Saturday, 10 March 2012

Arkwright Scholarship Failure and GCSEs

Recently, I have been feeling quite down about life and just where I am heading towards. I have been a slight emotional wreck the past few days, and since haven't done a really personal post in quite a while, so I thought might as well write one now. Please note that this post is not to evoke sympathy for myself, and I also know that this post is probably going to be completely meaningless and boring for an outsider to read (and probably include many lexicon and syntax errors as my brain works faster than my fingers!) , but it is quite therapeutic to just let your thoughts spontaneously flow and just get out all of your emotions by filling up a blank word with absolutely everything that is bothering you, rather than let them manifest in the human psyche and let them affect what is truly important at the moment.

GCSE Results

I am sure that most of you are aware of the fact that yesterday, the nation's 14-18 year olds have received their results from the January unit exams. As for myself, I got back the results from my 3 science units: biology unit 2, physics unit 2, and chemistry unit 2 and I suppose I did alright. I know I may annoy many by me saying this, but I am not jumping off the roof top in ecstasy, proclaiming it to the world for a variety of reasons.
  •  Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, so to one person a B may be absolutely fantastic, but to others, it may equate to failure. So long as you have done your personal best, it shouldn't matter what your friends around have achieved as we are all individuals. 
Don't compare yourself to others! 
  • These are my best subjects, so for myself, this is what I honestly had expected, as I had done lots of past papers and managed to achieve similar results. I personally feel like science exams are not challenging to any degree, simply because I revise from the specification points. Every exam board publishes this to the public, so if you learn every single point on this list, you have covered absolutely everything that could ever come up. Don't believe me? Well, the exam boards HAVE TO to produce exam papers that comply to their specifications and they are checked vigorously many times to make sure that they meet the guidelines. There are also various independent groups (such as Ofqual) that are paid to do tediously monotonous jobs to ensure that regulations are met. Some may argue that the B2 exam this year did stray away from the syllabus, and I do agree to  certain extent. There was a question on protein synthesis, which is not expected to be known in extent at this level, but many people became got really stuck on it, when in fact I think that, yes, it was a poorly worded question, but I reckon that too many people were overcomplicating it. With the sciences, there is always either a right or wrong answer and is purely factual, unlike languages and arts which is more opinion based. This means that if you can memorise the entire specification back to front, you will technically be able to answer every question possible. Obviously, this is easier said than done and exam technique is a huge contributing factor in exams, but I feel like this is something I managed to succeed with this for unit 2, thus ended up with some good results. 
Don't rely on revision guides!
Arkwright Scholarship 

So yes, yesterday was going pretty well until I found out the news that I have not made it through to the next stage of the application process - i.e. the interviews. Here is a diagram outlining my roller coaster of emotions regarding it. I made it an actual roller coaster/graph thingy as I am a nerd.

a) This is was the time between doing the aptitude paper and finding out the results, with the tension building.
b) Here is when I found out the I hadn't gotten a place - pretty much a downwards drop.
c) Due to the shock of finding out I was not successful, I went into this weird hysterical mood where I was in denial and thinking, "Wait, was I just dreaming that I didn't get it?" and "Perhaps they accidentally wrote down the wrong names?!".
d) This is when I was I was an emotional wreck: one minute I was feeling alright, next I would burst into tears. Darn emotions/hormones.
e) This is the stage that I am at: I have accepted that I have not got through, and have now moved on.

As you can probably tell, I am pretty annoyed about it for a variety of reasons:
    • Why, why why?: 
      •  I am extremely gutted, not because of the fact that I didn't get a place, but instead because I cannot imagine how I would've improved my application, or what I would've done better next time if I hypothetically could. I have pretty much flawless grades and I spent so much time making sure each section was filled to the brim with extra-curricular activities, volunteering and achievements (this is why I waste so much time in my life doing all this extra shizz.). As for the exam, I personally didn't feel like I did too badly regarding the designs, but of course, I don't not know how the entire cohort of the country did. 
    • Statistics:  
      • This may sound really bitter and like I can't take a loss with stride, but I completely perplexed as to why some people who on paper had a far weaker applications and designs than me got an interview, when I didn't. I sound really bitchy, but even my DT teacher said to me that I had the strongest application. However, then again, past statistics were going against me as :
        • 28% of scholarships goes to private school students, when they in fact only educate 7% of students in the UK. I go to a state school myself.
        • Only 20% of scholarships go to girls. I don't know about you, but I think these statistics are absolutely shocking even if it is a more "male-orientated" industry. They are attempting to encourage more women to work in these industries, but how are they going to achieve this if even from this early stage, there are clear inequalities. However, I do realised that I suppose I can't blame them for my failure - only myself.
    • No Feedback?: 
      • On the rejection letter,  they state that "With so many applications to assess, we are unable to provide specific feedback on any individual application". That I do understand, they have 1106 applications, so obviously cannot write back with a report about what they did wrong, but surely they could have at least given us a number out of 50, showing how we scored on the aptitude test. This couldn't have been that much of a hassle, and I would've felt like it would have made things so much clear as whether it was my application or my exam that let me down. However, OBVIOUSLY, they have so little time, that they can't even do that, if they can't even spell my name correctly...
    •  Excuse Me?!:
      • ...On my rejection letter, they also stated that my names was "Rebacca" not Rebecca. I do not understand how they could make such an idiotic mistake, I mean, it's hardly a hard name to spell and it could not have because they mis-read my hand writing as I wrote it on Microsoft Word. I am not a type of tobacco, nor am I a character from Star Wars!!! 

You may think I am a sore loser, but I suppose I am - I don't respond well to failure, especially when I have no idea why I did fail. I suppose the lesson I have learnt from this traumatic episode is that you cannot rely on anyone else for the future; if you want something to happen, you have to grasp it with your our hands and make it happen yourself. For example, in this case, the outcome of this scholarship was very much dependent on that one horrible marker. Yes, I am still distraught that this will not be something that I can add onto my CV in a few years time, but I feel like I now have a sudden epiphany - there is no point in trying to depend on these little things, and simply waiting for these opportunities to arise - and I am so grateful that I have had it at this stage, rather than have a nervous breakdown down  You should try to make them occur yourself, and let nothing be in the way of your goals or control the outcome. YES I am a control freak, but I'm proud of it.

I hope this is the last rendezvous I have with Arkwright, but time to say sayonara, move on and do something way better with my life. I hope that one day, I can look back at this moment of my life, and laugh about how worked up I got about not getting the scholarship as I am the CEO of a huge multi-million company, or future world leader. Muahaha.

(Because I feel like it, even though it has nothing to do with this post- sort of physics related?) 

Did you know that the intejection usually associated with celebrating discovery is derived from the Ancient Greek "εὕρηκα heúrēka" meaning "I have found (it)"? This exclamation is most famously attributed to the ancient Greek scholar Archimedes. He reportedly proclaimed "Eureka!" when he stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose—he suddenly understood that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged. This relation is known as Archimedes' principle and he was so eager to share his discovery, that jumped out his bath and streaked through the streets of Syrucuse naked.
Onwards and Upwards!

Rebecca x
P.S. As you can probably tell, my academics do mean an awful lot to me, and I am extremely self-motivated to do well in life, hence why I can write so much about it, but I apologise if this has been boring.
P.S.S I know I have said that I was going to finish my Chronicle of Ombre hair series, but I thought it would be way more meaningful and easier to understand if I actually recorded/ photographed the process of me dying my hair, instead of just describing it, so I'm going to postpone that until I dye my hair again. Truly sorry to anyone who wanted to see that!
P.P.P.S I love being in my weird essay writing mood. 
P.P.P.P.S If you have managed to read to the end of this waffly post, I commend you! You're a cool bean.


  1. One point I would raise regarding female pass rates, the number of male and female applicants is not equal therefore the number of males and females passing surely should not be expected to be equal?

    1. stfu you sexist!

    2. wow I didn't realise people were still reading this post! And regarding that, yes I understand that point. But if you see the graph below, it shows that the number of boys achieving the scholarship is increasing, when the number of females with the scholarship is staying the same.

      And yes I realise that the number of males and females passing shouldn't be equal, but surely they should be PROPORTIONAL to the number of applicants. Statistics from 2011s data shows that in that year, 28% of females who had applied for arkwright got the scholarship, when 34% of males who applied for the scholarship achieved the scholarship. I believe that girls are equally CAPABLE at doing engineering subjects at higher levels, so I do not believe that more guys got the scholarship because they are more able.

      TO be honest, I would expect organisations such as arkwright would want to encourage more girls to take up engineering, so I would expect the figures to be reversed and there would be a higher proportion of girl applicants who got the scholarship, because numbers are continuously dwindling.

      anyway, good to always have various opinions on these sorts of topics. Thanks for the comment DoshGillio.

      DISCLAIMER: I'd just like everyone to know that when I wrote this post, it was just after I had received the news that I hadn't got the scholarship and I had been crying pretty much all day, thus I really felt a need to vent my feelings somewhere, and my little blog who pretty much no one read, felt like an appropriate place. Thus, some of my points may be slightly hyperbolic, so don't take some things too literally.

  2. Just seeing if I post a comment it actually comes up.

  3. The scholorships do NOT go to 50% independant schools. Look at the statistics on the website, under the donate section.

    1. Apologies, just a typo - now corrected!

  4. I just found out i failed the aptitude exam today, and to make it worse three of my friends passed so yeah...
    was quite annoyed, then i read your blog and which made me laugh and now i am slightly less annoyed. I doubt you even check this post since you wrote it so long ago, but i just wanted to say thanks for letting me know that i'm not the only one, and thanks for making me smile

  5. Aniket Singh has launched numerous scholarship programmes for underprivileged students at IIT-Madras. Determined to give back to the country and alma mater that has provided him with so much, Aniket has launched the scholarship which helps students cover the costs of tuition and accommodation that they will incur during their four years on campus.
    You can read more about the scholarship at :
    Also visit him at : Aniket Singh
    Check out his book at : Intern Abroad This Summera


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