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    I go to a relatively good school. The average person gets a set of a*s, and I'm curious as to if I would be able to get into Oxbridge with my current profile?

    I got 8A*s 2A's 1A (FSMQ) for my I GCSES, and I'm taking maths,f maths,chemistry, history and politics for a levels. I don't like playing the blame game over my GCSES but one of the a's was in geography and practically everyone who took geography in our year got an A or under (it was a duff exam which our teachers had not taught a lot of the content), and the other was an English language exam in which it was so easy that the grade boundaries got pushed up to extremities (although I'll admit I didn't do as much work as perhaps I should've with it). A lot of others at my school (on the top end) I'd say get 9A*s +. In fact I'd argue the top 1/7 get 8.5A* +. I feel like shiz. No one in family (I've got other siblings who have taken gcses) got decent ones (ie technically they all failed) and so I didn't know in year 9 that it wasn't what you took but how many to take, nor how important they were early on. If I could go back in time I would focus like mad on my GCSES and take 14 or something for goodness sake.

    But do I stand a [decent] chance at Oxbridge? I'm aiming for high (~96) UMS in my AS levels and a S/1 in Step I. I'm not 100% sure what I want to take and this is another factor I feel could harm my application. Maths is a possibility but I don't take physics? History is a possibility but I don't take english lit? Economics is a possibility but I don't take economics? My low (relative) gcse profile means my as levels should be relevant and often they are not :/ I'm considering fast tracking a levels next year, for instance taking physics in one year because I know a lot of the maths content from mechanics in f maths. For history I was thinking on taking a gap year and doing 3 A levels in one year (probably Economics, English Lit & philosophy) .

    Any thoughts? Am I getting too ahead of myself and wishing for something that won't happen?


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    (Original post by MrJAKEE)
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    You have very good GCSEs. A lot of this will depend on your AS results really. If you absolutely nail it from a UMS perspective then Cambridge might be the better choice for you, but I wouldn't rule out Oxford really. You're unlikely to get many brownie points for having such good GCSEs if your school average is that good, but chances are it's not what's going to get you rejected. More than anything, i'd expect you'll have to do an entrance test (HAT, MAT, submit evidence of work) which is going to have a bigger effect than an A at GCSE.

    Decide on a subject first. Seriously, forget universities, think about subjects. You might think Oxbridge is the bees knees but if you pick subjects because you think you might be more likely to get in or whatever then you'll probably end up screwing yourself. Chances are, they'll see right through you anyway. Find what makes you tick first. The whole process is not entirely on your grades on paper - they'll get you an interview (Cambridge interview a very high percentage) - but you need to be able to demonstrate more than just grades then.

    Why would you need Physics for Maths? Maths, Further Maths, and a strong performance on the MAT. Doing FMSQ/STEP would suggest you're probably pretty into Maths, so it might be a contender. English is not required for History either. Economics is not required for Economics - only Maths. You need to sit down and do some research, by the sounds of it, before you talk yourself out of something. Cambridge very commonly make STEP a requirement in their offers, so being half way there might be of benefit in proving you're capable.

    Life is not over. Just focus on this year.
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    (Original post by Nymthae)
    You have very good GCSEs. A lot of this will depend on your AS results really. If you absolutely nail it from a UMS perspective then Cambridge might be the better choice for you, but I wouldn't rule out Oxford really. You're unlikely to get many brownie points for having such good GCSEs if your school average is that good, but chances are it's not what's going to get you rejected. More than anything, i'd expect you'll have to do an entrance test (HAT, MAT, submit evidence of work) which is going to have a bigger effect than an A at GCSE.

    Decide on a subject first. Seriously, forget universities, think about subjects. You might think Oxbridge is the bees knees but if you pick subjects because you think you might be more likely to get in or whatever then you'll probably end up screwing yourself. Chances are, they'll see right through you anyway. Find what makes you tick first. The whole process is not entirely on your grades on paper - they'll get you an interview (Cambridge interview a very high percentage) - but you need to be able to demonstrate more than just grades then.

    Why would you need Physics for Maths? Maths, Further Maths, and a strong performance on the MAT. Doing FMSQ/STEP would suggest you're probably pretty into Maths, so it might be a contender. English is not required for History either. Economics is not required for Economics - only Maths. You need to sit down and do some research, by the sounds of it, before you talk yourself out of something. Cambridge very commonly make STEP a requirement in their offers, so being half way there might be of benefit in proving you're capable.

    Life is not over. Just focus on this year.
    Thank you very much for your reply. I've inquired on some courses I'd like to take and a lot of them that interest me require chemistry, + another science (biology or physics). Would you say from your experience that it is possible to self-teach science a levels in a gap year (or the three humanities stated above). A possibility I had was to self-teach the physics as during summer this year and then entering the a2 course taking the as and a2 exams in one year for physics. Is this reasonable?


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    (Original post by MrJAKEE)
    Thank you very much for your reply. I've inquired on some courses I'd like to take and a lot of them that interest me require chemistry, + another science (biology or physics). Would you say from your experience that it is possible to self-teach science a levels in a gap year (or the three humanities stated above). A possibility I had was to self-teach the physics as during summer this year and then entering the a2 course taking the as and a2 exams in one year for physics. Is this reasonable?


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    I study Physics (also maths, A* maths and Further Maths GCSE) and honestly I find it a lot more difficult than Maths. It's not impossible to teach yourself but I think you would feel extremely left behind and very disadvantaged joining the A2 course next year. I would recommend taking them both in one year (with teaching) instead if that was a possibility However, nothing's impossible and it is entirely down to you and I don't want to put you off achieving something that's important to you!
 
 
 
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