Questions from the S5 Conference: Part 2

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Questions from the S5 Conference: Part 2

Some more great questions from the S5 Conference to answer on today's post, so let's get stuck in!

Is living away for uni as easy as it seems?

From the first glance, this may seem like an odd question as moving away from home is often something that people worry about the most when they're thinking about university. But it brings up an interesting point about how things can be presented to you when you're looking at universities.

Many students will tell you that life in accommodation is really good fun, they meet loads of friendly people and enjoy a new sense of independence. However, you may also hear that people can feel a bit lonely sometimes and homesick as well. It's really important to realise that there are going to be ups and downs but there are plenty of things you can do to help with that. It won't be perfect all the time but you will have support if that's the case. 

Most student accommodation has residential assistants who are older students who live in the accommodation and can help you out if there are any issues with your room or flat. They are also fantastic to talk to if you're feeling a little overwhelmed or homesick. They've been through all of it so have some great knowledge and experience they can use to help you. It's also good to keep chatting with the students around you, who you may find are actually feeling a lot of the same things as you are. Universities also offer lots of great support in various forms like mentors, support services and personal tutors; you should never be worried that you will have no one to talk to. And, for most people, staying away from home is a fantastic experience that comes with challenges but also some really amazing times too!

Here's a video from one of our student volunteers to tell you a bit more about her experience. Nicola studied Psychology at Heriot Watt University.



If a university asks for a B at Nat 5 Maths and you get a C but you then get Higher Maths at C, will that be accepted instead?

This is the kind of question that we get a lot and it's great that people are thinking about their entry requirements in this much depth. The answer to this question is generally yes; if there is a requirement at National 5 but you miss it then take the Higher in that subject, the grade at Higher is generally considered up one grade from that at Nat 5. So a B at Nat 5 is equivalent to a C at Higher and so on. 


It's really key to check on these kinds of entry requirements with the universities and colleges. You can't assume that it will work like that for every course. The other thing to consider is that it may not pay off to take the Higher instead of resitting the National 5. A lot of people find that they do much better the second time around with the National 5 rather than struggling through the Higher. Again though, you need to check with the unis/colleges as to which they'd prefer you to do. If you do resit a National 5 or Higher, you may find that they ask you to get a grade up from the one in the entry requirements because you're having a second go.

We'll have a post up soon about entry requirements as it's a really important part of considering courses at university or college so we'll answer some of the most common questions we get asked.


What would be the best things to consider when deciding between two courses?

This really depends on your own priorities. It's a good idea to think about what's important to you when it comes to a course. So thinking about things like how they teach/assess the course, what's included in the modules, where you'd be studying, year abroad/work placement opportunities etc. can be really helpful in making this decision. You need to research the courses really well to get this information so use their websites, prospectuses, open days and other open events to make sure you have a really clear picture.

Our post here about choosing courses provides a few other things to consider as well. Once you have these priorities in mind and have done your research, you can do a pros and cons list for each course/college/university and work out which is going to be the best fit.

Thanks to all the students who submitted questions at the conference, and as always, please get in touch if you're not sure about anything mentioned above or have any other questions.