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‘Translating’ Qualifications | The Careers Service ‘Translating’ Qualifications – Oxford University Careers Service
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Converting grades to UK qualifications

If you come to Oxford with qualifications other than the standard UK qualifications (GCSEs, A-levels, or a 1st, 2nd or 3rd class degree), then to help a potential British employer, you should try to contextualise your academic results so that they can understand your achievements.

Try to avoid “translating” your qualifications as the employer may use a different metric to you and you don’t want it to appear as if you are “inflating” your grades!

Examples

You have two options when it comes to describing international academic grades:

Explain and provide context

List your international qualifications, providing an explanation and/or include the maximum achievable grade. This is the preferable option as many firms are familiar with international applicants and this avoids any mistakes (inflation or deflation) in “converted grades”.

See examples below:

A-Level Equivalent

  • Lycee La Citadelle, Limoges, France. International Baccalaureate 40/45 

Degree Equivalent

  • Michigan State University, USA. BA in Politics and Economics
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) 3.78 (max. 4.00)
  • 750 GMAT (top 2%)

Providing this additional information will help the employer to better understand how you have performed.

With regards to professional qualifications (eg: law, medicine) we would recommend that you check with the relevant UK professional body whether they are valid in the UK.

Convert

If you do want to “convert” your international grades into UK grades, the NARIC website (which is the official and government supported, national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills) can provide this service, however, there is a charge involved.

N.B. There are many websites which claim to offer “grade conversion”. However, we recommend that you use these carefully, as there is often no way of verifying that their conversions are correct and reflect those that employers will accept.

If you are still unsure about what to do, contact the employer/organisation to explain the situation and ask them for advice on how best to present your qualifications.

Converting grades to US qualifications

If you have a UK undergraduate degree and you are applying for jobs in North America, be aware that US degrees don’t use our classification system. Stating that you are ‘predicted a “2.1” will not necessarily be understood by a US employer unless they tend to recruit heavily from the UK. Providing information on your first/second year exam results (if they are requested) in a percentage format (eg: 68%) can also be helpful in conveying your academic ability.

You might not need to include any degree classification, but if it forms part of their requirements, you should. If you cannot find further information on how to do this on the organisation’s website, we would recommend contacting the employer’s HR or recruitment team for assistance.

If it’s only an approximation that you need, you might find the Fulbright Commission GPA conversion guidelines useful.

This information was last updated on 06 September 2018.
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Recent blogs about ‘Translating’ Qualifications

Free Practice for Psychometric Recruitment Tests

Blogged by Hugh Nicholson-Lailey on 12/09/2018.

Since the beginning of September, your Careers Service is providing free access to a comprehensive range of practice materials to help students and alumni prepare for the recruitment tests commonly used by companies in recruitment.

This service provided by JobTestPrep covers pretty much the full spectrum of recruitment psychometric tests and also includes practice materials specifically developed to mirror the tests used by individual named companies. So whether you are looking to prepare for verbal and numerical reasoning tests, or e-tray exercises, or the Watson Glaser tests used by nearly all law firms, the free access we provide will help you to prepare and practise.

Matriculated students and alumni must apply to the Careers Service for an Access Code. This will give you 12 months free access to the site from the first time that you log in with the code. To request a code, sign-in to your Oxford CareerConnect account and submit a query via the Queries tab using the title: Request for JobTestPrep Access Code.

An additional free resource offering a whole bank of tests is provided for us by Practice Aptitude Tests, and this can be accessed by anyone who has an Oxford University email address. To access this service, simply register using an email address that ends .ox.ac.uk. 

Full advice is given in our briefing on Psychometric Tests.

Work Experience Programme for Disabled Students

Posted on behalf of Leonard Cheshire: Change 100. Blogged by Polly Metcalfe on 10/09/2018.

Change100 is a programme of paid summer work placements and mentoring.

It’s 100 days of work experience that can kickstart your career!

Change100 aims to remove barriers experienced by disabled people in the workplace, to allow them to achieve their potential. They partner with 90 organisations including Barclays, the BBC, Skanska & Lloyds who believe disability isn’t a barrier to a brilliant career.

It’s designed to support the career development of talented university students and recent graduates with any disability or long-term health condition, such as:

  • physical impairments
  • sensory impairments
  • mental health conditions
  • learning disabilities or difficulties e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD
  • other long-term health conditions e.g. diabetes, MS

Who is Change100 for?

To apply to Change100, you must meet all the following criteria:

  • have a disability or long-term health condition.
  • be in your penultimate or final year of an undergraduate or postgraduate university degree, or have graduated in 2016 or 2017. Any degree subject accepted.
  • have achieved or be predicted a 2:1 or 1st in your undergraduate degree.*
  • be eligible to work in the UK for the duration of a full-time summer work placement.

*If your academic performance has been affected by mitigating circumstances related to your disability or health condition, these will be taken into account. Please get in touch to discuss this.

Applications for Summer 2019 will open on Monday 24 September and close on Wednesday 16 January 2019.

For more information and to register your interest, click here.

Free Female Leadership Event – London

Posted on behalf of Girls in Leadership UK. Blogged by Polly Metcalfe on 10/09/2018.

Girls in Leadership UK is pleased to announce their launch with the ‘Learn to Lead’ event. The evening will be packed with inspiring speakers, life-changing stories of women in leadership across different sectors including Banking and Law. Our panel of speakers will provide you with detailed and practical advice on how to lead in your chosen field as well as lessons from their leadership journeys. Learning to lead is a poetically vast and exciting theme. The discussions will leave you feeling energised and inspired for creating your own wonderful adventures at whatever stage. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network with the speakers, guests and other attendees.

Schedule

18:00-18:10 Introduction

18:10-18:20 Keynote speaker Sophie Khan

18:20-18:45 Panel Q&A

18:45-19:00 Questions from the audience

19:00-19:15 Closing remarks

19:15-20:00 Networking

The event is mainly for those at university or beyond, but you are most welcome if you think you can benefit from the discussions. Please arrive at 17:45pm for registration. Limited spaces are available so bag your tickets early to avoid any disappointment! You can sign up here.

 

Postgraduate study in Canada – EduCanada event in London

Blogged by Abby Evans on 07/09/2018.

Students and their families are invited to this completely free event at Canada House in London to learn about postgraduate study opportunities in Canada and to meet informally with Canadian universities and colleges to get any questions answered. Advance registration is required to attend – find out more and book your place here.

Seminar programme (10am – 12pm)

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    Allison Goodings, High Commission of Canada
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    Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
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The main exhibition will open at 12pm, where you’ll be able to speak to the Canadian institutions who are exhibiting.The event will be held at Canada House on Trafalgar Square, a beautifully restored heritage building that now houses an impressive collection of Canadian art and design.

Bar Pro Bono Unit: Caseworker Volunteering Opportunities

Posted on behalf of Bar Pro Bono Unit. Blogged by Annie Dutton on 15/08/2018.

The Bar Pro Bono Unit is the Bar’s national charity, based in the National Pro Bono Centre on Chancery Lane, London, which helps to find pro bono legal assistance from volunteer barristers. They are seeking dedicated and enthusiastic individuals to volunteer as Academic Year Casework Volunteers 

This is a fantastic opportunity to obtain unique exposure to the Bar as a profession and to a wide range of areas of law. By volunteering you  will  learn a great deal about the practical working of the courts and the needs of litigants in person which should complement your studies.

You will be assisting the caseworkers one day per week, over a four month period. Tasks will include:

  • Drafting case summaries, using the case papers provided by individuals who need legal assistance; these case summaries are then used by experienced barristers when reviewing the file.
  • Drafting case allocation summaries which are used to try to find volunteer barristers around the country to take on the case on a pro bono basis.
  • Taking telephone calls from the public and providing updates to existing applicants.

Closing date for applications: Monday 27 August 2018 at 23:00

Requirements

You must have completed at least one year of law-related study or law-related work.

Previous volunteer’s feedback:

“I would strongly recommend to anyone interested in pursuing a legal career to try and spend some time with the BPBU. Not only does it look great on your CV, it also helps you hone crucial skills such as succinctly summarising the key facts of a case and identifying the relevant legal issues, something that should stand you in good stead for any pupillage or training contract interviews. The staff are all wonderfully welcoming and helpful, and whilst a key benefit is the range of areas you will experience (anything from Defamation to Child Protection), they will also accommodate specific requests to see more work in certain areas. Ultimately you are doing genuinely important work that makes a material difference to people’s lives, whilst being supplied with copious amounts of tea and cake. What’s not to like?”

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