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The official UCL am I good enough / GCSE freak out thread

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    (Original post by McMurdo)
    Considering this is a discussion about admission to UCL, I don't think it's my fault for interpreting your comment of "decent enough grades" as being 'decent enough for UCL' It would be a bit superfluous to say his grades were decent in the context of a national average, seeing as that is irrelavent to this topic. We're talking specifically about admissions to UCL.
    And, as I've noted above, the grades are specifically 'decent enough' to fulfil basic entry criteria for UCL. Whilst I have quoted the UCL admissions data, you've only been able to say that you know people with 12 A*s at GCSE who have been rejected. Now this either suggests that 12 A*s isn't enough, or it suggests that despite strong GCSEs, other factors were more important. As a UCL offer-holder with GCSEs nowhere near as strong as the 12 A*s figure, I would argue, as I have throughout, that those other factors are important, and build up a rounded view of a candidate which allows compensation for poor GCSE grades.
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    (Original post by NeuralGroove)
    And, as I've noted above, the grades are specifically 'decent enough' to fulfil basic entry criteria for UCL. Whilst I have quoted the UCL admissions data, you've only been able to say that you know people with 12 A*s at GCSE who have been rejected. Now this either suggests that 12 A*s isn't enough, or it suggests that despite strong GCSEs, other factors were more important. As a UCL offer-holder with GCSEs nowhere near as strong as the 12 A*s figure, I would argue, as I have throughout, that those other factors are important, and build up a rounded view of a candidate which allows compensation for poor GCSE grades.
    I have repeatedly said that other factors can redeem an application even if the GCSEs are poor. However, as there are so many strong applicants, it often only takes one fault on an application for it to be rejected. Yes, some people can gain entry with excellent A levels, a good interview etc, but, in the majority of cases for a course like English at UCL, you will need every aspect of the application to be great.

    Grades meeting what is technically a 'minimum requirement' is not quite the same as grades that are 'decent enough'. Phrasing it like that makes it seem as though those grades on their own stand up to the rest of the competition. Rather, they just about hit 2 of the boxes, but they're still not going to be considered 'decent'.
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    (Original post by McMurdo)
    Oxford and UCL have a very similar admissions process, actually. As you said, they both interview, both place a great deal of emphasis on grades and both have exceptionally high levels of competition. As for drama being 'unacceptable', I did not say it was unacceptable; I said it is a weak choice and will hinder his chances moreso than if they'd chosen an academic subject. Of course, there's still a chance, but my point was that it impedes his chances.

    As for grades not being the only important aspect - I know this. I didn't say they were; but they are still very important. So, when you take into account the considerable lower GCSEs, the choice of drama as an A level etc, it means his application stands a much greater chance of being considered weaker. He still has a chance, as I said, but it is very slim.
    Hate to labour the point but I just want to correct this once and for all.
    I am holding in my hand UCL's list of 'preferred A levels' (I'm about to set out for work at a higher education fair). One of the subjects is Drama.


    Enough said I think.
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    2 A*s and 9 A's at GCSE. I'm predicted 4 A's at AS, going to drop a subject though so possibly 3 A's at A2? I want to study French and Spanish
    Biggest worry is my GCSE grades not being good enough my A*s were in languages if that helps?
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    My friend got 1 A*,7 As and 1 B at GCSE, ABBB at AS Level and was predicted AAA at A Level with Classics, Drama and English Lit and got an offer to do Archaeology at UCL, and I got 5A* and 4A at GCSE, AAAA at AS Level and was predicted A*A*A with Classics, Drama and English Lit and got an offer for English if that's any help to anybody!
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    (Original post by sundogs)
    Hate to labour the point but I just want to correct this once and for all.
    I am holding in my hand UCL's list of 'preferred A levels' (I'm about to set out for work at a higher education fair). One of the subjects is Drama.


    Enough said I think.
    Two of my friends who did drama at A level and applied to UCL, Exeter and King's for English were told by UCL that drama was not a desirable A level. Show me this list.
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    (Original post by McMurdo)
    Two of my friends who did drama at A level and applied to UCL, Exeter and King's for English were told by UCL that drama was not a desirable A level. Show me this list.
    I think sundogs was referring to this list which states that 'Drama and Theatre Studies' is an acceptable qualification at A Level.

    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-stu...qualifications

    Maybe Drama was deemed unsuitable for a competitive course such as English?

    As for the thread itself, I achieved 3A*'s and 7 A's at GCSE, 4 A's at AS and was predicted A*A*A*A. (continuing with 4). I got an offer for AAA + pass at AS to study Law.
    I can say that UCL definitely takes a whole array of factors into consideration such as work experience (of which I tried to do as much as possible) and your interest in the subject.

    I wouldn't be discouraged if you don't have 10 million A*'s at GCSE, just be aware that competition is very tough and thus you need to make sure all other aspects of your application stand out.

    Hope that was of some help.
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    (Original post by life_is_art25)
    I think sundogs was referring to this list which states that 'Drama and Theatre Studies' is an acceptable qualification at A Level.

    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-stu...qualifications

    Maybe Drama was deemed unsuitable for a competitive course such as English?

    As for the thread itself, I achieved 3A*'s and 7 A's at GCSE, 4 A's at AS and was predicted A*A*A*A. (continuing with 4). I got an offer for AAA + pass at AS to study Law.
    I can say that UCL definitely takes a whole array of factors into consideration such as work experience (of which I tried to do as much as possible) and your interest in the subject.

    I wouldn't be discouraged if you don't have 10 million A*'s at GCSE, just be aware that competition is very tough and thus you need to make sure all other aspects of your application stand out.

    Hope that was of some help.
    ^ This is precisely what I said. Drama is accepted, but, from what I've heard and from anecdotal experience, it is not a favourable A level, and would not be regarded as highly as, say, history. In the same way some courses cite media as being 'accepted', it doesn't make it a competitive subject to put on your application.
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    I phoned three colleges at Cambridge, my friend phoned Oxford, UCL, KCL and Durham, and they all said that Drama and Theatre Studies was a suitable A Level. I got an offer from UCL for English and an interview at Cambridge for English and she got offers from UCL, KCL, and Durham.
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    (Original post by McMurdo)
    Two of my friends who did drama at A level and applied to UCL, Exeter and King's for English were told by UCL that drama was not a desirable A level. Show me this list.
    You're awfully demanding
    The list is on a printed piece of laminated paper so short of scanning it in (I don't care about this argument that much) I can't show you.
    The poster below has hit the nail on the head.

    We take a whole range of things into account, you need to stop being so passive aggressive and acknowledge that things aren't quite as didactic as you claim.
    'Two of your friends' is hardly representative. I still think it's worth the OP giving it a go.
    Chances are, the admissions tutors were both different as applications are handled by different people in our department. A lot is down to personal preference. Same goes for tutorial essays - tutors react to things in different ways.
    I also would put money on the fact that the drama A level was not the only thing that let your friends down - it's bound to be a problem in the personal statement as this is where the bulk of the emphasis lies.
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    (Original post by rach_kirke)
    2 A*s and 9 A's at GCSE. I'm predicted 4 A's at AS, going to drop a subject though so possibly 3 A's at A2? I want to study French and Spanish
    Biggest worry is my GCSE grades not being good enough my A*s were in languages if that helps?
    If you're on course to get As this year definitely apply! Your GCSEs are fine and won't affect your application too much. Make sure you show your passion in your personal statement. Also, try to get high UMS marks as UCL request them for French and Spanish. Good luck with your AS exams!


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    I'd like to apply for CS at UCL. My GCSEs suck. 1 A*, 4 As, 4 Bs and 1 C. My AS Levels aren't great. I've done exams for maths, physics and business. Business could be anything. Physics is likely to be a B. Maths is an easy peasy A for me. Next year I'm keeping all choices, and taking up further maths as an AS. I can get an A in that. If I work at it I can bring my physics back up to an A. Still don't know about business though, really a 'hit and miss' subject.

    My problem is that I'm behind. I can get the required A2 levels, but as you can see, my previous records are so low and might not go down well with admitting tutors.
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    Hey there,

    I'm very interested in studying law at UCL (I'll also be applying to Oxford, LSE etc), however, I'm wondering about grades. My GCSE grades are 9A*s 1A, however, due to depression and extreme exam anxiety & panic attacks my AS levels didn't go as I'd hoped. I've now got a note from my Psychiatrist and my headmaster is going to write a letter to the exam boards explaining my situation. From an outsider's point of view this probably sounds like 'I didn't really work so I'm looking for any excuse to make me seem better than I am' - however, that's not true.

    Generally I'm a good candidate... I do Maths Physics Economics & History of Art for AS level. Obviously I don't know what I grades I'm going to get at AS, but if I got AABB (I'd almost certainly be predicted A* A* A A), how would this affect me.

    Also, I won the Physics prize in my year (highest average throughout the year) which sort of legitimizes my extenuating circumstances to a certain extent...

    Please note that my school cashes in grades after A2.

    I'm really worried that this is going to affect me very badly... Anyone at UCL or with knowledge about this kind of thing, I'd love to hear from you.

    Thank you.
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    I was just looking for some advice - I want to study English Literature at a good university and I have heard UCL is high ranked and I really would like to study in London. Unfortunately my grades are quite weak - for GCSE I got 2 A*s in history and additional science, 4 As in english lit/ lang, core science and French and 3 Bs in Art, music and maths. For my January AS' I got 2 As in English lit and language, a B in psychology and a C in biology. I have resat my biology and I'm hoping to bring up my psychology grade with my summer exam. I'm getting my summer results soon but was just wondering if I have a chance of getting into UCL if I maintain my grades and perhaps try and bring Eng lit up to A*? I do quite a lot of extra curricular, including writing for an online magazine and read all the time Can you suggest any other Uni's I should apply to? Sorry for the long post, any advice helps! Thanks
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    I was just looking for some advice - I want to study English Literature at a good university and I have heard UCL is high ranked and I really would like to study in London. Unfortunately my grades are quite weak - for GCSE I got 2 A*s in history and additional science, 4 As in english lit/ lang, core science and French and 3 Bs in Art, music and maths. For my January AS' I got 2 As in English lit and language, a B in psychology and a C in biology. I have resat my biology and I'm hoping to bring up my psychology grade with my summer exam. I'm getting my summer results soon but was just wondering if I have a chance of getting into UCL if I maintain my grades and perhaps try and bring Eng lit up to A*? I do quite a lot of extra curricular, including writing for an online magazine and read all the time Can you suggest any other Uni's I should apply to? Sorry for the long post, any advice helps! Thanks
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    UCL would not be my first answer for english if someone asked me where would be good but then I am a science geek

    Theres lots of good places in London, but I would broaden your view slightly.

    Durham
    UEA
    York
    Bristol
    Exeter

    Its all good

    Don't put too much stock in league tables they fluctuate a lot. I would think for something like english lit you would have to look at the actual course content, theres no point spending 3 years doing Shakespeare if its not what interests you
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    Just realised I posted this in the wrong thread! Thanks for the advice, I'll look at those universities, just hope my grades are good enough! Thankyou
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    I think you still have a chance as long as your post 16 grades meet the requirements
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    (Original post by OSharp)
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    (Original post by seventyfourable)
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    are 7 a stars (rest a's) enough for ucl economics?
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    yes most definately ... you may be expected to have an a* in maths but other than that those GCSEs will be enough

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