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Uni application

(21 Posts)
MihiB Wed 02-Dec-15 22:05:22

Hi, my son is higher 6th Form and needs to apply for Uni. His current predicted grades are slightly below what the Uni asks for, but he's working hard to get very good grades on the mocks in January.
My question is whether he should take a chance and apply now with a lower predicted grade or wait for the mocks results and apply just before the registration window closes.
Would his chances of being offered a place be affected by the timing of his application?

Millymollymama Thu 03-Dec-15 00:59:27

Some universities have already made lots of offers, others will wait until all applications are received. Some people will say it makes no difference when you apply but if some places have already been offered, then there are less available after the deadline. If your DS was a very good candidate, this will not especially matter.

It also depends how accurate you think mock exams will be when there are still several months of teaching and revising to go until the real exams. If you think your DS can improve in the next few months then have a go this year. If not, get the results in August and apply for 2017 or look in clearing. If he does not get in with his results, and some universities will take people it's less than the published entry grades, I think he should have a go. At school he has the assistance of the school in looking at his personal statement and teachers who will want him to do well. Also, degrees are not the only qualifications available if he does not make it.

Millymollymama Thu 03-Dec-15 01:01:29

With less than the published grades....

titchy Thu 03-Dec-15 08:01:22

As long as you get the application in before the January deadline it won't make any difference. No university makes ALL their offers before Christmas.

Though if he has mocks after Christmas that's a big ask of his tutors to get them marked and possibly their reference rewritten in the space of a week or so....

eatyourveg Thu 03-Dec-15 08:13:00

The advice my eldest ds was given when he applied was to apply for 2 aspirational courses, 2 courses which were on target for the predicted grades and 1 course which was slightly below - that way all bases were covered. There are 5 options on the ucas form.

strawberryandaflake Thu 03-Dec-15 08:32:47

It depends on the popularity of the course. If they have fewer applicants than expected they will consider lower grades. They want the finding after all. How we've, if there are 10 applicants per place I wouldn't bother. If it's only one subject that is out then go for it, if all 3 are lower, try somewhere else. It can't hurt to try.

strawberryandaflake Thu 03-Dec-15 08:33:06

* funding

senua Thu 03-Dec-15 08:48:30

My question is whether he should take a chance and apply now with a lower predicted grade or wait for the mocks results and apply just before the registration window closes.

I'm not totally sure what you are asking. Are you worried about getting good-enough predicted grades to secure an offer. Or are you worried about making the grade in the actual A2 exams.

Teachers are human, like everyone else. There will be some number crunching at arrive at most predicted grades but teachers can sometimes be persuaded to up the prediction. Never mind the mocks - what is he doing now. Is the teacher aware how keen he is, how much he is working? - is he doing all homework to the best of his ability, is he contributing in class, does he take on board the suggestions for improvement, does he seek out the teacher at break/lunch. Help the teacher by being a model student and they can help you by raising the grade (within reason, of course). Talk to the teachers.

ClancyMoped Thu 03-Dec-15 08:50:08

It really depends on the course and the year. What sort of university, grades, course is he looking at. No need to be too specific but a general idea would help.
You could also try phoning the Uni and asking - it may or may not help but its worth a try. My DC have always found the Unis very approachable and helpful
Dont forget that if he ends up getting better grades that his firm on results day he can use the adjustment process which would allow the possibility of upgrading. My DS used it having achieved higher grades than he had been predicted. It's a different process than clearing but easy and quick. DS had his new place confirmed at a much better RG Uni MN approved lol by mid morning on results day. Accommodation is obviously then not as straight forward but at that point DS really didn't care as he was so pleased with himself and his new Uni.

Helenluvsrob Thu 03-Dec-15 08:52:23

Either spread his choices- apply for one or two which need higher than his predicated grades , 2 that want the predicted and 1 that he should easily make the grades for , or , possibly best option here- plan a gap year and apply grades in hand.

chemenger Thu 03-Dec-15 09:01:22

Provided he applies before the deadline his application will be considered in the same way as those made the day applications opened. There is a strong belief in Mumsnet that this is not true, despite every academic who contributes here confirming repeatedly that all applications are treated fairly. As to taking grades below published, as strawberry says this may depend on demand. Our stated minimum grades reflect what we believe is required to successfully complete the programme. However, we have very strong demand so we have not offered to prospective students holding or predicted to get the minimum for several years. We give our typical offer grades as well which is a better measure of what is needed to get an offer. The actual offer requirement cannot be known until the applications are well under way for that year.

BoboChic Thu 03-Dec-15 09:04:25

IME you should always apply at the moment in time when your grade predictions are at their highest!

senua Thu 03-Dec-15 09:20:14

To re-iterate my 'talk to the teachers' comment:

UCAS application time is stressful for teachers too. They have to make grade predictions, subject teachers have to write references, tutors have to collate these into a coherent whole, they have to chase up students, etc etc. Some students look at the deadline and think that it is the students' deadline, forgetting that there is still school input to go.

DS's school were a bit grumpy with him because he appeared tardy with his application. I only realised this by chance after a conversation with the Hof6 so I informed them that actually I was the problem. I had told DS to hold off because we were waiting on some information that needed to be included.


ClancyMoped Thu 03-Dec-15 14:25:09

OP, a bit of an aside, but you you might find the following interesting.

Teachers grade predictions are rapidly getting more and more far fetched inaccurate year by year. It's not a good thing as it makes the whole process more crazy and unpredictable than it is all ready and, I imagine, it's only going to get worse as AS's are stopped.

Only a measly 21% of students in England who are predicted ABB or above achieved their predicted grades in 2014. It's stressful and disappointing for students to underachieve and may mean that if the students have firmed a university at the top end of their predicted grades that they end missing their firm offer.

There is more info on page 67 of the UCAS end of year report.

Here is a cut and paste from the report.

For predicted grade profiles of AAA and lower the proportion attaining ABB+ has decreased in every cycle since 2010.

For English 18 year olds predicted ABB, the proportion attaining ABB+ fell from 32.2 per cent in 2010, 29.6 per cent (2011), 25.9 per cent (2012), 23.2 per cent (2013), to 21.0 per cent in 2014. This is a total decrease over the period of 11.2 percentage points meaning that those predicted ABB in 2014 are around 35 per cent less likely to achieve it than those predicted ABB in 2010.

For those predicted AAB, the proportion attaining ABB+ fell from 58.4 per cent in 2010 to 46.0 per cent in 2014, a reduction of 12.4 percentage points (21 per cent proportionally).

The proportion of those predicted AAA and attaining ABB+ has also fallen across the period, from 85.5 per cent in 2010 to 74.6 per cent in 2014, a reduction of 10.9 percentage points (13 per cent proportionally).

ClancyMoped Thu 03-Dec-15 14:47:09

Sorry, sooo many typos. blush

ClancyMoped Thu 03-Dec-15 14:47:52

The report I quoted was the most recent one which is 2014

Decorhate Thu 03-Dec-15 17:46:28

I really don't think that holding out for the mock results is a good idea. I have a feeling that they are often marked quite hard (to scare pupils into studying harder). Far more productive to ask the teachers if they will change his predicted grades upwards - obv they should only really do that if they think he has made better than expected progress this year, etc

Millymollymama Thu 03-Dec-15 18:01:17

I know that this was not the original question but..... if a university offers places to students in early November (and they do!), how do the people who apply at the deadline get an equal chance? There are obviously fewer places available. Although the university might be assuming that none of the early applicants will actually want to go there! If there were a huge number of late applications, there must be less chance of getting in because some places are already offered. I agree the chances are equal if no-one gets an offer before all the applications are considered, but this is blatantly not the case at some universities. Especially ones that would like the good students on their courses. If you submit the UCAS application for the Oxbridge deadline, it is quite normal to get several offers back within a few weeks. I do know that universities make more offers than they have spaces, but there must be a reason why schools like young people to apply in good time!

I thought typical offer grades was the only grade info anyone ever looked at. Minimum means very little at all really.

HocusCrocus Thu 03-Dec-15 18:46:24

Parent - not teacher - perspective here but I would agree with Senua - talk to them. It is ultimately DS's job to get his application in before the deadline and he needs to work backwards from that and understand what the school needs to do after he has done his bit. Mocks in Jan and a mid Jan deadline sounds tight to me but if he has done all else and a mock result (assuming that is within the school timeframe ) makes a difference , then OK. Also - if he is expecting to get better mock grades than his predictions show, talk to them, as if he has been working harder / getting better results in class / homework - then maybe they will talk about it now. I do not know your circumstances or the school , but I would just say - talk to the school.

Er - Did I say "talk to the school ? grin

titchy Thu 03-Dec-15 18:50:56

There have been plenty of threads on this milly....

But to repeat.... There are 30 places up for grabs for Poppleton University's BA in Basket Weaving. Each year they receive 300 on time applications. They know that they will need to make 150 offers to get the 30 that they need (100 offered will be declined and 20 won't make the grade). They make 50 offers in November to applicants they definitely want, decline 30 they definitely don't and leave another 30 applications on the 'look at later' pile. They therefore still have another 100 offers to make for December and January applicants.

ClancyMoped Thu 03-Dec-15 18:57:11

Milly only a third of all applicants end up on ABB or higher tariff courses so I imagine that for the vast majority of courses the minimum grade requirements are the actual grade requirements iyswim. It would only be especially high tariff courses or highly competitive courses that don't give offers to applicants that meet their admission requirements.

Universities are required to have fair and transparent admissions policies so, in general, if they state a minimum requirement then that what it is.

Administratively it also doesn't make sense for Unis to advertise unrealistically low entry requirements. I'm sure admissions staff have better things to do than trawl though hundreds of unsuitable UCAS forms.

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