Different offers on uni websites

(19 Posts)
tobee Mon 03-Oct-16 19:05:01

Does anyone know for definite what it means when a university website has an offer range for a subject? For example AAB - ABB.

OP’s posts: |
KayJBee Mon 03-Oct-16 19:08:45

Ideally they would like AAB but they offer ABB to some candidates that they are keen to have. Maybe the student is strong in other areas, they see great potential in them or they just need to fill the course. Or any number of other reasons.

Welshpoolmummy Mon 03-Oct-16 19:08:56

From my experience they usually give the higher offer.
The lower one could be contextual, that is if the applicant is coming from a school with poor results etc

Google the universities' contextual data criteria to see if you're eligible.

Having spoken to an admissions tutor in Exeter, if the range is AAA-ABB and the applicant was predicted A*AA, they'd offer the higher one to try and 'stretch' the applicant.

UCL refused to tell me who gets which!

stonecircle Mon 03-Oct-16 21:06:32

That's interesting- I always thought the lower grade was the contextual offer.

tobee Mon 03-Oct-16 23:53:31

Thanks. I deliberately didn't use the words contextual offer in my question because I didn't want to lead replies and people just assume it must be that. I've looked at criteria listed for contextual and ds doesn't fit. At his school it is suggested they put in 1 application to a uni which is a "if things go better than expected"! I don't want ds to waste a choice if it's the lower offer that's contextual and the other standard where it's too many grades above prediction where the other is just one iyswim.

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homebythesea Tue 04-Oct-16 12:50:38

At my DS school (private) they were told to always expect the higher offer "because of the type of school you go to". FWIW I'd always assume it's the higher of the 2 and shen choosing an aspirational uni, only assume one of the three predicted grades will go up eg predicted BBB, aspirational ABB

Dunlurking Tue 04-Oct-16 13:52:53

Some universities are quite clear on their websites what the lower offer means - Bristol's is for the pupils from schools eligible for contextual offers and I think you can find a link to the list. Ds met a boy at an offer holder day who had an AAB offer because he was from such a school, compared to ds's A*AA Bristol offer.


Needmoresleep Tue 04-Oct-16 14:13:55

Imperial in contrast seem to give different offers post interview. So some of DDS classmates were sitting on different offers for the same course, with no obvious reasons for the differences as far as they could work out, other than some must have impressed at interview.

Cambridge can do similar handing out the occasional 4A* offer, when others are asked for less.

tobee Tue 04-Oct-16 17:44:44

Hmmm. Ds is also at a private school but has dyspraxia and 50% extra time allowance but that might not count. He is predicted ABB but is keen on looking at somewhere AAA-AAB so, as pp said I think AAB would be stretch choices so you can see our conundrum. Probably be worth a call. I was surprised so many places had two offers. I'm sure for dd, 4 years ago, it was one typical offer that was listed. Shame interviews are few and far between now.

OP’s posts: |
LimeFizz Tue 04-Oct-16 18:35:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LimeFizz Tue 04-Oct-16 18:36:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Welshpoolmummy Tue 04-Oct-16 18:56:45


Oh really! That's interesting. Well done to your DS. Perhaps the offers they make and when vary from departement?
A friend of DD got 14A* GCSE, 5As at AS and was predicted AAAA.
Exeter gave her an A*AA offer, for an A*AA-AAB course. She called them to see if they'd lower it so she'd firm them instead of Oxford, but they refused.

stonecircle Tue 04-Oct-16 19:18:27

DS got an AAA offer from Exeter for an AAA-AAB course. I assume he got the higher offer because he went to a grammar school. They did subsequently write to him and say they would accept A star A B instead - no idea why!

goodbyestranger Tue 04-Oct-16 19:50:13

For some universities (eg Durham) the rule is explicitly stated on the website that if an exam board has taken SEN into account with extra time etc, then those same circumstances can't be used again to mitigate further, which seems fair. I would expect that rule to be extended to exclude a reduced offer, or at least that's where the logic would lead.

One of my DC got a lower offer from Bristol despite his predictions of two A* and an A in his main subjects, an A* in the EPQ and attending a good grammar school. So it does seem that there are multiple variations.

LimeFizz Tue 04-Oct-16 20:01:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tobee Tue 04-Oct-16 20:40:21

That was exactly my reckoning re the extra time, goodbye.

It seems like I'm not really any further on. In some ways it's good as they may take more into account other than just the bald grades but we don't want to waste a choice. Anyway, his predicted grades are apparently not set in stone and his retaking part of an AS level practical exam. However, I don't know if the results come out til summer. Dd retook part of an AS and went from a C to an A. Makes you think it would be better to apply for 2018 in a lot of ways. Blah! I think this year are getting punished in a lot of ways compared to others.

OP’s posts: |
homebythesea Thu 06-Oct-16 11:24:26

tobee at my DS school hardly any of the kids did not retake one or more AS exams alongside the A2 in order to tweak the scores upwards. This of course makes the final results less predictable, and this will probably be the last year where this is even possible. It's really hard isn't it, and we found it even harder when 4 out of 5 offers came back the same, meaning no true "insurance" option (DS choice - of course there were many places that would make lower offers but none he would contemplate living in)

ErrolTheDragon Thu 06-Oct-16 11:39:34

We've come across a couple which might drop one grade eg AAA to AAB if the applicant has and A* in a relevant EPQ. IIRC also a couple which the standard offer based on 3 subjects is A*AA but would generally take AAAA (if the subjects were all apt of course) - info from open day rather than website.

If I was you I'd prod your DS to call or email the admissions tutors for the courses he's interested in for clarification.

tobee Thu 06-Oct-16 16:01:14

That sounds like good advice. At the moment ds needs a lot of prodding for the whole application process. I'm playing it as get involved now to give yourself the best choices for you. It doesn't mean you have go in 2017 or even anytime but try to make it your decision rather than their decision (speaking from personal experience there☹️)

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