Is aiming for Oxbridge too optimistic?

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Frannoooooooo
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I know Oxford & Cambridge are two notoriously difficult Universities to get into. I'd really love to go but I don't know if I'm at the right standard, is there any indicator? I'm only in year 11 at the moment and I realise that a lot of it comes down to your A level results. I got my mock results a few days ago and I got 5A*s and 3As (These can obviously but improved before the exam period - I also didn't take exams in two of my subjects) These GCSE (I think) are below the Oxbridge average, am I right? Is there any point in me aiming so high?:confused:
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Portia1993
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You don't need any A*'s or A's for Cambridge
They like to see improvement
I was interviewed with B's and C's and was told it was my interview & them feeling like I wasn't prepared enough that let me down
Never too optimistic.. Never follow your dreams.. Chase them down!

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Frannoooooooo
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(Original post by Portia1993)
You don't need any A*'s or A's for Cambridge
They like to see improvement
I was interviewed with B's and C's and was told it was my interview & them feeling like I wasn't prepared enough that let me down
Never too optimistic.. Never follow your dreams.. Chase them down!

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Thanks! What were your AS results if you don't mind me asking?
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by Frannoooooooo)
I know Oxford & Cambridge are two notoriously difficult Universities to get into. I'd really love to go but I don't know if I'm at the right standard, is there any indicator? I'm only in year 11 at the moment and I realise that a lot of it comes down to your A level results. I got my mock results a few days ago and I got 5A*s and 3As (These can obviously but improved before the exam period - I also didn't take exams in two of my subjects) These GCSE (I think) are below the Oxbridge average, am I right? Is there any point in me aiming so high?:confused:
It's so frustrating when people ask this same question over and over again without bothering to find out the facts. Neither Oxford or Cambridge have GCSE entrance requirements and especially for Cambridge, your GCSE results are only a small factor in the application process. The main thing that matters are your AS results and (if you get an interview) your interview performance. You'll know if you're in the position to apply to Oxbridge in Year 12. There's no point worrying about it now.
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Frannoooooooo
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
It's so frustrating when people ask this same question over and over again without bothering to find out the facts. Neither Oxford or Cambridge have GCSE entrance requirements and especially for Cambridge, your GCSE results are only a small factor in the application process. The main thing that matters are your AS results and (if you get an interview) your interview performance. You'll know if you're in the position to apply to Oxbridge in Year 12. There's no point worrying about it now.
I never claimed there were GCSE requirements I was just asking if there was any indication for someone at my age/standard as to whether or not they're good enough that's all.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by Frannoooooooo)
I never claimed there were GCSE requirements I was just asking if there was any indication for someone at my age/standard as to whether or not they're good enough that's all.
There is absolutely no way of telling because GCSE performance are not necessarily indicative of A Level performance in terms of the fact that high performance at GCSE (and 5A*s is high performance) does not confirm high performance at A Level. 5A*s probably is slightly below the Oxbridge average but it isn't significantly so. Also, most people make a huge amount of improvement between their mocks and final exam.
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alow
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I got an offer from Cambridge with 5A*s, 2As and a B.
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Portia1993
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(Original post by Frannoooooooo)
Thanks! What were your AS results if you don't mind me asking?
I didn't take A Levels or IB - Currently doing an Access Course so at the time of application, the only indication they had as to academic achievement was my GCSEs and my Personal Statement ^-^

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Mike_123
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(Original post by Frannoooooooo)
I know Oxford & Cambridge are two notoriously difficult Universities to get into. I'd really love to go but I don't know if I'm at the right standard, is there any indicator? I'm only in year 11 at the moment and I realise that a lot of it comes down to your A level results. I got my mock results a few days ago and I got 5A*s and 3As (These can obviously but improved before the exam period - I also didn't take exams in two of my subjects) These GCSE (I think) are below the Oxbridge average, am I right? Is there any point in me aiming so high?:confused:
Get as many A*s as you can. Yes, it's below average, but it depends how good you are over 4 subjects rather than 13 or so
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Colmans
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(Original post by Frannoooooooo)
I never claimed there were GCSE requirements I was just asking if there was any indication for someone at my age/standard as to whether or not they're good enough that's all.
There is a difference between-"has anybody ever got in with these results" and "are these results on target for indicating I have the right ability" isn't there?

What subject are you thinking of applying for Medicine? Law? Maths? Sciences or Arts?
For medicine especially GCSE results do count & the standard expected is higher.

The typical student at a selective school is going to have an almost full house of A* at GCSE. The typical student from a poorly performing comprehensive will have mostly A* & A.
Cambridge research shows that a student at a poor school who does very well at GCSE is especially likely to do well at Cambridge. Presumably because this indicates both raw ability and the right work ethic. However Cambridge research has also indicated that AS results are a better indicator of degree success than GCSE and so rely on these, if they exist, looking for an average across the right subjects of above 90% and typically 94-96%.

Most people at good schools who get 5A* are not able to go on and get 95% at AS. That is not the same as suggesting that if you get 95% Cambridge would not give you an offer because you got "only" 5 A*. So there are no GCSE requirements. The only requirement is to be academically the best of your competition.
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FATchristopher
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The danger in life is not setting your goals too high and not reaching them. It is setting your goals too low and reaching them. That is the danger.
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Colmans
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(Original post by FATchristopher)
The danger in life is not setting your goals too high and not reaching them. It is setting your goals too low and reaching them. That is the danger.
Depends how you define goals though. Getting five rejections from Uni because you applied unrealistically high and then scrabbling about in clearing is not ideal. Understanding that you need to work harder than all your peer group so that you achieve high grades and can make a realistic application to a good university is better.
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flipflap99
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unless your a medic, its cant hurt to put it down (as medicine you can be predicted 4a*s at a2 and get 4 rejections) and accompany it with a one or two high end choices, and one or two lower down the line
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avocado2
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i got in with A*A*A*AAAAABBBCC HOWEVER I applied post A-Level with A*A*A in those. I have often wished I could go back to my 16 year old self and tell her to actually do some bloody work because it will make everything less stressful. If I was in your position I would work v hard and get as many A*s as possible.
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owly1090
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It's never too late. If it's what you really want, you'll get there eventually. Even if it's postgraduate. I'm doing medicine at Nottingham in September (deferred entry) and am really happy, despite being a total perfectionist.
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owly1090
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For medicine, even at Oxbridge, it's really not all about the grades. I did lots of voluntary work and found interviews ok, considering I've always hated public speaking!
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Colmans
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(Original post by owly1090)
For medicine, even at Oxbridge, it's really not all about the grades. I did lots of voluntary work and found interviews ok, considering I've always hated public speaking!
At Oxford-% Offer v % A* at GCSE
http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/atta...1&d=1297953448

At Cambridge
http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergrad...esentation.pdf
http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergrad...sforum2010.pdf

5A* is not impossible but its not likely either. Try to push it up to 8 or 9 this summer. Unlike all other subjects GCSE are part of the formal assessment for Medicine at Cambridge. This is probably because how you communicate is important as a doctor and some may only have science A2. Correlation with Cambridge degree success for medicine is improved according to their research when you include candidates GCSE results.
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Edminzodo
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I'd love to go but I don't think I will get good enough GCSE grades. Maybe I will make up for it at A-Level. When I was younger, someone asked me what I was going to be doing in ten years time, and I said 'studying English at Oxford'. Hopefully this will come true, but it's currently just a dream.

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Maddiee_xoxo
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Hi, I just wanted to ask...
For my GCSEs I got 4A*s, 1A and 6Bs.. Went to a pretty decent secondary school with good grades throughout my year group but in my personal opinion, the teachers that I had for my subjects were absolutely ****. I'm currently doing English Lit, History, Law and Psychology for my A Levels and got AABB in my mocks.. I didn't work at all for these mocks so I believe that I can get AAAA/AAAB for my actual grades if I work for them. I want to study Law at uni and I really really want to apply for Oxford (their entry requirements are AAAA), any point of applying?


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uniqsummer
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(Original post by Maddiee_xoxo)
Hi, I just wanted to ask...
For my GCSEs I got 4A*s, 1A and 6Bs.. Went to a pretty decent secondary school with good grades throughout my year group but in my personal opinion, the teachers that I had for my subjects were absolutely ****. I'm currently doing English Lit, History, Law and Psychology for my A Levels and got AABB in my mocks.. I didn't work at all for these mocks so I believe that I can get AAAA/AAAB for my actual grades if I work for them. I want to study Law at uni and I really really want to apply for Oxford (their entry requirements are AAAA), any point of applying?


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You need to work harder. You say you didn't study for mocks, but these are the type of things you should be studying for to enable you to achieve your full potential.
If you can study harder and read around your subject more then go for it. Also blaming your teachers for your GCSE grades is not the best attitude to have....They are good grades, so clearly they were doing many things right.
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