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Offers versus actual A level Grades

(25 Posts)
lloydjam Thu 15-Oct-15 09:11:58

I'd be grateful if someone can give me an indication on how many students get their choice of Uni if they don't meet the offered grades? When I went may moons ago , we were allocated a place even though the grades weren't reached. We have just started looking and am concerned that so many Unis require three A's. Im interested to know in reality how many kids actually get these and still get in ? thanks !

bigbluebus Thu 15-Oct-15 09:56:37

DS had an offer of 3 B's from a RG Uni - he got BBC (the C was in the least important subject for his course - a B in the other 2 subjects was essential). He was accepted immediately on results day.
One of his friends had an offer of AAA and got AAB and was accepted into a different RG Uni - again the dropped grade was not in the subject he was studying at Uni.
I think it depends on which Uni/course you are dealing with Oxford/Cambridge/Durham less likely I would have thought and likewise Medicine/Vet courses unlikely to accept lower grades.

MummaGiles Thu 15-Oct-15 10:02:58

Depends entirely on how many people make their grades, how over/undersubscribed the course is, by how much you miss the offer and in what subject. The school should have given an indication of predicted grades, use those as a starting point for the universities they should be targeting for their chosen course. If it might be a stretch to get in or your DC is worried about the grades then they should also look at insurance choices which are looking for say all Bs or a mix of As and Bs (if they are also applying to straight A courses).

hellsbells99 Thu 15-Oct-15 11:42:20

DD1 and a friend both had offers of AAB, with an A in chemistry, at different universities. Both got a B in chemistry. DD1 got accepted but her friend didn't. It is as MummGiles states above - it depends how many make the original offer whether they have space if you drop a grade and also how many try and apply through clearing/adjustment who have higher grades.

lloydjam Thu 15-Oct-15 12:06:46

Thanks everyone, I guess Im just surprised (and scared) at how the high the entrance requirements are for some universities nowadays (I wouldn't get in now based on my 1988 A levels grades !!) .

disquisitiones Thu 15-Oct-15 12:15:58

But far more people get As than they did in the 80s. Back then people got into Oxbridge without having straight As. Now it would be vanishingly rare to be accepted by Oxbridge if you dropped to a B in any subject.

Lilymaid Thu 15-Oct-15 15:12:38

DS had an offer of BBB for UEA. He got one UMS point under a B for one subject and was rejected.
(Since then he has achieved an MSc with Merit from an RG university that is much higher ranked for that subject.)

Decorhate Thu 15-Oct-15 17:23:33

I know quite a few who dropped a grade this summer & still got in (to RG universities)

Agee that less likely for Oxbridge (but possibly depends on subject etc as others have said). My dd dropped a grade (just) in one subject. Got rejected from her firm but accepted by her insurance. in spite of saying they wouldn't accept her combination of grades as equivalent to their offer.
So grateful as she had her heart set on the course & resitting not really an option for that one. And she wouldn't have got any offers if she applied with her achieved grades.

ThatsDissapointing Thu 15-Oct-15 18:00:41

Lots and lots of students miss grades but still get accepted but its not guaranteed. My DD2 didn't want to apply for a course with higher requirements than she was expecting as she felt it would make her too stressed whereas DS2 happily applied to somewhere despite being sure that he wouldn't get the grades on the hope of them letting him in anyhow. Which they did.
If you have a risk adverse child like my DD it might be better to apply for a course which has entrance requirements that match their expected grades. Then, if they exceed those grades they can use UCAS's 'adjustment' process to trade up to a better Uni. This is what my DD2 did. It was far less stressful for her to trade up rather than be petrified she was going to get a rejection because of not getting her grades. Iyswim Not all courses are available for adjustment so there is an element of luck involved.

Unistats shows the actual average UCAS points for students on each UK university course in the UK. It gives some indication what sort of students get accepted although you have to bare in mind that the total UCAS points includes AS's, 4th or 5th Alevels and other things such as music etc.

I think it's crazy that most students apply for University with predicted grades especially now that the numbers of students being predicted incorrect high grades is rapidly increasing year on year. I think the application process should be changed so that student only applied with achieved grades.

LessStress Thu 15-Oct-15 19:26:22

I know someone who was accepted for Medicine this year by Durham even though they had a 'B' grade in Chemistry, considered the most important subject for the course. The offer was AAA, but they were accepted a week after results came out with A* A* B.
I would be surprised if this had happened a couple of years ago. Maybe Unis are needing to be more flexible now that modules have disappeared.

GloriaHotcakes Thu 15-Oct-15 20:18:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stonecircle Thu 15-Oct-15 22:40:37

DS and friend firmed the same course at Exeter starting this year. Offer was AAA. DS got in with A*A B; friend didn't get in with AAB.

Times have changed haven't they? My old university now asks for AAA to do English whereas back in the 70s my offer was BCC and I got in with ADD.

Ricardian Fri 16-Oct-15 07:23:59

back in the 70s

Back in 1970s (and most of the 1980s) A Levels were norm-referenced, so a fixed percentage of the cohort got an A, a fixed percentage got a B, etc.

Today it's criterion referenced, so if you meet the standard, you get the grade, irrespective of how many other people do.

It's a long philosophical and political debate as to which you think is preferable.

GloriaHotcakes Fri 16-Oct-15 07:26:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Fri 16-Oct-15 07:56:52

Exeter doesn't seem to be quiet from what ds says .... Mine had a wobble last weekend but seems to be back on track now

As with stonecircle's ds, the standard offer for his course was AAA, two of his friends had firmed the same course but got AAB and were both rejected. One got offered a similar course at the Cornwall campus but decided she preferred her insurance so has gone there instead

HidingFromDD Fri 16-Oct-15 08:20:42

DD2 had A*AA offer from Exeter, got AAAB and was accepted. School was surprised though as apparently Exeter rarely accept dropped grades. It looks like they may have been looking at total UCAS points this year.

And no, Exeter certainly does not seem quiet!

sassymuffin Fri 16-Oct-15 08:36:56

DD had an offer from Cambridge for A*AA and on results day received AAAA but was still accepted. Even though it wasn't necessary she went for a priority remark on one of her subjects on the advice of her teacher and eventually ended up with A*AAA.
Her college had originally given out 12 offers for her course but only 9 people got places, I think DD may have originally been offered her place on the strength of her interview and the fact she had gone up from a B to an A in her fourth subject, but this is just a guess.

bruffin Fri 16-Oct-15 13:50:21

My friends son was accepted at Exeter on a dropped grade, but I think it was only 1 ums point and it was a few years ago. He loved his time at Exeter and would have stayed in the area if there had been jobs.
DS got accepted at Surrey this year dropping 2 grades, but from what I heard this year there were lots of unis taking lower grades.

Headofthehive55 Fri 16-Oct-15 15:42:48

Very much depends on course / subject and uni. Not the same year to year so quite unpredictable. you can get bargains slipping in with lower grades. It's all about supply and demand and what's in fashion that year.

Millymollymama Sat 17-Oct-15 21:46:09

I think it is fair to say Exeter is campus and not in a lively city centre. Lively nights out are found in Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester.... Northern cities! Depends what one thinks of as lively.

Dropping grades is a lottery and depends on other people's results. If everyone gets the offer grades, there are no freed up places. Surrey could be an insurance choice for lots of students so places get freed up because the students accept elsewhere. Less likely to happen at Oxbridge. There is a bit of a pecking order in RG universities too and some are more flexible than others. Some have loads of courses in clearing.

stonecircle Sat 17-Oct-15 23:42:00

Gloria - yes, ds is loving Exeter. Doesn't sound like it's quiet! Not sure what your ds means by isolated? It is a campus, but in Exeter and there seems to be lots going on. DS was disappointed not to get accommodation on campus but has decided that he's happy to trade a 15 minute walk to campus for the 5 minute walk he has to the city centre - where all the clubs and pubs are .... I guess even in places like Manchester etc, there's a fair amount of walking/traveling involved in getting to where you want to be.

Noitsnot - that's what happened to ds's friend who dropped one grade (AAB instead of AAA - the B was very high too). He got offered a place on the Cornwall campus and they even paid for him to go and have a look. Sorry to hear your ds was having a wobble. I detected a bit of 'fondness' for home the other night from ds. I think possibly the novelty and excitement has worn off a bit and now work has kicked in, plus lots of sports training, he's finding his days quite full on (and gone are the days of lifts to school, washing done and meals cooked for him - it's all down to him!)

voilets Sun 18-Oct-15 09:42:20

My DS applied for a top ranking course despite our recommendation to keep them all achievable. They wanted A*, A, A. We fully expected him to go to his lovely insurance place which wanted ABB. He achieved A* , A , B - above what we expected and has gone happily to firm choice. He seems to be able enough so far.

lalamumto3 Thu 22-Oct-15 09:21:30

I think that it depends on the course as well as the Uni, my DD was offered AAB at Exeter, but told that A*BB would also be accepted.

Her friend with an offer of AAB for Geography was rejected with A*BB, the A* was a nearly 100% in Geography! I think it must just depend on the year's applicants.

My advice from this year would be to make sure that they like their insurance. Some of DDs peers who missed their firm, then decided that they did not like their insurance, had to wait to be released before they could go into clearing. This has a knock on effect as although they may get a place on the course they may not get an offer of accommodation. If you get a clearing place and no accommodation, they may want to defer, but that is not a guaranteed option.

putcustardonit Thu 22-Oct-15 10:34:00

DS was offered AAA for Exeter but they told him they's accept A*AB.

I'd agree about ensuring the Insurance is a good choice, I know quite a few DC that struggled getting accommodation through clearing.

Abraid2 Fri 23-Oct-15 14:16:18

My DC lost both firm and insurance places when they got AAB rather than A*AA or AAA, at Bristol and Exeter respectively.

DC is now at an at least as equally respected RG university who originally offered them AAA but accepted the AAB after a telephone call on results day.

This was for history, very popular at Bristol and Exeter, so not surprising but very stressful, all the same. Things worked out, though!

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