I’m currently half way through my foundation year and since mock results should have come back recently I thought I’d just outline why if you miss the grades for your desired course, doing a foundation year is a great option.
For starters, you get the Uni experience, I’ve met so many amazing people, I’ll know the campus and all the buildings before my first year, I have friends that I will be with next year and I know the surrounding area and don’t feel lost or afraid at the end of a social event as I can find my way back home now. Because my course is not too labour intensive (considering the sole goal is to get me onto next year’s course) it means I can relax more, continue my sport and go out without feeling too guilty, because I am keeping on top of the needed work.
“Doesn’t that mean an extra year at Uni?”, yes it does make the minimum time in a course 4 years, which I was worried about before I started talking to people who had been a Uni longer than me, they all conveyed the same thing, university and getting the education you want is not a race. I have talked to people who are out of here the minute their 3-year course finishes, others who are taking doctorates, PHDs or just master degrees. People from all over who plan to be here, for 3 years or 6+ years to get where they want and in the end getting your chosen degree is why you’re really at university, however long that may be.
I knew from the beginning of A-level exam practice that the A-level exams were not for me, they would not ask you for the knowledge of the process they wanted you to know the answer they had written down as “right” including correct wording. When I got my final grades back at the end of the year, I was disappointed, even after I had been revising so much and had the information in my head; my exam results did not reflect this.
I was offered a foundation year at Plymouth University and I don’t regret taking it one bit, even though a lot of what we have gone though is subject matter I have learned before, the lecturers here are just more interested in making sure you understand what they are teaching rather than how well you regurgitate it later. I have had a few assessments and exams since I started and the grades I’m getting for the same subjects in Uni are much higher than those I got at A-level.
I have all the books for first year and do some extra reading of my own accord, but already knowing a lot of what is being taught means I don’t have that first-year stress that causes a lot of people to drop out of Uni. My contact hours are very good; I’m in every day of the week, with the option of seeing any lecturer after hours if I feel the need too. This year also means I get to know the lecturers who will be teaching me next year as well.
So for those worrying, a foundation year is a valid option you will not regret.