Getting crap GCSE's.. but still hoping for top unis. Doable? Watch

ByronicHero
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#21
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I was expelled at the start of year ten and ended up with three Cs at GCSE. Several years later I had offers from several Russell Group universities and had interviewed at Cambridge. The advice you have been given is good. My reference was excellent (though I had to edit it to fix some mistakes) and my predicted grades fairly strong. Work hard, show potential in any way you can and make the best application possible - offers are not beyond reach :nope:
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Drax101
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Why don't you look at the other universities? You can always do a masters at a top university once you get your degree.
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shahj_123
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(Original post by iamhasana)
Well considering the new A levels are Linear for all the subjects that you are doing except maths. The only data they can realistically offer you a place on is your GCSE's. In that case, your pretty screwed considering the amount of people that will be applying with grades higher than yours. Sorry but you realistically have no chance of getting an offer with these predicted GCSE grades.
I thought they were given exam grades after the first year and then predcted grades for A2.. in that case yh im screwed
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shahj_123
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(Original post by Drax101)
Why don't you look at the other universities? You can always do a masters at a top university once you get your degree.
yh i never thought about that
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shahj_123
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(Original post by ByronicHero)
I was expelled at the start of year ten and ended up with three Cs at GCSE. Several years later I had offers from several Russell Group universities and had interviewed at Cambridge. The advice you have been given is good. My reference was excellent (though I had to edit it to fix some mistakes) and my predicted grades fairly strong. Work hard, show potential in any way you can and make the best application possible - offers are not beyond reach :nope:
what did you do at a level?
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PQ
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(Original post by shahj_123)
I thought they were given exam grades after the first year and then predcted grades for A2.. in that case yh im screwed
It depends on the college/sixth form you attend.

Cambridge and a number of other universities have tried to convince colleges/sixth forms to have every student take AS levels in their subjects at the end of Yr 12 so they can use these grades for admissions selection. Where your college doesn't have AS levels for every subject then your predictions will be based on other local tests and mock exams.

ASs still exist - but it is now possible to ace your AS exams and then tank your A levels (whereas before a good AS performance would compensate slipping in Yr 13)
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Joinedup
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If you're quite clever but have suffered from poor motivation & study skills at GCSE you could obviously pull your grades up massively at A level if you sort out those problems.

going to Oxbridge or LSE isn't really that important - reading TSR you'd think you're guaranteed a life of professionally cleaning toilets unless you're at a uni in the Times top 5 but that's not the way it really works, try and avoid that sort of catastrophic thinking or you'll start persuading yourself it's not worth bothering at all during A level... which will give you a repeat outcome of your GCSEs.
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iamhasana
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(Original post by shahj_123)
I thought they were given exam grades after the first year and then predcted grades for A2.. in that case yh im screwed
No, they used to give offers based on AS grades (Year 12) then you had to fulfil their offer in Y13 with A2. With the new linear A-level, we only have the examination for most subjects at the end of Y13. Therefore, they don't have any grades except you GCSE's to base an offer upon.
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math42
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(Original post by shahj_123)
I'm currently doing my GCSE's but I know that i'm not going to come out with good grades.. probably c's and d's.
I want to do law/politics at university and I've read up on the requirements for these degrees at places like Oxford, Cambridge, LSE and other top unis. None of these universities have any GCSE grade requirements for their courses although Oxford does say it likes applicants who have a strong set of GCSE grades.
For a levels I will be doing Maths, Eng Lit, Gov&Politics and Economics/History. If i come out with A*A*A* or even four A*'s do you think I could still see myself getting a place at Oxbridge for example?
If not.. any suggestions on what i could do to help my application alongside with top a level's?
It's possible, technically...have you performed well academically at any points where you did have motivation? People are hyping up A levels too much, they're very easy if you work a lot for them. However, GCSEs are even easier. How much effort have you put in at GCSE? To be honest if you're even turning up for classes and paying some semblance of attention, you should be doing much better than Cs and Ds to expect A levels like that to be possible. But if you aren't doing that, then you might well be a lot better than those grades
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ByronicHero
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(Original post by shahj_123)
what did you do at a level?
AS: English literature, history, psychology, politics, law, RS and an AS equivalent in business studies.
A2: English literature, history, psychology, politics

Law, RS and politics were all self-taught.
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Tsrsarahhhh
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I think it's do able, you could get into top unis, maybe not Oxbridge but Russell group for sure. I got mainly Cs and Bs at GCSE, did much better at AS and got offers from good unis. Anything is possible if you work hard and aslong as you obviously get at least a C/B at English language and maths at GCSE.
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d-_-b
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(Original post by Joinedup)
If you're quite clever but have suffered from poor motivation & study skills at GCSE you could obviously pull your grades up massively at A level if you sort out those problems.

going to Oxbridge or LSE isn't really that important - reading TSR you'd think you're guaranteed a life of professionally cleaning toilets unless you're at a uni in the Times top 5 but that's not the way it really works, try and avoid that sort of catastrophic thinking or you'll start persuading yourself it's not worth bothering at all during A level... which will give you a repeat outcome of your GCSEs.
This.

Also, focus on what you are busy with now, it's fine having an idea of what you want to study in UNI, but don't fret about it other than making sure you select the correct subjects.

Keep your dream in mind, but keep the process of getting there as your priority. Enjoy your studies and it will be exponentially easier.
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uzmafj
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maths A-level is hard for people who get A*'s at GCSE never mind a D/C.... but don't you need at least C's in English maths and science to get a place in a decent college at all?
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jameshburton
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Could you do a BTEC in the subject as it could be better for you and also gives you good starting position?
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morgan8002
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(Original post by iamhasana)
Well considering the new A levels are Linear for all the subjects that you are doing except maths. The only data they can realistically offer you a place on is your GCSE's. In that case, your pretty screwed considering the amount of people that will be applying with grades higher than yours. Sorry but you realistically have no chance of getting an offer with these predicted GCSE grades.
Plus AS grades, entrance exams and interviews.
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shahj_123
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
It's possible, technically...have you performed well academically at any points where you did have motivation? People are hyping up A levels too much, they're very easy if you work a lot for them. However, GCSEs are even easier. How much effort have you put in at GCSE? To be honest if you're even turning up for classes and paying some semblance of attention, you should be doing much better than Cs and Ds to expect A levels like that to be possible. But if you aren't doing that, then you might well be a lot better than those grades
just had a phase of dumbassness and decided to not come in just over half the school year. Had to self teach myself everything weeks before the exams. Shear stupidity. its crazy what arrogance can do to you
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shahj_123
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(Original post by uzmafj)
maths A-level is hard for people who get A*'s at GCSE never mind a D/C.... but don't you need at least C's in English maths and science to get a place in a decent college at all?
I dont find studying generally hard.. i just missed over half a school year, decided not to come in etc. I think i may have over exaggerated my dumbness a bit. I think ill be able to get B's and A's in maths and sciences considering my ISA's were A's and last year i got AA in additional science so im not too unfamiliar with the syllabus just didnt open any of my books nor attend classes for a hell of a long time - roughly just over half a year. Thats why i think ill do much better at a levels as 1. ill have interest in what im studying 2. ill know what it feels like to be an arrogant prick, not turn up for classes then fail miserably
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shahj_123
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(Original post by d-_-b)
This.

Also, focus on what you are busy with now, it's fine having an idea of what you want to study in UNI, but don't fret about it other than making sure you select the correct subjects.

Keep your dream in mind, but keep the process of getting there as your priority. Enjoy your studies and it will be exponentially easier.
thank you both for the advice.
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shahj_123
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#39
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(Original post by Joinedup)
If you're quite clever but have suffered from poor motivation & study skills at GCSE you could obviously pull your grades up massively at A level if you sort out those problems.

going to Oxbridge or LSE isn't really that important - reading TSR you'd think you're guaranteed a life of professionally cleaning toilets unless you're at a uni in the Times top 5 but that's not the way it really works, try and avoid that sort of catastrophic thinking or you'll start persuading yourself it's not worth bothering at all during A level... which will give you a repeat outcome of your GCSEs.
I think im quite clever.. just had a stupidity phase and decided to mess up - lol as ironic as that sounds. I say that because in my exams coming up to these i would get A's/A's in most and then would drop down to U's in others because i just thought to myself im wasting my time with this "academic ****" - as idiotic as that sounds. I decided either i was going to do amazing or not do anything, hence the crazy dips in my results. But ofc ive ditched that stupid way of thinking - im just afraid its too late as my exams have already started and i wont be getting anyting close to what i was predicted to get earlier on in the year - now its either just about passing or fails.
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ImNotReallyMe
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(Original post by shahj_123)
I'm currently doing my GCSE's but I know that i'm not going to come out with good grades.. probably c's and d's.
I want to do law/politics at university and I've read up on the requirements for these degrees at places like Oxford, Cambridge, LSE and other top unis. None of these universities have any GCSE grade requirements for their courses although Oxford does say it likes applicants who have a strong set of GCSE grades.
For a levels I will be doing Maths, Eng Lit, Gov&Politics and Economics/History. If i come out with A*A*A* or even four A*'s do you think I could still see myself getting a place at Oxbridge for example?
If not.. any suggestions on what i could do to help my application alongside with top a level's?
Please stop giving a s*** about being in a top university. There's too much worrying these days about it because it's all they go on about at school. University this and that, grade this and that, instead of teaching us about how to make the most meaning and joy out our lives they teach you how to dig yourself into a system which is full of nothing inspiring at all. University shouldnt be the most important aspect of your life, it's about your passion, if part of your passion is helped with university that's great, and there's many universities out there, being in the top is not where it's at, living your passion in the multidimensional way that exists outside all that is where it's at.

University is all about teaching and hence reacting but living it and breathing it (your passion) is about being proactive. You'll feel more joy that way. There's no need to be desperate for something like university, don't take it so seriously

if you were more conscious of your death, what would you give more of a s*** about?
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