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PGCE Applications - GCSE/A Level Results?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by jochristian, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Hey all this is my first post here (but I am certain it won't be my last)

    I'm actually applying for teacher training next year, for 2012 enrollment but its nice to be prepared.

    This year i'm doing a stack of volunteering - got a placement in a school one day a week starting next week, and hoping to do some mentoring as well as working with my local library!

    The course i'm after is Secondary English and my question is thus:

    When applying to PGCE courses are your GCSE and A Level grades taken into account? My GCSEs were good, all A*-C's although my A Levels were CDD (with one of the D's being for English - I REALLY didn't apply myself at A Level).

    Now though, i'm on track for a First or a good 2:1 in an English Literature degree at Staffordshire University.

    I would very much like to train and teach in the South of England, and two of my choices would defiantly be Exeter and Brighton.

    So yes, Do they take those grades into account? or is it just your degree and experience?

    Thanks! (apologies if this has been posted elsewhere, i'm still finding my way around the forum!)

    Jo
     
  2. k1tsun3

    k1tsun3 New commenter

    A levels aren't even considered, and the only reason they look at your GCSEs is because the government requires a C in Maths and English. I'd say aim for the 1st as it could only help; however, a 2.1 will be more than enough. Your personal statement, experience and recommendation are the most important things when unis decide whether to offer you an interview.

    I just started my Sec English PGCE at King's College London. I got in with a GCSE C in English and B in Maths. My undergraduate degree was completed in the States, so my GPA roughly translates to a borderline 2.2/2.1 in English (Language, Literature and Creative Writing). Whilst my results weren't awful, I do believe my personal statement made me stand out (the amazing recommendation didn't hurt either). In my interview, I was just me. I was up to date on things and extremely enthusiastic.

    Remember, academics are important, but your personality and potential as teacher is more important.

    Hope this helps. Best of luck!
     
  3. That really helps! Thank you so much! :) xx
     
  4. A levels and sometimes GCSE are considered as part of your application, though for subjects that you eventually did for your degree, degree result will take precedence. Providers want to see the general breadth of your education and your attainment in other, related areas.
     
  5. I had a quick look at the entry requirements for Exeter for you (I'm doing my PGCE there, and I did my degree there) and you may have a problem if the other applicants have the same GCSEs, degree predictions, experience etc but better A-levels, because it does say most applicants have a good A-level in English. But I'd imagine a lot of unis, particularly lower ranking ones, don't care as much as long as you have Cs in GCSE English and maths. Your A-levels were good enough to get you into uni and getting at least a 2:1 in your degree should prove that you're good enough at your subject.
     
  6. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    My university asked for my GCSE results in English, Maths and Science; all my A level results; and my degree result.
     
  7. k1tsun3

    k1tsun3 New commenter

    Wow! What uni are you at? I haven't heard anyone say this before. I actually contacted Exeter, Durham, King's, Reading and two other before applying last year. All replied in a positive way in terms of me meeting their requirements. I was concern about the US GPA and how that would translate.

    Another things to remember is that some of the top unis have accepted students with a third degree; however, this is rare. I honestly believe from what I've been told by various unis (as well as from experience and that of others) that it's more about the complete package. There are people with top marks who are unable to find a place, and all of them seem to have been told to spruce up their personal statement, get more experience or to practice their interview skills. Whilst a uni may use GCSE results and/or degree results (again, check the unis minumum as do require a 2.1), I believe it's used to choose between two applicants with similar potential.

    Again, always aim for top marks, but don't neglect your PS, experience or prep for an interview.
     
  8. k1tsun3

    k1tsun3 New commenter

    What ranking are you going by? Any ranking of the PGCE programs is a bit naff. I'm a King's, and they don't look at your A levels. They have a Grade 1 Outstanding rating across the board for their PGCE. I don't see this as a low ranking uni. Some of the so called 'lower' ranking unis tend to be far more selective than the 'higher' ranking unis. There are people who have been rejected by UEL and London Met who later were offered a place at IoE. I'd say they learned something about interview skills and improved their own.

    Each uni had their own methods of evaluation, and the best you can do and contact the uni to get the best feel possible.
     
  9. Well, there are the PGCE specific rankings (eg in the Good Teacher Training Guide and in Ofsted reports) and also more general rankings such as league tables. I think entry requirements vary a lot more for PGCEs than for other courses though as different unis look for different things, which may explain the situation you described. The people rejected by the lower ranking unis might not have had very good academic qualifications, but the higher ranking unis were impressed by their personal statement, interview etc, or they might have been rejected by the lower ranking unis because of the other things but accepted by the higher ranking ones because of their grades. So I agree you should definitely contact each uni to find out what they look for- my example was just based on the OP's specific circumstances and the fact that Exeter, which is a higher ranking uni, care about A-level grades for English whereas Brighton doesn't seem to.
     
  10. K1tsun3 - slightly off topic here but you mentioned your US GPA being equivalent to a 2:1/2:2. I did my Bachelor's degree in the US and have a GPA of around 3.5. Would that be considered equivalent to a 2:1? Thanks :)
     
  11. k1tsun3

    k1tsun3 New commenter

    I'd say it's a firm 2.1. A 1.1 usually starts between a 3.6-3.8, and a 2.1 usually starts between a 3.0-3.2. All of this varies by uni, so it's usually best to check the uni website and/or contact them.
    Hope this helps.
     
  12. No idea about whether it's looked into for PGCE place but you may find it restricts your job success in the first few years until you have some results under your belt. I teach in an 11-18 comp and I know if we're looking for potential teachers of A-level we look carefully at their A-level grades.
     

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