gcse query Watch

l_u_x
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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?!
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Isaiah Berlin
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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.
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chocolatecheese
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yeah, i agree with Isaiah Berlin...you probably misunderstood the speaker...i think what he was trying to point out is that if you dont have straight A*'s at gcse, it doesn't mean they won't interview or accept you....in other words they are trying to encourage people who don't think they are good enough for Oxbridge to apply, because straight A*'s doesn't mean you will get accepted (hence the speaker saying they have rejected people with 11!) ....they base it on lots of things....including GCSE's ...but they are not the be all and end all.

Hope that helps
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marshmallow_mayhem
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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.
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Comp_Genius
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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.
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popop12345
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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!)
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Elles
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(Original post by darkenergy)
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.
Alas, this model of admissions is slightly slowed down in reality by the additional rejection-worthy?-considerations of: BMAT result; collegiate flagging of applicants based on UCAS form / school compensated performance, cross departmental panel adding to the interview shortlist & interviews at two separate colleges! :p:

The medic applicant average GCSE results are getting absurdly high these days though! :eek:
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eggycal
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the moral of the story: do your best at GCSE!
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sarahjane48
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(Original post by Isaiah Berlin)
Cambridge do care about GCSE's, they even have a special system to account for performance in poor schools.
Can someone explain to me how this works? How bad does the school have to be?

My GCSE grades are 4a*, 4a and a b. The pass rate for passing 5 or more gcses at my school was about 26%.

Is this low enough to benefit from this, and how much would it bump up the 'value' of my grades? Do Oxford have a similar scheme?
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lady_daisychain
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(Original post by l_u_x)
Does anyone know if oxford care more about GCSEs than cambridge?!
no one has ever heard of a case where someone hasnt been accepted solely on the basis of poor gcse results whether from cambridge or oxford. a good mix of a's and a*s is acceptable. and applying to one or the other simply because they 'care less' about gcse results is just foolish.
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kellywood_5
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(Original post by sarahjane48)
Can someone explain to me how this works? How bad does the school have to be?

My GCSE grades are 4a*, 4a and a b. The pass rate for passing 5 or more gcses at my school was about 26%.

Is this low enough to benefit from this, and how much would it bump up the 'value' of my grades? Do Oxford have a similar scheme?
26% is really low, so you'd definitely be able to benefit from it. 4 A*s, 4 As and 1 B is a good set of results anyway, maybe slightly below average for Oxbridge, but nothing to be concerned about. I don't know if Oxford have a specific scheme like the one used by Cambridge, but I'd imagine they still take school into account when assessing grades.
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Isaiah Berlin
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(Original post by sarahjane48)
Can someone explain to me how this works? How bad does the school have to be?

My GCSE grades are 4a*, 4a and a b. The pass rate for passing 5 or more gcses at my school was about 26%.

Is this low enough to benefit from this, and how much would it bump up the 'value' of my grades? Do Oxford have a similar scheme?
Yup. The Cambridge system is 1 point per A* and 0.6 per A. So your 'raw' score is 6.4. Because your school is relatively low achieveing, you get the biggest 'school' adjustment possible, of an extra 4 points. So your score is 10.4, i.e. slightly better than 10 A*'s at a top school. This is obviously very good

The details are explained on the Cambridge admissions website, sections 2.5.4

ps you could have googled that yourself! Good skill to learn...
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