Non-Uni Options for a Bright Student
In this case, the student had achieved outstanding GCSE results. However, for a number of reasons, including financial, she was reluctant to go to university at this stage. Despite discussion about her ability and student finance options, she was determined not to go to university. I thought it best that she did not close the door for good on university, but was mindful that continuing her education was not an option she would consider at this point. As such, we identified a year-long gap programme with a top blue chip employer.
We worked on the application together, focusing in particular on key competencies she could demonstrate from her academic and extra-curricular activities. She was invited for an assessment day and won a place on the scheme. She will receive a salary and if successful, can move on to their trainee programme or take up a sponsored place at university.
Choosing the Right Subject for Oxbridge
This student had a particular interest in applying for Oxbridge. She was initially considering Economics at Cambridge. She had mostly A*s at GCSE. Looking at her psychometric profile, however, her reasoning score was average while she had a very high perceptual “spike”. Since applying for one’s best subject is crucial for a successful Oxbridge application, I was concerned that her reasoning score might indicate she did not have the mathematical ability to cope with the demanding mathematical element to the Cambridge Economics course.
As such, I probed her performance in maths at A-level. It was solid but arguably not Cambridge Economics standard. After our discussion and analysis of her psychometrics, I suggested she explore History and Economics (a combined degree) at Oxford, which is less mathematically demanding than the Cambridge Economics course, and also consider Land Economy, a course she had never heard of. Land Economy “ticked” many of her boxes and was potentially compatible with her psychometric profile. We are currently working together to decide on the right course and prepare her for the next stage in the application process.
Bringing Together Artistic and Scientific Abilities
This student was a talented artist and scientist. Initially she was thinking about engineering as a degree but was not altogether enthused about the idea since she did not want to abandon her creative studies. We identified Product Design Engineering (and related degrees) as an option offered by a number of top universities that would bring together robust engineering and creative elements. She secured offers from top universities in this area including from Glasgow, Nottingham and Loughborough. Following her action plan, the student visited all her choices and will take up a place at Nottingham University in 2014 to read Design Engineering and Manufacture.
Identifying the Right University Course
Although this student did not particularly enjoy physics, she was considering engineering as a degree. There was some parental pressure in this case because the parents had heard there was significant demand for female engineers. After we carried out a psychometric test, the results indicated her mechanical and reasoning abilities were average while her numerical and perceptual scores were high. When we then discussed her interests, areas such as visual businesses and finance came up. Eventually, she decided to apply for Finance at university, although we also identified other courses which brought together design and business elements.
She successfully achieved offers from Russell Group universities despite a fairly average GCSE profile. Off the back of our action plan, she plans to do varied work experience at university and knows that a grounding in finance could be of use if she went to more traditional financial companies, as well as within other areas such as fashion merchandising or high-end retail, other areas compatible with her aptitude profile.