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ok-ish GCSEs but good AS grades watch

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    Hi, i almost finished all my AS summer exams and i have been looking around at top uni's A-level grade entry and most of them are like A*AA or AAA for economics. My january results was a A in C1 (88%), A in Unit 1 economics (90%), B in business studies (77%) and A in Russian (85%). yes i know its a good start but i have been worried that my GCSEs will hold me back because all my lectures said that the top Unis are fussy with them. My Gcse grades are 1 A, 7 C and 1 E, A in maths and the E was in resistant materials.

    My gcses were crap cus my school underestimated me and i tried to persuade them to put me down for the higher tier paper but they didn't listen they didn't give a donkey what i wanted so they put me down for the foundation paper which only allowed to get a C max which greatly limited my potential in English and sciences. It was a crap school anyway, which consistently getting the lowest percentage of students with A-c Gcses in the country.
    I just find it unfair that some of my mates have got A* to Bs in gcse but only got Ds and Cs in A-level. Now that i have proved my academic ability is way way better than my gcses show, im just worried that my won't get me the offers i want when i apply next year.

    The universities im looking to apply for would be:
    Uni of leeds
    Uni of Nottingham
    Uni of exeter
    Kent uni
    and bristol Uni

    Is it realistic i will get offers?
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    (Original post by Teagen)
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    I take it that you have moved schools for sixth form

    Your reference should include the fact that you were at a school with poor GCSE performance and this should allow you to benefit from the access to university system that some universities use

    I know that Leeds uses this and others may also

    http://www.leeds.ac.uk/ace/PS/A2L.html

    It focuses on your A Levels usually but will look at your overall profile in the light of any disadvantage
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    You took Economics and Business Studies? This could be problematic with a couple of your universities as doing both alongside each other is discouraged.

    Your GCSEs will be an interesting case, as clearly they didn't reflect your potential if you've gone from a C at GCSE to an A at A-level in Russian, for example.

    As TenOfThem said, you should make sure your reference includes your school and the fact that you were limited to foundation options for your GCSEs.

    If you can achieve AAAA/AAAB, which you seem to be on track for, then I see no reason for at least one of those universities not to offer you a place. Any sensible admissions tutor would look very carefully into your background after comparing your GCSEs with your AS-levels and would see how poor an indicator they are of your ability :yes:

    You might even want to contact the universities directly to ask how best to present your circumstances, as if you haven't changed school for sixth form then your school might not be too enthusiastic about bashing their own support for you during your GCSEs.
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    (Original post by TenOfThem)
    I take it that you have moved schools for sixth form

    Your reference should include the fact that you were at a school with poor GCSE performance and this should allow you to benefit from the access to university system that some universities use

    I know that Leeds uses this and others may also

    http://www.leeds.ac.uk/ace/PS/A2L.html

    It focuses on your A Levels usually but will look at your overall profile in the light of any disadvantage
    actually my school didn't have a sixth form, so i'm currently studying my A levels at college, but thanks anyway
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    Unis should only focus on your A Levels. However, I'm worrying about the same thing as you as my school is one of the worst in NI (>5% pass rate for 5 GCSEs w/ English and Maths). As a result this year I'm doing 7 GCSEs and a BTEC (hoping for 1/2A*s 4/5As and a B...with eq. A*A* in my BTEC) and hoping to move to grammar to do my A Levels; so I'm worrying about if my GCSEs will hold me back:'(. Hoping that I can reference that I went to one of the worst schools in the province and still achieved a decent set of results and moved to grammar.
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    (Original post by The Polymath)
    You took Economics and Business Studies? This could be problematic with a couple of your universities as doing both alongside each other is discouraged.

    Your GCSEs will be an interesting case, as clearly they didn't reflect your potential if you've gone from a C at GCSE to an A at A-level in Russian, for example.

    As TenOfThem said, you should make sure your reference includes your school and the fact that you were limited to foundation options for your GCSEs.

    If you can achieve AAAA/AAAB, which you seem to be on track for, then I see no reason for at least one of those universities not to offer you a place. Any sensible admissions tutor would look very carefully into your background after comparing your GCSEs with your AS-levels and would see how poor an indicator they are of your ability :yes:

    You might even want to contact the universities directly to ask how best to present your circumstances, as if you haven't changed school for sixth form then your school might not be too enthusiastic about bashing their own support for you during your GCSEs.
    I doing Russian ab initio so i didn't need a GCSE in russian or any languages. but thanks for the reply.
    whats wrong with doing Economics and business a level? my lectures said its a good thing cus it shows the area i'm focused on, no one told me it can be discouraging.
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    (Original post by Frank the Tankk)
    Unis should only focus on your A Levels. However, I'm worrying about the same thing as you as my school is one of the worst in NI (>5% pass rate for 5 GCSEs w/ English and Maths). As a result this year I'm doing 7 GCSEs and a BTEC (hoping for 1/2A*s 4/5As and a B...with eq. A*A* in my BTEC) and hoping to move to grammar to do my A Levels; so I'm worrying about if my GCSEs will hold me back:'(. Hoping that I can reference that I went to one of the worst schools in the province and still achieved a decent set of results and moved to grammar.
    i was thinking of resitting my GSCEs but i was told there was no point because i have the 5 A-Cs thing, but that was when i had no idea Uni's take in your GSCE results as well as A-level results. its all too late now

    i remember looking at some stats and my school year had something like 30% of students achieving 5 A-C. thank god i'm in the 30%
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    (Original post by Teagen)
    i was thinking of resitting my GSCEs but i was told there was no point because i have the 5 A-Cs thing, but that was when i had no idea Uni's take in your GSCE results as well as A-level results. its all too late now

    i remember looking at some stats and my school year had something like 30% of students achieving 5 A-C. thank god i'm in the 30%
    I don't think they focus on them though unless you're going for Medicine in a Russell Group uni, Oxbridge or LSE as far as I know
    I was thinking of doing a couple extra GCSEs next year but if I had the choice of doing well in 4 A Levels or doing ok but adding a couple GCSEs I'd take the A Levels.
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    (Original post by Frank the Tankk)
    I don't think they focus on them though unless you're going for Medicine in a Russell Group uni, Oxbridge or LSE as far as I know
    I was thinking of doing a couple extra GCSEs next year but if I had the choice of doing well in 4 A Levels or doing ok but adding a couple GCSEs I'd take the A Levels.
    doing about 3-4 GCSEs is about the same work for an A level apparently. so doing a few more won't add much pressure when doing them along side your A levels. i would go for it cus it will strengthen your application a bit, along with mentioning your school's performance
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    (Original post by Teagen)
    actually my school didn't have a sixth form, so i'm currently studying my A levels at college, but thanks anyway
    Have you completely mis-read my post
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    (Original post by Teagen)
    doing about 3-4 GCSEs is about the same work for an A level apparently. so doing a few more won't add much pressure when doing them along side your A levels. i would go for it cus it will strengthen your application a bit, along with mentioning your school's performance
    No way. GCSEs are behind him now and there is absolutely no point in doing more.
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    (Original post by TenOfThem)
    Have you completely mis-read my post
    Not at all, ive taken in what said
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    (Original post by Teagen)
    Not at all, ive taken in what said
    ok good
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    (Original post by The Polymath)
    No way. GCSEs are behind him now and there is absolutely no point in doing more.
    doing new GCSEs may be a bit pointless but resitting them might not be such a bad idea, especially like me who has only a C in english and some competitive courses have a minimum requirement of a B in english GCSE
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    (Original post by Teagen)
    doing new GCSEs may be a bit pointless but resitting them might not be such a bad idea, especially like me who has only a C in english and some competitive courses have a minimum requirement of a B in english GCSE
    Only resit what's absolutely necessary, as anything else won't make a difference, because by that time you'll have your A2 grades too, which will completely outweigh GCSEs.
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    Many courses ask for GCSE requirements in certain subjects, for example at least a B in both english language and maths is often required but unless you're applying to elitist universities or for courses such as Dentistry then they should be able to look past your GCSEs. I mean you're getting REALLY good AS grades

    And btw I really see no problem with taking Business Studies and Economics together. I take that combination, along with half of my economics class!

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    (Original post by Teagen)
    doing new GCSEs may be a bit pointless but resitting them might not be such a bad idea, especially like me who has only a C in english and some competitive courses have a minimum requirement of a B in english GCSE
    Agreed. Check out the courses you're interested in and see whether any of them do require a B in English. (I know Birmingham and Bristol do, but that was for Medicine, not Economics.) if so just retaking that might be worth it. Alternatively, just rule out those unis.
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    (Original post by Frank the Tankk)
    Unis should only focus on your A Levels. However, I'm worrying about the same thing as you as my school is one of the worst in NI (>5% pass rate for 5 GCSEs w/ English and Maths). As a result this year I'm doing 7 GCSEs and a BTEC (hoping for 1/2A*s 4/5As and a B...with eq. A*A* in my BTEC) and hoping to move to grammar to do my A Levels; so I'm worrying about if my GCSEs will hold me back:'(. Hoping that I can reference that I went to one of the worst schools in the province and still achieved a decent set of results and moved to grammar.
    hey, i know its been a while back i just found a bbc new article about my school i went to.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-22884579
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    (Original post by Teagen)
    hey, i know its been a while back i just found a bbc new article about my school i went to.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-22884579
    Not good:Z

    My school was up for closure at one point and was put under similar sort of regulations but has improved a lot over recent years...but it still doesn't have the resources or anything to set a decent range of subjects or support A-A* grade pupils really as it is heavily focused on getting kids C grade passes or equivalent grades like BTECs and such so it really kneecaps someone who hopes to go on to a top 20 or Russell Group uni:|
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    I'm just so glad, because this shows how much of a "disadvantage" student i was at school which unis should take into account. Even other than grade wise, communications with parents and the operations of the school were just poor.
 
 
 
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