hiya. at a cambridge open day the speaker said that they don't care if you don't have a *'s at gcse because some people dont excel until A levels and that they accept people with just a's and sometimes decline people with 11 a*'s, but on the oxford website it says: "Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of their GCSE results, their performance in the History Aptitude Test, their submitted essay, UCAS report and interview performance."
Does anyone know if oxford care more about GCSEs than cambridge?!
Either you misunderstood the speaker, or he is lying. Cambridge do care about GCSE's, they even have a special system to account for performance in poor schools. What he probably meant is that they realise some people aren't motivated for their GCSE's and so won't automatically reject you if you have poor GCSE's provided you prove potential elsewhere (AS's, A2 predictions for example).
Oxford has much the same stance, I believe.
Yes, I'd tend to agree with the above comments. GCSE's do matter but they're not the only things that count towards the decision.
Also, you'd show more 'potential' at AS and A2 because you're doing the subjects you like and obviously the subjects that you want to study further. For example if you're applying for Accountancy, they're not going to reject you if you did badly in GCSE Music, say.
No, Oxford tend to reject people (for medicine anyway) whose GCSE results are sub-standard, relative to the average of 6-7 A*s; Cambridge, on the other hand, almost certainly interview all applicants, regardless of their GCSE results.
in some cam colleges (ie Selwyn) they interview almost everyone with the AAA/AAAA prediction at A2 with reasonable GCSE. (reasonable does depend on school but wont account for straight D's on its own!)