MagicJigsaw
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I really want to go to Durham, but I've heard that they're really big on GCSEs when making offers and I'm worried because my GCSEs aren't that amazing! I got 2A*s, 5As, 1B 2Cs 1D.

However I think my school is planning to send an Extenuating Circumstances letter to them (I went to a really bad school when I did GCSEs before moving to a better one for my A Levels, plus I'm from a really poor background).

My A Level results are pretty good - I got over 90% in all my AS Levels and my predicted grades are A*A*A*. My teachers think my personal statement is really good too.

Do you think I still have a chance of getting in?? Thanks!
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Artimus
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I'd say you still have a chance of getting in!
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[email protected]
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Yeah you do
For what/??
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MagicJigsaw
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(Original post by [email protected])
Yeah you do
For what/??
Philosophy and Theology!
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Skill Twix
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Do I have a chance of getting into Durham with 5 A's,3B's and a D at GCSES and with 3 B's and an A at AS levels?(might apply for Economics)
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ByronicHero
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Call them and discuss your situation.
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[email protected]
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(Original post by Skill Twix)
Do I have a chance of getting into Durham with 5 A's,3B's and a D at GCSES and with 3 B's and an A at AS levels?(might apply for Economics)
What grades does it say you need on UCAS?
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econam
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(Original post by Skill Twix)
Do I have a chance of getting into Durham with 5 A's,3B's and a D at GCSES and with 3 B's and an A at AS levels?(might apply for Economics)
Unlikely, Economics is a popular course and many will be applying with all A's at AS

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[email protected]
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(Original post by Skill Twix)
Do I have a chance of getting into Durham with 5 A's,3B's and a D at GCSES and with 3 B's and an A at AS levels?(might apply for Economics)
Might be worth a shot as long as your other 4 are a little more realistic
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mackemforever
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(Original post by MagicJigsaw)
I really want to go to Durham, but I've heard that they're really big on GCSEs when making offers and I'm worried because my GCSEs aren't that amazing! I got 2A*s, 5As, 1B 2Cs 1D.

However I think my school is planning to send an Extenuating Circumstances letter to them (I went to a really bad school when I did GCSEs before moving to a better one for my A Levels, plus I'm from a really poor background).

My A Level results are pretty good - I got over 90% in all my AS Levels and my predicted grades are A*A*A*. My teachers think my personal statement is really good too.

Do you think I still have a chance of getting in?? Thanks!
For the love of all that is holy don't get any of that put as extenuating circumstances. None of that is an excuse for how you did in your GCSEs.

Two of the smartest people I know are doing Maths at Oxford and Physics at Warwick and both of them attended a school that only managed to receive an Ofsted rating above Inadequate this year for the first time in its history. Over 80% of GCSE students at that school fail to achieve the government target of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above and every single year it rated very near the bottom for all the schools in Bristol in pretty much every metric.

These two both received 8 or more A* grades at GCSE and both got straight A grades in their AS and A levels.

If you go to a poor school and get bad grades then the only thing you have to blame is yourself, if you had worked harder you could have got better grades. It's not difficult to recognise when a school is failing to teach you properly and if you have any motivation at all it's not difficult to take matters into your own hands and do something about it.
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MagicJigsaw
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(Original post by mackemforever)
For the love of all that is holy don't get any of that put as extenuating circumstances. None of that is an excuse for how you did in your GCSEs.

Two of the smartest people I know are doing Maths at Oxford and Physics at Warwick and both of them attended a school that only managed to receive an Ofsted rating above Inadequate this year for the first time in its history. Over 80% of GCSE students at that school fail to achieve the government target of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above and every single year it rated very near the bottom for all the schools in Bristol in pretty much every metric.

These two both received 8 or more A* grades at GCSE and both got straight A grades in their AS and A levels.

If you go to a poor school and get bad grades then the only thing you have to blame is yourself, if you had worked harder you could have got better grades. It's not difficult to recognise when a school is failing to teach you properly and if you have any motivation at all it's not difficult to take matters into your own hands and do something about it.
I jumped from a pretty mediocre set of GCSEs to 90%+ to A Level as soon as I changed schools, so actually I think I have a pretty strong case. But my question regarded whether or not I could get in so please don't waste your time in being nasty and pathetic enough to write me an essay on why I lack motivation lmao
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mackemforever
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(Original post by MagicJigsaw)
I jumped from a pretty mediocre set of GCSEs to 90%+ to A Level as soon as I changed schools, so actually I think I have a pretty strong case. But my question regarded whether or not I could get in so please don't waste your time in being nasty and pathetic enough to write me an essay on why I lack motivation lmao
I was simply pointing out that "I went to a bad school" is not a valid excuse for crap results. There are thousands upon thousands of students who get top grades from bad schools because they work hard for them, they don't expect everything to be spoon fed everything that they need to know.
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MagicJigsaw
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(Original post by mackemforever)
I was simply pointing out that "I went to a bad school" is not a valid excuse for crap results. There are thousands upon thousands of students who get top grades from bad schools because they work hard for them, they don't expect everything to be spoon fed everything that they need to know.
I didn't ask for you to point that out, so if you haven't anything better to do than put me down then please stop posting?
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Skill Twix
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(Original post by econam)
Unlikely, Economics is a popular course and many will be applying with all A's at AS

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Still should give it a go.Who knows?I am applying to Warwick as well :P
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Skill Twix
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(Original post by [email protected])
Might be worth a shot as long as your other 4 are a little more realistic
They claim they need an A*,A and A
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username1082104
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(Original post by mackemforever)
I was simply pointing out that "I went to a bad school" is not a valid excuse for crap results. There are thousands upon thousands of students who get top grades from bad schools because they work hard for them, they don't expect everything to be spoon fed everything that they need to know.
I agree. I went to an awful secondary school. 30% pass rate for 5 A* - C. Worked hard and got excellent GCSE grades. Bad excuse, but it'll either benefit him or have no effect, it won't make his application worse, so still worth a shot.
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Palatine
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(Original post by MagicJigsaw)
I really want to go to Durham, but I've heard that they're really big on GCSEs when making offers and I'm worried because my GCSEs aren't that amazing! I got 2A*s, 5As, 1B 2Cs 1D.

However I think my school is planning to send an Extenuating Circumstances letter to them (I went to a really bad school when I did GCSEs before moving to a better one for my A Levels, plus I'm from a really poor background).

My A Level results are pretty good - I got over 90% in all my AS Levels and my predicted grades are A*A*A*. My teachers think my personal statement is really good too.

Do you think I still have a chance of getting in?? Thanks!
Durham have information on how they use contextual data on their website at www.dur.ac.uk/undergraduate/apply/faqs/?faqno=2036 (read to the end for information on school performance) and also how this data is presented to admissions selectors www.dur.ac.uk/undergraduate/apply/faqs/?faqno=2091. If you still have questions after reading this then the best thing to do is to contact them ([email protected]ac.uk) and they'll be able to give you an answer based on your personal circumstances.
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mackemforever
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(Original post by ItsWhiteHat)
I agree. I went to an awful secondary school. 30% pass rate for 5 A* - C. Worked hard and got excellent GCSE grades. Bad excuse, but it'll either benefit him or have no effect, it won't make his application worse, so still worth a shot.
Well, I would imagine that it may well do harm if you try and use an excuse like that on your application.

Having spoken to three different heads of admissions for three different departments split across both of the Universities I have attended they would all tell you that they would rather see an applicant be honest, admit that they know they didn't work as hard as they did when they were younger but that once they reached AS level they turned it around and made the choice to work harder, than for an applicant to try and put the blame for their mediocre results on somebody else.
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username1082104
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(Original post by mackemforever)
Well, I would imagine that it may well do harm if you try and use an excuse like that on your application.

Having spoken to three different heads of admissions for three different departments split across both of the Universities I have attended they would all tell you that they would rather see an applicant be honest, admit that they know they didn't work as hard as they did when they were younger but that once they reached AS level they turned it around and made the choice to work harder, than for an applicant to try and put the blame for their mediocre results on somebody else.
Well it seems you're knowledgeable on this. I did not talk to any admissions tutors yet. Mine was just an assumption, but I do see where you're coming from. I made no excuse and used online resources to self teach.
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MagicJigsaw
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Thanks Palatine! Looks like my poor school and my poor background will be taken into account after all.
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