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Do A levels taken early count towards meeting an Offer?

(15 Posts)
BlueStringPudding Thu 06-Aug-15 16:48:03

DD took an A level alongside her GCSEs a couple of years ago, and got an A grade in it. Whilst she's hoping to meet her offer with the 3 A levels she has taken this year, if she doesn't, does anyone know whether they would count the A level taken before, or is it automatically disregarded because it was not taken at the same time?

Her offer just states the grades, and the subject requirements. Thanks...

Metacentric Thu 06-Aug-15 17:42:21

Often the answer is "no", as the qualification will have already been taken into account when making the offer (ie, if they were going to accept it, they would ask for two A Levels, not three, in the offer). But you should ask, because policies can vary.

RandomFriend Fri 07-Aug-15 13:40:22

It should count, unless she has three subjects specified at A-level in her offer that doesn't include the one taken earlier.

I assume that the subject she took earlier is a language from a country that she lived in. If her offer is - say - "A*, A, A including English and History", and she gets A*,A, B with the B in her third subject, but has an A in French from two years ago, then the A in French should count.

Metacentric Fri 07-Aug-15 13:49:06

I assume that the subject she took earlier is a language from a country that she lived in.

If so, that's another reason to check. Some university/course combinations are looking unfavourably at people who are native or near-native speakers taking qualifications that are intended for ab initio learners.

but has an A in French from two years ago, then the A in French should count.

Some universities will have factored that into the offer already. As I say, the OP needs to check.

RandomFriend Fri 07-Aug-15 14:32:48

Doing A2 in an MFL is still quite a bit of work, even for someone who speaks the language quite well, involving reading literature and writing essays and translation. I see no reason that it should be automatically disregarded by a university, and it could be useful in case of a near-miss of an offer.

Definitely worth checking the detailed university regulations. Some universities (eg, Trinity College, Dublin) state that all of the exams should have been taken in one sitting. Others are less clear, but perhaps there is an assumption of a single sitting for all exams?

Metacentric Fri 07-Aug-15 14:46:23

I see no reason that it should be automatically disregarded by a university

I didn't say that it would be automatic.

However, it is hardly unheard of. A swift Google turns up:

www2.le.ac.uk/departments/medicine/applying/entry

If you are taking a language as one of your subjects we will ask for a declaration that you are not a native speaker of that language.

www.bath.ac.uk/study/ug/prospectus/subject/psychology/entry-requirements/

languages which are intended for non-native speakers are not normally acceptable when taken by native speakers of that language

www.nottingham.ac.uk/business/programmes/ug/admissions/index.aspx

We will not accept language A-levels designed for non-native speakers when taken by a native speaker.

www.city.ac.uk/mathematics-computer-science-engineering/about/faqs-informatics-undergraduate

We do not accept language A-Levels where the subject area is mother tongue. Language A-levels are designed for non-native speakers, so first language speakers will be at a strong (and we feel unfair) advantage. If the language is not your mother tongue we would need to see a letter from your school/college, before we can re-consider our decision.

These are all pretty mainstream universities.

Conversely, Durham has a blanket statement they will not apply such a policy, for any course.

www.dur.ac.uk/undergraduate/apply/faqs/?faqno=2459

Some universities (eg, Trinity College, Dublin) state that all of the exams should have been taken in one sitting.

That's common for medical schools, as well. My point is rather different, however: why would a conditional offer be given in terms of existing A2s? If you've got an acceptable A, and the requirement of the course is AAB, then your offer isn't AAB, it's AB. Similarly, a course might require specific A2s (for example, if you're applying for medicine at some med schools with A2 Maths, Physics and Chemistry you would need to have AS Biology as well) but the conditional offer will not mention the AS; you've already got it.

The OP needs to talk to the university to clarify, so that come next Thursday they know where they are.

RandomFriend Fri 07-Aug-15 15:11:02

Metacentric, that is a great collection of quotes!

Most of them are about native speakers. I was rather assuming that OP's DD may have spent a short period in another country, rather than being a native speaker or having the other language as a "first language". OP didn't even say it was a language, but I cannot think of any other A-level that someone could reasonably take two years early, except possibly maths.

Good to see that Durham appreciate the work involved, even by a native or near-native speaker, in taking an extra language.

MadamArcatiAgain Fri 07-Aug-15 17:23:16

It's clear different course have different policies, so i don' think anyone on here can give you a definitive answer.You would be better contacting the institution.

BlueStringPudding Fri 07-Aug-15 17:23:34

RandomFriend No it was not a language, it was ICT. Her offer is A*AA, including Maths + another Science and she is doing Maths plus 2 sciences - so if she dipped to a B in one of them, then in theory she might be able to use the ICT A level.

I've done a bit of searching and certainly some universities explicitly state that the 3 qualifying A levels have to have been taken together, but this one (Exeter) doesn't seem to have any statement at all about how they treat it.

DD isn't keen to contact admissions, and says she'll just wait and see on the day. Is the Offer effectively a legal commitment of some kind? In which case presumably they'd have to honour it unless they explicitly say somewhere that it's not accepted?

BlueStringPudding Fri 07-Aug-15 17:33:39

Ah see what you mean Metacentric but it is confusing because the offer is still conditional as not all of the conditions have been met. If they said she just needed A*A then there might be an assumption that as she already had the A, that only the A* would be needed, which would be incorrect. So whichever way the offer is made it seems it is open to interpretation. The only way to find out is to either ask, or wait and see. As DD won't ask, it's wait and see..

Metacentric Fri 07-Aug-15 17:41:08

ICT A level.

If they've made the offer based on AAB in maths and two sciences, it would be unlikely that that would accept AAB in maths, a science and ICT anyway, whether completed or not.

Metacentric Fri 07-Aug-15 17:51:28

So whichever way the offer is made it seems it is open to interpretation

www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/9913293/Ucas-application-how-to-reply-to-your-offers.html is written by someone from UCAS.

"A conditional offer means that the university or college will offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, which are usually based on your exams. You may be asked to achieve certain grades in the qualifications you’re currently taking, or the offer may say that you need a certain number of Ucas Tariff points."

My emphasis.

BlueStringPudding Fri 07-Aug-15 18:18:13

The offer they've made is A*AA to include Maths and one Science. DD is taking Maths plus 2 sciences, and so if she got the A* in Maths and an A in one Science she would meet that specific requirement, but if she then got a B in the second Science would not make her offer unless the ICT counted.

Thanks for the link to the telegraph article - and yes it does seem that the default assumption is that offers will be for exams currently being taken, however it adds doubt by saying "you may be asked to achieve certain grades in the qualification you're currently taking" so it seems to be an example rather than an explicit definition.

I did look on the UCAS site for something definitive but haven't found anything yet.

Thanks for all the info though, it is interesting, and am hoping DD gets her offer so that the ICT is irrelevant. Slightly more pressure as her Reserve unfortunately has the same offer, and that university also doesn't seem to mention it anywhere.

RandomFriend Wed 12-Aug-15 13:17:05

Her offer is A*AA, including Maths + another Science and she is doing Maths plus 2 sciences - so if she dipped to a B in one of them, then in theory she might be able to use the ICT A level.

If she does get A*,A,B, then I think you would have a very strong case to argue that she meets the offer with her A*,A and A in ICT.

It may even be confirmed automatically through UCAS, whereas another student achieving A*AB against an A*AA offer would get reviewed by the admissions team and may still get their offer confirmed.

Hope it all works out tomorrow, OP.

BlueStringPudding Thu 13-Aug-15 08:23:10

Thank you, and it has turned out not to matter as she got A*AA anyway, without needing to use the ICT.

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