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Why 'wait a year' if you don't manage to get into uni?

(22 Posts)
Draylon Tue 05-Sep-17 15:06:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OP’s posts: |
Gannet123 Tue 05-Sep-17 15:15:52

It depends on when you are rejected.
If you are not made an offer, and then exceed expectations in your exams to gain the required grades, then your application is inherently stronger because it has achieved grades on it. Fundamentally, the reason you were not made an offer is because the university didn't think you had the potential to do well, and high achieved grades would make them more likely to reconsider that view.

If you receive an offer but don't achieve the terms of the offer in your exams, it's far less likely that you'd get an offer on achieved grades next year. Often, advice to wait a year is about taking time to rethink your options - having not achieved your first choice, it's better to take time to make a plan B rather than rushing through Clearing.
Some students choose to resit and improve their grades, although not all universities accept that.
Occasionally, you might run into a circumstance where there has been some sort of major dip in applications on the course you are interested in - so this year they didn't want you, but they are getting massively fewer applications for next year, so they may be more interested next year. Ultimately university applications are all about competition for available places, so if there is less competition next year you may have more of a chance. But that would not be very common.

HardcoreLadyType Tue 05-Sep-17 15:18:05

Your application for this year will have been made after AS levels, based on expected results. For one reason or another, these might be low. You might have done much better than expected, so you can then apply based on actual results.

Or, you may have done worse than expected. DD1 has a friend who applied to Cambridge, and was given a very high offer. He missed it, and lost the place. He applied the next year with his known results to Oxford, and got in. (Oxford tend to put more weight on their interviewing and testing, whereas Cambridge put more emphasis on external exams.

Some universities accept grades sat over more than one year. So, if you had two decent A levels, but messed up a third, you could sit a whole A level in a year, and apply with that.

Or you might have changed your mind about what you wanted to study. So, you could apply to different courses.

All sorts of scenarios where it makes sense to take a gap year.

girlfridayoxon Tue 05-Sep-17 15:18:20

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Horsemad Tue 05-Sep-17 17:30:17

It's supply and demand: if the unis you apply to have lots of applicants, they can be picky. Next year, they may have less applicants and you may be successful at getting an offer from them.

BackforGood Tue 05-Sep-17 17:36:27

Think Gannet covered it all in her excellent first reply smile

SerfTerf Tue 05-Sep-17 17:38:25

assuming you spend your enforced Gap Yah titting around Australia, rather than improving your personal statement!

Who are these dreadful young people who have embittered you? grin What a thing to assume!

TorchesTorches Tue 05-Sep-17 17:40:44

I did this, i had good results, but underperformed in one subject, the one which i hoped to study at uni. My grade in that subject wasn't enough to study it, but i decided to change to a different subject, which i had the right grades for, but for which there were no places left in clearing. By applying early the next academic year, i got unconditional offers and didn't have any resits. It all worked out for me.

Kez100 Tue 05-Sep-17 19:49:07

I know a lad who got no interviews for medicine last year. Predicted grades were ok but he's got a Grade C gcse English, so thinks that might have been why.

Applied this year with A star x 2 and A at A level in the bag. A well planned, useful, gap year. Received 4 interviews and 4 offers.

If that's not a good reason, I don't know what is!

BubblesBuddy Wed 06-Sep-17 16:33:01

Gap years can be useful for growing up, reappraising what you can do and where you can do it and investing in your cv. Do a retake if necessary but there can be lots of positives.

corythatwas Wed 06-Sep-17 22:15:38

dd has several friends who waited a year and then went off to uni

not a single one spent time "titting around Australia", all worked and gained extra experience and thought over their choices

dd clearly moves in very different circles from the OP

Ta1kinPeece Wed 06-Sep-17 22:45:37

A friends Son did not get an offer from Cambridge based on his predictions
so he tore up his UCAS and focused on getting the grades -
the next year he applied again - spent the intervening year developing related skills (and earning money)
and is now starting second year in his ultimate ideal college choice at Cambridge

Needmoresleep Thu 07-Sep-17 08:59:34

The approach TiP describes is pretty typical for medics. Every year there will be some very qualified applicants who simply don't get a place, often because they were not tactical enough when selecting where to apply.

But applies equally to some other subjects.

A gap year can be a real positive. DD, who deferred her place, has had a great time. It was a bit cliched gap yah: ski season, Camp America, intern at a cookery school, but no less valuable for that. She has had to work very very hard, her pay has been awful, but she has made friends with people from a wide range of backgrounds, and had experiences she will remember for the rest of her life. Overall including her travelling it was budget neutral, though she could have saved a bit by working rather than interning from July - November.

She should start University much more aware of her opportunities, rather than see it as a continuation of school. And at least she won't have to share a room with three others (ski season) or a cabin with a group of American teenagers.

Needmoresleep Thu 07-Sep-17 09:08:56

Also if you know what you want to do, a gap year provides a chance to gain experience in a way that might help you stand out when applying for jobs as a graduate. For example a friend's DD is working in a lab whilst taking the approach TiP describes above, meaning she has a start on her CV and a much better understanding of careers available in the field. Whilst another spent a year working as a Special Constable. Not my field but I reckon that would provide useful things to talk about in any law firm interview.

Ta1kinPeece Thu 07-Sep-17 17:47:44

The lad in question is neither medic or law.
He basically fluffed up his Cambridge interview in his A2 year
but knew that with spot on grades and more experience they would let him in
and they did smile

Needmoresleep Thu 07-Sep-17 22:16:56

Don't need to be a medic or lawyer! Two I can think of were economists. Similarly NatSci at Cambridge is so competitive it is not usual for scientists to take a gap year and try the other place.

tiggytape Fri 08-Sep-17 08:08:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BrieAndChilli Fri 08-Sep-17 08:24:06

Don't underestimate the. Alienof travelling either.
We spent 6 months backpacking around sout east Asia and it was an eye opener seeing the conditions some people live in (small village in loas who washed in the river for example) so made us appreciate what we have in the western world and being immersed in different cultures was amazing (although I am aware that in the 15 years since we went things will have moved on and there isn't as much of difference now as everything has become so global)
We also worked in Italy for a season for an kids adventure camp, worked for pennies but it was a great experience, hard work but fun.

GetAHaircutCarl Fri 08-Sep-17 09:21:29

And why spend the year building a CV?
The second UCAS application can be made pretty early, so no university will actually know how you spent the rest of your time, whether terribly improving or titting.

ARumWithAView Fri 08-Sep-17 09:32:00

I also did this.

I know it's always fun to sneer at gap yahs, but it's not a huge stretch to consider why people take a second shot at applications, is it? In my case, I was very nervous and uncertain during my first round of applications, and didn't believe I was going to get good A level results. When I did have good results in hand, my applications were stronger. I was rejected from Oxbridge the first year, then accepted the second; they don't actually stamp Not Fit For Purpose on your forehead when they turn you down.

Also, titting around is underrated and generally inoffensive. Unless you're being pressured to crowd-fund someone's year in Australia, or they're bragging about some questionable third-world charity experience, I don't see why it gets people so bitter.

Draylon Fri 08-Sep-17 09:53:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OP’s posts: |
Needmoresleep Fri 08-Sep-17 10:19:58

Carl, not building, but perhaps broadening. Working for a specialist family ski company will have done my daughter no harm when she works on a ward and has to talk to worried or demanding parents. Ditto teaching skills in a summer camp has taught her a little about teens who don't listen, even when their safety is at stake. And so on.

It is also useful to remember just how competitive the job market has become. A degree does not earn you a job. The ones who do best might, however alien it is to people of our generation, be the ones hitting the careers office in their first term seeking an internship for the end of their first year.

Popular employers receive huge stacks of applications for each opening. Having something more or different will do no harm. And for the more focused, knowing a bit more about the profession and where you want to aim towards can do no harm when choosing options or looking for motivation. And indeed a year staking shelves might convince some that this is not what they want to do when they graduate!

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