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    (Original post by SohaibKhan)
    i totally agree with you because mine GCSE are quite bad and when i spoke to Oxford they said 'GCSE are important but not essential' so if you can secure good grade in ALevel and ace the admission test than you have a fair chance
    Tell 'em that! TSR will never listen. They have the weird idea that since most Oxford students did well, Cambridge is a better shot when they don't even know the numbers from Cambridge, and that the myth contradicts what Oxford has been saying altogether.

    Selective reading I'd say - they read the part where they say GCSEs are considered, but totally ignored all the other parts.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    How many times do I need to say this: And Cambridge doesn't?

    Are you seriously suggesting that most people at Cambridge had fewer than 3A*s in GCSEs?

    This is about comparing Oxford to Cambridge, not Oxford to universities in general.
    I don't understand why you're bringing up Cambridge? There's no mention of Cambridge in the OP, I'm not talking about Cambridge. You said...

    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    TSR will always tell you GCSEs are the be all end all for Oxford when in reality there's no evidence other than the 'trust me, I know's from people who didn't even apply to Oxford.
    ...which is wrong, and I gave you the evidence. I don't understand why you're suddenly talking about Cambridge when what you said and what I said had nothing to do with Cambridge.
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    I know of a friend who had an offer from hertford college, oxford, for law whilst having 3A* 7A 2B

    he was at a huge disadvantage compared to other applicants but the strength of his overall application (LNAT, interview and AS grades) helped even things out
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    (Original post by scblx)
    Do you think it is a disadvantage if you simply don't have GCSEs or an equivalent?
    I am an international (EU) applicant and at the type of school I went to, we didn't have examinations after year 9 or 10. That's why I only put my grades for my finals in my UCAS form. Do you think this will be a disadvantage? I could have given my grades of Year 9 or 10 but I didn't because for UK people they don't seem that good, even though I was nearly at the top of my school.. (at Year 9)
    Should I have put them in my application? Should I subsequently add them? I would say that my Year 9 grades would be something like 9 or 10 A's (not sure) and 4 B's (no A* existing) and my Year 10 grades 5 A*, 2 A, 3 B and 2 C ( the C's are in Chemistry and PE)
    Doubt it.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I don't understand why you're bringing up Cambridge? There's no mention of Cambridge in the OP, I'm not talking about Cambridge. You said...



    ...which is wrong, and I gave you the evidence. I don't understand why you're suddenly talking about Cambridge when what you said and what I said had nothing to do with Cambridge.
    The TSR myth here is that if you've got relatively poor GCSEs but great a-levels, you should apply to Cambridge, not Oxford. And this is the whole point I'm making. The reality is that for both universities you will likely need good grades throughout.

    Funny how you quoted me. And your evidence showed that GCSEs are the 'be all, end all', how exactly?? Your so-called 'evidence' just showed that most people have good good GCSEs (didn't even say how good is good) - now what? Are you going to say state schoolers get in easier simply because most successful applicants are from the state sector? Being white is also the be all, end all to getting into Oxford since once again most successful applicants are white?
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    Even though I'm slightly late; I agree with everyone else. Try for Cambridge, not only are they voted better than Oxford (sorry hardcore Oxford fans) they care much less with GCSE's (I don't even think they look at them) and judge on your A levels and passion for the subject you are willing to take. (Edit: I forgot to mention, if you are set on Oxford good GCSE's are not essential, but I know Cambridge are more flexible with them)
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    The TSR myth here is that if you've got relatively poor GCSEs but great a-levels, you should apply to Cambridge, not Oxford. And this is the whole point I'm making. The reality is that for both universities you will likely need good grades throughout.

    Funny how you quoted me. And your evidence showed that GCSEs are the 'be all, end all', how exactly?? Your so-called 'evidence' just showed that most people have good good GCSEs (didn't even say how good is good) - now what? Are you going to say state schoolers get in easier simply because most successful applicants are from the state sector? Being white is also the be all, end all to getting into Oxford since once again most successful applicants are white?
    That might be the point you're making but it's not what you said, certainly not in the post I quoted...

    And I never said it's the "be all and end all". You said that there is absolutely no evidence that GCSEs are important and that it's fine if your grades show progression. Given that Oxford explicitly says that they wouldn't rate your chances if you don't have a high proportion of As and A*s at GCSE, that suggests that "progression" alone doesn't suddenly make you equal with someone who has higher grades across the board. Is it the end of the world? No. Will it hurt your chances? Yes.

    I don't see how the rest of what you've said has any relevance to this.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    That might be the point you're making but it's not what you said, certainly not in the post I quoted...

    And I never said it's the "be all and end all". You said that there is absolutely no evidence that GCSEs are important and that it's fine if your grades show progression. Given that Oxford explicitly says that they wouldn't rate your chances if you don't have a high proportion of As and A*s at GCSE, that suggests that "progression" alone doesn't suddenly make you equal with someone who has higher grades across the board. Is it the end of the world? No. Will it hurt your chances? Yes.

    I don't see how the rest of what you've said has any relevance to this.
    Selective reading?

    I said: 'TSR will always tell you GCSEs are the be all end all for Oxford whenin reality there's no evidence other than the 'trust me, I know's from people who didn't even apply to Oxford.'

    How did you read it as 'no evidence that GCSEs are important'?

    Do you just really, really want the last words even though you're clearly twisting what I said? I've never ever said GCSEs are not important.
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    (Original post by draculaura)
    Even though I'm slightly late; I agree with everyone else. Try for Cambridge, not only are they voted better than Oxford (sorry hardcore Oxford fans) they care much less with GCSE's (I don't even think they look at them) and judge on your A levels and passion for the subject you are willing to take. (Edit: I forgot to mention, if you are set on Oxford good GCSE's are not essential, but I know Cambridge are more flexible with them)
    See?

    Another person posting the exact advice backing it by 'trust me, I know'.
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    (Original post by megzylouise)
    The fact that Cambridge ask you to declare that absolutely terrifies me, I'm pretty sure I've got a E in PE lingering somewhere...

    I actually took my GCSEs in 2012 as well, just to give you a bit more of a picture. My school made pupils sit their GCSEs in Year 9, then retakes were for year 10 & 11. Sadly I never got to Year 11 as I had to come out of the school for personal reasons. So, by the time I apply in 2017, it would've been 5 years since I took my GCSEs! I guess there is some significance in that, along with the circumstances mentioned that - to be quite honest - I'd really rather not use as an excuse on an application, but I don't think I have much choice!

    EDIT: Having left school, meant that there were 2 GCSEs I couldn't complete as they required practical work in the final year - all were predicted As also.
    If you can get yourself to interview somehow, it's a chance for you to explain why you underperformed at GCSE and impress the tutors. You get 5 choices and it's certainly worth going for Oxbridge if you want to, there's tonnes of people with great GCSE's who lose out to people like you because they're only good at exams but nothing else

    If you do decide to apply then good luck and don't forget that at the end of the day, Oxbridge isn't the be-all, end-all, there's tonnes of other top uni's who would love to have you
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    See?

    Another person posting the exact advice backing it by 'trust me, I know'.

    I know because there's a video on it, and not just any video - a woman who is a liaisons officer at a college in Oxford.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSi2-8l9LME

    Some nice quotes for you;
    "Oxford and Cambridge have different application processes"
    "In Oxford GCSE's are important"
    "(GCSE's) are used in the application process"
    "Cambridge use GCSE's less stringently"
    Is that enough for you?
    Oxford are more strict with GCSE's than Cambridge; but it is not completely necessary; which, surprisingly, is what I said.
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    (Original post by draculaura)
    I know because there's a video on it, and not just any video - a woman who is a liaisons officer at a college in Oxford.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSi2-8l9LME

    Some nice quotes for you;
    "Oxford and Cambridge have different application processes"
    "In Oxford GCSE's are important"
    "(GCSE's) are used in the application process"
    "Cambridge use GCSE's less stringently"
    Is that enough for you?
    Oxford are more strict with GCSE's than Cambridge; but it is not completely necessary; which, surprisingly, is what I said.
    Once again, selective listening.

    She said GCSEs are to measure academic potential - combine this with Oxford's website saying they look at improvement from GCSEs to more recent qualifications, how do you get the idea that if you have bad GCSEs but good a-levels you should still avoid Oxford??

    She literally said GCSEs are used to look at the whole picture - once again, to see if you have improved! But instead, you just focus on the fact that they look at the GCSEs, but not how they use the information to assess applicants!

    This is not you, but pretty close:


    Also, don't use an apostrophe to make a singular word plural.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    Once again, selective listening.

    She said GCSEs are to measure academic potential - combine this with Oxford's website saying they look at improvement from GCSEs to more recent qualifications, how do you get the idea that if you have bad GCSEs but good a-levels you should still avoid Oxford??

    She literally said GCSEs are used to look at the whole picture - once again, to see if you have improved! But instead, you just focus on the fact that they look at the GCSEs, but not how they use the information to assess applicants!

    This is not you, but pretty close:


    Also, don't use an apostrophe to make a singular word plural.
    Wow, chill. Are you someone who did badly in their GCSE's (oh sorry, GCSEs :shifty:) and want to apply to Oxford or something? She even said "Cambridge use GCSEs less stringently" so I simply, gave her advice that she should apply for Cambridge instead if she is that worried. From Oxford's website: "Unless there are particular extenuating circumstances, we could not be optimistic of an applicant’s chances of gaining a place at Oxford without a high percentage of A* and A grades at GCSE." It's not used to see if you're improved, she literally said it shows how good you have been across a very wide range of subjects. Also, I honestly cannot relate to how that man is me?
    Crazy man spurting nonsense = person being reasonable with backed up evidence?
    Yeah, um.. okay sure. I still stick by with what I said: if you are worried about GCSEs go with Cambridge; unless your heart is with Oxford as it's not essential. Therefore she has more of a chance getting in, you honestly can't argue with that. (Though, I would like to see where Oxford said they use GCSEs as improvement, that is interesting.)
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    Also, don't use an apostrophe to make a singular word plural.
    I don't count "GCSE" as a "word". Different people have different conventions?
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    (Original post by megzylouise)
    Hi all,

    I hope someone can help and apologies if there is already a thread for this.

    I completely messed up my GCSEs, only gaining 3As, 2Bs and 2Cs when I was predicted all A grades and was in the top sets for all subjects. I took 2 years out to work and I have now gone back to college, studying English Literature, History and Philosophy.

    I'm confident I have the ability to gain all As in my A-Levels and I'm part of many social groups inside and outside of college. Is it worth me re-taking or doing additional GCSEs at my time in college to stand a chance at an application for Oxford?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    I don't think it would make much sense to go back to your GCSEs. What would it prove? Most people could do a better job second time round. I do think you will have to explain why the situation happened, that you took a lot of the exams in year 9 and that you have come back into education after a break. It went wrong, you fixed it. Perhaps your college should deal with this in the reference they write for you.

    You will have to shine with the rest of your application. Get good A'levels and do a good ELAT. You need the ELAT to get the interview.

    You should also note that although the standard offer for English is AAA, most of the people who get in will do better than that. To be Oxford standard you should really be aiming for A* - at least in your main subject.

    As Astro67 (who is an Oxford admissions officer) said earlier, the impact of your GCSEs will be less than for "normal" candidates. Your job is to show them in the rest of your application that there is something worth selecting.
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    (Original post by Pars12)
    I don't count "GCSE" as a "word". Different people have different conventions?
    An abbreviation is a word. But that's beyond the point - fact is, it's improper to use an apostrophe to make a anything plural. Do you add a 'z' instead of an 's' to make things plural?
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    (Original post by draculaura)
    Wow, chill. Are you someone who did badly in their GCSE's (oh sorry, GCSEs :shifty:) and want to apply to Oxford or something?
    Wow. So you don't have an argument and have decided to badmouth me to discredit me? I already graduated from Oxford and I wasn't even from the UK, so I didn't do GCSEs in school. But for the record all the self-studied GCSEs I did (for fun) were A*s.

    (Original post by draculaura)
    She even said "Cambridge use GCSEs less stringently" so I simply, gave her advice that she should apply for Cambridge instead if she is that worried.
    How many times do I need to repeat this? You're ignoring how they're looking into the information. They said they'd look at the improvement. This means someone with poor GCSEs but good a-levels could be advantaged because this shows his/her/their academic potential.

    Your advice is completely unfounded and originated exactly from the TSR myth I have been talking about.

    (Original post by draculaura)
    From Oxford's website: "Unless there are particular extenuating circumstances, we could not be optimistic of an applicant’s chances of gaining a place at Oxford without a high percentage of A* and A grades at GCSE." It's not used to see if you're improved, she literally said it shows how good you have been across a very wide range of subjects. Also, I honestly cannot relate to how that man is me?
    Selective reading?

    Tutors will want to see how you improve your academic performance after your GCSEs and that you do well in your A-levels or other equivalent qualifications.
    http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...e-requirements

    (Original post by draculaura)
    Crazy man spurting nonsense = person being reasonable with backed up evidence?
    Crazy man spurting nonsense? You mean you?

    (Original post by draculaura)
    Yeah, um.. okay sure. I still stick by with what I said: if you are worried about GCSEs go with Cambridge; unless your heart is with Oxford as it's not essential. Therefore she has more of a chance getting in, you honestly can't argue with that. (Though, I would like to see where Oxford said they use GCSEs as improvement, that is interesting.)
    No, you don't know that. You have insufficient evidence to say with confidence that two people with the same a-levels and background but one with lower GCSEs will have a harder time getting into Oxford.

    I didn't say Oxford use GCSEs just to look at the improvement, but from the quote above, which can be easily found from Oxford's website by googling 'Oxford University GCSE', has supported what the admission tutor in the video said - GCSEs are for tutors to look at the whole picture. Having poor GCSEs could advantage or disadvantage you, probably depends on how poor they actually are, they are additional information for Oxford to look at your academic potential.
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    An abbreviation is a word. But that's beyond the point - fact is, it's improper to use an apostrophe to make a anything plural. Do you add a 'z' instead of an 's' to make things plural?
    Is it? So G' C' S' E' s would be incorrect?

    And why capitalise everything?
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    I think the reason the majority of students have lots of A*s is because those who do not have this are discouraged from applying, in part by people on TSR convincing them their chances are nil. From emailing Oxford and asking about this issue in relation to my own application, I think if you have a reason for lower GCSE grades such as extenuating circumstances AND you have made progression in AS and A Level (getting 4 As at AS and AAA at A Level to meet the requirements) then you can still make a competitive application.
    I was told that I could make a competitive application despite having achieved ABBBBCCC at GCSE due to the fact that I have extenuating circumstances and have already achieved my A Level grades. Therefore if you have a reason for lower performance at GCSE and have made strong progress since then then you can make a competitive application to Oxford.
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    (Original post by MaxReid)
    I think the reason the majority of students have lots of A*s is because those who do not have this are discouraged from applying, in part by people on TSR convincing them their chances are nil. From emailing Oxford and asking about this issue in relation to my own application, I think if you have a reason for lower GCSE grades such as extenuating circumstances AND you have made progression in AS and A Level (getting 4 As at AS and AAA at A Level to meet the requirements) then you can still make a competitive application.
    I was told that I could make a competitive application despite having achieved ABBBBCCC at GCSE due to the fact that I have extenuating circumstances and have already achieved my A Level grades. Therefore if you have a reason for lower performance at GCSE and have made strong progress since then then you can make a competitive application to Oxford.
    The highlighted sections are pretty much all anybody really needs to take away from your post. Not everybody has extenuating circumstances and, contrary to what a lot of people think, the criteria for extenuating circumstances are actually quite stringent.

    I realise that you're trying to do a nice thing here, but the fact remains that most people with poor GCSE grades don't have acceptable extenuating circumstances and are, for that reason, disadvantaged in applying to Oxford. I'm the first one to say that people should apply anyway, but you've highlighted the wrong bits of your post (apologies for removing that in the quote), and they're likely to give false hope and, dare I say, set people up for disappointment.
 
 
 
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