you more for university considering the teaching of my sociology course is like bloody high school. hand outs, hand outs and more hand outs.

Just think positive. I mean even if you don't get in this year there are other possibilities. For example if i don't get in my back up plan is to work in japan for the year. Anyway, Good luck! I hope it all works out for you.
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Evabell
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The site says you have to have a foreign language GCSE at grade C and an English language GCSE at grade C. Do you have these? If yes, perhaps it was your PS or just high competition this year?
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Milk Sweets
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(Original post by crxdude)
Hi, sorry about your rejection.
I'm in pretty much the same position as you. My GCSE results were ok, mostly B's 1 A* and a D in maths. Went on to study music at college for 2 years and came out with a Level 3 Diploma. I've been told its worth 2.66 A levels (I don't know how they work that out). I then spent half a year doing basic Japanese at night college and then went straight to As level after a little self study. Anyway i got an A at As level and I'm predicted A at A level. I'm also studying Sociology and predicted a C.
However I've applied for BA Japanese and I've currently been rejected from Leeds, Manchester, and Sheffield! I've only got 2 choices left but I'm not counting on anything judging from those rejections. I'm 20 now and will be 21 by the time i start uni, these universities say that they accept diplomas etc but really I think they prefer traditional A levels.
To be honest it makes me pretty annoyed when I see that people get on to these Japanese courses just because they have traditional A levels. I mean some of the people I know are doing it because it looks good, they like 'Manga' etc. They don't seem to have anywhere near the passion that i have for the language. Plus some of them have got A levels showing no relevance to languages. I think its pretty mad! Doing my Level 3 Diploma and A levels, I see very little difference in them, if anything i think the level 3 Diploma prepares you more for university considering the teaching of my sociology course is like bloody high school. hand outs, hand outs and more hand outs.

Just think positive. I mean even if you don't get in this year there are other possibilities. For example if i don't get in my back up plan is to work in japan for the year. Anyway, Good luck! I hope it all works out for you.
I am so glad you posted, because everything you said seems to mirror my own circumstances...><
One of the biggest reasons I'm so upset about this is that I'm 20 now, would've turned 21 shortly after I started uni - if I'd got in, and to me, even that's a pretty late start. Now it seems highly likely that I'm going to have to "scrap" yet another year, and end up being *another* year older than all the other people around.
And I agree with your sentiments on the whole Japanophile thing, it's incredibly frustrating for me to think that people who's interest in Japan is only that deep, may have gotten a place rather than me. And while that may come across as a pretty selfish thing to say, I haven't been cut a break at ALL for a pretty long time, no matter how many times I try and convince myself that I have great things going for me due to what I've acheieved.

To answer other questions in this thread~
I gave the admissions officer a call, and he explained how they look at everything in combination, including the old GCSE grades, but also mentioned how they look for things in the personal statement about for example, classical literature read and related opinions. THAT was the kicker for me.
I have read classical Japanese literature AND analysed it, and it never *stupidly*occured to me to include such things in my PS.

Also~ during school I was in one of the bottom sets for maths GCSE. Due to the papers being tiered - the highest possible grade I could EVER have gotten is a D.
Does that mean that everyone sitting in that room, never had a *good* chance at university? If so, I think the government may be wanting to change a few things...
The fact that I finished school and left over 4 years ago also makes the propspect of a GCSE re-sit pretty unthinkable...><

And I acheived a good English result and was in the top set for the duration of high school~ so no problems there.
I also have a Spanish GCSE, and the aforementioned Japanese~ which covers me for foreign languages.
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Minerva
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Please don't worry about age - it really doesn't matter once you get to uni - and there are plenty of people who get around to uni a lot later than 22. Also, I've known people go back and get a C grade GCSE in Maths in their 30s, never mind at your age. The thing is, you might need it for jobs (yes, bizarre I know, but some jobs do specify requirements like that!) so it is worth considering giving it a go if you're going to end up with a gap year anyway. It sounds like the feedback you got has been helpful, though.
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lnwn
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i thought the lowest the foundation tier could get was a c? because c is the lowest pass so if theyd only let you get a d they wouldnt bother making u do a paper as its classed as a fail if u get me yeah i did intermediate paer highest is a b i got it but foundation im def sure its a c
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Minerva
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(Original post by lnwn)
i thought the lowest the foundation tier could get was a c? because c is the lowest pass so if theyd only let you get a d they wouldnt bother making u do a paper as its classed as a fail if u get me yeah i did intermediate paer highest is a b i got it but foundation im def sure its a c
Unfortunately the lowest pass grade for a GCSE is G - but for practical purposes anything less than a C is of limited value. The system is quite mad enough to allow people to take a paper where the maximum possible grade is D; however, as far as I can make out the Maths papers have changed quite recently so that the Foundation paper does give you a maximum grade of C - it may be that while your year got the benefit of that the OP didn't.
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berryfantastic
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(Original post by Milk Sweets)
I am so glad you posted, because everything you said seems to mirror my own circumstances...><
One of the biggest reasons I'm so upset about this is that I'm 20 now, would've turned 21 shortly after I started uni - if I'd got in, and to me, even that's a pretty late start. Now it seems highly likely that I'm going to have to "scrap" yet another year, and end up being *another* year older than all the other people around.
And I agree with your sentiments on the whole Japanophile thing, it's incredibly frustrating for me to think that people who's interest in Japan is only that deep, may have gotten a place rather than me. And while that may come across as a pretty selfish thing to say, I haven't been cut a break at ALL for a pretty long time, no matter how many times I try and convince myself that I have great things going for me due to what I've acheieved.

To answer other questions in this thread~
I gave the admissions officer a call, and he explained how they look at everything in combination, including the old GCSE grades, but also mentioned how they look for things in the personal statement about for example, classical literature read and related opinions. THAT was the kicker for me.
I have read classical Japanese literature AND analysed it, and it never *stupidly*occured to me to include such things in my PS.

Also~ during school I was in one of the bottom sets for maths GCSE. Due to the papers being tiered - the highest possible grade I could EVER have gotten is a D.Does that mean that everyone sitting in that room, never had a *good* chance at university? If so, I think the government may be wanting to change a few things...
The fact that I finished school and left over 4 years ago also makes the propspect of a GCSE re-sit pretty unthinkable...><

And I acheived a good English result and was in the top set for the duration of high school~ so no problems there.
I also have a Spanish GCSE, and the aforementioned Japanese~ which covers me for foreign languages.
I was in the exact same position. I sat in that room at school doing maths and the coursework and exams and thinking why :s im only going to have to resit.

And I did, I resat at college and got a C, is there no way you could resit your maths? I was shocking at maths at school but found the environment better at college and found it easier to learn and focus a bit more, and tried not to let my hate for maths get in the way.

Dont let being 20 get in the way of you re applying, maybe resit your maths, and do what the uni advised/said was wrong with your application? If your positively sure uni is for you, keep trying, if not it isnt the end of the world I didnt get accepted into my first choice and its gutting, but its not the end of the world Good luck.
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charlie-cakes
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Hi,
i am sorry to hear about your rejection, but why not e-mail leeds and ask what the reason was? I was rejected from leeds too but e-mailed them and they are now re-considering my application! And remember there is always clearing so have a search for other universities that might do Japanese and see which ones you may like to go to because you never know!!
I got a D in GCSE biology and promised i would re-sit with a prediction on an B and for example KCL gave me a conditional offer on the terms that i do get a B in bio! so there is always hope, maybe do a quick online course for maths (now that your 20 it shouldn't be too bad)!
Best of luck, i really do hope you do well
x
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Milk Sweets
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Thanks everyone for the further replies, looks like I'm going to have to be re-taking the maths if my other (late) offers fall through then...


(Original post by charlie-cakes)
Hi,
i am sorry to hear about your rejection, but why not e-mail leeds and ask what the reason was? I was rejected from leeds too but e-mailed them and they are now re-considering my application! And remember there is always clearing so have a search for other universities that might do Japanese and see which ones you may like to go to because you never know!!
I got a D in GCSE biology and promised i would re-sit with a prediction on an B and for example KCL gave me a conditional offer on the terms that i do get a B in bio! so there is always hope, maybe do a quick online course for maths (now that your 20 it shouldn't be too bad)!
Best of luck, i really do hope you do well
x
I had no idea that unis went back and re-considered.
I actually phoned the guy in charge of the department I was interested in, and all he did was tell me "what they usually look for"
At the time I guess I had my head too full of panic, to think of mentioning that I'd overlooked the literature thing (that I mentioned in my last post) while we were talking.
Do you think it's worth pestering them again and pointing it out?
I guess if they've already rejected me then I have nothing to lose, but a varied opinion would help.
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ethnn1
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Ouch :X

I'm sorry to hear about your rejection from Leeds; Just retrieve feedback and then you'll know where you went wrong.

I've been in a similar position as you regarding GCSE Maths; I got a D at school. However, at college I got a GCSE Maths C equivalent; Although, in my next year of college I'm going to retake GCSE Maths and aim for a B while doing my ND.

Therefore, my advise to you is: If Leeds say it was a rejection due to your Maths grade, then retake (as somethingbeautiful said) GCSE Maths, come out with a C (or above) and then re-apply.

Don't let this rejection put you down, if you're passionate enough about the subject you'll go far! I'm certain that your determination will guide you to success. Remember, it's not all about the grades, it's your enthusiasm for the subject, your desire and will.

EDIT : Good Luck. :grin:
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Milk Sweets
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^Thankyou for your reply

I've got my heart set on this course, so I *really* want to shoot for it, even if it means putting off uni for another year.
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