Getting straight A* at gcse?

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e2014
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#1
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#1
Hi, so I'm in year 9 and currently choosing my gcse. The deadline is tomorrow and I've picked:
ENGLISH
MATHS
SCIENCE
RE
(compulsory)
HISTORY
SPANISH
COMPUTER SCIENCE
LATIN (which is an after school 'twilight course' I'm worried about because it might be hard, but taking nevertheless)
I set quite high expectations for myself and am ideally aiming for straight A*s. How possible is this? I'd love to hear from people currently taking GCSES, or anyone further than that. Thanks!
(also maybe you could help me in deciding whether I should take latin. I'm a really academically able student - with all modesty - and I think it would be a subject I'd pursue an interest in, just worried about not being able to grab that a*)
thanks!
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Kayleighw27
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#2
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#2
I did it - 12A*s at GCSE. It's perfectly possible and is great to see you have high expectations of yourself! It's been a few years since I studied them (I'm at uni now) but my number one tip would be to do as many exam papers and practice questions as you can. If you lose any marks, go through every single one, find out what you didn't know or struggled with, and make sure you work on this before your actual exams. Are you not doing triple science? I would strongly recommend it, especially if you would like to study science at a higher level as it is usually needed. Otherwise, 7 GCSEs really isn't very many (many colleges ask for 8 or more) so I'm sure you would be able to handle the additional workload of Latin. Good luck, let me know if you have any more questions
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User1654729
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Kayleighw27)
I did it - 12A*s at GCSE. It's perfectly possible and is great to see you have high expectations of yourself! It's been a few years since I studied them (I'm at uni now) but my number one tip would be to do as many exam papers and practice questions as you can. If you lose any marks, go through every single one, find out what you didn't know or struggled with, and make sure you work on this before your actual exams. Are you not doing triple science? I would strongly recommend it, especially if you would like to study science at a higher level as it is usually needed. Otherwise, 7 GCSEs really isn't very many (many colleges ask for 8 or more) so I'm sure you would be able to handle the additional workload of Latin. Good luck, let me know if you have any more questions
hey when did u start revising for your gcses and how many hours

Did u do good in your mocks
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e2014
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Kayleighw27)
I did it - 12A*s at GCSE. It's perfectly possible and is great to see you have high expectations of yourself! It's been a few years since I studied them (I'm at uni now) but my number one tip would be to do as many exam papers and practice questions as you can. If you lose any marks, go through every single one, find out what you didn't know or struggled with, and make sure you work on this before your actual exams. Are you not doing triple science? I would strongly recommend it, especially if you would like to study science at a higher level as it is usually needed. Otherwise, 7 GCSEs really isn't very many (many colleges ask for 8 or more) so I'm sure you would be able to handle the additional workload of Latin. Good luck, let me know if you have any more questions
Overall, I'd be taking 10 gcses because English counts as 2 and Science 2. Nope, I'm not taking triple science, that's a subject that I'm not bad at but definitely not excelling in either. I'm more of a humanities student, and am wishing to pursue English Lit and Lang further (with dreams of Oxford ) . My science teacher said taking triple science would not give me an advantage and that I should focus on getting 2 A*s rather than taking 3 and risking a drop.
Wow, 12A*s! That's so amazing. Top at our school last year was 11 I think.
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dyslexicvegie
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#5
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#5
My younger brother is in year 9 - I was under the impression that Gove had got rid of GCSEs (as I know them) and now only 3% will get the top grade (whatever that is).

People worry far too much about GCSEs. At my local FE college you needed 5 GCSEs at c+ to do A levels and Uni isnt going to look at the specifics. ( just weather u are a mostly A or motley B kind of person)

So if you dont manage ur target it doesn't matter. If you are desperate to be top of the class make sure you start revising before everyone else does (without the advantage of erly exams you will have to get an idea of how much revision is appropriate the hard way). I recommend 3 ish months in advance and go back to the text books as much as possible. Even the best teachers LEAVE THINGS OUT when they teach you. Mostly due to time pressures.


I got a nine As and 2 A*s

Best of luck for the future.

( I am state educated)
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Haza2012
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#6
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#6
10A* at GCSE (although about half were IGCSE) - Best piece of advice I could give you is work consistently throughout the two years. Work hard and revise for every test and get the best marks - this way, you will remember the content much better for when you come to actually revise - to get these types of marks, most people can't just cram in the weeks before.
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Kayleighw27
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#7
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#7
(Original post by sumi99)
hey when did u start revising for your gcses and how many hours

Did u do good in your mocks
I'm not advocating this in the slightest but I didn't do much actual revision for them. However I attended every single class every day throughout secondary school so didn't miss things that way. Those CGP revision guides are really good, I would normally read through those the night before my exam to recap on everything. Just make sure you do plenty of practice exams well in advance and you will do well!

And yes I did well in my mocks - all A*.
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Kayleighw27
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#8
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#8
(Original post by e2014)
Overall, I'd be taking 10 gcses because English counts as 2 and Science 2. Nope, I'm not taking triple science, that's a subject that I'm not bad at but definitely not excelling in either. I'm more of a humanities student, and am wishing to pursue English Lit and Lang further (with dreams of Oxford ) . My science teacher said taking triple science would not give me an advantage and that I should focus on getting 2 A*s rather than taking 3 and risking a drop.
Wow, 12A*s! That's so amazing. Top at our school last year was 11 I think.
Oh I see, that's probably a good amount of GCSEs to be taking. If you would like to get into Oxbridge, they usually ask for 8 A*s or more. So as long as you are doing at least 8, taking more wouldn't be an advantage and overall could bring your grades down. They are far more likely to admit someone with 8 A*s than, say, 10 As so you might want to reconsider taking Latin due to the additional workload. If it's something you'd like to study at A level then I'd say go for it, otherwise leave it out so you can focus more time on your other subjects.
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anonlad
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#9
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#9
By the time you take your exams won't A*s be replaced by 9s (or some other number system)?
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e2014
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Kayleighw27)
Oh I see, that's probably a good amount of GCSEs to be taking. If you would like to get into Oxbridge, they usually ask for 8 A*s or more. So as long as you are doing at least 8, taking more wouldn't be an advantage and overall could bring your grades down. They are far more likely to admit someone with 8 A*s than, say, 10 As so you might want to reconsider taking Latin due to the additional workload. If it's something you'd like to study at A level then I'd say go for it, otherwise leave it out so you can focus more time on your other subjects.
Aaaaaaah I'm getting so stressed already. I'm genuinely interested in Latin but ugh. I don't know. Deadline for choosing is tomorrow too.
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Kayleighw27
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#11
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#11
(Original post by e2014)
Aaaaaaah I'm getting so stressed already. I'm genuinely interested in Latin but ugh. I don't know. Deadline for choosing is tomorrow too.
Don't worry about it, in the grand scheme of things it's not too important and you sound like you want to do well and are willing to put the work in. But if you really want to go to Oxbridge you need to get your grades as high as possible so don't try and take on too much. Perhaps you could ask your parents for their opinion/advice as well? But whatever happens, I can assure you you won't screw up your life whatever decision you go for
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e2014
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#12
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(Original post by anonlad)
By the time you take your exams won't A*s be replaced by 9s (or some other number system)?
In English, Maths and I think science.
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e2014
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Kayleighw27)
Don't worry about it, in the grand scheme of things it's not too important and you sound like you want to do well and are willing to put the work in. But if you really want to go to Oxbridge you need to get your grades as high as possible so don't try and take on too much. Perhaps you could ask your parents for their opinion/advice as well? But whatever happens, I can assure you you won't screw up your life whatever decision you go for
Thanks so much for the help! I was just wondering, if I get a b in a subject does that completely eliminate my chances of getting into Oxbridge?
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whyicarusfell
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#14
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#14
A friend got 14A*, A at GCSE, so it's definitely doable. But just for the record, GCSEs aren't everything for Oxford - I'm an offer holder for Law with 7a*, 7a b at GCSEs, so don't worry about not getting 8a*s/ or a b, because it definitely won't ruin your chances!


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Kayleighw27
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#15
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#15
(Original post by e2014)
Thanks so much for the help! I was just wondering, if I get a b in a subject does that completely eliminate my chances of getting into Oxbridge?
That's okay well obviously I'm not an admissions tutor so can't give you a definitive answer. It depends on the subject and what your other grades were. Usually they just request 8 A*s so as long as you have that you have a good chance (A level dependant). Say if you got all A*s apart from one B I don't think this would count against you hugely. But obviously competition for places is huge so you need the best grades you possibly can. Also start thinking about extra curricular activities you could do to help you stand out
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Joshua-P
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#16
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#16
Since we're on the subject of Oxford, I recently met with Eleanor Reeves (admissions officer of Oxford). The placements are around 1 in 5 people who get in, so you have to be excelling yourself. However, they focus greatly on A-Level results and a set amount of A* in GCSE isn't required - it's all about your potential and ability to continue to strive and be motivated. I'm currently in Year 10 and am also looking to get all A* in GCSE or at least 9.

Also, extra curricular activities do not matter, Oxford focuses on academic ability alone. However, they expect you to be extremely interested in a particular subject for you to have read a book on it and done stuff in your spare time. So in a way, extra curricular does matter but only if it's very relevant to what course you take.

Hope that helps :P
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e2014
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#17
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(Original post by Joshua-P)
Since we're on the subject of Oxford, I recently met with Eleanor Reeves (admissions officer of Oxford). The placements are around 1 in 5 people who get in, so you have to be excelling yourself. However, they focus greatly on A-Level results and a set amount of A* in GCSE isn't required - it's all about your potential and ability to continue to strive and be motivated. I'm currently in Year 10 and am also looking to get all A* in GCSE or at least 9.

Also, extra curricular activities do not matter, Oxford focuses on academic ability alone. However, they expect you to be extremely interested in a particular subject for you to have read a book on it and done stuff in your spare time. So in a way, extra curricular does matter but only if it's very relevant to what course you take.

Hope that helps :P
Thanks so much, this did help and was reassuring haha. How many gcses are you taking overall?
Also, if they mainly focus on a levels, what distinguishes an oxford successful candidate from the rest? Surely many people are capable of getting A*A*A*, so how do they choose who they want from the vast amount of people, and what type of people do they turn down?
With a pursued passion in my subject though, especially from a young age, will my chances be fair if I'm getting good grades alongside that?

I'm also only doing 9 gcses. This is fine, right?
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Joshua-P
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#18
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#18
(Original post by e2014)
Thanks so much, this did help and was reassuring haha. How many gcses are you taking overall?
Also, if they mainly focus on a levels, what distinguishes an oxford successful candidate from the rest? Surely many people are capable of getting A*A*A*, so how do they choose who they want from the vast amount of people, and what type of people do they turn down?
With a pursued passion in my subject though, especially from a young age, will my chances be fair if I'm getting good grades alongside that?

I'm also only doing 9 gcses. This is fine, right?
I'm doing English (English Lang, English Lit), Triple Science (Chem, Bio and Physics), Geography, Spanish, RE, Maths, Art and Computing, so 11 in total providing I haven't accidentally forgotten any.

Also, they tend to turn down those who don't show potential, and the tutor who you have an interview with has to favour you. Moreover, you have to do well in the entrance exams too.

Also, yes if you have excellent grades plus a great personal statement, you have very good chances. I recently met with someone who got 9 A* and 2 A's and previously went to my school and is now in Oxford as well as meeting with some other undergraduates. You have to be very passionate.

Also, that'll be fine, as they look at your A-Levels mostly.
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VioletPhillippo
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#19
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#19
Hiya,
If you have gone ahead and picked Latin don't worry you'll be fine, especially if you have a humanities brain . The main aspects are the vocab and grammar learning for translation, learning/memorising the set texts and learning source material about Roman history/culture. I'm in year 11 doing Latin and I'm on track for an A* so if you ever need any help just ask.
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Vav Sartrean Po
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#20
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#20
Grades don't actually matter unless your extremely thick. A student applied for medicine at Oxford and he got rejected. He had like 7 A level A* and 14 GCSE A*s..
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