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    I would love to study at either Oxford or Cambridge. I achieved 8 A*'s, 2 A's and a B in my GCSE's. I take A levels in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and History and I am predicted all A's. Is this good enough and what extra can I do to make myself more likely to get in ?
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    I would love to study at either Oxford or Cambridge. I achieved 8 A*'s, 2 A's and a B in my GCSE's. I take A levels in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and History and I am predicted all A's. Is this good enough and what extra can I do to make myself more likely to get in ?
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    (Original post by SamTew29)
    I would love to study at either Oxford or Cambridge. I achieved 8 A*'s, 2 A's and a B in my GCSE's. I take A levels in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and History and I am predicted all A's. Is this good enough and what extra can I do to make myself more likely to get in ?
    I'm not at the stage for applying for uni but my brother is interested in Cambridge so I've seen the recent prospectus and a lot of the entrance grades they ask for (at Cambridge) are A*,A,A but I've heard that they like people to have A*,A*,A. Your GCSE grades look really good though. I hope I haven't disheartened your or anything but if you're genuinely passionate about going to Oxbridge then enough hard work would hopefully pay off!
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    Those GCSEs are good enough. What you absolutely need to do is get straight As at AS (with high UMS for Cambridge). The rest depends on the subject you want to do - show your interest in it. If it's a humanities do lots of extra reading around it, if it's a science maybe do some extra project or an EPQ, maybe get some more lab experience. If it's medicine/vetmed get some shadowing/work experience.
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    Firstly what subject would you apply for? This tells us if it has certain subject preferences and how competitive is it.
    Secondly what were your 2A&B grades in? This is unlikely to matter unless perhaps they were in English, or a subject related to the degree but not sat at A-level (for example Physics for a NatSci degree.)

    In general those grades are sufficient to make an application but are shared by the majority of applicants so don't tell you how good your chances will be.

    For Cambridge UMS is the important factor and an A is only 80%. The exact figure is debated but an average the right side of 90% and nearer 95% for science and highly competitive courses is a better target to aim for.
    For Oxford UMS matter less although you have to be on course for an A*A*A offer for many science and maths courses. GCSEs matter more and yours are good for all except medicine.
    Pre-test success matter at both universities, there are more of them at Oxford.


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    You haven't told us what subject you intend to apply for, but judging by your A-level results I would aim to get predicted slightly higher than you are (most courses require an A* and some require 2 A*s)

    Your GCSE's are fine but I really shouldn't have to tell you this as there are numerous posts and stickies answering that question for you.

    Do extracurricular activities, especially academically related, things like reading books related to your subject, perhaps undertaking extra courses, specialising in a certain area, or something that shows academic potential and that you can excel beyond A-level standard, such as something timeconsuming (perhaps learn another language or get a job) to show them that A-levels are not where you will 'peak'.
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    Course? If you are doing AS then get very good UMS (especially if medicine or maths), read around your subject, the usual stuff. But if you are considering applying to Oxbridge then AS should be an absolute piece of cake... you'll know what I mean if you get to interview
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    (Original post by Muppet Science)
    Course? If you are doing AS then get very good UMS (especially if medicine or maths), read around your subject, the usual stuff. But if you are considering applying to Oxbridge then AS should be an absolute piece of cake... you'll know what I mean if you get to interview
    Solid advice, although I personally disagree with the last sentence, the interview is a completely different beast from your A-levels, and as someone who has achieved ABBC at AS yet succesfully got offered a place I wouldn't compare or contrast the two.
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    (Original post by SamTew29)
    I would love to study at either Oxford or Cambridge. I achieved 8 A*'s, 2 A's and a B in my GCSE's. I take A levels in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and History and I am predicted all A's. Is this good enough and what extra can I do to make myself more likely to get in ?

    Do some extra work and take the steps papers to get into cambridge
    Maths is like writing for science physics is the grammar, chemistry is the logic biology is the story. ok?
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    (Original post by SamTew29)
    I would love to study at either Oxford or Cambridge. I achieved 8 A*'s, 2 A's and a B in my GCSE's. I take A levels in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and History and I am predicted all A's. Is this good enough and what extra can I do to make myself more likely to get in ?
    I am an offer holder at Cambridge. Regarding your GCSEs, an admissions tutor once said in a lecture on admissions that on average a successful applicant has around 7A*s at GCSE minimum. So you just qualify in that part of the selection process.

    However, being someone who spent a good couple of years plotting/planning how to be accepted to read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, my strategy was always how am I going to stand out?

    EVERYONE WITH HALF A CHANCE OF BEING ACCEPTED GOES WITH STARIGHT As SCATTERED WITH A*s AT A LEVEL THESE DAYS!!!

    So my advice is look for something that average Joe applicant hasn't done or achieved. Obviously ensure that you still achieve the necessary results in your A Levels though!!

    Final point - I hear and read that the best personal statements are different and refreshing - not the typical "I've loved science since I was in short trousers................." The more interesting and different things you've done the more memorable the personal statement. An excellent personal statement is your selling point.

    Best of luck - it isn't easy, but with hard work you can accomplish what you aim for!
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    (Original post by Choochoo_baloo)
    Regarding your GCSEs, an admissions tutor once said in a lecture on admissions that on average a successful applicant has around 7A*s at GCSE minimum.
    Important point for people reading this - this isn't a minimum, it's an average. Many will have less than 7A*s, many will have more. (Also I think the number is lower than this, or is expressed as a range with 7 at the upper end.)
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    (Original post by tommm)
    (Also I think the number is lower than this, or is expressed as a range with 7 at the upper end.)
    For 2008 entry it was 7.6. 58% had 8 or more, 29.2% had 5-7, 12.8% had 0-4.

    EDIT: Oxford not Cambridge.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    For 2008 entry it was 7.6. 58% had 8 or more, 29.2% had 5-7, 12.8% had 0-4.
    The statistic you're quoting is for Oxford, whereas our posts were about Cambridge. (Anecdotally, Cambridge care less about GCSEs and more about AS UMS, so their number of A*s may be lower, but there are no comparable statistics in that report to back this up.)
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    (Original post by Choochoo_baloo)
    I am an offer holder at Cambridge. Regarding your GCSEs, an admissions tutor once said in a lecture on admissions that on average a successful applicant has around 7A*s at GCSE minimum. So you just qualify in that part of the selection process.
    I don't think it's particularly helpful to take the mindset that to 'qualify' in the GCSE part of the selection process you need at least 7 A*s. Tutors look at your application holistically and, like you said, 7 A*s is an average - while it's true that with only a couple of A*s you may find it harder to get an interview, it's certainly not out of the question and many Oxbridge students didn't get that many A*s at GCSE. Your GCSE results are also measured against the rest of your school year's results and that is taken into account accordingly.
 
 
 
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