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For the second year in a row, students around the UK will be awarded grades for exams they haven’t satSo what do these grades really mean? What does it mean, to say, get an A in English Literature when you haven’t taken that summer’s paper on King Lear? 

But even though exams are cancelled, grades will still be used as a defining measure of students’ academic capability – regardless of whether these are decided by a person or an algorithm.  

At LIS, we’ve always believed that grades are, at best, imperfect. There are two main reasons we think this: (1) grades are limited in their reflection of a student’s understanding – they are merely a sample of your knowledge of part of a domain, and (2) grades don’t tell us who a person really is (consider two students with the same grades who have nothing else in common) 

In effect, grades don’t tell us the whole story. 

Which is why we do things differently.  

So although we still take your grades into account, we don’t stop there. At LIS, we’re interested in three things:  

1. Academic capability and potential. This is where grades come in. But we also use our interview to check you can be successful on the course.  

2. What students are interested in and motivated by. We care about what you care about 

3. Your personal, educational, and family backgroundi.e., context. Because every story is different.  

This tripartite approach allows us to go beyond grades and view applicantholistically. We can place individuals in context, looking at what they have achieved given their starting point in life. And considering COVID-19 and the current education climate, we think it even more important to see applicants as wholly unique individuals rather, than a series of percentages, or three letters on a page.  

You can find out more about LIS admissions here – and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email or give us a call on 0203 409 1912.

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