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Schools University, Reapplying and Gap Year Options

  1. Apr 6, 2009 #1
    I'm a student in the UK, and have already applied, been rejected/accepted by various universities, and accepted a firm and insurance offer. I was accepted at Southampton, after rejections from Oxford and Imperial. I was happy with my decision, but after talking to my head of physics, I'm considering taking a gap year (Possibly to do a year in industry) and reapplying to Oxford, Imperial etc. This is of course dependent on my A level grades, but what would PF members recommend?
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  3. Apr 6, 2009 #2


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    It depends what you plan on doing in your year in industry. Will what you choose to do increase your chances of being accepted at the institutions you got turned away from this year?
  4. Apr 6, 2009 #3
    The YINI will most likely be spent at a design and engineering firm, such as Qinetic that do gapyear placements for pre-undergrad students. Enhancing my chances should be taken care of with good exams, more extra-curricular reading, and previous experience of the interview process.
  5. Apr 6, 2009 #4


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    Oh right, that sounds good. As long as it's an organised gap year in industry then I should think it will be very beneficial. Good luck with that, and your exams!
  6. Apr 6, 2009 #5
    So you would recommend taking a year out and reapplying, assuming exams go well?
  7. Apr 6, 2009 #6
    I would certainly recommend taking a year off. The time out of school reminds you of what is most important in life. To me, taking a year off really helped me figure out what it is in life that I love: education. I really missed being in school, and that informed me that I really do love school, even if the math gets mind-bogglingly hard sometimes :]

    It sounds like you already know what you want to do, so I say go ahead and do it!
  8. Apr 6, 2009 #7
    Varnick - What grades are you expecting from your A-levels ? I assume that in your case you did not get very good predicted grades or something. If you can get AAA in your A-level then yes, you can take a year off and you might have good chance next round, but be aware that most people applying will have similar qualification, so you'll be playing with luck.
    I know some people who went to Oxford and Imperial who absolutely hated it and take their years off as well. I think Southampton is a very good place for physics, the department has 5* rating and is a leading one in UK and much better weather than the other two places, I would personally suggest you to just go to Southampton now, unless you really hate it then you can apply for transfer, plus you can always go for Oxford/Imperial etc for postgrad if you get good first degree
  9. Apr 6, 2009 #8


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    I don't know what a "gap year" is, but from your description I'm guessing it's a year in between university and high school where you work through some sort of internship.

    My question back to you would be this: if you take this next year, and still don't get into these other schools, will you be disappointed?

    It sounds like the school you've gotten into has a good program (although I would research this a little more). But as long as you're going to get a decent education, I don't see the point in wasting a year to get into another place. The name of a school is not nearly as important as what you can learn from its program.
  10. Apr 7, 2009 #9


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    A gap year is, in general, just a year in which one takes a 'gap' from their studies. Most people go travelling, or at least abroad somewhere on their gap year, but there are (like this one) opportunities to get some industrial experience on your gap year.

    To the OP: assuming that you get onto one of these gap year programs (which are probably pretty competitive), and obtain good exam results (i.e. AAA), I'd say do the year in industry. You're likely to get into Southampton next year, and if you improve your credentials, you will have a better shot at Oxford etc..

    Of course, if you don't get onto a gap year program like the one you mention, then I would go to Southampton.
  11. Apr 7, 2009 #10
    To those who asked, I'm looking at AAAB or AAAA (Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry) for my grades this summer, providing I get my revision done. I do like Southampton, but I couldn't help but feel that in some ways it wasn't for me. Those who mentioned postgraduate degrees make an excellent point, I'm currently signed up to the MSc course at Southampton, but I could switch for my fourth year, or continue and seek a different institution for a PhD (If I want to do one). I think I'll investigate the YINI further, but I think Choppy is right, and I would be leaving things largely up to luck.
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