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    my school doesn't put up AS grades, niether do Kings and my friend for emd gt predicted waaaay higher grades than she gt at as and she's gt an offer? not fair me thinx x
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    I reckon it defo also depends on the popularity of the course. I don't know anyone who's had an offer with lower than AAAA at AS for Medcine or Vet Med, though a freind of mine got an offer for Modern Greek and Philosophy at St. Catz, Oxford, with ABBC at AS. Something else to take into account - and look at my offer!
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    (Original post by Mathemagician)
    just slightly off topic...is it worth applying to oxbridge with pooey GCSE grades (if you have reasons) and with AAAa for A2?
    Yes - that's what number #2 son will be doing - we asked the admissions tutors about it.
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    (Original post by grumballcake)
    Yes - that's what number #2 son will be doing - we asked the admissions tutors about it.
    Out of interest, what would you say were acceptable GCSE grades? I got 1 A*, 5.5 As and 3 Bs, but I don't have an excuse. I should hopefully get 4 As at A-level though...
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    (Original post by holzy_baby)
    my school doesn't put up AS grades, niether do Kings and my friend for emd gt predicted waaaay higher grades than she gt at as and she's gt an offer? not fair me thinx x
    OK
    1 - As most of the people she would have been competing against would have had the SAME predictions, she will not have not been chosen on the basis of her predictions, they are just necessary to be in the running.

    2 - If she doesnt get her predicted grades then she won't fullfil her offer conditions anyway

    So who cares?
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    what i really meant was if somebody got an offer cos their predicted grades were AAA whereas another got REJECTED cos their predicted grades were AAB, but at the end the latter actually achieved AAA and the first failed. that's unfair, isn't it
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    (Original post by candystrippa)
    what i really meant was if somebody got an offer cos their predicted grades were AAA whereas another got REJECTED cos their predicted grades were AAB, but at the end the latter actually achieved AAA and the first failed. that's unfair, isn't it
    might be, but people are not usually get rejected on merit of predicted grades anyway - well if they are that close, especially from oxbridge, i would have thought, because they have a big emphasis on interviews etc.

    PK
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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    Out of interest, what would you say were acceptable GCSE grades? I got 1 A*, 5.5 As and 3 Bs, but I don't have an excuse. I should hopefully get 4 As at A-level though...
    go for it, what do you have to lose?
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    If any of you has seen my other post on "depression from philosophy"
    would that be a valid reason for poor GCSE grades, if i can give persuasive philosophical reasoning?
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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    Out of interest, what would you say were acceptable GCSE grades?
    I have no idea, but Cambridge only count A* and A grades in their scoring system. A* = 1 and A = 0.6.
    I got 1 A*, 5.5 As and 3 Bs,
    So you have 4 points. Some candidates will have 10 or more. In your AS levels, you'd better score in the 90s for most modules, to be honest. Obviously, it depends what course you're going for. Law/Medicine/Vets would all have better grades, I suspect.

    Still, it's only 1 slot on the UCAS form, so it's possibly worth a try. Write really excellent work to submit to the college and show passion at interview and who knows? In the meantime read everything you can about your chosen subject and the course.
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    (Original post by grumballcake)
    So you have 4 points. Some candidates will have 10 or more. In your AS levels, you'd better score in the 90s for most modules, to be honest. Obviously, it depends what course you're going for. Law/Medicine/Vets would all have better grades, I suspect.

    Still, it's only 1 slot on the UCAS form, so it's possibly worth a try. Write really excellent work to submit to the college and show passion at interview and who knows? In the meantime read everything you can about your chosen subject and the course.
    GCSEs aren't quite as important as your post implies. There are people here with lower grades than that, so don't discourage her.
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    (Original post by Ticki)
    GCSEs aren't quite as important as your post implies. There are people here with lower grades than that, so don't discourage her.
    I agree that there are people with lower grades, but that statement is misleading on its own. Those people are the exception, not the rule. People with lower GCSE grades will usually have a reason for those poor grades - illness, poor school, dyslexia etc. If you have no good reason, then you really need to shine in everything else you do, if you're going to get an offer. Otherwise why shouldn't they take someone who's equally enthusiastic etc. but has demonstrated academic excellence already?

    Oxford's research showed that GCSE grades were a good predictor of whether someone would get an offer and, combined with internal tests, made up 66% of the predictive factors. That leaves 33% for interview, AS grades and everything else.

    It does people no good to be rejected - something that's often overlooked in these discussions. If people have unrealistic expectations like "GCSE grades don't matter", they aren't facing up to reality and may be bitterly disappointed later. Thus, I think it's important to have a realistic view of the situation.

    With poor GCSE grades, you will start a long way down the ranking of candidates. (She's thinking of Sidney, where I know that this is the case). Those are the facts. You don't have to stay down, but it will depend on an excellent performance in every other area to get yourself to the top of the pile.
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    (Original post by candystrippa)
    what i really meant was if somebody got an offer cos their predicted grades were AAA whereas another got REJECTED cos their predicted grades were AAB, but at the end the latter actually achieved AAA and the first failed. that's unfair, isn't it
    It's also unusual, which is why Oxbridge colleges don't worry about it too much. They don't expect 100% accuracy in selection, after all.

    I'm not sure why you might think it 'unfair' though. Teachers may underestimate what you're going to get, but in the main, they don't do so out of spite. If they predict a B, when they predict As for others, it's probably because you aren't their top student in the subject. Maybe you don't contrubte enough, or perhaps your written work just isn't that good. They spend a year or more teaching you before making that opinion (in most cases) so they get a feel for how you compare with your peers and your predecessors. If they underestimate you - it's at least partly your fault.

    The best way to get a prediction of all As is to be a swot. Read beyond the syllabus; always hand in work on time; research everything thoroughly; show independent judgement; finally, score over 90% in every AS module. Then, only a sadist or a fool would estimate less than an A. After all, why is it a teacher's job to bring out your hidden depths, but not yours?

    Predicted grades are only part of the selection. If you have loads of A*s, very high AS marks and write excellent work to submit to Oxbridge, they'll maybe ignore what your teachers say, once they've seen you for themselves. However, if your teachers rate you as AAB, tutors recognise that the teacher has seen you for a lot more than 20 minutes and maybe they've seen how you work when you aren't trying to impress.
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    (Original post by grumballcake)
    With poor GCSE grades, you will start a long way down the ranking of candidates. (She's thinking of Sidney, where I know that this is the case). Those are the facts. You don't have to stay down, but it will depend on an excellent performance in every other area to get yourself to the top of the pile.
    Funny, I'm at Sidney at know the Admissions Director very well. That's not quite what he's said...
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    (Original post by Ticki)
    Funny, I'm at Sidney at know the Admissions Director very well. That's not quite what he's said...
    I'm not playing a one-upmanship game here. I've read a lot about admissions, read the internal handbook for admissions directors and seen the internal scoring system for GCSEs plus a long discussion about why it's used and the internal research which underpinned it. We've been in contact with Richard Partington about this specific issue, particularly after he publicly replied to a question at an Open day that they hadn't admitted anyone with fewer than 4 A*s that they could remember, which was confirmed at the time by one of the other tutors.

    Are you denying that they rank incoming students by their GCSE and AS scores? That by the time you get to interview, you're already in a hierarchy?

    As it says, with my underlining:

    Decisions about applicants are made on the basis of the following:
    • Academic record, including GCSE and AS (or equivalent) grades and A level (or equivalent) grades or predictions.
    • School/college reference.
    • Personal statement.
    • Submitted work, where requested.
    • Test results, where a written test forms part of the assessment.
    • Performance at interview, if interviewed.
    All of these indicators are considered when we make admissions decisions, and all are important.

    I don't want to reproduce his replies to us, because they're confidential, but it is possible to overcome bad GCSE scores. However, entry is competitive and all the factors play a part. It's not just about the interview, as is the common myth. If you want to use your access to him to get an official statement that weak GCSE scores with no good explanation won't be a problem, then please do.

    With good AS results, good written work and a good interview, then of course you can still get an offer. For languages you need to beat the overall performance of around 400 other applicants so as to be in the top 180.

    As I said, it's only one slot on the UCAS form, so it's probably worth a try, but they will need to work hard to counter a slow start.
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    (Original post by grumballcake)
    People with lower GCSE grades will usually have a reason for those poor grades - illness, poor school, dyslexia etc.
    Well, I don't know if I'd call my school 'poor' exactly, but its most recent average GCSE points score was about 30, and according to the Cambridge website, that would get me an extra 2.7 points. 1 for my A*, 3 for my As, 0.3 for my short course A plus the extra 2.7 for my school would give me 7.

    (Original post by grumballcake)
    It does people no good to be rejected - something that's often overlooked in these discussions. If people have unrealistic expectations like "GCSE grades don't matter", they aren't facing up to reality and may be bitterly disappointed later. Thus, I think it's important to have a realistic view of the situation.
    Of course GCSEs are important; after all, apart from AS grades, they're the only proof they have of your academic ability. I don't expect to get in and I don't think I'd be 'bitterly disappointed' if I don't as long as I get some other offers because it will be a good experience, but there's no harm in trying
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    Hi where can you find the average GCSE points score for your school, and which bit on the Cambridge website says how many extra points you'd get?
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    You get the score from the DfES web site. You can find your school by postcode or name.

    School/College adjustment for GCSE score

    Most Cambridge applicants come from schools with an average score of 50+. Many who come from schools with a score of less than 30 may well be assessed through the Cambridge Special Access Scheme. We suggest that a realistic and simple way of adjusting the GCSE score calculated for each applicant, to reflect in an appropriate way the school background, would be:

    School average score Adjustment

    Above 50 No change
    40 Add 1.3
    30 Add 2.7
    20 Add 4.0

    with a single decimal point interpolation between these scores. (Thus someone in one of the very poorest schools who achieved 7A would be considered as roughly equivalent to someone achieving 8A* at a highly selective school.)
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    Cambridge check module scores now? That's a nasty surprise to spring. Any idea, anyone, as to what module scores are acceptable? I hope to be applying with 4 As at A2 (plus Gen St, but that doesn't really count), and I had hoped that those grades would be enough, in combination with my GCSEs, to pass the academic grading bit, allowing for the interview etc. Now it appears they might not be?
    Keep giving me more hoops to jump through Cambridge, I'm loving it
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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    Well, I don't know if I'd call my school 'poor' exactly, but its most recent average GCSE points score was about 30,
    Well, that's a good thing for you. A score of 7 is a lot more reasonable - it would count the same as 4 A* and 5 As.
    I don't expect to get in
    Hang on - don't be negative about it. If you're passionate about your subject and you can show that you're capable of performing at a high level, then you have every chance. Go for it as hard as you can, but don't make it the only thing that defines your worth. There's a decent amount of lottery in the whole process and excellent people get passed by every year.
 
 
 
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