support thread for those of us who have DC submitting UCAS applications in the next few months

(816 Posts)
mumoverseas Sat 21-Aug-10 14:53:28

Thought we should all get together and calm each other down/mop fevered brows/hand around glasses of wine etc. We've seen other go through it over the past few months and it will be our turn soon.

DS has just got his AS results which were not too bad. AAAB. The B suprised him as it was for maths and we'd expected a B for french which he had not studied for a few years as sat his GCSE early. He says he will re-sit one of the maths modules and one of French ones to get a higher A hmm

He (we!) has been considering various Unis over recent months and has visited 4.
PS is all in hand as is extended project (whatever all that is about) but time is creeping by and not long now til his mid Oct deadline (one of his choices is Oxbridge)

There has been so much in the papers over recent days about the lack of places at University at the moment and stories of how so many good students did not get places as they didn't put 'insurance' choices.

How is everyone else coping and how do we get our children to make realistic choices?

webwiz Sat 21-Aug-10 18:14:48

I'm going through this second time round with DD2 and I can't believe how much the whole thing has gone mad in two years. DD1 sailed through the whole process, got 4 out of 5 offers, proceeded to not do any work in year 13 and missed her grades but still got into her first choice unihmm

DD2 has had a difficult last couple of terms with glandular fever and there were problems with the teaching in 3 of her 4 subjects (I could go into them but once I start it will turn into a rant!) so her AABC at AS was well deserved. The C was in chemistry and she will resit one of the modules in Jan to hopefully "fix" it - one of her teachers was off ill and a lot of the syllabus wasn't actually covered before the exam. DD2 did ask me for help but it was a bit late by then. Also as she had to teach herself the missing bits of the Maths syllabus and half the history it was a bit difficult to fit it all in. The teaching has been changed for A2 so hopefully next year will be better and DD2 never wants to do History again in her life!

Anyway she's applying for Maths and her A's were Maths and Further Maths so at least she seems to have chosen the right subject.

mumoverseas Sat 21-Aug-10 18:30:48

woo hoo, you are here! webwiz you are so wise and knowledgeable (sp?) about educational matters, so glad you've joined in.

God, sounds like your DD has done very well under the circumstances. DS had the problem with half the syllabus being covered when sitting his GCSEs. Its not on is it.
Has she narrowed down her choices of Unis yet?

DS wants to read law and most of the Unis we've looked at so far want AAA which is a bit of a worry.

JGBMum Sat 21-Aug-10 19:08:23

So pleased you've started this thread nice and early MOS <soggy wave from v wet Isle of Wight>.

We return home tomorrow so will hopefully know what DS scores were, so far we have AABB from AS exams, still have F/Maths score to find out.

DS is looking to study Engineering and has visited Bristol, Southampton, Cambridge and Surrey so far. He/we is hoping to get to the Warwick open day next month, but it's quite a long train journety from where we live so he's hoping to persuade encourage some friends to go with him.

Can I just say that I noticed one of the A level threads had a list and timetable of options and dates for getting hold of copies of your paper and getting re-marks. I thought that could be incredibly useful come March next year.<spot the pessimist in the group> grin

oldmum42 Sat 21-Aug-10 19:54:45

Great Idea for a thread, MUMOVERSEAS.

My DS is also making an Oxbridge application, tho' as he's applying to study Medicine, ALL 4 of his choices have to be in by the earlier 15th Oct deadline.

We are in the Scottish school system, so it's been amazing to read about the differences in the two, no resits here in Scotland (unless you do the whole year again!), non modular and although some subjects have a project which counts towards the exam, all the pressure is on the big exam at the end. You can't resit bits of the course to increase your grade envy!
But check your Uni choices, I know that for Medicine at least, some Uni's will not accept re-sits, and some will. It may be the same for other very competitive courses.

DS1 got 6A's at Scottish Higher, but of course the other kids chasing those places will all have very high grades too. Usually they sit 4, 5 for high-flyers, but I'm not sure the extra subject really gains DS1 anything.

We feel like he/we have just joined a circus, loads of hoops to jump through, 2 Uni entrance exams to sit (UKCAT and BMAT), a deadline of 15th Oct and a school which has very little experience (state school, very little help or prep available for exams, uni application, personal statements and no interview prep, maybe 1 Oxbridge applicant every other year), so we feel we (the parents) are DS1 support network, as he won't get it at school!

Re Law, Dundee is asking ABB at Alevel for Law, entry 2011, housing etc at Scottish Uni's is fairly cheap (except St Andrews and Edinburgh). If the DC is going to live away from home, it probably doesn't matter how far from home!

Re insurance offers - there's been a lot about this in the news recently, I think a lot of people use them in the wrong way - say they get 3 offers, they pick the two uni's they most want to go to - which sounds fine, but if both are asking for AAA at Alevel, but the 3rd Uni is asking for AAB, then you should surely pick the 3rd Uni as your second choice........ so if you drop a grade from your predicted AAA you still have a uni place
IYKWIM??

For my DS1, my main worries are - the school screwing up the application (due to the early deadline), and also what happens if he gets offers, but has not yet heard from the other Uni's he's applied to (it looks like interviews could take place anytime between the start of November to April)...... how long can you hold an offer before you either reject it or confirm it as your 1st choice or insurance offer? And can DS1 choose an insurance offer BEFORE he has chosen a firm place? He may well be in the situation that one of the Scottish Universities he's applying to may offer him an unconditional place based on his Highers (sometimes they ask for Advanced Highers too), and that would be great, but Oxford is definitely his first choice (very tough to get into, I know), and they interview from Nov right through to April....

Anyone been through it before for their older DC?

snowmash Sat 21-Aug-10 21:03:01

Some of the cases I've seen in the paper have been students who haven't made their insurance choice an insurance choice (or even made any of their UCAS choices a lower grade).

They don't have to reply until UCAS has had all offers (from memory you choose firm and insurance at the same time).

FWIW, all medical schools are hard to get into, just in different ways. The London/Cambridge/Oxford system wouldn't suit all good candidates, just as some of the unis where they have clinical exposure from day 1 wouldn't suit all good candidates!

The parents' guide is useful here

Ponders Sat 21-Aug-10 21:34:12

can I be in your gang please?

DS got 3 As at AS, plus one dire D (subject he was dropping anyway but still, that won't look good on UCAS applicationsad). One of the As was 100%, which may help get him A* at A2, but I am worried about the D...he will be doing Critical Thinking at AS in Y13 but I don't think that will count for much?

He wants to do Politics with Philosophy or History & is looking at eg Edinburgh, York, Durham, LSE & Sheffield. We were sort of thinking about PPE at Oxford, but he's not doing Maths so probably has no chance there - the only other possible for him would be History with Politics & he's not so keen on that combination.

It's all very twitchy grin

oldmum42 Sat 21-Aug-10 21:54:25

Thanks for the link SNOWMASH, yes, we've spent time with DS going over some of the differences
in the med schools (DH is Dr, we have some contacts in several Uni's and all say the application process totally changed over the last few years, now very complex and many hoops to jump through)!

Oxford- DS1 likes it because of the very strong research bias - the info they gave him at the open day seemed to say they are actively looking for students who may wish to go into research during/after their medical degree, and DS1 is very interested in emerging technology - and the potential medical applications (he's been designing and building some interesting stuff in his spare time), but the pre-clinical years seem to be very much self-directed learning, and the interview process sounds really scary.

Edinburgh does not interview school leavers (usually), I see that as a plus! One less thing to potentially screw up.

Dundee has a fantastic set up, DS1 really likes the structure of the course, and the interview system is different to most - they get a series of 10min interviews with different people, so getting off on the wrong foot in one interview won't disadvantage you.

St Andrews is just finishing it's brand-new med school building, it only does pre-clinical, you then go elsewhere (often Dundee) for the clinical years.

Aberdeen seems to integrate the clinical/preclinical stuff a bit more.

Those are his 5 front runners just now (tho' he needs to cut it down to 4).

He may need to re-assess his choices Mid Sept
when he gets his UKCAT results - he's not submitting his application until he knows what he got (if he does less well, he will have to look hard at how each Uni uses the UKCAT results.....).

Thanks for the info regarding UCAS, so he doesn't need to decide until all 4 uni's have either rejected him or offered him a place? That's good.

mumoverseas Sat 21-Aug-10 22:19:53

hello all, some useful information on here already. We can get each other through this wink

Waves at JGBMum with equally damp hand from West Sussex. Just where is the summer I flew 3,000 miles to enjoy? hmm

DS has just (finally!) decided to apply to do the LNAT law test. Apparently some Unis require it and some doh't but to be on the safe side as he is still undecided where to apply he has applied to sit in and that is on 23rd September.

So far, his provisional choices are Cambridge, Southampton, one of the London ones, he is not sure which. He has visited those and has also recently mentioned Durham and Exeter. It is such a huge decision and I don't envy him.

snowmash, think you are right about the insurance thing. A lot of careful consideration required I think.

snowmash Sun 22-Aug-10 00:17:26

oldmum42: That's great that your DS has so much support...I'm only commenting based on friends' experiences (and the youngsters we've had shadowing research have tended to have the UKCAT book with them). It is a shame how much more complex it is become

oldmum42 Sun 22-Aug-10 09:15:33

Snowmash/mumOS, All these entrance exams are a bit of a stress - but the Uni's need some way of differentiating the top few % now so many get straight A at A level. Lots of extra work for the DC and extra cash for the exams and the books/internet study sites - we MAY also have to travel 70 miles to sit the Oxbridge BMAT, as we are still trying to find out if DS1 can do the exam at his school (if not, the nearest "open" exam centre for it is in Aberdeen, about an hour and a half away by car).

What gets me about the lack of help available at a lot of state schools here(maybe it's a bit better in England), is that very able kids are missing out on the chance to apply to the most highly competitive courses as they are not advised that for things like Med,VetMed and Dentistry, you need to start planning your application 2 years before you apply - to give time to build the kind of CV that admissions tutors for these subjects require (Duke of Edinburgh, Medlink/vetlink, community volunteering, several hobbies done regularly, extra curricular actives at school).
Some parents don't have the financial resources or ability/knowledge/contacts to best help their DC, if the school won't - and that's just a waste of talent.

We have been informally advising friends of DS1 and 2 about what they could/should be doing to improve their chances, as many will be the first in their family to go to university, and a number have started volunteer work, Rangers, Duke of Edinburgh etc as a result. (my DC are very bright, and like to hang with other very bright kids, but I'm proud to say they don't give a s**t about whether they live in a mansion or a council flat).
I was the first in my family to go to Uni (but it was a lot easier 20 years ago!), so I do enjoy doing my wee bit to encourage others in the same situation - but the point is, I shouldn't have to, the schools should get their act together and run some sort of advice scheme from the time the kids are about 14 right through to Uni entrance. Fat chance of that happening though!

mumoverseas Sun 22-Aug-10 09:29:52

oldmum that is terrible the lack of support and information.

I suppose I'm lucky in that DSs school appears to be very good with regards to that however we have had to remind them a few times that he intends applying to Oxbridge therefore will need support/advice early on in the term when he returns in a few weeks.

I received a lot of helpful advice and information on a thread on here last year. A lovely group of mums started a similar thread to this and although I was a year below them/their DC I gatecrashed and they were fabulous, really helpful and supportive.

I received lots of advice about how important the PS is and how a demonstrated interest in the chosen area of study will (hopefully!) help the application.

DS wants to read law and become a barrister aand in the last year I've/we've managed to sort him quite a bit of work experience. He idid a year in my old firm of Solicitors last summer and this year he sorted himself a week an another firm and we managed to get him a mini-pupillage at a barristers chambers where he really landed on his feet and spent a week in court on a final hearing with the head of chambers. Fingers crossed that this sets him apart from the hundreds of others.

I agree that there should be a lot more advice given to the kids much earlier on. DD has just chosen her options last term which she starts next month and fingers crossed she has made sensible choices which will allow her to follow her chosen career path. In the last few years she has gone from wanting to be a marine biologist, riding instructor, WAG (yes, a footballers wife/girlfriend!) a nurse (until DS helpfully pointed out to her that she struggles to wipe her own arse let alone anyone elses!) and now (thankfully) she wants to be a teacher of either history or english.

I really feel for the poor kids at the moment who have just done their AS levels and are already reading that it is all doom and gloom and many of them won't get a Uni place no matter how well they do.

Lilymaid Sun 22-Aug-10 11:01:59

Well, this is fortunately all behind me now, so shall give my words of wisdom from having two go through the system (one highly academic all As, top independent day school; the other middling - BBC):

1. Despite what some say, I reckon a decent personal statement must have some effect and DCs spent a long time on these with us helping to edit and suggesting how to bring out all the positives.
2. If you have a clever DC and they want to do a highly competitive subject it is always a good idea to have at least one university in their list that isn't stellar but that they would be reasonably happy to attend. We've all seen the stories of the all A student who has been rejected by 5 top universities.
3. Whilst there is still the possibility of retaking modules in January or even June, this should be considered. Also, don't be afraid to investigate remarking if your DCs mark is just off a higher grade/unexpectedly low. I put this on another thread, but it is worth duplicating here (A2 results were on 19.8):
i. Priority remark - for students whose university place depends on the remark. You don't see the script before the remark is done. Costs £50 - apply by 26.8ii. Photocopy script - usually returned within 7 days. Costs £16.00 - apply by 26.8
iii. Clerical check at exam board of marks (not a remark of script). Costs £16 - apply by 16.9
iv. Remark by senior examiner plus checking of marks and totalling. Costs £45 - apply by 16.9
4. There weren't many places available for clearing this summer and if you have to do this you need to act quickly. I checked the sites of my old university (1994 group) and the university DS2 will be going to (pre-1992 university, but well known as an insurance choice/clearing university) and there were no vacancies at all for home/EU students by Saturday evening and none in DC2's subject area ever appeared in clearing for these universities).
5. There is always the chance to retake in a gap year. If you have the money there are very good colleges for retakes, otherwise, the student can generally retake at their previous school/college but will probably need to pay for private tuition.

Good luck ... moves over to empty nesters thread and starts sorting out bed linen and promised laptop ...

oldmum42 Sun 22-Aug-10 12:13:06

Very sound advice re PS lilymaid, The "how to get into medschool" books we bought certainly push the PS as being INCREDIBLY important, so yes there will be plenty of editing/suggestions in the coming weeks (DS1 has sat with me and jotted down pages of notes, but it's not even a rough draft yet).

I'm sure the rest of the advice is fantastic too, for those in the English system, but does not apply to those of us in the Scottish system where we can't ask for remarks,clerical error etc, and any appeal is in the hands of the school (the state ones generally will only allow an appeal if you DC has done very badly indeed and/or there was a serious illness or similar at the time of the exam). Our school told us before the exams, if you are predicted an A and get a C, they will appeal....if they think its warranted!

MumOS, sounds like your DS has exactly the kind of work experience that will make his application shine - well done to you, it's very hard to find even when using all your contacts, IME! DS1 has managed to get a week work experience in a medical setting, and several 1 day sessions with Out of Hours provision and NHS24. Legal issues make it hard to get more, though he's been volunteering in a Barnardo's charity shop for a year too so hope that counts for something.

Yes, we also intend to remind the school regularly that DS1 application has an early deadline - we only know of one other kid in the school who's applying for a similar course (vetmed) which also has the early deadline, so the school may not be on top of it, if not gently reminded by DS1 on a regular basis. I've advised him (of course!) that there are ways of doing this without making the school feel like you don't trust them.....(I don't!), approach the referee with a question about your application, or ask if he needs any more info before the 15th, etc.

sarah293 Sun 22-Aug-10 12:17:35

Message withdrawn

PixieOnaLeaf Sun 22-Aug-10 12:40:45

Message withdrawn

mumoverseas Sun 22-Aug-10 12:43:23

welcome Riven, good to see you here.
Poor DS, missing out by 1 point is just awful, thank god/allah for re-sits grin
Is it worth him asking for a re-mark to hopefully scrape that extra one point?

DS was a bit worried about his predicted grades as he is probably going to need all As but hopefully the school will be helpful in this regard.
Riven, how do you feel about your DS wanting to stay close to home? I'm sure he will get a lot of consideration due to your home circs and helping with your DD.

Agree with everything said about the PS, it really is important. On a thread last year a few people were saying paid employment is also quite important (think actually there may be a question about it on UCAS application) but realistically, how do they expect all these 16 & 17 year olds to get paid work?

oldmum42 Sun 22-Aug-10 12:48:24

Riven, saw your comments on the other thread - Very well done to your DD on her results/oxbride success.
Your DS1's results are far from terrible and with the option of retakes, they can be improved upon..... if his chosen Uni does base an offer on BBBC, will they not just make it conditional on certain grades next year? So time to improve there too.

Or he could apply next year after he has his Alevel results - and spend a year doing work experience or similar?

I would have thought that the Home-schooling issue would work in his favour and he'd get cut some slack because of coming in late to the school system.

sarah293 Sun 22-Aug-10 12:51:42

Message withdrawn

Ponders Sun 22-Aug-10 12:54:14

Riven, with one child already at university &, presumably, fairly low family income, I think next year both your student children should be entitled to maximum state grant & probably extra grant/bursary/other funding from the university?

sarah293 Sun 22-Aug-10 12:56:55

Message withdrawn

Ponders Sun 22-Aug-10 13:07:36

yes, they are, but I think you may be able to get financial help with them when you're on low-income/benefits, either from govt or from the university.

Ponders Sun 22-Aug-10 13:12:34

Bristol University Access to Learning Funds

I think all universities offer this kind of assistance

Ponders Sun 22-Aug-10 13:18:29

ah, I've just been rummaging around the website & you're right, there seems to be absolutely no reduction on tuition fees - we're all stuck with those.

"Neither the tuition fee nor the tuition fees loan is linked to household income. Since the loan is paid directly to the University and is not repayable until after graduation, there is no need for additional help with paying fees."

ajandjjmum Sun 22-Aug-10 13:18:59

This is depressing. DD will be doing her UCAS application shortly, so I shall be watching this thread intently.

But....after getting DS's results on Thursday, we're still waiting to see where he'll be going!!!

He applied to 5 top unis (not Oxbridge though grin) and got offers from all, ranging from AAA to ABB. He actually achieved A*, A and B, so although his insurance have confirmed his offer, his firm are still considering.

I thought I'd be out buying bedlinen now - infact it's still constant checking on track!!

I really think that DS's PS and reference paid a big part, as although his GCSE's were good, they weren't exceptional.

For the medics, he has a friend who had no offer and came out with A*, A, A, A, who is now forced into a gap year. He applied to 4 top unis rather than going for one that was not so ambitious that would offer a fall back. Might be worth thinking about.

Sorry - long post!

webwiz Sun 22-Aug-10 14:49:55

Glad to see everyone joining in smile DD2 is struggling to choose her universities at the moment as the required grades seem to be going up and up. Maths at Durham gone up to A*AA for 2011 from AAB only two years ago. She is considering Oxford but will have to make up her mind soon, she had started doing some preparation for the entrance exam with one of her Further Maths teachers before the summer and was doing OK, hopefully the Chemistry disaster won't get in the way. I've agreed to work through the syllabus with her for the last module but I'm not sure how much help I'll be as my Chemistry A level is 25 years old!

She's at the V festival with friends this weekend but is planning some serious personal statement work when she gets back.

mumoverseas Sun 22-Aug-10 16:49:21

feel very sad for a friend who I've just heard from. Her DS did very badly (she didn't even say the grades) and he won't be going back to school next month. Feel so sorry for her as she has given him so many opportunities, excellent schools etc. She is distraught bless her.

JGBMum Sun 22-Aug-10 17:17:10

Oh MOS that's awful. From your post you say you feel sorry for the Mum, d'you think the DS wasted his opportunities?

<Mind I'm more stressed than DS to discover there is no letter from school with DS results in, aaaaarrrrrgh>

JGBMum Sun 22-Aug-10 17:21:13

Lilymaid thank you for your list - that's the one I was referring to earlier.

We were wondering whether to get a copy of DS Chemistry paper (scored a B) but until we have the marks we won't know how near or far he was from an A.

Plus we still don't have his sodding FM grade!!!!

<<<Is the bar open yet?>>>>

webwiz Sun 22-Aug-10 17:57:14

JGBMum DD2 didn't get a grade for FM (she did for all the others) we had to work it from the module results. I think its because there is some choice in which modules are counted for Maths and which for FM. You'll have to wait for the marks to work it out - hope it isn't too long!

JGBMum Sun 22-Aug-10 18:20:25

Webwiz thanks for the support. We were on holiday last week and DS school did not make a note of any module results so until the letter they posted on Thursday turns up we know very little. confused

mumoverseas Sun 22-Aug-10 18:21:33

JGB yes, he has thrown away numerous opportunties. He lived abroad for a number of years and basically arsed around there and was sent home and his parents sent him to a really good private school for a fresh start.
I know only too well it is being thousands of miles away from your DC as I have that with DC1 and 2. It is so frustrating at times feeling so helpless and to have them through all their chances away must be soul destroying.

Bloody daft you don't have the FM grade. Why?

Just having a nice glass of red wine grin

JGBMum Sun 22-Aug-10 18:34:35

MOS I appreciate it must be incredibly difficult to be so far from your DCs - mine drive me up the wall, but at least we are all together so I can nag encourage when needed.
What options does your friends DS have now? And does he appreciate the gravity of the situation?

RE FM, apparently the head of Maths looked at the all the module grades and then pronounced on a Maths Grade (by juggling modules if necessary we assume as webwiz says). However, he did not then make any pronouncements regarding the FM. Then went home! biscuit

White wine in freezer for quick chill, so will join you shortly

JGBMum Sun 22-Aug-10 18:37:35

Would it be really geeky to do a list of which courses and Unis our DC are considering?

It would help me to keep up - I'm already getting confused!

mumoverseas Sun 22-Aug-10 18:39:48

Fab idea JGB

DS wants to read law and his choices (today!) are
Cambridge
Southampton
Durham(maybe)
Exter (maybe)
Anywhere with somewhat more realistic offers as insurance choice. Suggestions welcome

Friends DS is apparently going to live with a girl and get a job hmm

JGBMum Sun 22-Aug-10 18:49:42

MOS
DS wants to read law and his choices (today!) are
Cambridge
Southampton
Durham(maybe)
Exter (maybe)
Anywhere with somewhat more realistic offers as insurance choice. Suggestions welcome

JGB
DS - Engineering
Unis:-
Cambridge (depending on AS results)
Bristol
Southampton
Warwick (possibly)
AN other???

As an aside, we just looked up MSc and BSc at Bristol for Mech engineering and the entry grades are the same - buggers up the cunning plan of applying there twice in the hope of a lower offer for the BSc blush

mumoverseas Sun 22-Aug-10 19:42:12

ooh JGB, wonder if our DSs will end up at the same Uni and we could have a MN meet up grin

JGBMum Sun 22-Aug-10 19:48:15

DS spent a week at Southampton and loved it, I spent a few days at Cambridge and loved it there, remind me again, whose choice is it?grin

mumoverseas Sun 22-Aug-10 19:59:21

DS spent 4 days at Cambridge at the law conference in March and loved it and spent 1 day at Oxford and just a one day visit to Southampton.

The last few weeks he had been saying he was undecided on whether first choice would be Oxford or Cambridge (think he thought Oxford might be a safer choice) but within minutes of getting his results on Thursday he was adamant he wanted to go to Cambridge. We all know it won't be easy but he seems very focused at the moment. Was quite shocked earlier when he said he hadn't really studied for his GCSEs (he had always just coasted and pulled it out of the hat at the last minute)but thank god he has said he is now going to work really hard.

JGBMum Sun 22-Aug-10 20:29:56

MOS - as it's just us here <<shuffles chair nearer to PC and sips the now chilled wine>>

If I'm honest I would love DS to go to Cambridge BUT he/we do not know whether his GCSEs and AS grades will be good enough.

I read in the news earlier this week about some genius of a boy who scored something like 5xA*, while still taking time out to sail single-handedly round the world (or some other such incredible feat)

Now that is a totally different level to DS!
His GCSE scores are good. but not all A*s, not by a long way.
And Cambridge told us that he needs to have scored 90% plus in each AS module to be in with a chance. And of course we don't know these yet.

So I just don't know. I wish they would publish a "minimum grades needed to date" list then we could see if DS is in with a chance sad

mumoverseas Mon 23-Aug-10 08:16:17

JGB <whispers I'm the same. Are we pushy parents?> Actually DS said last night he REALLY wants to go to Cambridge but wonder if that is because its the Uni he spent the most time at.

He didn't get all A* at GCSE. He got mostly As and a few A* (think 9 in total) a B and a C but we are not bothered about that (or should we be?) as it was in a second foreign language (arabic that he had taught himself)He had been predicted slightly higher grades, a few more A*s but my mum who he was very close to as the oldest grandchild died midway through his GCSEs so it was quite a difficult time as we had to sort out flying him back to the UK for the funeral the day after one exam and then back the day before another sad

had forgotten about the 90% requirement, will go and find DSs results sheet to check.

All we can really do is support and guide them and be there for them when they us. The rest of the time, we can fret and pace on here wink

JGBMum Mon 23-Aug-10 08:25:06

MOS - thank you! smile you always cheer me up by saying the right thing.

DS has similar results I think, 5A*, 3A , a B and a C (in PE as school made it a compulsory subject), plus an ICT qualification.

MABS Mon 23-Aug-10 09:22:29

good luck to you all, i dread all this in a couple of years with dd

Ponders Mon 23-Aug-10 11:30:19

The money section of Saturday's Guardian was all about university this week:

just under the easyjet photo - finance, bank accounts, accommodation etc

and the travel section was all about backpacking/gap years:

to the R of Elvis grin

mumoverseas Mon 23-Aug-10 16:10:53

<mos pops her head in and waves to JGBMum and MABS>
Been out for the whole day with DC2, 3 and 4 and have just returned to find DS on his second draft of PS. Looking good so far.

Don't want him getting any ideas of exotic gap years wink

WhoKnew2010 Mon 23-Aug-10 16:49:45

I'm not in your position but work at a Uni. My advice would be work on the PS [glad to see it MOS! wink) I once rejected someone from Exeter who was predicted straight As (they all are ...) because all his PS said that he wanted to be a lawyer because his parents' friends were and it seemed really interesting. I actually gave him another chance to rewrite the PS [when the school pestered - a whole other story] and he wrote the same nonsense again. That time I stood firm.

2 choices - either all popular Unis and if they miss they have no insurance. In previous years lots of AAAs dropped (often to ABB) - haven't checked with our admissions team what happened this year. Or take an insurance offer. Personally (for law, my subject) I would look at the last RAE scores - this is the ONLY table academics truly care about (again another story blush) so Nottingham/Kent/Cardiff/Belfast all rate highly there but are not necessarily in student league tables (which are complete tosh in my experience).

If I can help any more, let me know.

WhoKnew2010 Mon 23-Aug-10 16:51:36

sorry meant to add RAE link

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/table/2008/dec/18/rae-results-2008-law-degree

This is a complicated debate but a research-active department is often a happy department and that is good for students too ...

ShrinkingViolet Mon 23-Aug-10 17:02:55

DD1 wants to do pure maths at Bath, Leeds or St Andrews, but will apply to Warwick as well. Just need to find somewhere for an insurance choice who don't want STEP (in case that's a disaster) not specify individual module grades (she has a A overall in Maths, but a couple of the modules weren't great).

Personal statement is currently a spider diagram on her bedroom wall, although I've she's written a cracking opening which covers about 4 seperate things on her "have to include somewhere" list in two sentences.

mumoverseas Mon 23-Aug-10 18:39:57

<mos wonders whether WhoKnew2010 would like to be her new best friend?> wink

You have me panicking now, DS's PS states why he would like to be a lawyer and one of reasons is because he finds law interesting (he did GCSE law in his own time a few years ago and that didn't put him off) and has done several weeks of work experience. Is this not a good thing to say?

JustGettingByMum Mon 23-Aug-10 19:50:59

Yippee!! DS got all his maths module results from school today (still no post). A strong A Grade in FM, with 100% in one module.

<< waves to MOS and MABS that I feel I know smile, and general wave to everyone else who I'm sure I'll know by this time next year wink >>

ShrinkingViolet Bath is our nearest city, and the University looks wonderful, very hilly though!

mumoverseas Mon 23-Aug-10 20:04:25

yay for JGBMum and DS. Fabulous news so 3 x A and 2 x B then? wow at 100%
confused by name change.

I feel I know you too. I already know MABS and she is lovely.

MABS Mon 23-Aug-10 20:26:57

so pleased JGBMum, aaww thanks mos x

webwiz Mon 23-Aug-10 20:41:12

Well done to your DS JGBMum smile

We are in chaos here at the moment. DD2 got back from the V festival this morning so her soggy stuff is all over the house and DD1 is going back to university tomorrow. She's in a house and the rent started on August 1st so she's decided to go back and do some partying before the term starts hmm. There are piles of things everywhere and she has just informed us that there she doesn't think there is anywhere to park near the house.

JustGettingByMum Mon 23-Aug-10 21:02:03

Thanks guys. DS v happy, but have told him he needs to focus on his driving theory test which is tomorrow.

Webwiz - lol at the piles of clothes, wet and dry. What year is your elder DD going into at uni?

WhoKnew2010 Mon 23-Aug-10 21:12:11

mos - good thing. he's done it himself rather than picking it up from cocktail parties. no one expects 17/18 year olds to be whizzes but if they sound as though they are generally interested in their PS they'll be more likely to stick the course!

mumoverseas Mon 23-Aug-10 21:26:59

JGBMum good luck for DS's test tomorrow. A stressful week in your house wink

DS is struggling to find an insurance choice as most seem to require AAA or AAB and he wants a back up just in case it all goes tits up (my words, he is far more polite!)

Any suggestions WhoKnew?

webwhiz good luck with all the laundry and taking DD1 back

Ponders Mon 23-Aug-10 21:30:15

webwiz, DS1 went back to uni 2 weeks ago, for much the same reasons as your DD - he is paying for the house & his housemates are there so they can have funfunfun hmm

(but also, with luck, he can find a job before the majority arrive!)

webwiz Mon 23-Aug-10 21:50:05

JGBMum DD1 is going back for her second year - it feels weird as last year we had all sorts of lists of what she would need and we took ages choosing which duvet cover she needed and which cutlery set. This year its been a bit more casual and it looks like she has about 20 carrier bags stuffed with things (I know one is her fancy dress outfits - No 1 essential for all studentssmile). DH is off for the week and so we are both taking her, even though its only 90 miles it gets a bit boring on the way home if I'm on my own. DD2 is under strict instructions to work on personal statement while we are out and not to spend the whole day uploading photos of V festival to Facebook pagehmm - Good luck with your DSs theory test tomorrow.

MOS DD2 is struggling with an insurance choice, after a difficult year she needs something lowish in there just in case but the grades just seem to be going up and up.

Ponders funding the rent and bills for two months before term starts has been a bit of a pain. I think it will work out the same as being in halls over the year but we've had to fund the early rent and deposit. Fortunately DD1 did some work over the summer and she can use that for her social life.

Ponders Mon 23-Aug-10 22:02:49

JGBMum, my DS has his theory test tomorrow too, I missed that yours does! Good luck! (I'm not optimistic, his instructor was supposed to drop off some CD-ROMs last Thu but went away for the weekend & forgot; he finally delivered them this evening about an hour before DS2 went out & we have to leave the house at 10 tomorrow hmm)

webwiz, the early rent money thing is a nightmare. DS1 was supposed to be working over the summer but had to have a knee op early on which prevented that so we have had to sub his 2-months early rent (& there was a 1-month security deposit earlier); once he has a regular job & has got his loan/grant he is supposed to be repaying (we can't afford to pay it as a regular thing so I'd rather get it back & keep it for future emergencies).

JustGettingByMum Mon 23-Aug-10 22:22:08

Ponders good luck to your DS for tomorrow

Webwiz I could potentially be you in 2 years as I have 2 school years between DS1 and DS2, only difference is the clothes are probably bigger and smellier grin

Well Ds has not revised for his theory test, but has slouched in the sitting room watching the footie. I did try suggesting some back up unis to him (we are all the same, aren't we?)

So some advice please,

At the mo, we are thinking of going for 2/3 in top 10 (def Bristol and Southampton),
then 2/3 in next 10 (based on the Times good uni guide).
Does this sound reasonable? Too cautious? Not cautious enough? What do you think?

mumoverseas Mon 23-Aug-10 22:34:14

JGB just been having the same conversation with DS. Its very difficult isn't it. All the crap/reports in the papers the last few days hasn't helped either sad
I'd (stupidly) thought that after the AS results we'd have a stress free period for a while which is clearly not the case.

ponders good luck for your DS's test tomorrow. Thankfully that is a long way off for my DS as he only started having lessons last month when he turned 17. He has only just learnt to turn right so thankfully we won't have any tests coming up any time soon that might distract from the UCAS applicationgrin

Ponders Mon 23-Aug-10 22:35:45

Thanks, JGB! We both have non-revisers then - let's hope they don't get too many stopping distance-type questions...

I'm not getting a lot of say in DS2's choices. We are in the NW and he wants to be min 2½ hours away - hence Durham, York, Sheffield, Edinburgh (Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds all too close). I think he should try for LSE but he thinks London is too far & too expensive.

Of those I think some are top 10 & some are next 10 (though we use Guardian, not Times) so similar to your ideas.

WhoKnew's RAE thing is interesting. Sheffield is actually looking pretty good all round for Politics.

Ponders Mon 23-Aug-10 22:36:58

thank you too, MOS smile

webwiz Mon 23-Aug-10 22:41:23

I think it depends on the sort of offers they are giving JGBMum but I would say DD2 is planning something similar. I think the current defs are Oxford, Bath and York with Nottingham and Exeter floating around. She's got rid of Durham which is miles away and swapped it for Exeter which is miles away as well! I think that would give a mix of offers of AAA, AAB and ABB all being well.

JustGettingByMum Mon 23-Aug-10 22:43:31

I was feeling fairly happy till speaking with boss at work today, his v bright daughter only got offers from 2 of her 5 choices, and some of her friends only recd 1 offer sad

Perhaps we should jack in the whole thing, let them all take their driving test and then set up a nationwide driving school - Ponders DS in NW, MOS in SE(?) and mine in SW.grin

WilfShelf Mon 23-Aug-10 22:43:40

Please don't only encourage your DC to choose universities based on newspaper league tables: their methodologies are notoriously problematic - most universities go along with it because to be unrepresented would be worse than a dodgy story, but many if not most are reluctant participants.

If you want to choose a university based on its status, by all means choose a 'top 10' or a 'Russell Group' institution. However, there is so much more to choose, whatever the schools tell you (they, of course, have a vested interest - especially private schools - in selling a story that all their pupils go to the 'best' universities...)

Your kids ought to be going to open days, perhaps with you also, and asking difficult questions, not simply relying on tables and presumptions. So, for example, you need to weigh up the focus on research, the teaching quality and commitment, the resources, the facilities and environment, the particular content of the course (which can be surprisingly different, even for the same subject, at different universities)

The top 10 questions I would be asking of my kids' university choices are:

1. How big are the lectures/seminars/tutorial groups/lab sessions? (a tutorial isn't a tutorial if there are 20 people in the room...)

2. Who does the actual teaching (full-time permanent academics with PhDs? Part-time non-contract lecturing staff? Postgraduate students?) Is this true for lectures AND tutorials?

3. What kind of expertise do the staff have? Do they have PhDs in the subjects they teach in? How long has that particular course been offered at this university? Are reading lists up to date (ask to see the course materials: if there's nothing published in the last few years, ask if it matters - in history it might not, in virology or international relations, it will...)

4. What do current and graduating students say about the course? National Student Survey is probably a much better guide than some news surveys. Can you speak to them? If not, why not? Ask on Facebook if they're not at Open Days...

5. What is the overall staff:student ratio? What proportion of these staff are likely to be on research leave in any one year to affect the ratio?

6. What kinds of facilities are available to support students' work? 24 hr library facilities? Book spend? Online resources? Skills support? Specialist subject librarians? Laboratory and technical support?

7. What kinds of other support are available: financial help? 'Safety net' support for personal crises? Personal tutoring?

8. What kind of vibe is there from staff: do they talk direct to applicants, make them and you welcome, have high expectations, challenge them/you? Are they some way in between desperately aloof and couldn't care less, and desperate to keep you in the room?

9. What sort of workload are students expected to put in beyond contact time? How is that supported? Is there online/IT support at crucial times?

10. What kinds of assessment are there? How quickly are they usually turned around? What kinds of feedback will they get? Who marks the work?

They will HATE you for asking all these questions but if yer paying yer money, you need to know what really sorts sheep from goats, rather than relying on archaic measures of status...

WilfShelf Mon 23-Aug-10 22:47:04

And when I say 'hate' I don't mean 'will prejudice your kid's application': truly good departments will welcome the interrogation, especially from a keen, bright-eyed 17 yo...

PosyPetrovaPauline Mon 23-Aug-10 22:57:44

hello all and good luck it is such a steep learning curve which we did last year
i agree with those who rate the personal statement. we spent ages on ds and did not entirely subscribe to the 'word about town' on how to fill them in...we put more personal stuff than often deemed best and ds got 5 russell group offers

i would say do your homework - see where wants what ...

don't do what you think you ought - let youor child believe in themselves and 'sell' themselves accordingly

reach for the stars - it's worth a shot. you can only fail and then at least you'll know you tried

ds was lucky and got his first choice but it is a bumpy ride

PosyPetrovaPauline Mon 23-Aug-10 23:00:50

interestingly please be aware my ds's lowest offer was AAA and he was pretty much the norm amongst his friends

Ponders Mon 23-Aug-10 23:11:43

I've just been looking through online prospectuses (i?) & the average grade requirement, for Politics/Philosophy, seems to be AAA/AAB - except for Hull, I've just discovered, whose baseline is ABB so that looks like a good insurance prospect!

Wilf, DS2 doesn't actually have a huge lot of choices for what he wants to do so league tables are fairly irrelevant, luckily grin But thanks for those questions - I will show them to him.

JGB, driving school excellent idea - endless supply of customers, nice new car all the time, & pots of money!

mumoverseas Mon 23-Aug-10 23:46:14

wilf useful info thanks for that

JGB sounds like a plan. I'm SE at the moment but in 2 weeks going back 'home' to KSA where as a mere female I can't drive anyway. I always feel like a learner again when I return to the UK after months away. <mos reminds herself she only reversed into one wall this summer and wonders what DH is going to say when he gets back here in 3 days> blush

JustGettingByMum Tue 24-Aug-10 08:23:05

Wilf wow, that's a huge list, might need to make an indivdual appointment with the tutor to cover them all! Seriously, thats a great list of Q to consider so thank you.smile

Ponders glad you're plan is coming together. I've been suugesting DS start to look in North East too, poss Newcastle, or Sheffield , OK I know that's not strictly NE, but it IS NE of us.

Posy I agree 100% with your sentiments and I believe students should have lots of opportunities, but tbh the process feels more like the uni choosing the student, rather than the student doing the choosing.

MOS I meant for our respective DSs to run the driving school, the set up costs have got to be less than the debt they will all leave Uni with blush

mumoverseas Tue 24-Aug-10 08:25:13

morning all
JGB sorry knew what you meant, I didn't make much sense. I just thought well, will we REALLY just let them get on with something on their own without us helping(interfering) wink

JustGettingByMum Tue 24-Aug-10 08:39:13

MOS - hmm yes we would need to interfere be on hand to encourage!

WhoKnew2010 Tue 24-Aug-10 08:43:17

Wilf great advice - from a Uni perspective - I know that when we do open days (three line whip for academic staff) we would happily answer all those questions and would do well on all of them. Personally I would go for Russell Group (but then I work for one smile) http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/our-universities.aspx

Also surf webpages for Depts your interested in - we all have our up to date publications on there. Sometimes no publications means that someone is a fantastic teacher, sometimes it doesn't ...

+ Exeter (Exeter is a strange one - not a great place to be an academic but a high proportion of private schools and high admission grades because popular with students - not sure it is always justified on the academic side of things - but employers still seem to like it and students have a good time)

JustGettingByMum Tue 24-Aug-10 08:45:34

Webwiz missed your post replying to uni q, sorry!

Sounds like your DD has a good plan there,

I think we need to look v closely at offers (and hope they dont change) to ensure we get a good mix.

mumoverseas Tue 24-Aug-10 09:38:01

whoknew (and any other ladies in the know on here) wink

quick question. Up late last night/early am discussing DSs insurance choice. He is now thinking of perhaps maybe applying for law with french at one of his choices in the hope that less applicants will go for this as may not have the required A level in French. He got an A at AS in french. Views?

WhoKnew2010 Tue 24-Aug-10 15:00:16

I would do this if it's what he wants to do but it is a lot of extra work - both french language and french law and means he gets to do fewer options in law (eg human rights, family law, corporate, whatever). Often Law and french is quite heavily subscribed (law and german less so). Often a few native French speakers, bilinguals etc.

If you go to the open days and ask them what offers they usually make many places will tell you (where I work we have gone from AAA to AAB and if desperate ABB). So two AAA choices may work if the insurance Uni will in fact take AAB instead. Does that make sense?! You need to ask each Uni individually though and times may be changing ... You could try phoning but they may still be dealing with or reeling from this year's applicants.

mumoverseas Tue 24-Aug-10 17:14:39

Thanks for that but think I got a bit confused.
Think what I meant is that he is thinking of a course that is law but with a year out in france so not strictly a degree in french and law (probably makes even less sense) - sorry, am sleep deprived

JustGettingByMum Tue 24-Aug-10 18:18:45

DS passed his theory test <proud mum emotion>

Ponders - any news on your DS, I hope he did well too.

mumoverseas Tue 24-Aug-10 18:26:32

woo hoo for JGBjunior grin

Ponders Tue 24-Aug-10 19:54:27

oh hooray for JGBson!

yes, mine passed too, thank you (phew) <proud & relieved mum!>

JustGettingByMum Tue 24-Aug-10 19:58:50

Yay well done ponders son.

mumof3teens Tue 24-Aug-10 20:30:58

Can I join the gang? Going through this for the 3rd (and last!) time. DS3 wants to study German, possibly with History. 1st choice at the moment is Leeds, but still have Durham, Bristol and Liverpool to go round. Have already seen Manchester and Sheffield. Want DS3 to get started on PS, so will have to nag.DS1 & DS2 both still at uni, so we will really be broke when they have all finished their (5 year) degrees!

mumoverseas Tue 24-Aug-10 21:52:44

Welcome to the club mumof3teens. You must be an expert at this having been through this twice before so you can do a lot of hand holding grin

ponders well done to your DS.

Penthesileia Tue 24-Aug-10 22:08:02

Listen to Wilf. She is wise! grin

Oh, and as someone who has the unenviable task of sorting through the UCAS applications (for interview or rejection) to my (top 4 rated) department, may I make a little plea?

Please - if you have any influence on the matter at all wink - encourage your DC to write as fully as possible in their PS about why they want to study the subject they're applying for, what motivates them, why they love it, etc. With information (e.g. books they've read, exhibitions they've seen, experience they've gained, etc.) to back up their claims.

DO NOT waste too much valuable space blithering on about all the teams you're on or the extra-curricular stuff you do. Fine, a short paragraph at the close to give a fuller, impressive picture of yourself is good. But I've lost count of the number of times I've read a PS and got no sense at all about why I should offer a place to study X to a candidate, but have a very full picture of their sporting prowess. hmm

Schools have a LOT to answer for in continuing to perpetuate the nonsense that the PS should be all about stressing how "well-rounded" you are. Do you think the academics who are reading these statements are well-rounded? <unlikely> <nerd> grin

mumoverseas Tue 24-Aug-10 22:40:45

Penthesileia you give me/DS hope grin
DS has done quite a bit of research and work experience about the subject he wishes to read which will be set out fully in his PS.
He has no sporting prowess. He is the boy whose cricket report for his old prep school read 'x has progressed from making daisy chains to standing in an upright position whilst fielding, great progress'. I will frame that report one day.wink

seimum Tue 24-Aug-10 22:57:35

Thanks, Wilf and Penthesileia - I have printed out your advice for my DD2, who wants to study history and politics/international relations - somewhere that will take her with (probably) an ABB

mumof3teens Wed 25-Aug-10 11:36:26

mumoverseas Yes I am pretty clued up on applications to Medical or Dental school - not so much for applications for a language courseconfused

mumoverseas Thu 26-Aug-10 20:09:37

ok, so todays choices for DS are
Cambridge
Durham
Southampton
Exter (I think?)
Cardiff (insurance choice)

wonder what tomorrow will bring hmm

How is everyone else doing? frantic countdown til they go back to school?

Ponders Thu 26-Aug-10 20:43:52

DS2 is at Leeds - they went off yesterday (early bird tickets), won't be back till Monday & college starts again Tuesday hooray what a shame

We need to do a bit of intensive uni website surfing next week to decide if he wants to go to any dept open days in Sept (they are all termtime of course but college are ok with time off for that apparently).

I'm still a bit sad that there aren't any courses he wants to do at Oxford. (But with that D at AS I think it would all be academic hahaha anyway now)

Ponders Thu 26-Aug-10 20:51:40

btw Penthesileia, I C&P'd your wonderful post at 22:08 on Tue to DS2 with the important bits highlighted so he won't waste too much time in his PS on D of E, Young Enterprise, playing football etc smile

He wants to study mostly politics, is dead keen & interested, reads the Guardian at college every day, joined Lib Dems in March, helped local candidate with campaigning during the election (including a visit to a neighbouring constituency to see Nick C)(boo hiss) & has our local MP (Tory) on his Facebook friends shock

Is that all good stuff for PS??? Would it make you you go "oh yes, I'd like to see this one"???

Penthesileia Thu 26-Aug-10 22:02:41

That all sounds fine for a PS (except maybe the FB stuff wink) if he can find a way to translate that experience into academic language.

So, if an applicant were to say, "I want to study Politics because I am interested in it. I channel my interest into pursuing local politics... Etc." I would think, "Ok, probably good enough, I might see this one; but I still don't have much of a sense of their mind or the way they think; but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt." (Still much better than the countless PS which witter on at length about all the brilliant leadership and organisational skills they gained being treasurer of their Young Enterprise committee which produced mugs, or some such... Yeah, ok, sure. I'll take your word for it... hmm).

An even better candidate would think about how to convey their interest in an intelligent and original way. So, instead of just telling me that they are interested in a subject, they show me, by explaining why reading The Guardian every day/joining the Lib Dems/volunteering in local politics means something. What does it mean? You can tell me you read The Guardian, and I'll think, "Fine. So??" But if you talk about the agenda of the paper/the role of the newspaper in British political life, etc. etc., I'll think "Ah-ha. An applicant who thinks deeply about what they're doing, rather than just writing what their teacher told them they think will "look good".

Do you see what I mean? That's what I look for in a PS.

Penthesileia Thu 26-Aug-10 22:14:03

Oh, and even the FB stuff could be interesting if he talked about the role of social-networking sites, etc., in politics today.

Oh, and for anyone who is freaking out because their DC learned a squazillion instruments (actually, music is often a good indicator of commitment and determination, so I do note that), is captain of the basketball team, head boy, and President of their YE committee, and now it all seems wasted, I am not saying don't mention these things. Do so, but don't let it take up the majority of the PS. At the end of the day, they are applying to study a subject, so I need to know they're up to that task.

lionheart Thu 26-Aug-10 22:24:58

I would echo what Penthesila said as someone who also sorts these applications for an arts based subject. I need to know why you want to study the subject, what you have done to support your interest outside of coursework (reading, theatre, etc). Wittering on about the rounders team, Christian choir and retail experience makes no impact. smile

lionheart Thu 26-Aug-10 22:27:54

Oh and if the student has had difficulties to overcome during their studies I would try to ensure that the person writing the reference understands this and ackowledges it in their statement.

Ponders Thu 26-Aug-10 22:36:10

ooooh, thank you again, Penthesileia.....(would love to abbreviate your name fondly btw but can't see where to)

That is all v v v helpful smile I suspect his PS would be quite like that anyway, his college is v good at helping them all in the right direction, but advice from someone on the other side is invaluable!

(He was far from being treasurer in YE, he & his best mate march to a different drummer & were sidelined rather by the Keen Squad, so I think that was only going to be mentioned in passing anyway grin)

Oh, and, he does do some music too - had piano/horn/cello lessons years ago, dropped all that, then much later taught himself guitar & is now playing in a kind of band, is it worth mentioning that too?

Notyetamummy Fri 27-Aug-10 16:18:24

I'm sure that all of you mum's are very well informed anyway, but I applied and got a place in medical school 5 years ago (not so long), am now in my final year and would be very happy to offer any advice that I can to help students applying for medicine.

I teach sex education in many comprehensive schools and always say at the end of the class that if anyone is interested in studying medicine they can come and have a chat with me. I am really surprised how little support is offered by the schools. Pupils don't find out that they need LOADS of work experience until they begin to apply and then it's nearly too late.

If anyone wants me to answer any questions that I can - I will.

Good luck to everyone's children!

stupidgreatgrinonmyface Fri 27-Aug-10 18:40:30

Can I also re-iterate what has been said about the importance of the PS? DC1 had an awful A2 year, with a major illness causing a protracted absence and consequently poor results. Took a year out to 're-group' and found a job to for the year. Decided that Uni really was what he wanted and found that though he could get in to a few based on the results he had, the one he really wanted had a much higher requirement and in fact, his results were even slightly below what was required for their foundation year. He applied anyway and got offers from the first 4. The fifth, the one he really wanted, invited him for an interview. At the interview, he was told that it was the quality of his PS that had got him that far. Fortunately, school references and GCSE results confirmed that A levels were a major 'glitch' and he was offered a place on foundation year which he accepted. His results since have all been solid 'firsts', confirming he was right to go for the higher rated uni and confirming they were right to have faith in him as well.

One of the comments made about his PS was that it was nice to read one where the writer did not think that they had to use every character avaiable, but had the confidence to stop writing when they had said what needed to be said. he was told that a goo PS gives good information whilst still leaving some subjects 'open' for the interview.

overthemill Tue 31-Aug-10 18:33:25

we are starting this now with Dsd and are all of a flutter! she has wanted to do French and Politics/Int Relations for aeons but although getting brilliant grades at GCSE (mix of A*, As) and a Bdidnt do so well at AS (ie AACC) and one of the Cs was French. I wonder if she took her eye off the ball as she struggled much more with her AA subjects!

Anyway with Bristol, Exeter, Edinburgh, Kent and another as yet undecided she needs an A next year. Can she still get an A assuming that she works her socks off? Should she resit - what do you all think?

webwiz Wed 01-Sep-10 08:18:03

Overthemill DD1 took French A level, she got a B at AS(she was predicted an A) and resat in January. Her teacher said that she would find the AS easier then as she would have done more french and because of the type of exam involved ie skills that have been built up rather than particular knowledge to revise it didn't cause too much extra work.

overthemill Wed 01-Sep-10 20:37:04

brilliant!
and did yours get offers based on original or resit result? That is what worries me

webwiz Thu 02-Sep-10 08:15:20

Her offers were based on predicted grades but the course she wanted to do needed ABB with the A in Biology not French.

DD2 is in the same situation with Chemistry she got a C at AS(just missed a B by two marks) but will need an A prediction for the course/unis she wants. Since she has had glandular fever this year and one of her teachers was away for 5 months with no proper replacement I'm hoping that we don't have to go in an argue her case. She got an A in January and an A for coursework but the summer paper was a disaster. At least she did so badly it should be easy to improve on it!!

overthemill Thu 02-Sep-10 10:16:16

webwiz oh that's really helpful and reassures me no end! I hope your dd2 now gets what she needs too.
I think our dd did well on mocks and coursework and was predicted an A. So this result is 'off' her normal range. Lots of hard work in store

JustGettingByMum Thu 02-Sep-10 17:36:18

Has anyone considered going to University abroad?

This article on the BBC website about Dutch Universities started me wondering...

overthemill Thu 02-Sep-10 18:00:14

well, my dsd doesn't want to go abroad to Uni although we did discuss it. If she gets on teh French course she hopes to have a year abroad anyway. But my nephew is considering this (though only just started AS's). Another nephew is abroad studying. But he is from the USA anyway and has gone to study in Romania!

I would definitely encourage my other two dc to consider study abroad , not just UK

mumoverseas Thu 02-Sep-10 21:51:29

overthemill DS got an A at AS in french but is re-sitting one of papers to get a higher A in the hope of an A star next year. He said the same as webwhiz has said about it not involving any extra work as the A2 builds on what has already been done so no extra revision/study time really.

I have started to wonder about university abroad but DS has his heart set on cambridge so I'll let him get on with it. A little bit frustrating as I know he wants to go next year when most of his peers will go but we are 99% sure he will be forced to have a gap year due to a rule about students having to have been in the UK for 3 years prior to commencing Uni and he will only have been here 2 years due to a few years at school abroad which is a pain. I have wondered whether it is actually worth contacting different Unis to see whether they do actually enforce this rule as if so it would not be affordable hence him having to wait a year.

overthemill Fri 03-Sep-10 12:35:19

i think that unless they have been resident for 3 years prior then they are treated as a non resident student and that means, I think, higher fees. But if just at school abroad wasn't his main residence here with you?

mumoverseas Fri 03-Sep-10 16:52:16

Overthemill, we were all living abroad for a few years (on and off) due to DH working abroad. We had wanted to come home but DS was mid-way through his GCSEs and we couldn't get him into a school here until he'd finished them so he only returned permanently to the UK last June and started his AS/A levels here last September. Therefore looks like he will be treated like an overseas student (even though technically we are UK residents as own property and pay taxes here etc) which is a pain sad On the brightside, it will (hopefully!) give him a year to save up

overthemill Mon 06-Sep-10 20:28:23

do check as i think its the taxes that swings it

mumoverseas Fri 10-Sep-10 20:24:28

DS has emailed several Unis to try to find out what their position is on the residency issue. One (rather unhelpful) reply simply said they would assess it AFTER he applied. Doesn't really help him decide whether to defer or not!

Just got his predicted grades:
A/B
B
A*/A
A

He had guessed he'd get a B (maths) but was going to go and talk to the head of maths and ask to sit an exam paper every week for a month to prove he was worthy of an A. Not sure about the A/B. Does anyone know if they do actually put A/B on the form. Seems to be hedging bets a bit. He got an A at AS so not sure why they've put A/B.
The unis he is looking at require AAA/AAB

How is everyone else doing? Are there many of us going through the torture of the Oxbridge/Medical applications in the next month?

webwiz Fri 10-Sep-10 21:01:15

We've gone a bit quiet on this because DD2 has decided not to apply to Oxford after all. She felt that as she only had a slim chance of getting in the preparation for the maths test would be a lot of hard work and that her time would be better spent making sure she got back up to an A in chemistry. After being either ill or not quite 100% from January to June I think she is probably being sensible as a stress overload in the run up to Christmas wouldn't be a good idea. She's had a few long chats with her further maths teacher about it who said that school would write her a fab reference if she still wanted to apply but she seems happy with her choice.

She has set her heart on Bath who want AAA and an A in all the core maths modules so not exactly an easy option.

I think this year is the first year in ages that there have been no Oxbridge candidates in DD2's school. That gives and indication as to how bad the AS results were! DD2 was the last to drop out.

senua Fri 10-Sep-10 21:37:44

MOS: It's a bit difficult with you being abroad but can you have a pointed discussion with the Maths teacher along the lines of "if he's only predicted a B in this subject then perhaps he's better off dropping it and concentrating on making sure that he gets his As in the other subjects"
Do you think that they might then re-visit the prediction? wink

senua Fri 10-Sep-10 21:41:21

Oh webwiz, sorry to hear that. Sorry for the x-post (had to divert attention there: DS was actually talking to meshock)
Sort of confirms my post.sad Good luck to her.

webwiz Fri 10-Sep-10 21:54:03

Thanks Senua - she is happy with the decision and if it means she stays well, gets into a good university and gets three A's then that is the important thing. She seems to be complying with my nagging about eating properly and taking her vitamins but I'm not having much luck with the going to bed at a reasonable time. She's gone to see Muse at Wembley tonight so that won't be an early night and neither will tomorrow as the endless round of 18th birthday parties has started already!

mumoverseas Sat 11-Sep-10 04:51:11

Webwiz, it sounds like your DD has a very sensible approach although I can understand it if you are a bit disappointed. If you find a way of getting her to understand the importance of sleep please let me know and I'll pass it on to DD1 winkFingers crossed your DD stays in good health.

Senua, just got an email which DS sent late last night saying maths teacher (who is knew this year) will talk to his previous maths teachers and doesn't see a problem with predicting an A (he is re-sitting one of maths papers to bump B to A hopefully)

Have to say I'm very reassured about how things are going having finally got off my butt and looked at the parents section of school website where I'm able to see all his challenge grades, predicted grades and UCAS stuff. I've always felt quite helpless being so far away but the good thing is DS is very focused and I know I won't have to chase/nag him from 3,000 miles grin

He is 99% certain he is not applying for Cambridge now although he did really want to go there having spent 4 days on a law conference there earlier in the year. He feels it is too much of a risk as they want at least AAA and probably an A*. Oxford apparently are not using A* the next year or two so probably a safer bet. I know he is being very sensible about it but I'm a bit disappointed for him as he really loved it up there. Just as well one of us is being realistic though wink

Hope everyone is doing ok and remaining calm.

JustGettingByMum Sat 11-Sep-10 07:28:07

Morning everyone, I wrote out a long post last night and then somehow managed to delete the darn thing before posting blush!

webwiz I'm sure your DD will love Bath. My DD has just started swimming there on Sunday mornings with her swim club. It's a beautiful campus, really green and leafy. I hope she gets her offer, and as others have said, she is being really sensible and I am sure it will pay off with some great offers.

mos hi! <waves from wet Wiltshire>, Are you back in the sun? Or still in the UK?
Your DS predicted grades are really good, I'm sure you're very proud of him. I'm pleased that the Maths tutor is willing to revisit the grade for him. Hope it works out.
I am very envious that your DS is getting so much good advice and help from the school. So far we have heard Zilch!

DS is on what feels like V99 of his PS, it is much better, but far too long. I am hoping the school will gear up this week and start some proper feedback. DS did ask about his predicted grades from his form tutor who looked at him rather blankly and suggested he talk to the exams officer hmm

mumoverseas Sat 11-Sep-10 07:38:44

<mos waves back at JGB from the land of sand>, yes, I'm back, got back here Tuesday morning.

DS did around 4 versions of PS but it is far too long and he will have to cut around 25% of it. One teacher he spoke to said better to have to much and reduce rather than too little and shove in extra stuff that may not be relevant.

I know DS is very lucky to have all the support and advice he is getting but to be honest, I think he is being very pushy as he knows how important it is and that time is of the essence as it were as only just over a month until his application has to be in. I think you just have to push. And push.
Not helpful of your DS's tutor hmm

Good luck

JustGettingByMum Sat 11-Sep-10 07:49:27

I know, and I hate people who say "I don't mean to be rude but...", well I don't mean to be rude but, she's the Food tech teacher who has never taught DS for any lessons, she's quite new to the school (her second year) so this is the first time she's had a group of Y13s and she is not filling me with any confidence.

I think I may need to work round her and perhaps go direct to DS old G&T co-ordinator or his previous tutor, both of whom have been promoted and are now the 2 Deputy Heads.

Enjoy the sun it's peeing down raining rather heavily here.

mumoverseas Sat 11-Sep-10 13:09:06

Am assuming G & T isn't gin and tonic? wishful thinking back here in the 'dry'. wink Think you are probably wise to get DS to talk to his previous tutors who actually know him!

sorry about the rain, its around 45 degrees here grin

webwiz Sat 11-Sep-10 15:03:29

MOS I was more disappointed when she decided not to apply to Durham as me and DH both when there (actually that may be the reason that she didn't want to apply- well that and the fact that they want A*AA for Maths!)At least your DS seems to be getting some guidance from his school, DD2 has had to bypass her form tutor and ask her further maths teachers for advice so I sympathise JGBMum.

I'm very glad DS is only in year 9 and we get a bit of a break before he starts taking exams every year.

mumoverseas Sat 11-Sep-10 16:18:41

DS has been thinking of applying to Durham but has been warned by teachers at his school that Durham don't touch students that they know have applied to Oxbridge. Difficult decisions ahead of him the next month or so.

DD1 has just started her GCSEs so I've got this stress for a few years yet. Then a bit of a gap. DD2 starts 'big' school (Foundation 1) next week and DS2 starts nursery. Nothing like dragging out the torture wink

brimfull Sat 11-Sep-10 16:19:53

mumoverseas-dd's friend at durham and he applied ot oxford as well

brimfull Sat 11-Sep-10 16:20:26

don't they nickname durham as doxford as most there are oxford rejects

mumoverseas Sat 11-Sep-10 16:35:15

I'm sure DS will be overjoyed to become an Oxford reject!

webwiz Sat 11-Sep-10 16:38:30

Me and DH are both Oxford rejects and both ended up at Durham. I'm not sure about the Durham/Oxbridge thing, the rumors been around about that for years.

I read somewhere that you didn't need to apply to all your courses at the same time when you apply to UCAS so you could leave Durham till after the 15th October deadline and they wouldn't know that you were an Oxbridge candidate. My friends DS is at a school where everyone does their UCAS application by 15th Oct whether they are applying to Oxbridge or not so I'm not sure if they could be certain that you'd applied there anywhere.

mumoverseas Sat 11-Sep-10 19:55:14

I'm sure you were far too good for Oxford webwhiz grin

We had a bit of a hint at DS's school last week about that possibility (of applying for Oxbridge and one other before 15th and then others after so hopefully Durham wouldn't knowhe'd applied for Oxbridge) Apparently a few students did this last year and I think that is what DS intends to do.

Watch this space. I imagine DS is getting quite stressed by it all now as he has his LNAT coming up soon and also his extended project to finish. I'm quite glad we've got a holiday booked for October half term as suspect we'll all need it.

webwiz Sun 12-Sep-10 12:22:50

MOS Good luck to your DS for the LNAT.

DD2 starts her school "community service" tomorrow - she's helping in a year 11 set 6 Maths class. I didn't even know they had that many sets! A bit more for the personal statement though if she survives.

JustGettingByMum Mon 13-Sep-10 18:34:59

mos good luck to your DS, is there a set date that he takes the test?
webwiz how's your DD getting on helping the GCSE maths group?

webwiz Mon 13-Sep-10 19:01:04

She said it was fine JGBMum one of her old maths teachers takes the class so she felt quite comfortable being in there.

ShrinkingViolet Mon 13-Sep-10 19:14:18

DD1 is sending off her form a few days after the Oxbridge deadline, so that the places she's applied for will see she's actively choosing them. That plus she's on a course that week whcih she needs to put a sentence into her PS about.

Reasonably major stresses here as everywhere sems to be upping their standard offer for Maths, plus specifying module scores, so finding somewhere which is decent and realistic for an insurance place is a bit of a struggle sad. Otherwise she'll need to resit most of the Maths modules she's already done to bump them up to an A* just to be in with a chance.

webwiz Mon 13-Sep-10 20:09:03

The standard offers for Maths seem to have gone a bit mad this year ShrinkingViolet I find them quite complicated as well with all the detailed specifications. I see that Imperial have ditched their old "an A in every module maths and further maths module with no resits" for A*A*A - that was kind of them!

DD2 has York and Nottingham as potential choices and they don't ask for specific module scores.

ShrinkingViolet Mon 13-Sep-10 20:43:39

nor do Birmingham which she quite liked at Saturday's open day. York has been ruled out as the ducks "will ruin all my shoes" grin.

And Imperial with their 17 thousand A*s never got a look in as it "smelled like a doctor's surgery". I'm glad she's taking the choice of university seriously and maturely wink grin.

mumoverseas Tue 14-Sep-10 19:52:31

hello all. Think DS has bumped his LNAT which was due to be next week til after his UCAS application goes in to give him a little more time to concentrate on that. Think its around the 22nd October now which is much better.

A bit baffled by his grades. His predicted grades have now changed to AAA A/A* which is fab, but not if he is not going to get it! It clearly shows these grades on the parents section of school website we can access but also shows the grades for the vacation work and the ones on their so far are BC and a U! Apparently the teachers deliberately set really hard work for them and he was one of the highest scoring in a couple of them. The U scared me though but apparently his teacher has reassured him she thinks he will get an A. Seems a bit odd to me but surely the school aren't in the business of predicting stupidly high grades as it will make them look stupid?

So how many of us have got applications going in in the next month (and a day!)?
Nailbitting time. Am so glad now DS is getting it over and done with so we can enjoy our holiday which is end of Oct/beginning of November and not have all this stress then and over Christmas. No doubt we will then have other stesses though!

webwhiz community service sounds interesting and hopefully will look good on the PS.

JustGettingByMum Wed 15-Sep-10 10:25:10

MOS - Have you seen thread in chat from Riven??

mumoverseas Wed 15-Sep-10 14:50:45

No. What is that about?
Only just got on here today, sodding internet is rubbish out here.
in a panic as DS emailed DH earlier about whether to take a gap year or not and has about a week to decide! He had always assumed he'd had to (due to not being in the UK for 3 years prior to next Sept) but has just had it confirmed this is not the case. agghhhhhhh

webwiz Wed 15-Sep-10 16:14:28

MOS its a bit difficult to make those sort of decisions quickly!

DD2 was just checking her uni choices and found out that Bath have sneaked up their offer for 2011. Its A*AA now - oh well she'll just have to work hard if she wants to go there. We're keeping an eye on all her choices in case there is any more sneaking about, I actually heard myself saying that one of her universities was "only" asking for three A's hmm. I'm glad its not me applying.

mumoverseas Wed 15-Sep-10 16:38:42

webwhiz you and me both (ref not us applying) We've really struggled to find an insurance choice for DS, the 'worst' grades we've found are AAB.

Just spoke to him on the phone and he really does want to go next year and not have a gap year. He'd only been focused on the gap year as he thought he had to have a gap year due to the 3 year rule. Frantic re-writting of the PS will be going on in the next few days I think as he'd put loads of stuff in about his plans during gap year!

JustGettingByMum Wed 15-Sep-10 21:00:05

MOS From Riven, thanking you (again, and again, and again) grin

Good news for your DS re gap year, but what a pain only finding out now. Hope he gets it sorted.

Signing off as I need to check that neither Bristol nor Southampton are "planning" any sneaky offer rises.

mumoverseas Wed 15-Sep-10 21:12:33

JGB its amazing the effect a box of dates has on some people grin

Suppose I'd better have another look at DS's choices, just in case. Oh happy days.

mrswoodentop Wed 15-Sep-10 22:11:42

Am a bit of a usurper on this thread just dropped in to get ahead of myself a bit as we won't be doing this until next year ,not sure I am looking forward to it either!

Webwiz,dh and I were both at Durham too!!

webwiz Thu 16-Sep-10 09:21:30

If you are checking for standard offers for 2011 make sure you look at the university websites and not the UCAS site as it isn't always up to date. DD2 was quite upset about the Bath offer - I think she's lost a bit of confidence in her Maths ability along the way last year so most of yesterday evening turned into a bit of a therapy session. Its hard to get the balance between aiming high without them having a ridiculous amount of pressure. Anyway any decisions about which universities to choose (fingers crossed that there will be enough offers to make a choice) will be made after the results of Jan modules are out so we'll know if the mythical A* is achievable or not by then.

DS is a very neglected child at the moment but I think he prefers it that way!

Mrswoodentop what colleges? I was at Trevelyan and DH went Collingwood.

mrswoodentop Thu 16-Sep-10 10:59:44

I was in Trevelyan 83 to 86 and dh in Hatfield same period.Interestingly ds is keen onDurham but I don't wAnt him to pick it just because we went,also think he would take the rejection harder .At the moment he 's determined to go to "somewhere old" but it's early days.He would like to try for Cambridge but not sure his GCSEs are good enough (4 a stars ,5 a's and a b).
One reason I wS looking on here was to see when people start looking at open days etc.I know at school they start doing stuff in March but AS levels are looming then so was just trying to get head around the timetable

webwiz Thu 16-Sep-10 11:15:30

Mrswoodentop Well we overlapped I was there from 85 to 88! I have an old college photo and half the girls look like they are in Bananarama and the other half look like Lady Di at the time of her engagementgrin

DD2 was determined to go "somewhere old" but now she's looking more for campus/nice city hence Bath,York,Exeter.

We did some informal uni visits in the Easter Holidays - we went to Durham and York and stayed in both, and then went to a few proper open days after AS levels.

snorkie Thu 16-Sep-10 11:24:45

Quite a lot of open days in June/July after the AS exams MrsWoodentop, though it does seem like leaving it a bit late - I guess it depend how many you want to visit. Like you I'm lurking here in advance of next year - perhaps we need our own thread?

mrswoodentop Thu 16-Sep-10 11:43:47

Yes we would have overlapped by a year,I read Economics and Politics,dh law.Agree about the bananaramma /lady di !!Not sure which I was by year 3 probably started off more lady di but hopefully had lost it by then.

You obviously got out of the blocks a bit quicker than us on the children front.
We went up to Durham last year ,ds thinking of philosophy or theology at the moment.We need to open his eyes to some of the other possibilities.
Good luck to your dd,she sounds like she deserves it.

lazymumofteenagesons Thu 16-Sep-10 18:40:49

mrswoodentop, tell your son to look at the combined honours degrees that Durham do in either arts or social sciences. If he wants to mix and match it is quite a flexible degree, but is highly competitive to get on to. You can combine subjects like philosophy and theology with some politics, economics or psychology etc. There is loads to choose from and I think you are allowed to do 4 or 5 in the first year.

mrswoodentop Thu 16-Sep-10 19:29:08

Thanks ,yes i did combined honours politics and economics also did some philosophy and history and law ,is that not possible at all universities then?

MABS Sat 18-Sep-10 11:51:15

MOS - ds out of hospital now, so if you need me to chase any teachers at the school just say. He now has 6 week recovery so i will have time on my hands

mumoverseas Sat 18-Sep-10 13:15:18

Hi MABS, so glad to read that E is out of hospital, hope he recovers very soon.
School have been fab, I'm ablet to read all his updates/predicted grades etc on the school portal. Thank god/allah for modern technology, I don't feel quite so 'out of the loop'. Now I just need DS to make up his mind about whether he is taking a bloody gap year wink

MABS Sat 18-Sep-10 13:58:10

really pleased school are being so good mos

Ponders Sun 19-Sep-10 15:47:47

Can any of you please enlighten me on this date of application business as far as Oxbridge/the rest is concerned?

DS has decided he definitely will try for Oxford, & his college advisor said he has to put his full 5-choice UCAS application in by 30th Sept (this is his college's own deadline obv, not Oxford's)

Durham is not on the list (it's too small apparently confused) - his other choices are Sheffield, LSE, Edinburgh & York. Probably.

Do any of these care if you've already applied to Oxford? Should he be doing a 2-stage application or something? If so, how should he go about it?

mumeeee Sun 19-Sep-10 16:50:44

Ponders You apply for all unis you want at the same time. Oxford ,cambridge, and also medical sciences ( including Vets) have to be submitted by mid October. So that's why the college want them in by September 30th. It gives them time to look at everything and let students know if there is anything they've mised aslo a tutoe has to put a referance on the application.

Ponders Sun 19-Sep-10 18:23:28

That's what DS was told, mumeeee, but there are a few posts up the thread about doing a 2-part application?

mumoverseas Sun 19-Sep-10 18:47:15

Ponders, we've been told by DS's school that he can do a 2 stage application as he wants to apply for Durham who apparently won't touch you with a bargepole if they know you have applied for Oxbridge. Apparently a few of their students did the 2 stage application last year and DS is doing it this year. He will be applying for Oxford and one other by 15th October and then a month or so later will apply for Durham and two others.

He has to have everything in at school by 24th September for references and other administrative things to be done.

Ponders Sun 19-Sep-10 18:52:39

thanks, MOS - must have been your post/s I saw!

So how is it managed? You submit 1 UCAS application with 2 nominated universities, & then update it later? Is it only Durham who care if you've applied to Oxbridge, or are there others?

It's all very arcane confused

mumoverseas Sun 19-Sep-10 19:37:58

Not really sure how it all works Ponders. The first I heard of it was at a talk at DS's school a few weeks ago about life in U6 and UCAS applications and it was mentioned then. Durham was specifically mentioned as not liking it when students apply for Oxbridge and as DS is considering applying for Oxbridge and Durham, he made enquiries and has been told he can make the 'normal' application for Oxbridge (and perhaps one other) and then a later application for up to three others.

I will ask him to find out more and report back.

Ponders Sun 19-Sep-10 19:46:13

Oh that's very kind, thank you, MOS!

DS now has until the end of next week to sort this out (after a month of umming & ahing)(is that how you spell it??? grin)

Anyway he is supposed to take his PS to the college advisor tomorrow so I'll suggest he also ask her about a 2-stage UCAS application, in case it turns out to be necessary.

Also her own son is currently doing PPE at Oxford, & she has given DS his phone number so he can talk to him about it. (As DS isn't doing AS Maths I think he needs some advice about which are the best - or least worst - colleges for him to apply to.)

mumeeee Sun 19-Sep-10 22:19:58

Ponders. I think I know what they mean by a 2 prt application. Students used to apply for 6 universities. Now they apply for 5 but sometime after April ( I think it's April anyway). There is what they call extras if the student hasn't got any offers they can apply for another university using this system. I don#t think it would aork with oxbridge or the medicalcourses though as the ofers for those would all be given out by then.

mumoverseas Mon 20-Sep-10 04:46:15

Mumee, we have specifically been told to apply for 2, Oxbridge and one other before the 15th October deadline and then a few weeks/month or so later apply for up to 3 more.
Clearly this plan does not work for those wishing to apply for medicine/vetinary courses as the deadline for those is 15th October, same as Oxbridge.
I don't think it would be very sensible for people to risk making applications after 15th January

eatyourveg Fri 24-Sep-10 08:02:29

Is it unwise to apply for 2 courses at the same university? ie International Politics as well as International Politics with Law? The latter having an admissions criteria of 20 ucas points higher than the first one?

lazymumofteenagesons Fri 24-Sep-10 11:18:49

DS1 applied for 2 courses last year at Durham. We were told beforehand that they are looked at totally seperately. He got offers for both, and accepted one as firm and the other as his insurance. So it caused him no problems. But you have to make sure that the personal statement is suitable for both. If it has no reference to law then he might be rejected.

mumeeee Fri 24-Sep-10 12:30:36

mumoverseas. You are right the main application for uni has to be done before 15th January or if you are applying for oxbridge,vet or meds courses. The xtras thing is fairly new and you can only apply using that if you have not got any offers from the unis you applied for on your main application. The extras doesn't start until after march or April and universities put up what places they have left.

pippop1 Fri 24-Sep-10 12:57:41

I don't think the "Durham won't look at Oxbridge candidates" is true or wasn't last last year anyway.

DS is going to Durham in 9 days (for history). He applied to an Oxford college and, after interview, was not given an offer. Durham offered and that ended up to be his first choice. 3 of his school friends applied to Oxbridge and, like him, had interviews and were rejected. All four of them are going to Durham. None did any 2 part application, as far as I know.

pippop1 Fri 24-Sep-10 13:04:36

In case it's any help to anyone, DS had Edinburgh as his insurance (or second)hoice.

Last year at least it offered BBB for almost all it's courses even though it's a v good Uni. However, we were told that they only make offers to those predicted at least 3 x As. Scottish degrees are mostly 4 years long but the fees are cheaper that English ones but with the extra year's living expenses it works out to be v similar.

It was v reassuring to have whilst waiting for results.

mumoverseas Fri 24-Sep-10 15:01:10

That is very interesting pippop as we were categorically told by the head of 6th form and the university liasion teacher that information about Durham. There apparently are few others that get a bit funny about applications to Oxbridge but Durham was the one they specifically mentioned.

oh well, DS's application has been submitted online today to the teacher that does the references and other bits of pieces that need doing so it is 'watch this space' time.

Good luck to everyone and DC

pippop1 Fri 24-Sep-10 18:01:34

I mentioned it to my son as I'd never heard that about Durham (and I did as much research as I coud about Uni choices) and he said that at the Open Day they had said it was a myth! Anyway, he's in and he definately applied to Oxford.

I found a website called The Student Room very useful for non-prospectus questions like this. Always seemed to get a variety of opinions on everything.

ucasform Fri 24-Sep-10 19:59:54

The suggestion that pupils apply for Durham again after the 15th Oct deadline is just something 'A.N School' has advised, not an 'official' deadline from UCAS. It is something some pupils and/or schools do, to try and fiddle the system, as it were!

There are two deadlines: 15th Oct for all Oxbridge, medical, dental and vet school applications and 15th January for all other courses/universities.

It has always been a rumour that Durham will turn down Oxbridge applicants, even since I was at school (late 70s ).

At my DCs highly selective grammar school, many are successful for Oxbridge and some are not but are merrily off to Durham as their second choice.

This sending off applications, leaving out Durhan, and then 're-sending' the form with the addition of Durham is just another way of some schools trying to advantage their pupils in some way. Hopefully Durham will get wind of it soon and see through it all.

mrswoodentop Sat 25-Sep-10 11:03:13

Can I ask ,is it the case that unless you have a minimum of 6 A stars at GCSE there is no point in even considering Cambridge?

mumoverseas Sat 25-Sep-10 11:43:52

Don't think so mrswoodentop. I'd heard similar rumours (in addition to what appears to be the wrong one about Durham) hmm but apparently that is not the case. I certainly hope not wink

sarah293 Sat 25-Sep-10 11:47:03

Message withdrawn

mumoverseas Sat 25-Sep-10 11:48:29

she obviously had a very good tutor grin
<waves at Riven from the other side of the sand dunes>

snorkie Sat 25-Sep-10 14:00:11

I've heard the 6A* GCSE for oxbridge thing too (not from any reliable source). However, I've also heard it cited as 6As or A*s, so is one just a tale that has grown in the telling I wonder? I think whatever the cutoff is (if indeed there is one) there would always have to be exceptions made for children like riven's dd who have either taken fewer or done less well than they should due to unusual personal circumstances.

sarah293 Sat 25-Sep-10 14:26:46

Message withdrawn

mumoverseas Sat 25-Sep-10 15:13:28

snorkie I really hope your version is the correct one as DS didn't get 6 A* although quite a few As and a couple of A* grin

Riven, like your idea ref time served/lived abroad and unusual hobbies. DS is more than a little unusual. He taught himself arabic, qualified as a diver at 10 years and did a charity parachute jump a week after his 16th. Hopefully this makes up for him being totally pants at sports and always being the one handing out oranges.

Do keep us posted on how your DD gets on Riven.

sarah293 Sat 25-Sep-10 15:18:56

Message withdrawn

mumoverseas Sat 25-Sep-10 15:26:34

LOL at DD1 Riven. That is the sort of thing my DD1 would do.

Ref DS's PS, it was submitted to school yesterday so no going back. Next week (I think) someone at the school will press the big button and whiz it all off.

sarah293 Sat 25-Sep-10 15:30:46

Message withdrawn

pippop1 Sun 26-Sep-10 16:45:28

Mine said he knew if he took a gap year he'd never go back to studying again! We decided to listen to him (we had tried to encourage him to reapply to Oxford after his rejection).

MarsLady Sun 26-Sep-10 17:33:26

Riven... Bristol is at the top of DS1's list. We were there last Wednesday and we both liked it.

Me: cos I can visit him briefly and go shopping!

Him: Nice town to live in for the next few years.

grin

sarah293 Mon 27-Sep-10 07:46:39

Message withdrawn

MarsLady Mon 27-Sep-10 21:14:53

Oh honey! sad

What a lovely son you have.

rudbekia Mon 27-Sep-10 22:39:07

Can I just check....there ought to be a designated member of staff at your DCs school who is 'in charge' of UCAS stuff, including helping them sift through courses, giving advice about finances and helping to write and edit personal statements...if this is NOT the case then you need to get in touch with the school and ask why. This is not something parents/students ought to be doing alone!

In truth the current system is pretty intense - when I applied it was all done on paper, no parental input whatsoever, overseen by tutor at school, six choices, six offers and a place without breaking sweat. However, things are very different these days!

Teacher advice? Try no to get too involved. A personal statement ought to be just that - personal to the student it concerns. Like coursework which has been 'parented' its blummin obvious! (not that I'm suggesting anyone here would do that....)
Straight As are no longer a direct pass to a decent uni - they will take into account the number of re-takes a student has done, for example - and the number of students getting these top grades far out number those in the past.

Keep everything in perspective; I always tell my A level students to consider all options including the possibility of a gap-year if things don't turn out as expected. This should not be seen as a negative - some useful work experience can be gained, for example. Make sure this is part of any long-term planning. Don't take knock-backs from unis personally - difficult, I know. Do your research. Find out exactly what each course requires/offers and the number of places available. Hope some of this helps smile

mumoverseas Tue 28-Sep-10 21:05:13

very useful post rudbekia, thank you.
Well all out of my/DS's hands now. School have it all and I guess any day soon someone will be pressing the button and whizzing it off. So begins the long (and painful) wait!

JustGettingByMum Wed 29-Sep-10 17:14:43

Hi everyone, just book marking my space. Was away last week so am still playing catch up.
MOS - fingers, toes etc crossed for your DS.

We are hoping DS will finish off the last bits on his over the weekend and then pass it off to the teachers on Monday.

rudbekia Thu 30-Sep-10 07:53:35

mumoverseas - you are very welcome! I really hope everything works out for the best with your DS. The UCAS 'bod' at our school also happens to be a close friend of mine so if anyone has any burning questions I'll see what I can do in terms of getting answers for you. She's been doing it for years and is very much up on the current system x

sarah293 Thu 30-Sep-10 08:27:31

Message withdrawn

webwiz Thu 30-Sep-10 08:53:43

DD2's personal statement is with her form tutor at the moment I think she's done quite a good job of it but it just needs a fresh pair of eyes. I think the aim is to get everything done by half term but school are being very secretive about predicted grades ie you won't find out unless you specifically ask each individual teacherhmm.

Good luck to those who have pressed the button or who are just about to!

ShrinkingViolet Thu 30-Sep-10 09:24:25

DD1 asked her tutor to look through her draft PS, and was told she should rearrange the order so that her killer opening paragraph should come further down, and she needed to start with "I am fascinated by...". And this woman is head of careers, and presumably knows how a PS should (and shouldn't) start shock

webwiz Thu 30-Sep-10 19:24:34

Well DD2's personal statement has come back from her form tutor unchanged and is now with her further maths teacher. It doesn't start with "I'm fascinated by.." though ShrinkingViolet!

seimum Thu 30-Sep-10 22:00:15

DD2's tutor has told them not to use the word 'inspired' in their PS. (Comes up far too often, apparently).

Ponders Sat 02-Oct-10 19:28:18

DS2 isn't inspired (phew) but he is profoundly interested, & also fascinated, excited, eager, open-minded, committed, & whole-hearted to boot grin

Does anybody know whether an open application to Oxford - ie not to a specific college - counts the same as a college one?

mumoverseas Sat 02-Oct-10 20:18:31

<mos sticks her head in briefly, says she thinks that an open application counts as a college one and then rushes off to double check DS's personal statement to see if he was fascinated by law and whether he was inspired at all>

mumoverseas Sat 02-Oct-10 20:23:25

Its ok, he was intrigued grin

Ponders Sat 02-Oct-10 21:09:41

oh thank you, mos smile

(& thank goodness your DS was only intrigued wink)

JustGettingByMum Mon 04-Oct-10 16:37:51

DS had a mock interview last week along with 3 others that are still considering oxbridge.
They have had their feedback now, 2 have dropped out, DS is on the fence, and 1 is definitely still applying.

Not sure what to think really, just thought I'd share!

Ponders Mon 04-Oct-10 17:00:39

Ah - DS's college doesn't do those so he's having to wing it.

But there aren't many places doing the course/s he's interested in that he actually wants to go to - so he might as well stick Oxford in there anyway grin

mumoverseas Tue 05-Oct-10 17:42:21

ooh, don't think DS's school do mock interviews, sounds like a fab idea though. Will email and nag DS to find out about this. There is so much the little shit/love does't tell me. It was only when reading his PS I found out he has been learning mandarin chinese for the past year shock

JustGettingByMum Tue 05-Oct-10 18:07:13

Hmm unfortunately it didn't go well and so has knocked his confidence. We will be at the school tomorrow evening so will hopefully get a chance to talk to the tutor then. At the moment, DS is looking unlikely to apply for Cambridge. Still he really wants a course with a year in industry (engineering courses) so might be the most sensible option to apply for different unis.

webwiz Wed 06-Oct-10 10:04:32

Sorry your DS had his confidence knocked JGBMum - it doesn't take much at this age to make them wobble. Cambridge might not fit what he wants but you want him to make am informed choice.
LOL at the mandarin MOS - a bet your DS has already had a mock interview but decided not to tell you!

mumoverseas Wed 06-Oct-10 10:24:52

I imagine you are right webwhiz and when I cross-examine/ask him in a few weeks on holiday no doubt he will be really patronising and say he didn't want me to worry my little head about it wink

mumoverseas Sat 09-Oct-10 12:01:11

well this is it. DS got his first acknowledgement of an application today. Mock Oxbridge interview on Wednesday!

How is everyone else doing?

ShrinkingViolet Sat 09-Oct-10 13:13:36

DD1s application won't be going in till week after next at the earliest as she's on a course next week, hasn't finished the PS, nor chosen more than three universities.

Head of 6th form was concerned that she's not selling herself in her PS, but can't put his finger on why he feels that as she's included everything she needs to. She suspects that as he's an english teacher, he just doesn't understand the maths stuff, so she needs to get the head of maths of have a look as well.

webwiz Sun 10-Oct-10 12:30:23

DD2's Further maths teacher looked over her personal statement and was really helpful ShrinkingViolet.

We have to wait for reference and predicted grade stuff before it can all be sent off. Will be glad when its gone in.

oldmum42 Fri 15-Oct-10 18:36:38

So, those of us with DC putting in early applications, deadline today, (Med, vetmed, Dentistry, Oxbridge), I don't know about you, but I breathed a sigh of relief that that bit is over and done with! School finally got their bit done and uploaded to UCAS on Wed morning.

DS sits BMAT entrance exam on 3rd Nov, that's the next big thing on his calendar.

Then we just have to sit back and wait for the interview offers to (hopefully) arrive.

webwiz Fri 15-Oct-10 21:20:42

Lucky you oldmum42smile DD2's school is aiming for them all to have applied before half term so personal statement is done, reference is done, DD2 has entered everything else in UCAS and we are still waiting for predicted grades (there are only 3 of them taking further maths why is it taking so long!!!). DD2's form teacher said if her subject teachers don't come up with the predictions soon she's just going to put in 3 A*s!

Ponders Fri 15-Oct-10 21:43:39

DS's app is in already & he received the acknowledgement from UCAS today.

He's actually only applied to 4, which is a bit worrying confused

mumoverseas Sat 16-Oct-10 13:53:39

hello all
oldmum42 (actually, I'm also an old mum aged 42) grin, I was also relieved once it was all done and button pressed. Like you say, just waiting for news in interviews hopefully.
DS has LNAT next Thursday so is studying hard for that then thank god we are off on holiday on the Sunday. DC1 and 2 coming with us for 2 weeks and DH and DC3 and 4 will be having a lovely 3 week holiday which we really need.

ponders so far DS has only applied for 2 (on his schools advice) and I understand he will be applying to 3 more after half-term.
we had the acknowledgement from Cardiff the day it went in but nothing from Oxford yet.

oldmum42 Mon 18-Oct-10 05:01:54

Mumoverseas.... there's a lot of it about grin. In my case, about to have DS4 (section booked for Friday!), so sending one out into the world while bringing another one into it, IYKWIM!

Was especially glad to get the applications out of the way before the new baby, so quite handy that Medicine & Oxford both have the early application deadline.

Good luck to your DS for the LNAT on Thursday.

mumoverseas Mon 18-Oct-10 10:03:32

ooh, how exciting! And there was me thinking I had a massive age gap. I felt a bit odd looking at 6th forms for DS1 when I was hugely pregnant with number 4 grin

good luck and come back and let us know how you are afterwards x

Ponders Mon 18-Oct-10 10:17:27

Good luck for Friday, oldmum! I was 42 when I had DS2 - who is my number 4 as well, as it happens grin - so I am a veryoldmumindeed these days.

mos, the UCAS letter says some universities do acknowledge receipt of application but some don't so not getting one from somewhere doesn't mean anything.

mumoverseas Mon 18-Oct-10 10:37:14

thanks for that ponders. I have visions of DS1 carrying around his damm blackberry all holiday and checking for updates on his UCAS application grin

Ponders Thu 21-Oct-10 20:24:42

YAY, DS2 has had an offer (I was convinced he wouldn't get any confused so now I can breathe)

webwiz Thu 21-Oct-10 20:33:52

Well done to him Ponders grin

I am very very cross at DD2's school we are still waiting for predicted grades and apparently you have to have a one to one meeting with the head of sixth form to check through your application before it is sent. DD2 said you are not allowed to ask for the meeting you have to wait until "called" so her application won't go in until after half term unless she is "called" tomorrow.hmm

Ponders Thu 21-Oct-10 20:48:04

Thanks, webwiz!

grrr to DD2's school - that sounds really unhelpful angry How big is their Y13? Why is it down to Head of 6th form to deal with it? (Surely they should have at least 1 period a week for going over UCAS applications?)

Hope she gets called soon anyway smile

webwiz Thu 21-Oct-10 21:54:24

There are about 90 in Year 13 but not everyone is ready to send in their applications yet - DD2's was done and paid for a week ago so she is in the queue to be seen. Not sure if there have been mistakes in applications but they certainly didn't do this two years ago when DD1 was applying.

mumoverseas Fri 22-Oct-10 19:17:40

ponders that is fab news about your DS, good to have at least one offer this early on.

webwhiz that is so annoying of the school and very unfair if DD's application is all ready to go.

DD applied for 3 further Unis this week and so far has had 3 acknowledgements out of 5 and two of his friends have received offers. One of them is the same course at a Uni he has just applied for so we are keeping our fingers crossed that he might also get an offer from them soon.

He had LNAT yesterday and said he thought it went ok. Apparently the Unis get the results pretty much straight away but he doesn't find out to January which seems a bit daft to me.

oldmum hope everything went ok today and look forward to reading update x

Ponders Fri 22-Oct-10 20:20:39

Thanks, mos - I am mightily relieved, now I don't care if he doesn't get any other offers!(What is LNAT, please? I know it's been mentioned but it hasn't registered in my tiny brain.)

Oh yes, oldmum, looking forward to seeing you back here soon smile (how thoroughly weird to dealing with nappies & UCAS at the same time!)

webwiz, has DD2 been seen yet? If not I think she (or you) should have a word after half-term.

JustGettingByMum Fri 22-Oct-10 20:39:52

Aagh, I've missed sooo much, our internet crashed 2 weeks ago and refused all efforts at resuscitation. So today we finally get a new box and I can finally catch up.

oldmum hope everything went well for you today

ponders wow! congratulations to your DS on his offer, what a great feeling.

webwiz I hope your DD is able to get her form off soon. So unfair to your DD sad

MOS <frantic wave> so pleased your DS felt the LNAT went well, bring on the offers next!

DS FINALLY got his forms submitted yesterday, what a farce though as we had 3 way texts and emails flying between home, school and my office as DH texted exam board details to ds, he did the final updating at school, then he emailed it all to me so I could arrange the payment.

webwiz Fri 22-Oct-10 22:16:59

DD2's form couldn't be sent because when the chemistry teachers did the list of predicted grades for her class she was missed off. I despair - the main school is fab but the sixth form is another story hmm

morticiaoverseas Thu 28-Oct-10 00:53:01

hello all,
ponders LNAT is the National Admissions Test for Law that some universities require applicants to sit.

JGB how frustrating for you. We often go for days at a time with no internet as its pretty rubbish in KSA but I couldn't cope with 2 weeks without it. We are in the States for 3 weeks and between us brought 3 laptops blush
Glad your DS got his appliction in.

webwhiz how frustrating for DD and of course you. I'm so relieved DS's application is in and now we just have to worry about hearing from the Unis.

He got an acknowledgement from Oxford yesterday saying they are giving his application careful consideration.

oldmum42 Thu 28-Oct-10 04:40:43

DS1 has had emails from 3 of his 4 choices (Medicine, so only 4 choices )just to acknowledge his application, only the local Medschool hasn't contacted him.

Good to have the reassurance that the application was sent and processed.

DS1 sits the Bmat (for Oxford application)on Tue, and I'm struggling to encourage him to keep at his studying for that when it's the middle of the 2 week October break here,and he's gone into "holiday" mode and the new baby (DS4) is taking up all my energy.
Will be glad when Tue is over and DS1 just needs to sit and wait for interviews....

To MUMOVERSEAS and others, DS4 arrived by elcs on Friday, healthy, amazing thick head of hair on him, adored by DS1-3. BF every hour tonight hence posting at this time of the morning, typing with 1 hand while BF!

peteneras Thu 28-Oct-10 07:18:42

"Will be glad when Tue is over . . ."

Eh . . not so quick, BMAT is on the next day, Wednesday.

My DS just got a 'Fee Status Assessment Questionnaire' via e-mail from one of the schools. No word from the other 3 yet.

Congratulations on the new arrival! smile

JustGettingByMum Thu 28-Oct-10 08:24:43

oldnewmum42 Congratulations smile

JustGettingByMum Thu 28-Oct-10 08:31:39

DS has had acknowledgements from 3 of his choices, and an invitation to a departmental open day from the 4th, still waiting to hear from the 5th.

I have also found a thread here and keep checking it trying to see if any students have had offers from the unis/depts that ds has applied to - is that really bad of me? blush

MOS - hope you are having a wonderful holiday

Ponders Thu 28-Oct-10 10:21:44

Congratulations, oldmum!!! smile

webwiz, how incredibly frustrating for DD

jgbmum, I have a tendency to lurk on the student room too - thanks for the link grin (Do I take it nobody has had an offer from one of yours yet?)

DS2 has now been allocated a college by Oxford (he did an open app) - St Peter's - never heard of it! He will be doing the TSA at 9am on Wed...results are released to students in mid-Jan, it doesn't say when the colleges get them or when to expect to hear from them.

webwiz Thu 28-Oct-10 13:04:31

Congrats to oldmum as well! grin

DD2 has managed to put her frustration aside and has spent the week relentlessly socialising (An 18th birthday party and staying with DD1 at uni so far this week with another party tonight). I have banned her from doing anything at the weekend or she may collapse with exhaustion. Hopefully her application will be in at the beginning of next week (from the student room 3 of the unis she's applied to have given out offers and the 4th has been inviting people to visit first, so the sooner it goes in the better)

morticiaoverseas Thu 28-Oct-10 13:08:06

oldmum congratulations, glad all ok and your little man is adored by 1 to 3. Thankfully my 1 - 3 love DC4/DS2. I get very confused by names (old age!) so tend to call them 1 - 4. Was very pleased yesterday at Universal park to be able to buy T shirts with 'thing 1' to 'thing 4' on grin

JGB thanks for that link. DS and I have just had a good read through. Interesting to note one of his choices (Southampton) has started making a few offers. Will be eagerly watching that one.

PS, sorry if my seasonal namechange has confused

oldmum42 Fri 29-Oct-10 17:25:11

Whoops yes, Bmat on wed, not tues! (blames baby brain and lack of sleep).A whole extra days study.....

MorticiaOS - ha! I frequently go through the full list of 4 names before getting to the right one...... "dear, son and darling" are easier!

PONDERS, DS1 just told me - when asked if he'd been allocated a college by ox, like your DC, that oh yes, Lincoln College. Hadn't thought to pass on that little bit of info to his dear parents. Away to look it up now.

I agree with the posters suggesting the student room as a useful resource - as long as you check the facts elsewhere to - excellent for seeing who's getting offers and with what grades, and when.

Ponders Fri 29-Oct-10 21:33:42

oooh, Lincoln looks lovely, oldmum - proper grassy quad & everything smile

Ponders Fri 29-Oct-10 21:56:58

I've been amazed, looking at the studentroom thread JGBmum linked to, at how high the conditional offers are for Maths/Physics - at least 1 A* usually required - do they need to be at an incredibly high level before they start, because they couldn't cope otherwise?

seimum Fri 29-Oct-10 23:12:55

Ponders - I think Physics courses are hard - my DD1 got a place at York in 2008 with AAA grades. She failed 3 modules at the end of her second year and had to resit them this summer - she had found the maths in particular heavy going (and it was always easy for her at school).

morticiaoverseas Fri 29-Oct-10 23:36:50

agree that student room thread very useful. Have been perusing it first thing in the morning and then waking DS up and making him check his emails. He has been taking his blackberry out to all theme parks and checking for updates at regular intervals. I suppose now its the weekend we can relax/stress a bit until Monday. Just one little tiny offer would be lovely grin

webwiz Sat 30-Oct-10 08:50:51

The reason Maths/Physics offers are so high is because 40% of students who take Maths A level get a grade A so it isn't differentiating between who is really good at maths and who is quite good at it. Making the requirements so high is supposed to help to find those who really have the ability to stay the course. The really top Maths unis are asking for STEP/AEA papers as well as A levels because these give a better indication of Maths ability. Me and DD2 got excited when we found a good Maths uni that only(!) asks for AAA.

Hope your DS hears something soon Mum/Morticiaoverseas.

JustGettingByMum Sat 30-Oct-10 08:51:41

No news here, just thought I'd pop in, glad that people are finding the link useful. So far, still no offers showing from the Depts that DS has applied to.

DS will be away all next week as he is going on work experience at BA at Heathrow (mind you after the bomb scares last night, I thought it might get cancelled). I KNOW he won't check his emails every hour day like I remind him he should.

Congrats to everyone whose Application is moving forward, and Webwiz I hope your DDs gets off v soon.

thekidsmom Sat 30-Oct-10 16:11:11

I'm SO glad to have found this thread! I've been popping into the further ed topic section and didnt know you were all in here.

So its not just me thats a bag of nerves! My DD has applied for English and/or English with creative writing and we've had 3 acknowledgements and 1 request for written work and 1 not said anything yet. And she sits the ELAT for Oxford on Wednesday.

With her older brother, I dont think he had any offers until December and I simply cant live with the state of high anxiety in the house right now. DS was much more laissez faire.

So many of her friends already have one or more offers I'm feeling very jealous (but pleased for them nevertheless of course). I shall pop over to the student room (thanks for the link!) and see if anyone has any offers for the places we're interested in... mind you, that way lies even more anxiety!

lazymumofteenagesons Sat 30-Oct-10 16:35:27

I got addicted to student room last year when DS1 was applying. One thing that I eventually noticed however was that alot of the early offers were to foreign students and/or those who were getting unconditional offers (they had already done their A levels). So don't get too worried if offers are coming in and your DC has not got one. Alot of courses had a sudden flood of 'home' student offers in short period and then went quiet for a month or so.

I'm glad I'm not involved again this year. Good luck to you all. I'll be doing it again in a couple of years.

ajandjjmum Mon 01-Nov-10 22:15:21

I was there last year too lazymum - DS started uni in September, and DD is going through the UCAS system at the moment. Don't know that my nerves will stand up to it! grin

Good luck everyone.

morticiaoverseas Tue 02-Nov-10 00:23:39

woo hoo, DS has his first offer. Just got in after a really busy day out (retail therapy in Orlando!) and he has checked his emails and apparently has an offer from Southampton. No idea what it is as hasn't actually had that info through yet but imagine it is their 'standard' offer of AAA. Thank god he has at least one offer and a prod up the arse to get on with his vacation work grin

JustGettingByMum Tue 02-Nov-10 08:03:34

Yay! Well done MOS.

Hopefully the start for us all now smile

Byblyofyle Tue 02-Nov-10 08:31:10

Hi
I'm so glad to have found this thread! Anyone else with DC applying for medicine? Nightmare! DS applied last year and got no offers He got 3 A grades (Chem, Biol & Maths) and has reapplied, this time to Sheffield, Keele, Leeds & St Mary's. His insurance is Biomed at Southampton and thankfully they have made him an unconditional offer so that bits sorted. In the meantime he's just about to start work as a healthcare assistant at our local hosp.
Fingers crossed for everyone!

Ponders Tue 02-Nov-10 11:09:28

Oh that's great, MOS! It is a comforting feeling, isn't it? smile

Hope everyone else gets one soon too!

webwiz Tue 02-Nov-10 12:43:11

Well done to MOS's DS!

Best of luck for your DS Byblyofyle - one of DD2's friends is applying for medicine and the whole thing is completely nerve wracking.

AdelaofBlois Fri 05-Nov-10 12:05:37

I'm sorry i haven't had time to read the whole thread. I have, however, worked as an admissions tutor at institutions at various points in the scale (post-1992, 1994-research heavy but small-and Cambridge). The following are some rough points of advice:

1. Ultimately grades matter immensely. It is not that low predictions are discounted, just that they are looked at closely. Think of them as like a CV for a job-if you are obviously under-qualified or lack experience you are unlikely to be considered. If you fall comfortably within the expected grade range for any institution you are likely to be accepted. Bear in mind the sheer number of applications that cross desks-we are not going to investigate those who see 'sureties' if they wish to come. Re-sit grades are treated somewhat more sceptically, unless there are good reasons why performance was curtailed.

2. Think about the COURSE very closely. You will need to write a personal statement, covering all courses, so applying to 'good' universities with very different teaching structures will be hard. The statement is like the 'covering letter'-a chance to shine and edge the application favourably. We think about course structure a lot, and will notice if a candidate is applying to lots of different courses.

3. In the statement, think about your course academically. We all understand that most students want to get a job at the end of it (and help them to do so), but we also need a sense of how they will respond to teaching. Even if doing something basically vocational like business studies or medicine you need to show engagement with the subject as taught, not as practiced outside academia.

4. Question everything you put on a form. Do not write 'history helps understand the present' unless you have a real example in mind. Give that example. At interview (if it happens) you will be grilled on this.

5. Bear in mind that the more 'elite' you go the poorer a guide current performance will be. Nearly everyone applying to most universities has a string of As, and most Oxbridge rejects have at least 4 or 5 (and we're still right to reject them).

6. Cross fingers and hope.

All this is personal and based on experience, but admissions are not an exact science. Other tutors may write different things, and institutions and courses vary. But, I think, these are common factors in most places.

webwiz Fri 05-Nov-10 17:01:52

DD2's UCAS application has finally gone in today. Thank goodness for that!

Ponders Fri 05-Nov-10 17:55:16

Oh good, webwiz!
Hooray!

seimum Fri 05-Nov-10 19:33:49

Good news webwiz.

I don't understand some of the procedures schools use for UCAS forms.

MY DD2 sent hers off to school over half term, but her tutor has said she will have to wait till next week (when all the pupils' applications have to be in) before her reference & predicted grades are added.(This is despite the tutors reference already having been written, as DD2 has seen it.)

It seems odd to save up all the applications for one big batch, rather than doing them as they come in from the pupils - hopefully it won't take as long as at webwiz's school

JustGettingByMum Fri 05-Nov-10 20:39:53

Webwiz - really pleased for you smile

DS1 came back from his week at Heathrow this evening to find he's got an AAA offer from Southampton for Aeronautical Engineering. He (and we) are sooo plesed grin
Perfect excuse to open a bottle of wine methinks

Hope everyone else gets equally good news very soon

JustGettingByMum Fri 05-Nov-10 20:40:53

plesed confused, pleased

webwiz Sat 06-Nov-10 11:35:38

We are very glad to be at the fingers crossed stage at last (DD2's predictions were AAA in the end so she was pleased with that too as school have been VERY conservative in the predictions this year.)

Seimum - hope your DD's application goes in soon.

morticiaoverseas Sat 06-Nov-10 12:58:32

webwhiz fab news, bet you are very relieved

seimum how frustrating for you and DD, hope the application goes in soon.

JGB fantastic news! Wonder if our DSs will bboth end up at Southampton <mos wonders about MNet meet ups over a glass of wine whilst doing the drop offs and pick ups> grin

JustGettingByMum Sat 06-Nov-10 13:50:00

grin meet ups sound excellent!

thekidsmom Mon 08-Nov-10 08:37:52

Has anyone else become addicted to The Student Room? Not only is there that great thread with all the offers on so far for all subjects, I found a thread for just English offers and a thread showing for each university which departments have made offers so far!

Problem is, I'm looking at them about once every hour! My nerves are shredded here whilst DD seems more or less able to cope. I'm definitely more anxious than her!

Its really tough to see others getting offers for places she's applied for which are so far ignoring her....

And my task for today is to dash to school to pick up her marked essay to run to the post office to send to Oxford because school wouldnt send it til the late post and we don't dare to leave it any later!

gingeroots Mon 08-Nov-10 09:20:56

Just don't look at all the posts in the University Discussion section where students are saying how unhappy they are ,want to leave ....
An earlier poster who was scanning TSR last year has pointed out that some ( many ? ) of the early offers were to International students .

JustGettingByMum Mon 08-Nov-10 12:25:01

Also lots of offers seem to be to students who have already got their A2 exam results - but it is very nerve wracking.

Some of students have also commented on how offers and invitations to interview or open day have gone to their junk folder. I mentioned this to DS who went rather pale and told me the school deletes their junk mail after each log on - so I hope nothing went there!

mumoverseas Mon 08-Nov-10 13:01:19

JGB, thats a bit worrying. I've decided to stop checking the offers thread on TSR as its getting too addictive and I'll have to just let DS keep me updated as and when he (hopefully!) hears something. At least he has one offer from a relatively good Uni

ajandjjmum Mon 08-Nov-10 22:20:35

DD is still waiting and getting progressively more concerned.
Congrats to all who have offers - I'm drinking wine for other reasons! grin

peteneras Tue 09-Nov-10 03:39:39

Do you not have access to your DC's 'UCAS Track'?

Every now and again I log in: here to check.

Don't worry too much about not hearing from universities yet. It's early days. My DD didn't hear from Britol for months when suddenly in late April she got an offer.

ajandjjmum Tue 09-Nov-10 07:45:35

I check track - already done so this morning blush.

Still nothing..................

thekidsmom Tue 09-Nov-10 08:34:20

I'm not allowed my DD's password to check Track or believe me I would!

But as she put down our generic family email, the notification would come through me first anyway - I understand that UCAS advise of status updates twice a day so am staying alert - I'd only miss an offer by 12 hours at the most!

Still nothing here.....

It wasnt like this with DS two years ago - his notificaitons all came by post with an inviation to attend a departmental open day. Then the offers themselves were all on UCAS after Christmas. But for all of the unis he'd at least had a letter saying 'we're going to make you an offer - come and see us'.

Different subjects though - Physics for him, English for DD this time.

Ponders Tue 09-Nov-10 10:05:31

How about this for a daunting offer? Maths - A*A*A*A

shock

(From Imperial, on that TSR thread about which offers have been made so far)

webwiz Tue 09-Nov-10 11:01:29

That is just ridiculous Ponders!

thekidsmom Tue 09-Nov-10 12:38:43

I saw that too, Ponders - its the highest offer I've ever seen.

Mind you, a friend of my son's had an offer from them 2 years ago, also for Maths, before they had A*s, of 4 As overall including over 90% UMS in EVERY Maths module.... He did get it, btw, so it is possible.... in fact, quite a few of my son's maths-y type friends scored ridiculously high marks in all of their Maths and Physics modules....

But even Cambridge is asking for only 1 A* and 2 As this year... (remains to be seen though, as thier offers are not coming throguh yet, I don't think....)

thekidsmom Tue 09-Nov-10 19:11:17

Yahoo!!!

DD got her first offer tonight - AAA for English with Creative Writing at Birmingham.

Its her first choice after Oxford....

Byblyofyle Tue 09-Nov-10 19:19:18

Congrats to you both!

Ponders Tue 09-Nov-10 19:45:11

Oh that's great, tkm, well done her!

& JGBmum, I've just tracked back a bit & realised I missed your DS's offer at Southampton so well done to him, too!

I can't help still looking at TSR for the offers list; apparently York have now made some offers for Philosophy & for Politics (but not for the combination confused crosses fingers)

LSE (& of course Oxford) haven't uttered yet so no sweat there...yet...

DS2 (I think!) & I would be quite happy for him to go to Sheffield (the 1 offer he has had) so naturally now I'm twitching about him being too casual & missing by a grade or 2 blush

ajandjjmum Thu 11-Nov-10 14:41:21

Ponders
DS has just started at Sheffield (it was his insurance) and he's really pleased he went there, although settling in does seem to take a little time for a lot of freshers.

And (trumpets) DD has had her first offer from Manchester Met - so she is thrilled!

Ponders Thu 11-Nov-10 15:42:33

yay! that's great, ajandjjmum - well done her (& big relief for you!)

Good to hear your DS is liking Sheffield. DS1 has friends there & has been over for weekends (& skiing at Xscape or snozone or whatever it's called) & he thinks it's a nice city.

DS2 has had an offer from York too now - same grades. Sheffield have sent him an invitation to their departmental open day next Feb/Mar, assume York will do too - what's the deadline for decisions on firm/insurance? (He hasn't looked at either place yet confused)

MABS Thu 11-Nov-10 16:34:01

JGB and MOS - well done on the offers.
JGB how was the BA work experience?

webwiz Thu 11-Nov-10 20:12:46

DD2 has her first offer from Exetergrin

Ponders Thu 11-Nov-10 20:29:52

oooh, fabulous, that was very quick!

webwiz Thu 11-Nov-10 20:34:29

Yes it was - they only acknowledged her application on Monday.

thekidsmom Fri 12-Nov-10 09:03:15

That's great, webwiz - what's her subject?

Doesnt it feel good to get that first offer!

seimum Fri 12-Nov-10 09:52:20

Congrats everybody.

DD2 has been told by her head of 6th form that he thinks her application has now gone in - so I can now join the rest of you in the nail-biting wait!

Dracschick Fri 12-Nov-10 09:55:20

Ds has had an offer at man met with ABB but hes hoping for manchester with AAA.

Congrats everyone so far smile and good luck.

ShrinkingViolet Fri 12-Nov-10 10:03:52

DD1s application is going in today (would have been yesterday but she forgot she had to go and speak to the 6th form office to run through it), so now it's the nailbiting wait for offers [positive thinking].

webwiz Fri 12-Nov-10 13:26:57

She applying for Maths thekidsmom

mumoverseas Fri 12-Nov-10 16:39:01

hello all, just back online after being laptopless on a mini cruise to the Bahamas grin Back to find that DS has had his second offer for Exeter. Again he has not been told what the conditions are (which I think odd, apparently more info to follow) but he assumes it is AAA.
So far he has offers from his two joint third choices which have the same 'normal' offer as his first and second choices.

Wonder if any of our DC will become friends next year? So far he has offers where JGB and webwhiz's DC have had offers.

webwiz Fri 12-Nov-10 16:46:51

Mumoverseas does it not give the grades if he clicks on the course code when he is in the offers page in track. It took a bit of trial and error for DD2 to find how to get to the grades bit.

Bahamasenvy

mumoverseas Fri 12-Nov-10 17:52:51

webwhiz I'll ask him but you know what teenagers are like, they know it all. He will make a very good barrister grin

Was very nice, has to be said. Just wish I could stop rocking. Very rough seas last night when we sailed back and everything is still spinning hmm

JGBMum Fri 12-Nov-10 19:21:27

Ponders and Webwiz and drackschick and MOS WOW - offers are arriving thick and fast now!Congratulations to all your DCs

MABS DS had a fantastic time at BA thankyou - I have emailed you separately smile. Hope you are well?

Seimum and Shrinking Violet it's such a relief once the forms go off isn't it? I hope you have some good news soon.

Anyone else I've missed - apologies!

General Question now - Uni visits, I had thought that DS would go off on his own, but he has been invited to 2 departmental open days, and both have a separate parents prograame. So that would suggest that they are expecting parents to attend too, yes?

JGBMum Fri 12-Nov-10 19:23:07

MOS - Cruising in the Bahamas!!!
Where did I go wrong, my life - ironing in the kitchen envy grin

webwiz Fri 12-Nov-10 19:32:08

JGBMum I went with DD1 to two of the departmental open days, some students were on their own and some were with parents. I think if DD2 goes to any I'll be the driver but duck out of the dumb questions parents sessions.

mumoverseas Fri 12-Nov-10 19:50:45

JGB it was only a cheapie mini cruise from Cape Canaveral. We booked at the last minute after we sent DC1 and 2 back to UK boarding schools. We had another week here in Orlando and were sick of Disney and theme parks. To be honest, think the cruise worked out cheaper than a few days in the parks

ShrinkingViolet Fri 12-Nov-10 20:02:59

DDs form hasn't gone off yet as her tutor "forgot" to write about how she was really ill during her exams last year. So the school reference is being rewritten next week. Another delay, just when I'd managed to make DD actually finish off her bits of it. [sigh].

seimum Fri 12-Nov-10 20:05:20

I went with DD1 to open days at York & Bath a few years ago.

About 2/3rds of the students had parents with them, the rest were on their own.

York Physics dept did a good programme for the parents with a buffet lunch while students were taken to the canteen.

Bath just offered us a bag with a sandwich & a drink can - it did mean, when we tried to find somewhere to sit & eat our lunch, that we discovered that Bath had no common spaces that were not bars/cafes.

DD1 chose York. (Not just because of the food)

ajandjjmum Fri 12-Nov-10 20:29:12

DD has another offer from UWE - or at least a letter saying an offer will follow shortly.
Phew!!!
She is not academic, and was really worried she'd get nothing - so at least she can now focus on work. In theory anyway!

Ponders Fri 12-Nov-10 21:15:20

thanks, JGBmum smile

re open days - they know some parents will come, hence the programme of events, but you are not expected to attend. When my eldest was applying several years ago, I did actually accompany her to a couple of departmental open days (as did lots of other parents, & this was pushing 10 years ago so not a new phenomenon!) but only on the ones where she needed me to drive her - otherwise she went on her own. I remember a cup of coffee & a sandwich somewhere but felt like a spare part generally.

And in the end she chose a place at one of the ones I didn't go to grin

DS2 can get to Sheffield & York by public transport & I know he would certainly prefer to go on his own; I think that if your child would like you to go (& esp if transport is easier that way) then by all means accompany them, but if they're a bit iffy then don't.

Ponders Fri 12-Nov-10 21:18:32

SV, bad luck about the delay but honestly it won't matter, you're still well ahead of the deadline & your DD's application will be in with plenty of time to spare. Good luck to her!

(ajandjjmum, that's fab so soon after the first one grin)

ajandjjmum Fri 12-Nov-10 21:55:12

Ponders
Decisions last year needed to be made by early May, so that the results of the January modules are available, and could be taken into account.

betelguese Fri 12-Nov-10 22:20:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ponders Fri 12-Nov-10 22:57:08

betelguese, Oxbridge applications are all done & dusted now grin (deadline was 15th Oct!)

peteneras Fri 12-Nov-10 23:47:54

'Seriously, he can apply for classics at Oxbridge where the chances to get in are very high . . .'

I don't know about yesterday, but nothing at Oxbridge is easy today, not even Classics. I know of a high flyer with excellent Latin and Greek two years ago and still failed to enter Oxford. sad

Most uni's do cater for parents in their Open Day. I attended a couple at Cambridge (different colleges) last summer and they had a special programme for parents including a subsidised lunch (free for students).

A few years ago, I attended all 5 uni Open Days the length and breadth of the country when my daughter was applying and they all welcomed parents.

mumoverseas Sat 13-Nov-10 00:33:59

betelguese thanks but I already knew that, maybe you are confusing me with someone else? DS has already applied to Oxford, over a month ago before their deadline. Not sure he'd want to apply to read the classics either as he has been set on reading law and becoming a barrister for over 4 years now. confused

thekidsmom Sat 13-Nov-10 12:05:59

With my DS last year I attended 2 of his post application open days and he went to two on his own. But I had been to all of the pre application open days with him.

Best programme I did for parents was Nottingham physics - lovely lunch with professors and other parents while the kids went off for sandwiches with the students....

With DD, I imagine I'll go with her to anywhere she's invited, subject to work commitments

JGBMum Sat 13-Nov-10 16:08:18

Proud mum alert - 2 offers landed in the email today!

Bath - A* A A - eeks!
Swansea - ABB

Bizarre that 2 Unis offering the same course have such different entry requirements grin

Mytholmroyd Sat 13-Nov-10 16:51:34

JGBmum - DD2 just started at Bath this year and is loving it. Great halls, great friends and learning to pole vault! No regrets about her going there

mumoverseas Sat 13-Nov-10 18:24:37

JGB that is fab news. So 3 offers so far? It really is a relief isn't it. I too find it odd the different requirements. Problem we/DS has is that most of the requirements for his course are the same, AAA and he had difficulty finding an insurance and the one he went for was AAB. Fingers crossed he keeps up the hard work and gets his grades.

JGBMum Mon 15-Nov-10 09:15:48

The A* AA offer is quite ironic, given that in the end one of the factors that influenced DS not to apply to Cambridge is that he didnt want the additional pressure of trying to get A* grade!

Re the open days, Dh is going to take DS to the one in Surrey, he has a semi-interview there and we really hope they will make an offer as it's his first choice for an insurance.
The second opn day - DS will go to on his own. He's already got an offer from them, and he sepnt a week there in the summer so knows it really well. In fact, he's quite tempted not to go, but is worried it may be received as a lack of interest, and actually it's his joint favourite!

JGBMum Mon 15-Nov-10 09:16:36

received??confused, should be perceived blush

ShrinkingViolet Tue 16-Nov-10 22:01:45

yah, form went off today, much celebration in the Shrinking household smile.

Ponders Tue 16-Nov-10 22:27:56

oh that's good!

which places has your DD applied for, SV?

ShrinkingViolet Tue 16-Nov-10 22:59:09

Bath, Birmingham, Lancaster, Southampton and Exeter for Pure Maths, after a LOT of stress (she had about 6 options for the final fifth choice). She considered Warwick, but they've now put their offer up to 2 A* A which is a lot of pressure.

JGBMum Wed 17-Nov-10 10:46:47

Shrinking violet - so pleased the form has finally gone. Hope your DD gets some good offers very soon.

Ponders Wed 17-Nov-10 10:56:45

2 A* ???? shock

She should hear very soon, all 5 of those have already started giving out Maths offers - fingers crossed!

webwiz Thu 18-Nov-10 22:30:39

Can we join the Southampton club? DD2 has an offer - she is thrilled as it has come in at AAB and we were expecting AAA.

Good luck to your DD Shrinking Violet - DD2 has Bath, Southampton, Exeter, Nottingham and York for Pure Maths. She has offers from Exeter and Southampton now less than two weeks after her form went in so hopefully your DD will hear soon.

daphnedill Fri 19-Nov-10 00:08:34

Very relieved mum here. DD has just received offer of BBB to do Social and Economic History at Liverpool. She's predicted AAB and this was her "insurance policy", but she loved the course and the city when we visited, so might make her first choice even if she receives other offers. Fingers crossed she doesn't do anything silly over the next few months.

mumoverseas Fri 19-Nov-10 05:08:09

webwhiz welcome to the Southampton and Exeter club grin
Well done on all the offers coming in. Wish DS's insurance offer would come along, would be nice to know he had a safety net.

seimum Fri 19-Nov-10 11:25:05

DD2 has her first offer - BBB from Oxford Brookes for History & Politics. It's her insurance choice, but at least we've got one!

I'm amazed at the grades being demanded for places these days - when we were going to Uni DH got into Cambridge with AAB!

mumoverseas Fri 19-Nov-10 12:05:11

well done seimum DD, must be a huge relief.

seimum Fri 19-Nov-10 12:29:02

Thanks MOS - hope your DS gets his insurance offer soon.

webwiz Fri 19-Nov-10 16:26:03

Well done to your DD2 Seimum its a relief once they get the first one!

JGBMum Fri 19-Nov-10 16:31:40

Seimum - well done!
And webwiz - congrats on the Soton offer, wouldnt it be fab if several of them went there!
Of course, we could set up a Bath club too!

mumoverseas Sat 20-Nov-10 13:01:19

no Bath club as DS didn't apply there grin
Maybe if a lot of them go to SH we should get them T shirts printed saying 'my mum is a MNer' or 'smile if your mum is a MNer' wink
a bit worried we've not heard from Oxford as apparently the interviews are the first week of December. Not looking promising sad

JGBMum Sat 20-Nov-10 13:30:58

MOS - I hope your DS hears something soon.Can this be a case of no news being good news? After all, they can't interview EVERY good applicant in the first week on December. Can they?

JGBMum Sat 20-Nov-10 13:32:00

Meant to add, love the idea of a MNer T-shirt for DCs.

mumoverseas Sat 20-Nov-10 14:50:22

grin

mumoverseas Sun 21-Nov-10 09:30:25

ok, so has anyone heard ANYTHING from Oxford or Durham?

webwiz Sun 21-Nov-10 12:11:21

Mumoverseas Durham are usually very late with their offers so I wouldn't expect to hear anything from them for months. Can't help with Oxford though.

Ponders Sun 21-Nov-10 12:31:42

Oxford interview invitations should
be issued during the next week according to TSR. In fact a few have already gone out - but very few by the looks!

Durham have made some offers, but again not many (esp not when compared with eg Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester & Nottingham)

Durham University

Accounting and Finance, Biological Anthropology (BBB), Chemistry (AAA), Computer Science (AAB), Economics and Politics, Education with English Studies (AAB), English (AAA), Geography, Geoscience (AAB), Law, Modern Languages, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Music, Physics (AAA), Psychology (AAA)

(Not that I spend hours poring over TSR or anything wink)

thekidsmom Sun 21-Nov-10 12:51:25

I'm like you Ponders - just come form there in fact!

For Oxford, it depends what your subject is when you might here: its also college dependent I think but you can expect to hear by 7 days before your interview date (you know that all subject interview dates are avaialbe on the admissions page? - they are not moveable except your DS will be different. MOS I guess, having to come so far). So you can work backwards. I'm expecteting that DD will hear by next Monday for English, for example.

And re Durham - lots of my DD's friedns have heard already for lots of different subjects : but equally, lots have heard nothing yet!

This waiting game is very tyring!

thekidsmom Sun 21-Nov-10 12:52:34

Oh for an 'edit' button...

when you might hear.... wouldn't get into Oxford for English on THAT basis, lol

mumoverseas Sun 21-Nov-10 12:54:54

thanks ladies. Was just a bit concerned that DS has gone 'silent' (ie no emails the past few days) and wondered if that meant he'd had a rejection and didn't want to tell me.

<mos tries to fight the urge to go to TSR>

mumoverseas Sun 21-Nov-10 12:59:17

eek! didn't mean to look as supposed to be doing CPD but had just a sneaky look and shock to see that DS's insurance is offering AAA instead of AAB as he thought!

Ponders Sun 21-Nov-10 13:34:07

interview timetable

It might not open straight away; I suspect the ox.ac website is getting a lot of hits at the moment grin

For PPE it's 8pm Sun 5 - 10am Wed 8 shock I assumed it would be a one-day job (but he's unlikely to get one anyway!)

mos, I don't know if the offers quoted on that TSR thread are universal or just what the people who've posted have received.

mumoverseas Sun 21-Nov-10 14:57:03

thanks for that ponders. I imagine that they will have to notify those being interviewed early next week. <mos starts bitting finger nails>

AdelaofBlois Sun 21-Nov-10 16:03:48

For those thinking about Durham, they have in the past not made offers to those being considered for Oxbridge. In my case they rejected me, becasue my Cambridge grades were lower than theirs. This may explain the delay.

lazymumofteenagesons Sun 21-Nov-10 16:40:54

For those applying to Durham. The academic department accepts the application first and then it goes to the college which can take ages to accept. But once the dept has accepted you are in - a college has to take you (not like oxbridge). Your letter from Durham confirming receipt of application should have given you a passwork into their own tracking system. On this you can see when your application moves to a college which affectively means you have been accepted.

DS1 got moved to college around february. They do very little before the January deadline.

lazymumofteenagesons Sun 21-Nov-10 16:43:12

Passwork???? password. And that stuff about not giving offers to those applying for oxbridge is bo****ks.

seimum Sun 21-Nov-10 17:02:20

Can anyone explain how 'UCAS points' offers work?

DD2 has got her second insurance choice - History & Politics at Keele. Their conditions are 300 UCAS points and BC at A-level.

Do AS levels (that you drop after yr 12) count towards the UCAS points, or is it just the A levels?

DD2 has 2 B's for the AS level subjects she took - so is that 100 points towards her total already?

Hopefully this question will be academic as she will get offers from the universities she really wants to go to (UEA, Leicester or Lancaster).

thekidsmom Sun 21-Nov-10 17:48:15

MOS we had a similar panic on our insurance upping the offer - but we knew just a few days before we put the application in. We had been to the open day, read the prospectus and thought we were up to date with the requirements but a friend went to a September open day (we went in June) and reported back. Didnt help that their own website said two different things - one on the department pages and one on the mian admissions chart.

I think its happended alot this year - grades creeping up....

And re Durham, they have no wqay of knowing if you're applying to Oxbridge or not, so can't base any decisions on that....

Ponders Sun 21-Nov-10 17:51:42

seimum, if they have AS levels they have cashed in - ie are not continuing with - those count towards the points total. If DD2 has dropped the 2 subjects with Bs then yes, that's 100 points in the bag (well done her!) smile

NadiaWadia Sun 21-Nov-10 18:40:28

I am feeling very nervous as I think I have to have a run-in with the school tomorrow!

DD's school told them all they had to have their applications in to UCAS by midnight on 25 October, otherwise the school would not guarantee to process them by Xmas. She managed it at about 11.50 pm and UCAS took the payment, but almost a month later the school have not done their bit yet (adding the reference etc) Bit annoyed about this to start off with.

She got ABCC for her ASs. She dropped one of the 'C' subjects and she has been predicted ABB at A2.

She has applied for some reasonbly high ranked unis, and her heart is set on Sussex, so she needs the best predictions possible.
Its English that is the cause of concern. Last year she was told she should get an A, no problem. Her coursework was given an A, but she ended up with a B in the end, as apparently the exam board moderated the school and downgraded a lot of students' work.

A couple of weeks ago the English teacher told her that, whilst normally they only predict the same as your AS grade, in her case they would predict her an 'A' as she had a good chance of getting it, they felt the exam board had been unfair, and it would help her with her application.

A few days ago was parents' evening and the English teacher said 'unfortunately I have looked into this and I am not allowed to predict a higher grade'. Was a bit gobsmacked and said was this dept rules, school rules or what? 'I think its UCAS rules' says the teacher.

Thing is I have now looked on Student Room, etc, and know this to be total bollocks! I understand it is quite common to predict a grade higher if the student stands a reasonable chance of getting it.

I am very suspicious of their reasons for this, TBH. I think its that if they predict a lower grade and the student exceeds it, then the dept or the school look better, statistically. I remember when she was predicted her GCSE grades, very strangely she was predicted Bs when she had consistently worked at 'A' standard throughout the course. She ended up with A and A* which is what we expected.

So she is predicted ABB instead of AAB. Not much difference, you would think, but
this year there is going to be a lot of competition for places isn't there? and TBH I think it is pretty despicable to mess up the application of a good quiet student who gives them no trouble, just to make their department look good.

Any sixth form teachers know about this? And how to approach the school?

webwiz Sun 21-Nov-10 19:22:43

This year at DD2's school they were very reluctant to predict above what the student got for their AS results - this seems to be a general policy to ensure realistic university choices and that they actually get the grades predicted. I'm a bit hmm about it being UCAS rules.

DD2 did manage to get her Chemistry teacher to give her an A prediction even though she actually got a C at AS - she had glandular fever last year and various other factors that affected her grade. She is resitting one of the AS papers in Jan that counts for 50% of the AS so she should be able to get herself back to where she should be. She had been predicted a B and a short chat with the chemistry teacher was enough to get it put up to an A. We had a strategy worked out if the teacher had said "No" to the A, her form teacher would have got involved next and then I would have stepped in.

How will your DD manage to up her grade to an A? Was she many marks away from the next grade? Is she resitting a paper or does she have to rely on just doing better this year?

I would consider these things and go back to the school again.

ShrinkingViolet Sun 21-Nov-10 20:04:43

DD1 has been predicted an A* for a subject she "only" got an A for last year, as she was ill, and is resitting some modules, School were happy to predict her whatever she needed to match the university offers (presumably within reason), so it's definately not a UCAS ruling.

NadiaWadia Sun 21-Nov-10 20:22:14

Thanks webwiz and ShrinkingViolet.

She is not doing any resitting for English, although she is for another subject where she unexpectedly got C last year and they are now predicting B.

She will just have to do better this year - they are doing the final exam in January, so they have a chance for a retake in June if they mess up the exam - and after Jan they'll be concentrating on the coursework.

Maybe my best bet is to say that we've looked at the uni website again and realised she needs slightly higher predicted grades, and could they do us a favour? Rather than going in all guns blazing ....

MABS Sun 21-Nov-10 22:07:08

good luck to you all. Mos - if you need me to go and find your silent ds, i can send dd after him at school I am in OZ this week but let me know if you need me to do any 'chasing' next week

mumoverseas Mon 22-Nov-10 05:31:41

Thanks all for your comments and thanks MABS for your kind offer. Am very envy of you being down under. How is E doing? x

Re Durham not knowing if you've applied to oxbridge, presumably if you've applied before 15th October its a giveaway?

thelastresort Mon 22-Nov-10 09:49:26

NadiaWadia: it is NOT UCAS' 'rules' re. the grade predictions, it is down to the school.

It sounds as though the teacher has got her wires crossed slightly. I would speak with the school and see if they will predict her an A, as it sounds as though she is perfectly capable of it (they may say otherwise but at least you will know then), and explain your reasons for requesting it.

The school has to add an academic reference and predicted grades once she has completed her part of the application. This is quite a lengthy process (getting subject reports from different teachers etc) which is why there is a delay from your daughter completing her form to it actually being sent to UCAS.

But you need to speak to the school ASAP to sort out the predicted English grade,before they send the application to UCAS!

thekidsmom Mon 22-Nov-10 11:56:30

MOS re Durham and 15th Oct... the reason I said that Durham would not know is that for alot of schools like my daughter's where so many are applying to Oxbrige or for medicine (so 15th Oct applies) the school rule was for ALL applicaitons to be in by that date - It hink its quite common for private schools to set themselves this guideline.

So for the half of girls not applying to Oxbridge, but who are appyling for Durham, their UCAS forms would have been in at the same time...

lazymumofteenagesons Mon 22-Nov-10 12:29:41

Last year when we went up to see Durham the admissions tutor who gave the talk said it was rubbish about oxbridge candidates being rejected. He said they would not risk turning down extremely bright motivated students simply because they might be applying for Oxford/Cambridge. After all they won't all get offers and then Durham would lose out.

campergirls Mon 22-Nov-10 12:42:51

Re Oxbridge/Durham (and other unis that get a lot of applications from Oxbridge candidates): it's not that they will turn you down because you're applying to Oxbridge. But they may delay looking at the application until the Oxbridge outcome is known, on the assumption that if you get in to Oxbridge it will be your first choice. As someone said higher up the thread, Durham offers are unlikely to be much use as insurance in case Oxbridge doesn't work out. so there would be little point in Durham making an offer to a student holding one from Oxbridge.

mumoverseas Mon 22-Nov-10 13:45:43

Interesting ref 15th October deadline. At DS's school quite a few of the DC were advised not to apply until after the 15th. Ho hum, all done now, all we can do is wait. And pray grin

JGBMum Mon 22-Nov-10 14:00:50

I have read on a TSR thread about one course at Bristol where the Uni will contact students and ask that if they were to make an offer would it be favourably received, ie, if you've got a place at Oxbridge let us know and we wont waste an offer on you.

I guess it's there way of making sure that the offers go to those who are likely to accept them.

thekidsmom Mon 22-Nov-10 15:21:06

JGBMum - wow, that's scary about Bristol! I had no idea they were allowed to do that! They certainly didnt with my DS (who is at Bristol and didnt get an Oxford offer - if fact, I think he may have had his Bristol offer before the Oxford rejection...)

So hope they dont do this to DD, who has both on her list, as I can see her being totally flustered....

And campergirls re Durham - they will never know if you've had an Oxbridge offer so no way will they be delaying offers until after Oxbridge offers - I'm afraid I dont see the sense in your assumption, unless I missed your point. Unless you're thinking that a candidate will go 'firm' before all the offers are in?...

Milliways Mon 22-Nov-10 21:48:12

Hello Everyone. I've been reading this and remembering DD going through this 3 years ago

I can confirm that DD's Durham offer came through after the final UCAS deadline had passed. Apparently all Unis have to hold some places until deadline to give all applicants whose application is on time a chance. She applied to Oxbridge so it was a very long wait.

Also, we had the ridiculous high offer from Bath (same as Durham and only below Cambridge), and a fab EE offer from SOuthampton.

She now helps out with those attending interviews at Cambridge

Good luck to you all.

Milliways Mon 22-Nov-10 21:49:13

Oops - make that 2 years ago - she is in her 2nd year now.

mumoverseas Tue 23-Nov-10 04:36:15

yay! DS has received his 'insurance' offer from Cardiff. AAB although has to have an A in french. 3 down 2 to go grin

milliways thanks for that news about Durham. Hopefully he (ok, me!) can stop worrying now blush

mumoverseas Tue 23-Nov-10 05:22:06

even more yay! have just re-read (it was early) and the offer isn't AAB it is ABB which is fab news as even more of a safely net than I thought. As he is doing 4 A levels and is predicted A*AAA he should be home and dry as long as he works hard at french (not one of his strongest subjects initially as he did the GCSE when he was 13 so a little rusty) Just realised it is a RG Uni too. So very relieved here grin

JGBMum Tue 23-Nov-10 10:09:40

MOS - brilliant news, congratulations!

That's a fantastic offer, DS must be very pleased smile

mumoverseas Tue 23-Nov-10 12:48:18

relieved is I think the word you are looking for grin

How are things with you?
Think I might try to go into a medically induced coma for a week (or two) in August when results are due wink

mumblechum Tue 23-Nov-10 12:50:50

Hey Mumoverseas

Sorry haven't read thread, (350 posts!), but from memory is it right that your ds is applying to med school?

If so, then I'd feel more optimistic about ds who also wants to go but currently yr11.

JGBMum Tue 23-Nov-10 13:43:54

MOS - DS passed his driving test last week so has been driving to school all week.
Today, he and one of his friends turned up unexpectedly at lunchtime. They have demolished tonight's dinnerhmm and gone back to school!

How much longer till they go to college? grin

grin at medically induced coma, but think I will need it in June as DS1 takes A2s, DS2 takes GCSEs and DH has a big (3 year) work project that completes in July.
Perhaps I should take dd and just disappear for a few weeks.......

webwiz Tue 23-Nov-10 14:44:02

JGBMum your June sounds awful! DD1 and DD2 did A2's and GCSEs together and it was every bit as stressful as I thought it was going to (and then they both had months and months of lounging around the house being annoying).

I have already started some low level nagging on DD2 about January modules and how a good performance will take away some of the stress in the summer. I am of course thinking of myself not her.grin

Well done to your DS Mumoverseas a good backup offer takes some of the stress out the whole process.

mumof3teens Tue 23-Nov-10 16:48:49

Yay - DS3 has an offer from Liverpool (his 1st choice)!

Ponders Tue 23-Nov-10 16:57:48

oooh, lots of good news - well done everybody smile

webwiz Tue 23-Nov-10 21:15:55

DD2 has an offer from Nottingham - ABB/AAC. That's three nowsmile

Congrats to your DS mumof3teens and to yours for passing his driving test JGBMum

mumoverseas Wed 24-Nov-10 03:23:05

yay! happy news.

mumblechum not medicine, he (foolishly?) wants to follow me into law grin nearly as competitive as medicine I think. Good luck with that.

JGB well done on the driving test. DS has sort of given up on his lessons as a bit difficult whilst he is at boarding school. I know what you mean about them eating. DS certainly got our moneys worth at the eat all you can buffets in the states! I'd definitely think about a remote island somewhere for June. [wink[

mumof3teens and webwhiz well done on DS and DD's offers, what a fab offer webwhiz

I must stop looking a TSR. I saw yesterday pm that a few had received inteviews for Oxford and spent a few hours constantly refreshing my emails in case anything from DS. Resisted (just) the urge to email him and tell him that interview emails were going out. Up early today just in case sad

mumof3teens Wed 24-Nov-10 09:11:20

Thanks very much Ponders, webwiz and mumoverseas. We are really pleased. We have had an awful year and DS3 has had a great month - passed his driving test, got his black belt in Karate and now his 1st choice offer. Good luck to all who are waiting to hear. Such a relief (although I know he now has to get his grades). DS1 and DS2 both had to be interviewed for their courses and we had an anxious wait for interviews and offers, so this is great.

funnyperson Wed 24-Nov-10 16:45:05

mumoverseas the oxford interviews are mainly being given out this Friday as far as I know. I have started an oxbridge thread for parents because the chances of rejection are so high I reckon I need one.

NadiaWadia Wed 24-Nov-10 18:15:34

I am getting a bit annoyed with the school now. DD needs her original predicted grade of A in English as explained in my post on page 14.

On Monday I rang the nice lady in the office who does the UCAS forms. She says she has DD down as an A, anyway. She told me it would be most unusual for her to be told to lower this, its usually other way round.

DD's Teacher had told me last week she would have to lower it to B because of 'USAS rules' which is nonsense. Since Monday night I have been trying to contact the English teacher and left her 2 messages but she has not deigned to contact me. I KNOW teachers are busy (DH is one) but this would only be a few minutes chat, and needs sorting ASAP.

Office lady also told me DD's form is all ready to go, but she is still waiting the reference from form tutor. They have, I think its called 'vertical grouping' for forms so he only has a few year 13s in his class to do references for.

I am thinking of going down to the school tomorrow if I don't get a return phone call. AIBU? (whoops, wrong forum!)

mumoverseas Wed 24-Nov-10 18:16:57

thanks funnyperson, will go and look for your thread.
I've been lurking (against common sense) on TSR threads and I saw that a few people who applied for law received emails yesterday and some received requests for passport photos a few days ago.

mumof3teens Wed 24-Nov-10 18:58:37

Yay - another offer for DS3 (and his 2nd choice) - Leeds!

mumoverseas Wed 24-Nov-10 19:17:03

yay! well done mumof3teensteen! <mos frantically scuttles back to lurking in TSR>

thekidsmom Wed 24-Nov-10 20:43:29

OMG! TSR is down for maintenance.... What will I do for the next 10 mins! No chance to obsess, not chance to look at other people's offers and feel jealous, no way to look at others choices and think I WISH DD had put them down....

Heading over to find funnyperson's oxford thread...

A friend applying for history got an interview offer from Oriel (I think) today... which is where DD has applied for English

JGBMum Wed 24-Nov-10 20:54:00

Oh my word, what a busy 24 hours!

mumof3teens how wondeful to get offers from both 1st and 2nd choice unis, especially when he's had a difficult time.

webwiz congrats on the 3rd offer. DD must be so pleased, hope she is managing more revision than my DS grin
He has brought his exam timetable home today so hopefully that will focus his mind a bit.

nadiawadia sorry that you are still having problems with the school. Hopefully you can get it resolved tomorrow - and no, yadnbu!

mos read your post and wondered about starting a new thread in the TSR just for Mums - do you think they would let us?grin

funnyperson saw your oxbridge thread, I think it's a great idea, good luck to all of you waiting to hear about oxbridge.

DS has had a letter today from Bristol, saying they are holding his application, I had read on the TSR threads that Bristol often do this, so I guess we just continue to wait.......

mumoverseas Thu 25-Nov-10 04:33:10

OMG! do you think we broke TSR with all our lurking grin

DS had me in a panic last night when he sent an email saying some of his friends had received Oxford interviews. Just got an email to clarify it was in fact Cambridge [sigh of relief emotcion] Seems that Cambridge send out their interview letters much earlier than Oxford who seem to leave it rather late particularly when a lot of applicants are having to travel from abroad.

mumof3teens Thu 25-Nov-10 15:51:15

Thanks all. A friend of DS3 got an Oxford interview on Wednesday for sociology. Think it is for Hertford college?

peteneras Thu 25-Nov-10 16:34:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumoverseas Thu 25-Nov-10 17:52:37

well done Mumof3 and peteneras DC although I'm very envy a the Oxbridge interviews.

Apparently interview letters for DCs course go out tomorrow hmm

NadiaWadia Thu 25-Nov-10 18:28:23

Have now left THREE messages for DDs teacher to call me back re DDs predicted grade. Was told by the departmental admin asst this morning that she would 'make it a priority' but obviously this teacher is far too important and busy to speak to the likes of me.

It is becoming rude now. I am off to the school tomorrow and will insist on speaking to someone senior or refuse to leave.

Oh, and spoke to the uni DD wants who say it would certainly help if she was predicted AAB rather than ABB.

About a year ago I had occasion to speak to my MP - that was a lot easier!

mumoverseas Fri 26-Nov-10 15:01:01

sad DS got his first rejection.
Going to cry/eat contents of fridge.
I hate being 3,000 miles away and want to fly home and give him a hug

seimum Fri 26-Nov-10 15:37:48

MOS - sorry to hear about DS rejection?

Was it Durham or Oxford?

JGBMum Fri 26-Nov-10 16:21:37

MOS - sad so sorry for your DS, and for you
It's not a reflection on your DS or his abilities, otherwise why would 3 RG Unis have offered him a place already!

I'm sure his school, and his friends, will rally round and support him, but I do appreciate how you must be feeling. Is it too long till he breaks up for xmas?

Sending hugs, and virtual wine and sausage rolls (from Greggs) x

thekidsmom Fri 26-Nov-10 16:25:01

So I've now permanently vacated the oxbridge interview thread, never to return and will act like we never cared about Oriel anyway... DD will be just fine without them....

webwiz Fri 26-Nov-10 16:55:04

Sorry to hear the bad news MOS and thekidsmom sad

Ponders Fri 26-Nov-10 17:32:21

oh dear - I am sorry to hear that news, I was hoping we would all get invitations sad

JGBMum Fri 26-Nov-10 19:39:45

the kidsmom - sorry you had bad news too.

mumoverseas Sat 27-Nov-10 04:36:15

morning all, very sleepless night in the overseas house sad
seimum it was the place that shall never be mentioned again wink DS still hopeful about the 'new Oxbridge' (Durham)

I'm just pretty shocked he didn't even get an interview. I know he is PFB and I'm a little biased but his teachers said he had an excellent PS,one of the best they'd seen,was predicted A*AAA, he had done 2 x WE in a solicitors office, a mini pupilage and done outdoor clerking as well as studying GCSE law in his own time when 14 and getting an A grade. What the hell do they want? I can't see how he can have possibly done any more to show his interest in the subject.

To be honest, I wish he'd applied for Cambridge (which is what he'd wanted to do for years as he loved it after going to a 4 day law conference there) but one of his teachers persuaded him to apply to Oxford instead.
Right, that is my whinge over blush

DS very keen on Durham but I have to confess about preferring him to go somewhere slightly closer to home (not saudi of course but our UK home) Durham is a very very long way and I wouldn't be able to visit him easily <mos wonders if that is why he is so keen> hmm

thekidsmum so sorry about your news too. Arseholes to them grin

JGBMums am [shocked] that you think I'm the sort of person that would eat a Greggs sausage roll! M & S please. No doubt you think I'd wash it down with a fruitshoot wink

Hope everyone is doing ok? At least I can get on with my life now and not spend every waking moment lurking and refreshing on student chatrooms/hotmail

MABS Sat 27-Nov-10 05:34:03

i am so sorry mos, what have school said? have any of his friends had any luck? thinking of you all. (you over for christmas?)

peteneras Sat 27-Nov-10 05:40:29

MOS and thekidsmom – very sorry to hear your outcome. I know how you feel because I actually spent the first 3 days at the beginning of this week psyching myself up in preparation for bad news from Oxbridge. This is so that the crash won’t hurt so much should it comes, if at all it comes. And then late Wednesday evening, DS e-mailed saying he’s got an interview. Even before I read the e-mail proper, I had a feeling it was good news because DS only e-mails once in a blue moon. True enough, it was a Cambridge invitation. Feeling slightly better now but still it’s not over yet. Not until the fat lady sings. And let’s hope she sings me a happy song in January.

mumoverseas Sat 27-Nov-10 05:57:58

gosh, you lot are up early? Shouldn't you still be in bed on a Saturday? shock

Thanks MABS no one else has heard yet. Hope he isn't the only one rejected (sorry, that sounds very selfish of me but hope you know what I mean?) Not back for Christmas, DS1 and DD1 are coming out here. Think he needs a delivery from hotel chocolat grin

peteneras well done to your DS. When is his interview?

peteneras Sat 27-Nov-10 06:04:31

Thank you MOS. Interview on 6th December at Trinity.

MABS Sat 27-Nov-10 06:29:56

i am jetlagged Mos sure he won't be only one without an interview. I am at school Mon for meeting if you want me to deliver anything? x

mumoverseas Sat 27-Nov-10 08:47:37

peteneras good luck to your DS for the 6th.

MABS might take you up on that grin

thekidsmom Sat 27-Nov-10 09:41:14

Thanks for all the kind words, folks. I'd pass them on to DD if I thought she'd hear them. She's gone off to work this morning so that will be a distraction...

What she cant understand is why she didnt even get an interview. She has all the stars on her grades you'd expect, and all the plaudits. It could be down to the ELAT or the written work but maybe we'll just never know (although they say they'll feed back)

Luckily DS is home for the weekend and he's been throguh exactly the same thing so was able to talk to her last night....

Personally, for this year group, I'm happy with any RG and she already has one offer so in the long term we'll be just fine...

mumoverseas Sat 27-Nov-10 09:46:24

thekidsmum I feel your pain. Its the not knowing. Its DSs first real rejection and I think we both keep wondering why? He sounds so good on paper and thought he'd done really well in the LNAT. DH thinks its because he is not double-barrelled grin

At least our DC have other offers. DS has 3 and 2 are RG so he is very very lucky. Also, I was talking to someone this morning whose nephew was offered a place at Oxbridge but flunked their A2s. How awful would that be next August to realise your'd lost your place! Rather this way although it would have been good to get an interview.

mumof3teens Sat 27-Nov-10 09:50:14

Well done to this with offers/interviews. Sorry to those with bad news, but poo to Oxbridge! DS1 had interviews at Cambs, was pooled and had to go back for more interviews at another college who picked him out of the pool. Found out a month later that he hadn't got a place. Suppose was good to get all the interviews, but just was v stressful really - prolonged the agony. Got 3 other places (for medicine) and has been v happy at his med school. So although they may be disappointed now, ultimately your DS/DDs will be v happy with their other choices.

thekidsmom Sat 27-Nov-10 13:07:12

You're absolutely right mumof3teens - our DS went through the whole interview process with 3 diff colleges at Oxford 2 years ago and he got the 'no thank you' envelope a couple of days before Christmas and now couldnt be happier where he is, so it comes right in the end.

Que sera, and all that...

webwiz Sat 27-Nov-10 13:35:49

It is very hurtful when you receive the rejection (I still remember mine clearly). DH's was worse he is brilliant at Maths and everyone had just expected him to get into Oxford. Not only that his older brother had gone to Cambridge the year before.

It does fade though and I am glad that I at least applied to Oxford rather than wondering whether or not I would have got in. I wear the "Oxbridge reject" badge with pride.smile

Fingers and toes crossed for Durham MOS I absolutely loved my three years there and so did DH.

mrswoodentop Sat 27-Nov-10 15:01:27

Second here for Durham,and really although it is very far north (and v cold at the mo)the transport links are pretty good ,straight up the A1 or direct train,much easier than say Exeter .My dh did Law at Durham btw

mumoverseas Sat 27-Nov-10 15:38:24

thanks for all your kind words ladies, very kind of you.

Like you say, at least he gave it ago.
Fingers crossed for myy DS at Durham (for law mrswoodentop) grin

senua Sat 27-Nov-10 15:57:11

mos sorry to hear the news. You are probably not in the right place to hear this ATM but I'll say it anyway.blush
Everyone gets knockbacks in life. The earlier they happen, the sooner you learn to deal with them. So it's a rotten thing to happen but, as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Good luck to all. <goes back to lurking>

Fififi Sat 27-Nov-10 16:53:45

thekidsmom and MOS - I do wonder about the Oxbridge entrance tests/work to be submitted. It seems that they are the only things considered when it comes to deciding who gets an interview - certainly DS1 was told by his school last year that he was a couple of marks off the cut off pass mark for the TSA ( the exam for PPE) which is why he didn't even get an interview - his personal statement and reference would not even have been read by Oxford. All that is a bit odd isn't it - a multiple choice exam taking precedence over his knowledge of and interest in economics and politics and his exam performance to datehmm. But I guess they get so many fantastic applicants they are able to take such an arbitrary test.

And yes, i know he's very lucky to get an interview but he's heard nada from his other four choices.

mumoverseas Sat 27-Nov-10 17:49:38

senua thank you, I know you are right but he is my PFB blush The thing that gets me, is that he is so very bright. I struggled as a mum with a young child/ren working part time to qualify in his chosen career and I couldn't have written anything nearly as good as what he had written. Makes me laugh when I read about parents 'writing' their DC's PS as if I'd have done that he'd have stood no chance of any offers anywhere grin

Fififi seriously! (said in grays anatomy voice) shock They really don't read the PS or anything else initially and just go on a multi-guess exam? DS doesn't even know how he got on at LNAT. Presumably badly which then rules out his second choice Uni which also requires LNAT.

Am so glad I started this thread, you guys are fab, really supportive. I love you all (said in Oscar style voice)

Good luck to everyone who is still waiting to hear or who has interviews coming up

TheHollyAndTheIfifi Sat 27-Nov-10 19:22:15

Ooh! Another adult who watches Grays Anatomy - thought I was the only one amongst a load of teenage girls ( DD2 and her mates who all think every headache is a brain tumour!)

But, no I don't know if what i said is "seriously". But it is certainly what DS's school said to him. Could have been a ploy to make him more confident that his other choices wouldn't also turn him down, but it did seem from the reults sent out in about March if i recall that all those above a certain score got an interview and all those below didn't. This meant that some boys not as strong on results/predictions got an interview while others didn't, though most of thosae didn't actually go on to get offers.

xx

mumoverseas Sun 28-Nov-10 07:25:44

I LOVE Grays. TV here in KSA is shite so we watch dvds all the time. I have a very melodramatic/hypocondriac (sp?) teenage daughter too.

I am now regretting my decision to have 4 children. The thought of going through all this again 3 more times is very traumatic.
If I HAVE to go through it again though I am wondering whether to get DC3 and 4 to take up rowing to increase their chances of Oxbridge?
Yes, I know they are only 4 years old and 21 months and we live in a desert with no lakes but............ wink

ShrinkingViolet Sun 28-Nov-10 08:31:08

DD1 has been invited to visit Bath, but hasn't had an offer (yet, fingers crossed wink), and their website says they're not making Maths offers till January as they've had so many applications. I thought you only were invited to visit after an offer was made? Seems strange?

mumoverseas Sun 28-Nov-10 10:24:29

sounds hopeful shrinking. From what I've read (all my cyber stalking) it appears that if you get an invite then an offer should follow. Fingers crossed

lazymumofteenagesons Sun 28-Nov-10 17:10:58

MOS have you checked Durhams own tracking system to see if your sons application has been passed to a college. If it has this is as good as an offer.

sarah293 Sun 28-Nov-10 17:15:16

Message withdrawn

lazymumofteenagesons Sun 28-Nov-10 17:56:25

Riven - what course is that for? Last year DS1 got BBB offer at Bristol, I had no idea that ex-poly's asked such high grades. DS2 won't stand a chance. Actually is it an ex-poly?

sarah293 Sun 28-Nov-10 17:58:51

Message withdrawn

sarah293 Sun 28-Nov-10 17:59:40

Message withdrawn

beanlet Sun 28-Nov-10 18:24:34

I don't know if this is helpful at all regarding Oxbridge rejections, but I thought I'd give some perspective from the other side of the interviewing desk in case you never get feedback -- I've done admissions at Oxbridge for several humanities subject and my (comprehensive-school-educated) husband was successively Admissions Tutor and Senior Tutor at one of the oldest colleges.

The reasons students with good predicted A-Level grades don't make it to interview are usually the following:

- AS UMS marks less than 90-95%
- GCSE results that are weak for their school
- inappropriate choice of A-Level subjects (e.g. no Chemistry for medicine)
- weak school report
- poor BMAT or LNAT results
- any combination of the above

You need to remember that almost all applicants for Oxbridge will have been predicted A*AA, and this will be the offer at least at Cambridge. There are some circumstances in which GCSE results from poorly performing schools will be made allowance for, and under the Cambridge Special Access Scheme those from poor or failing schools, or with particularly problematical life events, will be given a lower offer.

Colleges should provide feedback, so if they don't please do write and ask for it. Believe me, it's not the end of the world if they don't make it into Oxbridge; it's really not always the best place for everybody and it's more important to pick a degree course you're interested in taught in a way you will enjoy.

thekidsmom Sun 28-Nov-10 18:35:47

That's helpful beanlet but for Oxford I'm sure you don't have to declare your UMS.... neither DD nor DS did on their UCAS forms.....

That's one thing they were both fine on! DD is now sure its her ELAT was the problem....

antigone25 Sun 28-Nov-10 18:36:37

Beanlet, Thank you for the information. May I ask if you have any advice about doing 4 subjects through to A2 level please? If a student is at a very good, academically selective school and would like to try for Oxbridge, would an admissions tutor expect that they have had every opportunity and should be willing and able to achieve 4 strong A level grades, or is it better to do three and have a better chance of achieving very high grades. Most successful applicants seem to me to have a great many points.

beanlet Sun 28-Nov-10 19:11:08

antigone, as long as the fourth subject is not going to jeopardise performance in the other three, then there's nothing wrong with doing four, but bear in mind that depending on the subject the college might specify which three A-Levels constitute the offer. In any case, quality not quantity is what they're looking for.

thekidsmom thanks for that -- yes, my experience is Cambridge only; my DH was at Oxford before moving to Cambridge, but a while ago. We see UMS marks at Cambridge.

mumoverseas Mon 29-Nov-10 05:12:02

thekidsmum thats what we were told about Oxford hence DS being advised to change from Cambridge to Oxford. Can only assume he didn't do well in the LNAT (they don't find out until January) which is a worry as his second chioce require LNAT too sad

thekidsmom Mon 29-Nov-10 09:16:33

Another week of the waiting game....

We are now resigned to hearing nothing from York or Bristol til after Christmas - DD must be in the 'I'll think aobut you' pile rather than the 'yes, we can't live without you and must make you an offer right away!' pile for both places (which is better than the 'you can't be serious?' pile, at least)

I recall we hear aobut the ELAT on 15th Jan but DD's attitude is 'so what, I'm over it now' as she went out this morning.... (a good brave face, at least)

gingeroots Mon 29-Nov-10 09:49:09

Sorry if not quite the right place ,but a quick,lowly question .
DS resat a Physics AS paper in the summer ,but the school haven't given him the upgraded AS cerificate .
Whe he's entering qualifications on UCAS form does he have to give the
lower grade for which he has the certificate or can he give the higher one ,for which he's still waiting for the certificate ?
( the school say they'll apply for it in January ).

seimum Mon 29-Nov-10 09:57:47

If he's sat the exam & got the results, then I would use the higher grades.

Now you mention it, I don't think DD2 has certificates for either of the AS subjects she is not continuing with - I expect we'll get them from the school eventually.

gingeroots Mon 29-Nov-10 10:38:34

The school are saying that you don't have to enter AS results at all.
Because he's taking A2 exams in the summer ,he should just put " pending " .
But surely if you've got a B at AS ,this would be a good thing for the uni to know ?
Surely if you put nothing ,they'll assume you got an E or something ?

seimum Mon 29-Nov-10 10:44:32

If he's taking the subject at A2, then you don't include it under AS, but you put the module results in the A2 section.

gingeroots Mon 29-Nov-10 10:46:26

OK ,thanks seimum .

webwiz Mon 29-Nov-10 10:55:24

gingeroots DD2 put pending for all the subjects that she is taking to A2 and put down the grade for the two ASs that she has completed. The universities won't assume that your DS got an E because they have the predicted grades. DD2 has 3 offers so far so it hasn't been a problem. If school want to highlight a good performance in anything they put it in the reference or it can be mentioned in the personal statement.

webwiz Mon 29-Nov-10 11:00:43

thekidsmom DD2 is waiting on York as well - I know they have only just starting making offers for her subject so we're not expecting any news yet. One of her friends in waiting on Bristol as well and hasn't heard anything yet.

Some good news at least - DD2 passed her driving theory test this morning. She winged it though as she was nowhere near ready to take it, the stress reminded me of when she used to take flute exams when she only knew half her scalessmile

mumoverseas Mon 29-Nov-10 11:22:18

yay, good news, well done webwhiz's DD

we are facing the fact that we will have a long wait til we hear from Durham. If its this stressful now, god only knows what it will be lik