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Can someone advice please about ucas (applying when you know grades)

(19 Posts)
windowtree Fri 08-Aug-14 19:30:11

I'm no longer familiar with the British university system as although I went to uni in the UK I've lived abroad for a long time.
However DD wants to go to university in the UK.
She will be 17 when she gets her results (so a year younger than peers born in same year IYSWIM)
Once she gets her results she wants to wait and apply the following year - so when she is 18.
Are there any advantages/disadvantages to applying to universities when you already know your results?

Clobbered Fri 08-Aug-14 19:32:38

It's a big advantage, because universities publish information about their grade offers, so your DD can pick courses that match her grades and be reasonably sure of getting offers, which will be unconditional. My DD applied post-A levels and the whole process was so much less stressful than for DS the year before, when everything was hanging on results.

SlowlorisIncognito Fri 08-Aug-14 19:35:06

It's a big advantage, as she can selectively target universities she knows she will get into, and having unconditional offers will take the stress out of applying.

The only issue might arise if she wants to study maths- most universities don't like a break in studying as skills are easily lost. This isn't considered an issue for other subjects, and could be overcome e.g. by studying some maths modules via the OU.

windowtree Fri 08-Aug-14 19:54:17

Oh that's good to hear - thanks both. Fortunately maths won't be on her list (when she eventually makes her mind up!) - she is counting the days until she can drop it now smile

Greengrow Fri 08-Aug-14 21:42:37

Also I went to university at 17 and it was fine so if she did decide to go then I don't think that would be a problem either.

merlehaggard Sun 17-Aug-14 19:39:24

It is definitely better to have the results first. My daughter failed to get an offer from kings because she wasn't predicted an A* even though she did actually get it. It overcomes these sort of problems and much nicer to know you have been unconditionally accepted, rather than pending results like the majority.

Molio Sun 17-Aug-14 20:40:43

My own advice to my DC is to apply in their final year at school before grades are known on the grounds that their predicted grades may well be better than their actual grades. This strategy has worked well in that all have gone for five 'top' unis on their ucas form and all have achieved at least four offers if not five. Two have achieved their predictions but three have not (though all have got their first choice uni).

I've seen a number of their peers apply after results are known with three A* or more and still be rejected by their preferred choice - I don't see it as any advantage unless a DC seriously exceeds his or her predicted grades, in fact quite the reverse.

Molio Sun 17-Aug-14 20:43:16

Slow there is no saying anyone will get into any particular uni simply because they have the required grades or in excess of the required grades - dangerous advice, at least for the most competitive subjects/ unis.

merlehaggard Mon 18-Aug-14 15:42:29

Molio why is it dangerous advice to apply with the grades in hand! even for competitive subjects? I'm interested as cannot see how it would ever be a disadvantage.

soddinghormones Mon 18-Aug-14 16:41:30

Have you checked what her position will be wrt fees? If she's considered to be an overseas student then tuition fees can be eye-wateringly expensive

Ds is doing IB so will get his results by early July next year - he will be applying with grades in hand - it will mean he can target realistic choices and not spend time applying this year which would be better spent studying (is exceptionally bright but also exceptionally lazy ...)

Molio Mon 18-Aug-14 19:09:27

merle it seems dangerous to me to suggest that it's a foregone conclusion that those with the required standard offer grades will inevitably get a place at the most competitive unis for the most competitive subjects. I've seen many applicants with a full or nearly full hand of A* be rejected on a post results application. Cambridge says it requires higher grades for post results students than it's standard conditional offer for Y13s. my advice would be to put in a Y13 application in to test the water - what's there to lose?

BoffinMum Mon 18-Aug-14 20:59:49

I think there's a case for applying both before, as well as after if necessary.

merlehaggard Mon 18-Aug-14 22:16:45

I had no idea that higher offers might be made. Why would they do that? I thought naively thought that if you got the grades, you would get the same offer, just unconditionally. Mind you, we got caught out by the taking A level maths at the end of year 12 thing, and it not counting in your offer so you learn all the time. By the time I get my last one through, I might fully understand it!

Molio Mon 18-Aug-14 22:17:36

BM is more succinct (and better with grammar smile).

Molio Mon 18-Aug-14 22:19:48

Remember too merle that individual universities' admissions policies change year on year, so nothing is certain!

BoffinMum Tue 19-Aug-14 08:23:46

Other factors in university admissions decisions that I have seen:

1. Whether the dean or VC wants certain courses to look cleverer and sexier than the same courses in the university down the road, which means the offer grades go up.

2. How many students have decided to defer places for a year (impacts heavily on smaller intakes in particular).

3. Whether a potential student has gone in and talked to the Director of Studies or other academic in charge for the course, and asked interesting questions. If that same student then turns up at subject related events such as seminars or meetings of things like Mathematics Olympiads or the Young Archeologists' Association, and is visible, that makes an impact if they are planning to study for a degree in that area.

4. Whether someone has Grade 8 in a music instrument (they often do well on courses) or played at county level in a sport (similar). That always leaps off the page.

Molio Tue 19-Aug-14 08:38:19

The reason the very competitive universities might make higher offers is because although their standard conditional offer might be A*AA the reality is that offerees often attain significantly higher grades in reality. So the university would expect that from a post results applicant also.

That said, I would expect there to be some re-thinking soon on the whole standard offer front from those universities demanding very high grades, though not Oxford or Cambridge.

Molio Tue 19-Aug-14 08:41:26

Too much reality, sorry.

merlehaggard Tue 19-Aug-14 17:15:35

Oh I see. That all makes sense. Thanks.

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