PwC no longer looking at your A-Level results

Points no longer always mean prizes.

If you’ve surfaced from revision and essays over the last couple of weeks you will have seen the announcement from PwC that they are relaxing their entry criteria around A-Level grades[1]. This has been met with interest in the recruiting world (see this article on LinkedIn for example).

So what does this mean?

Well put bluntly A-Levels have been used by larger graduate recruiters for a long time as a useful first barrier to filter out applicants automatically. When you receive over 25,000 applicants for 2,500 roles a year as quoted in that article then you need something to filter out people.

Many people, myself included, have often questioned the ultimate logic behind this as there are plenty of people who might achieve poor to mediocre grades at A-Level, yet perform brilliantly at university. Thinking back to my own experience around 15 years ago I only got two A-Levels (both at B), but then went on to achieve a Masters at university. Using my A-Levels as a metric I wouldn’t have got onto any graduate programme.

So how will a company like PwC filter those applicants?

So far PwC are the first to drop the A-Levels as a first step metric, but I’ve spoken to a couple of other high volume graduate recruiters in the last week (who I am afraid have asked to not be quoted) that are looking to relax their criteria around A-Levels.

This means that similar to many smaller employers these high volume graduate recruiters will be placing even more scrutiny on your grades throughout your degree and also looking more in-depth at your work experience and transferable skills. So yes – it will mean more people are eligible for some of these schemes, but there will still be a high level of scrutiny about your aptitude to do the job.

What can you do?

The message remains pretty much similar to always – do well at your studies and also take the opportunity to do as much as you can to maximise any work experience you are doing.

If you need any support around this make sure you visit our website www.careers.qmul.ac.uk.

James Weaver

Employer Engagement Manager

Careers & Enterprise

[1] http://www.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2015/05/05/pwc-scraps-a-level-requirement-for-graduate-scheme.aspx

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