Your reference forms an important part of the student's UCAS application, alongside their achieved grades, predicted grades and personal statement. Please give realistic predictions for all qualifications that the student is taking. It is very helpful if these are given separately at the top of the reference. For the IB Diploma, please give the predicted total score (out of 45) and the individual Higher level subject scores.
The majority of applicants also include their AS grades, (or unit marks) and while this may not be compulsory, we find it extremely useful as we prefer students who have achieved excellent grades throughout their studies. Thus your comments on their AS (Year 12) performance in addition to their A2 (Year 13 performance) are extremely helpful to us.
It is also useful to have an idea of the student’s performance in the context of the overall levels of achievement at your school or college. Please also include your comments on the student’s capacity for study at university level. The following advice will help ensure that you are able to support your students with their application, giving them the best possible chance of success. hard work and attitude to study, and their suitability for the chosen programme, giving examples of their subject commitment. It is also helpful if you can give an estimation of the student’s ability to think for themselves.
If there are any personal or domestic circumstances which may affect or have previously affected the student’s performance, please tell us in your reference, or if these arise after the UCAS form has been submitted, please email the Undergraduate Admissions Office.
Gaps in study
If the student has had any gaps in their study, or has repeated a year of schooling, a brief explanation in your reference is appreciated. If there are circumstances or difficulties at your school or college which may have impacted on a student’s performance or limited the A level options they can take, please mention this in your reference. We appreciate your honesty and if you have any concerns about the student’s degree of suitability or level of preparation, please do not over-emphasise their positives.