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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:25 pm 
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According to the Tariff Tables on the UCAS web site (https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/getting-started/entry-requirements/tariff/tariff-tables/1086), a 'distinction' in a grade 8 music exam earns you 75 points - about the same as a grade C in an 'A'-level exam (which earns you 80 points).

Obviously most university courses will mandate that you have reached a minimum grade in one or more relevant subjects (I can't gain entry to medical school by having earning the 750 points associated with 10 grade 8 music exams).

So my question is this: Do the points associated with music exams have any real value? Isn't every university offer going be in terms of minimum grades in each of the subjects you've told them you're studying? Is a (non-musical) degree offer really going to allow you to 'top-up' a poorer than expected academic grade using a grade 8 violin certificate?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:37 pm 
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Yes and no!

Offers are usually made on A level grades but a few unis do offer on UCAS points. Most people don't have lots of instruments at grade 8.

However the real 'value' of music grades is the skills you can demonstrate on the PS [perseverance, good time management, working with others, ...] and, if you miss your uni grade offer, I've seen unis look at these points favourably.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:39 pm 
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Most (all?) 'top' universities make offers based on (predicted) grades. Some make unconditional offers if you already have the grades or they are desperate to fill their courses: getting you to sign on the dotted line early helps them to do this. Some even offer iPads and other goodies to lure students. UCAS points are another facet of this jolly game of marketplace vs child. Some universities base offers on these rather than grades, ostensibly seeing value in extracurricular things as well as academic ones. In those cases your grade 8 music distinction would be jolly useful. There are lines to be read between on this subject but I am not going to be the one to point at the words. :wink:

It depends which university and which course. I gather things like horse care BTECs also have some value - it would be fun to see how many courses you could get onto without sitting a single academic exam.

Sorry, being a bit mischievous, but I sense you are too. :D
Goodheart wrote:
(I can't gain entry to medical school by having earning the 750 points associated with 10 grade 8 music exams).
Indeed; a career in Medicine would be a waste of such musical talent, wouldn't it?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:43 pm 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
I recently accompanied a friend's 17-year old daughter for her G7 (6?) clarinet exam, for which she obtained a merit. She was delighted to tell me that even these few extra UCAS points should help her with her chances of obtaining a place on a primary education degree. So yes, for those not in the Oxbridge/ Russell group circus it can be useful (and hopefully she can use her musical skills, which also include piano, in her teaching career)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:03 am 
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I would think so...if it's anything like our old Primary School - one chap (as rare as hen's teeth in primary anyway) came for an interview for a TA position and mentioned he had just taken up piano lessons. He was offered the job and on the first day the head told him one of his tasks was playing the accompaniment for every Friday whole school assembly and every church event...he was on his third lesson at that point!! He learned fairly fast, and the many mistakes were covered up by the "brilliant" singing!!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:25 am 
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Thanks all for the replies. Our 9-year-old DD has a grade 1 piano (zero UCAS points!) under her belt. I was just planning ahead... :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:47 am 
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Universities which offer places based on UCAS tariff points usually stipulate that only 3 subjects be considered. The student can sometimes ask for the music performance and theory exams to be considered as 1 subject but the problem may be that a distinction in both of these would be worth 105 points, short of the A worth 120 and A* worth 140. If the student has A or A* in 3 other subjects then they may be better off not relying on the music grade. Of course, as other posters have pointed out, having the music grades brings other benefits.

nyr


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:12 am 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Usually the universities concerned are not dealing with candidates likely to get a string of As and A*s at all, but maybe a combination of B, or C and Ds in which case a few extra points can be very valuable. It's easy to think "oh well they shouldn't be going to university then", but the situation nowadays is that many non-university routes into worthwhile jobs have vanished, apprenticeships notwithstanding, and the vast majority of pupils won't get anywhere near the AAA "gold standard"

However in any case DC shouldn't be pushed or emotionally blackmailed into taking music exams "for the UCAS points" - they should be encouraged to learn musical instruments for the love of it, for the social side of being part of an orchestra/band/choir, for the overall benefit of their mental health, and if occasionally there is a UCAS bonus that's great too. But it shouldn't be used as an extra pressure, especially for the high-achieving kids whose parents are (I suspect) in the majority on this forum!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:47 am 
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Both my daughter and niece had Grade 8 (one in singing and one flute) and for both of them it helped with UCAS points to get into University - both want to be Primary School teachers.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:41 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Some young people I know have received unconditional offers from universities for combined degrees involving music and a highly academic subject. Three grade 8 instruments obviously helped!


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