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ABB at A level- TC advice please
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Posted - 05 August 2016 15:12
I have significantly underachieved at A level but the university I applied to (Russell group Law course) took me in. Do I have even the slightest chance of getting vacation schemes and TCs with these grades (with a strong 2.1 at university)?

Most firms require AAB at A level. Should I bother applying to them and hope they overlook my poor A level grades in favour of good extracurriculars and decent grades at university?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Posted - 05 August 2016 15:32
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Don't be too hard on yourself. ABB isn't a significant underachievement and they aren't poor grades (I am assuming you did more traditional subjects. It isn't meant as an insult but if you got ABB in psychology, media, and business then you may be heading for an uphill battle)

Firms won't "overlook" your grades and some firms will automatically rule you out - some will even prevent you from applying as you have to confirm on the opening pages of the application you have a certain amount of UCAS points, and if you can't, it will stop you progressing your application.

A good level of extracurricular activities and a strong 2:1 (you will need to do more than scrape a 2:1 now. And you should also aim to get a good 2:1 even in your first year. It may not count towards your final grade but firms still see the results, and if you want to say that the ABB was just a blip then you have to show consistency during your degree).

You will need more than just extracurricular though. Don't just rely on a bit of mooting, pro-bono, and being part of a society. You should go out and get some real work experience - high street firms, working for commercial companies. Get a job that actually pays - firms like seeing that you have had a job - why would they want to pay you a top salary you may never have even been paid a penny for an hours time before? Yes some get straight on the back of grades, but they are usually people will excellent grades and good work experience.

As I have said on another thread, I know people at top 10 (by revenue) international firms who only got 2:2 in their degrees and secured a TC!

Be as well rounded as you can be, have some determination and you should be ok.
Posted - 17 August 2016 13:57
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Heh @ AAB "under-achieving"

In my day (the mid 90s) standard entry for Oxford was ABB (Cambridge insisting on AAB for some reason). Most redbricks would take you with BCC.

Has there really been that much grade inflation since, or are kids nowadays just much "cleverer"/better at exams?
Posted - 17 August 2016 13:58
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Smash out a First and do some interesting work experience / paid work.
Posted - 25 August 2016 15:01
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Well done on your results.

I really wouldn't worry too much. I don't think a single grade difference would make much difference to an application, probably no difference at all once you reach interview. And it is absolutely still possible to get a decent TC.

I would probably avoid applying to firms which require AAB as an absolute requirement as you'll probably get rejected by a computer. The reality is that a lot of firms get so many applications they need to find an easy way of whittling the numbers down, even if their way of doing that is very arbitrary.