By: Lindy Connors
As the college process comes to an end, I look across the pond to two of my British friends who are just starting theirs. One essay and five schools, it sounds like a dream, but the harsh reality which what British Year 13s are facing this winter is not the holistic review we are used to. I interviewed Leona a Year 13s living in Leeds, England to see the differences and similarities between this crazy process.
Q: How many essays do you have to write?
A: We have to write a personal statement which is basically an essay about what you’ve done in life and stuff you enjoy which make you the best candidate for a course at Uni.
Q: Do you have interviews?
A: Only for certain universities. For example, I have applied to Oxford University and I hopefully will get an interview; but if I had applied to Birmingham University, I probably wouldn’t get an interview and would just get an offer straight away if I had the grades and they liked my statement.
Q: Can you explain the kinds of different tests you have to take?
A: Well we all have to do A-levels to go to university, but for my application for Oxford I have to do extra exams. You can retake your A-levels at the end of the year and they scored from E to A. A university will make you an offer depending on what your school gives you as a predicted grade.
Q: Do they basically just look at your scores?
A: Yep and your personal statement. They’re not even looking at your grades because they’re predicted.
Q: What kind of admissions decisions can you get?
A: You can apply to 5 different places so long as they accept people with the same predicted grades that you have and then they will get in touch with you if you have an offer. So if I was predicted a B, then I couldn’t apply for somewhere that wanted an A. You can get conditional offers which is where you have to get the grades they want or you can get unconditional offers where you get a place at the University no matter what grade you get because they really like your statement. They wouldn’t even consider you if you didn’t have those grades. But if there somewhere you really want to go and it’s a B a for example then you could ask your teachers at school to put your grades up to a B.