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What can I do about my bad GCSEs.

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    I am currently studying in Ireland after living Belfast for most of my life, whilist there I did my GCSEs and achieved B(2) C(6). The school I was send to was a school which main focus was to get every C grades, and implemented a streaming progress which blocked people from doing higher tier on the subjects. As I was "stupid" in my younger years I was in the lower stream and unable to do the higher subjects, until my science teacher forced them to let me finish out my Science modules on higher tier, after already doing one at lower tier in which I got full marks. I then went on to get nothing but As in Science but due to the C was limited to a B. My math teacher refused to let me do higher tier maths, even though I managed to get 100% in every single maths test I done, including my GCSEs. My subjects were :

    Maths - C
    English -C
    Drama - A* (I don't really feel like it is worth an A*)
    History - B (Only person in my year who passed)
    Business - C
    Science - B
    IT - C
    Geography - C

    But enough about GCSEs. I am currently studying in Ireland for my Leaving Cert which is the Irish Alevel system. I am on track currently to get 625 LC points which is the cap for the Irish system. I am doing the subjects :

    Maths
    English
    German
    Physics
    Biology
    Applied Maths (Moreless mechanics, etc)
    Business
    Economics

    Which is equal to about 5 Alevels. I am on track to achieve an A* in every subject, as I am actually allowed to do the higher tier subjects ^_^.

    I look to apply to UCL as most likely my firm, as it is the university I feel the best about in the country, my subject of choice will be Economics, or Maths.

    If I am declined for GCSE related reasons, is there any way I can remedy this? I am possibly going to be taking the SAT exams, STEP, as well as trying to do A level math and Economics, in a gap year if I decide to take one. Would applying after a gap year, meaning I have already recieved my results be a benefit to my application. I will be applying for either 2013 entry or 2014.

    Many thanks
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    I highly doubt UCL would reject you based on those GCSEs. Just relax.

    Also applying to UCL after a gap year will not help you one bit!! They want someone who is driven and knows what they want to do. Seriously don't waste time.
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    (Original post by JeremyB)
    I highly doubt UCL would reject you based on those GCSEs. Just relax.

    Also applying to UCL after a gap year will not help you one bit!! They want someone who is driven and knows what they want to do. Seriously don't waste time.
    Economics is a competitive course though and there will be people with 12 A* gcses applying against my 8 Bs to Cs, and they will have equal A* levels, thats what I am mainly worrried about.
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    1. Counterbalance them with fantastic A-Levels and a great Personal Statement.

    2. Retake if they make you that worried.

    I think you can also explain as to why you got those results, which are very impressive for your school, in your application. They do take it into consideration.
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    (Original post by Sgany)
    Economics is a competitive course though and there will be people with 12 A* gcses applying against my 8 Bs to Cs, and they will have equal A* levels, thats what I am mainly worrried about.
    Don't worry at all! It may be a competitive course but Grades are not the only thing they are looking for in an all rounded candidate: they want extra-curricular activities and a good personal statement and interview too before they decide... And they should take your circumstances into consideration too. If you get the grades that you are predicted at A-Level (or the Irish equivalent) then you should be fine!
    Good luck
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    It would depend on what you were doing with your gap year - but since you're thinking of doing Maths, I'd have to recommend against it. As far as I know, unis are generally less than impressed with maths applicants taking a year out. If you were going to be doing something relevant (eg some engineering applicants do placement years before they start their courses) then maybe, but otherwise I'd go straight ahead and apply.

    I can't say that I know much about Leaving Certs, but is A-level Maths significantly more advanced than the course you're already studying? If it isn't, I'd just go ahead and apply, since any maths course will be covering everything again anyway, even if only in a cursory manner.

    And as for your GCSEs, get the teacher who's writing your UCAS reference to explain the situation - since it was your old school holding you back, I don't think UCL would hold it against you, especially considering that you did so well in the exams you were allowed to take and how good your predicted grades are.

    Either way, definitely give it a shot.
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    (Original post by Lucevar)
    It would depend on what you were doing with your gap year - but since you're thinking of doing Maths, I'd have to recommend against it. As far as I know, unis are generally less than impressed with maths applicants taking a year out. If you were going to be doing something relevant (eg some engineering applicants do placement years before they start their courses) then maybe, but otherwise I'd go straight ahead and apply.

    I can't say that I know much about Leaving Certs, but is A-level Maths significantly more advanced than the course you're already studying? If it isn't, I'd just go ahead and apply, since any maths course will be covering everything again anyway, even if only in a cursory manner.

    And as for your GCSEs, get the teacher who's writing your UCAS reference to explain the situation - since it was your old school holding you back, I don't think UCL would hold it against you, especially considering that you did so well in the exams you were allowed to take and how good your predicted grades are.

    Either way, definitely give it a shot.

    Economics is almost 100% what I will be applying for, I just have a love for maths, which still puts the thought of doing it in my mind. My gap year was going to be the Bank of England gap year scheme, along with spending time learning languages and getting EC for a competitive application to Ivy league schools.
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    I wouldn't worry to much I got 2 offers on the basis of 6 Bs 3 Cs and retakes,lol....
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    (Original post by SloaneRanger)
    I wouldn't worry to much I got 2 offers on the basis of 6 Bs 3 Cs and retakes,lol....
    For which course?
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    they will take into account how retarded your old school was. If pupils at that school will have lower than average GCSE's then they will take that into account. GCSE's dont matter as much as people think they do.
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    Science and Society and Bioprocessing of New Medicines (there aren't any doss courses).All UCL course they expect you to achieve ABB at A-Level regardless off what background you come from. I went to a proper public school - Ardingly College, where evidently everyone seems to do well at A-Level or IB. But either way it comes down to the individual and how you come across on your personal statement. As you can see I was a proper dosser at school, so don't be dishearten if you really want to get in you can.
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    (Original post by SloaneRanger)
    I went to a proper public school - Ardingly College,
    hardly a proper public school.
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    I got into Manchester to read BSc Genetics with 7Bs 3Cs 2Ds at GCSE. My A-Levels were also only BBC. I somehow blagged my way in. As long as your well-rounded and a good PS and interview, you can achieve anything.

    I have also just got into medicine with these grades and I only need a 2.1 in my degree. So grades only mean so much. A bit of passion and experience goes just as far.
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    (Original post by sososo)
    hardly a proper public school.
    In the Tatlers Good Schools Guide, that shows its statue in society :roll eyes:, don't see any bad names in that guide.
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    (Original post by Phi11)
    I got into Manchester to read BSc Genetics with 7Bs 3Cs 2Ds at GCSE. My A-Levels were also only BBC. I somehow blagged my way in. As long as your well-rounded and a good PS and interview, you can achieve anything.

    I have also just got into medicine with these grades and I only need a 2.1 in my degree. So grades only mean so much. A bit of passion and experience goes just as far.
    As much as I think your case is a brilliant example of 'grades only mean so much' I do think that there is something to be said for the fact that some universities, for some courses, prioritise grades massively, because there simply isn't the time for them to look at every application in depth to see if there is more than the grades.

    In response to the OP, there is very little you can do about your bad GCSEs other than make up for it with your leavers cert.

    I, for example, achieved only BCCCCCCDEE at GCSE, but managed to better that with A*AB at A2. I still wouldn't have got into somewhere like LSE though, even though I beat what their offer would have been, simply because some universities place a lot of emphasis on GCSEs, LSE being one and Durham being another notable example.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    As much as I think your case is a brilliant example of 'grades only mean so much' I do think that there is something to be said for the fact that some universities, for some courses, prioritise grades massively, because there simply isn't the time for them to look at every application in depth to see if there is more than the grades.

    In response to the OP, there is very little you can do about your bad GCSEs other than make up for it with your leavers cert.

    I, for example, achieved only BCCCCCCDEE at GCSE, but managed to better that with A*AB at A2. I still wouldn't have got into somewhere like LSE though, even though I beat what their offer would have been, simply because some universities place a lot of emphasis on GCSEs, LSE being one and Durham being another notable example.
    I agree with you. But I am just saying, it can be done so just go for it and see what happens.
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    If unis know you went to a rubbish school then your gcses won't look bad.
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    I wouldnt worry about them too much, if you hit your A-levels targets most admission tutors will recognise that you have potential and you've made an upward progression.
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    (Original post by SloaneRanger)
    In the Tatlers Good Schools Guide, that shows its statue in society :roll eyes:, don't see any bad names in that guide.
    Yes, I agree. The Tatlers Good Schools Guide has many great Independant schools in it. You seem to be under the impression that 'Public school' and 'Independant school' are interchangable terms. Public school has a specific meaning, and refers to only a few schools, of which Ardingly College is not one of them. Thought you would like to know that.
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    Why are people so uptight about their school? I didn't realise this thread was about 'my schools better than your school'.

    But totally agree with g star raw and clare bear. Nail your A levels and GCSEs are negligible!
Updated: July 16, 2012
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