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The Big "Are My Grades Good Enough for Cambridge?" Thread (Mk1)

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    (Original post by praneesh)
    I have the misfortune of being at a grammar school and yes I think I know I did badly I could've done better. Could've, would've, should've makes no difference.

    (sigh) and I take it below average is bad therefore what must I do to compensate for this in regards to getting my application on equal or better footing with the other applicants. Success rate is slim!!!!
    The average Oxbridge applicant is rejected. That's the truth.

    You can get in with worse GCSEs (I did). You can be rejected with better (a friend was).

    As for what to do. Get good AS grades, write the best PS you can, get a good reference (work hard and diligently, read outside the course), develop an interest in your subject and an ability to talk intelligently about it. Hope you get an interview, and try to impress them there.

    These days, you'll ideally be wanting A*s, or 90%+ UMS scores, but exceptions are always the rule.
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    Thankyou that was indeed sound advice! Yeah its my first day at sixth form and I think I'm going to work very hard this year; especially as the gcse results gave me a kick up the **** and also because I now study subjects I both enjoy and have a desire to succeed in.

    Thanks for the advice again

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    Hi,
    I want to apply for cambridge to read natural sciences (biological) but I am still open to studying at oxford also.

    I got 6A*s 4As at GCSE. Not too bad.

    But at AS I did terrible.
    Chemistry- A
    Biology - A
    Physics - A
    Maths - C (Core 1 81%, Core 2 74%, Mechanics 1 44% )

    I plan on retaking all those modules again in January 2010 but it will be too late for cambridge to know so have I just ruined my chances of getting in?

    Any advice would be really useful now, thank you

    btw. I dont really have an excuse at to why I messed up, i wasnt ill, I have no problems.
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    (Original post by Virgil)
    Maths - C (Core 1 81%, Core 2 74%, Mechanics 1 44% )

    I plan on retaking all those modules again in January 2010 but it will be too late for cambridge to know so have I just ruined my chances of getting in?
    I wouldn't apply to Cambridge this year with those Maths marks - your chances would be slim to none.
    If you really want to study Bio NatSci I'd take a gap year (and do something useful in it) and reapply in the next cycle.
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    Would there be any point in thinking about oxford instead? or are my chances just as slim?
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    (Original post by Virgil)
    Would there be any point in thinking about oxford instead? or are my chances just as slim?
    There is some point in thinking about Oxford, provided that you can still hide your AS grades from UCAS by not certificating them ("cashing them in"). If you can still do that then they'll only have your GCSEs (which are good) and your predicted grades (which I assume will be OK) to go on grades-wise, and so you'll have some chance.
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    Is it still possible to do that these days or has the system changed?
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    Application for law:

    GCSE: 10 A* 2A (maths and drama)

    AS: Philosophy: 89%

    English lit: 92%

    History: 100%

    Chemistry: 79.67% (so one UMS of an A lol)

    Is the B a huge problem, basically?
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    (Original post by Boucicaut)
    Is the B a huge problem, basically?
    No, no it's not.
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    (Original post by Boucicaut)
    Application for law:

    GCSE: 10 A* 2A (maths and drama)

    AS: Philosophy: 89%

    English lit: 92%

    History: 100%

    Chemistry: 79.67% (so one UMS of an A lol)

    Is the B a huge problem, basically?
    They're really good grades! I don't think you'll have much of a problem - especially with such high UMS in Lit and History! I did post for reassurance... but also so that you would see my sig and join us! :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by becbec :))
    They're really good grades! I don't think you'll have much of a problem - especially with such high UMS in Lit and History! I did post for reassurance... but also so that you would see my sig and join us! :rolleyes:
    Thank you!!!!!!!!!

    I know it's stupid, but I go through cycles of 'its going to be fine' to extreme neuroticism.......guess I should get out more :s
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    hey! I really would love to apply to do English and got As in English lit, maths and history and a C in Spanish (getting a dodgey module that brought it down remarked) but I've heard that they want you to have over 90% UMS in at least 3 of them and I havn't got that . I got 9A*s and an A at AS and I'm from a "low income" background with no history of uni and the sixth form isn't great (thinking applying on access scheme )
    Any advice would be muchly appreciated!
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    (Original post by abbna)
    hey! I really would love to apply to do English and got As in English lit, maths and history and a C in Spanish (getting a dodgey module that brought it down remarked) but I've heard that they want you to have over 90% UMS in at least 3 of them and I havn't got that . I got 9A*s and an A at AS and I'm from a "low income" background with no history of uni and the sixth form isn't great (thinking applying on access scheme )
    Any advice would be muchly appreciated!
    90% UMS is a guideline, not a strict rule. What are your UMS marks? How close were you to 90%? I'd still say apply, if your interview goes well you've got a good chance.
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    ahhh thanks, cant remember exactly, maths was about 86%, English was high enough, history about 87%, i think :P
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    (Original post by dawgnuts)
    Hello can someone please evaluate my chances, much appreciated

    I obtained 2A* 5A 3B 1C at GCSE from a school with 23% pass rate

    During A levels, I had moved to a school that's near top of the league table (State Grammar school)

    I obtained:

    A Maths 89% (6a)
    A Further Maths 83% (5a 1b)
    A Chemistry 89% (6a)
    A Physics 83% (5a 1c)
    A Chinese 83% (2a)
    B Business Studies (3a 1b 1e 1u)
    D General Studies (2a and rest are like us lol)

    Also I got a GOLD in 2008 British Maths Olympiad

    Applying for Econ, have lots of work experience and extra CA
    Was rejected from Oxford last year, so I really need to know whether or not I should try with Cambridge

    Thanks

    Bump please reply
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    (Original post by dawgnuts)
    Bump please reply
    To be honest your UMS (and GCSEs to some extent, but that will be compensated by your school) are a bit low, so I think you'd struggle to get an offer without a fantastic interview. Doesn't mean it isn't worth a shot though, especially if you do something impressive in your gap year.
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    (Original post by alex_hk90)
    To be honest your UMS (and GCSEs to some extent, but that will be compensated by your school) are a bit low, so I think you'd struggle to get an offer without a fantastic interview. Doesn't mean it isn't worth a shot though, especially if you do something impressive in your gap year.
    Thanks

    But I would like to add that, my module scores shows a progressive improvement. In As Chemistry I had BBB, I retook and got AAAAAA in A2 (and a few full marks too in other exams, and my exams in A2 are like 2x as much as in As).
    I believe studying in my old school was the main reason for the slack off at the beginning of my A levels, do you think it is worthwhile including this somewhere in my personal statement?
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    (Original post by dawgnuts)
    Thanks

    But I would like to add that, my module scores shows a progressive improvement. In As Chemistry I had BBB, I retook and got AAAAAA in A2 (and a few full marks too in other exams, and my exams in A2 are like 2x as much as in As).
    I believe studying in my old school was the main reason for the slack off at the beginning of my A levels, do you think it is worthwhile including this somewhere in my personal statement?
    Probably not in your personal statement, but maybe get your referee to briefly mention your improvement and reason for it. From the SAQ Cambridge will see that your A2 marks are a lot better so that could work to your advantage.
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    (Original post by alex_hk90)
    Probably not in your personal statement, but maybe get your referee to briefly mention your improvement and reason for it. From the SAQ Cambridge will see that your A2 marks are a lot better so that could work to your advantage.
    Oh wow, after seen your academics I might just give Cambridge a miss lol

    Do you know what your colleagues' grades are like?

    And a non-related question, what do you want go into after graduation/masters ect...
  20. Online

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    (Original post by dawgnuts)
    Oh wow, after seen your academics I might just give Cambridge a miss lol
    Don't be put off by it - I just knew how to play the exam system.

    (Original post by dawgnuts)
    Do you know what your colleagues' grades are like?
    The ones at my college in the same year as me have similar if not better grades. But we were the best performing college this year so I don't think that's particularly representative.

    (Original post by dawgnuts)
    And a non-related question, what do you want go into after graduation/masters ect...
    I'm undecided at the moment, but am considering training to be an actuary.
Updated: August 16, 2012
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