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equivalent grades

(16 Posts)
exgov Fri 16-Nov-12 17:10:52

Is it the case that if a university sets an offer of, say, AAA they will always accept an equivalent, ie A*AB and so forth? I guess there's no obligation on them to do that?

Yellowtip Fri 16-Nov-12 17:17:30

No it's not the case and no, there's no obligation.

creamteas Fri 16-Nov-12 18:17:09

Where I work, applicants that miss their specific offer but get an equivalent level of points will be offered places if they are available before those that miss both the specific offer and their points level (assuming the missed grade is not in specific subject asked for)

TheCollieDog Fri 16-Nov-12 18:42:09

There's no blanket answer to your question. If we've asked for a specific grade in a specific subject at A2, it's unlikely that we'd see less than that as made up for by a better result in another subject we hadn't specified, IFSWIM. That's why my place doesn't use tariff points, but grades for A Levels (and specific equivalents for other matric. qualifications).

It's particularly the case in General Studies, which we don't count as one of the three A Levels we look at.

exgov Sat 17-Nov-12 09:49:45

Thank you, that's very helpful. I suppose some places use tariff points more than others? Do they tend to be explicit about it? I think we'll have to see if we can dig out any info from the universities concerned.

Xenia Sat 17-Nov-12 10:08:07

It is very variable. The better places with masses of candidates who did make the exact grades are going to go for those candidates. Also if you are going to read say English they might want A* English A level and if you get a B instead but A* in history they may not be so keen.

creamteas Sat 17-Nov-12 12:50:09

exgov in my experience it doesn't come down to specific university, it depends on the other applicants!

All universities make more offers than they have places. We have no way of knowing whether or not we will be the firm or insurance. At my uni, about 25% of people we make offers to will make us their firm choice, but it can vary,

Universes also have no way of precisely knowing how many students will get certain grades, for example this year A level grades were lower than in previous years.

If they take on too many students there are fines, too few then there are financial problems.

When the results come in universities obviously have to take the firms. Then estimates are made on the number of insurance applicants which might be rejected by their firm (based on previous understandings of what other universities usually do).

If there are still places to spare then the applicants who missed their offers will be considered, and in most cases this will be to those who have the equivalent first unless there is a good reason not to (missed in required subject).

exgov Sun 18-Nov-12 14:58:04

It must be incredibly hard to predict everything. And there's no limit now, is there, on the number of ABB+ students a university can go for (though they have their own limits, obviously). I wonder why grades were generally lower last year?

Milliways Sun 18-Nov-12 15:58:03

One of DS's offers this year is for AAA or A*AB, so at least he knows for that Uni where he stands. Looking on TSR tables a lot of offers have been made like this - so if they don't specify then I really wouldn't hope too much.

creamteas Sun 18-Nov-12 16:42:19

exgov In most years, the entry has been relatively stable for us (with about 25% of those we make offers to becoming firm and getting their grades). But last year was terrible. The twin changes of having AAB outside of the quota and the fee changes made it really difficult to work out what might happen. Then the grades were lower than than in previous year! Lots of unis had unfilled places, and some wanted extra AAB students so nearly all went into clearing and grade dropping was widespread. Applicants quickly realised this and even people with firm offers started moving. I was at a meeting last week, and it emerged that even some of the top unis like Warwick and Durham lost applicants during clearing!

Whilst there are no government imposed limits on the number of ABB+ students for 2013 entry (and they have expanded the range of equivalent qualification slightly) some courses can't take on more students as they don't have the rooms/labs to accommodate them.

fussychica Mon 19-Nov-12 15:26:45

As an aside, in Spain you don't apply for uni until you have your results. This determines both the University and the courses you can apply for.
The UK system seems very complicated in comparison and makes life very difficult for both the applicant & the university. creamteas do you think the universities would prefer a Spanish type system?
We felt DS was lucky as although he had to pick his uni's based on his expected mark he knew his results by the end of May, thereby changing his firm offer to unconditional at that point.

titchy Mon 19-Nov-12 15:48:57

Universities would yes, but the exam boards would need to have exams sat a lot earlier in order to get result out by say June, which would mean teachers have a lot less time to teach the syllabus. It's a good idea in principle, but would need all stakeholders to buy into it, and invest their resources in order for it to work.

titchy Mon 19-Nov-12 15:49:58

It would also mean universities spending the summer interviewing which wouldn't necessarily go down too well grin

fussychica Mon 19-Nov-12 17:07:25

Actually it's far more tight in Spain than I implied as the A level equivalent results are known in May (good enough for UK entry but not for Spain) but there is a national University entrance exam(Selectividad) in September, results are published almost immediately - you apply to your chosen Uni /course get accepted or not straight away and start Uni in October.
No I can't believe they manage to do it either but they do shock

creamteas Mon 19-Nov-12 20:49:24

Personally I would insist that all students take a year out between school and uni, so they would apply at the same time but with their results. IMO students who take a year out and work come to uni much more prepared to take responsibility for their learning and appreciate the future place that a degree might get them. (Especially if they have spent the year mopping floor/cleaning toilets grin.)

fussychica Tue 20-Nov-12 10:19:35

Don't know what I was thinking yesterday - Selectividad takes place mid June not September - must have had too much wine

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