Bad GCSE but great a levels - Oxford or Cambridge? Watch

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kash968
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I did pretty badly at gcse level I got AAAABBCCC but I'm doing really well in college. Assuming I can get at least 3A* (I take four subjects), would I be better off applying for Cambridge or Oxford, for Law?
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Birkenhead
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Cambridge place more focus on A-Level results, especially UMS. Oxford place more focus on GCSEs. Unless you had extraordinary mitigating circumstances during your GCSEs I would guess that you have an infinitesimally small chance of getting into Oxford with those grades.

What subjects you take are also significant. 3 A*s in sociology, media studies and travel and tourism are not going to be acceptable to either.
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kash968
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Thank you! The problem is, one of my friends in my college is also applying to Cambridge for Law, and his GCSEs are really good, 8A*1A if I'm not mistaken, and he's doing really well in college, too, so I think he has a better chance of getting in. Apart from Oxbridge, which universities should I apply to? Do I have a chance at UCL or KCL?
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kash968
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English Literature, Biology, Economics, and Psychology.
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Birkenhead
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(Original post by kash968)
Thank you! The problem is, one of my friends in my college is also applying to Cambridge for Law, and his GCSEs are really good, 8A*1A if I'm not mistaken, and he's doing really well in college, too. Apart from Oxbridge, which universities should I apply to? Do I have a chance at UCL or KCL?
I'm not sure whether your chances would be lessened by someone from your college applying for the same Oxbridge university and the same course. The only times I've heard this being a problem is if these people apply to the same college as well.

It's worth applying to both if you are content with applying for courses at universities that are going to be as competitive if not more than Oxbridge. There will probably be more people applying for law at UCL and KCL. Many of these people will also apply for Oxbridge, many will not but will have comparatively excellent results.

I would advise certainly applying for UCL and KCL if you can persuade your teachers to predict you at least A*AA, and if you are confident in your ability to write a personal statement that very strongly demonstrates your passion and suitability for the subject. Both UCL and KCL are extremely competitive for law, make no mistake, and most people will have far better GCSEs than yours.

Above all else I would focus on attaining the A-Level results you forecast. If you succeed you will have a considerable advantage over many other candidates at London and Oxbridge if you end up being rejected first time and decide to re-apply the following year.

Obviously it would also be a good idea to include two lesser universities with more liberal entry requirements and less competition if you decide against reapplying in the event of rejection from the others.
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kash968
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I'm also looking at Bath, York, Warwick, and Nottingham.
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AnyRandomName
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(Original post by kash968)
I'm also looking at Bath, York, Warwick, and Nottingham.
This is a small point but Bath do not offer a law degree.

Also, I'd say that you need to have at least one back-up choice which is less competitive and makes offers lower than AAA.
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kash968
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Which universities would you recommend?
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Birkenhead
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(Original post by kash968)
Which universities would you recommend?
Lesser Russell Groups would be insurance material. I don't know how competitive these unis are but they are sure to be easier to get into than your other choices. The likes of Liverpool, Leicester, Lancaster, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Exeter, Bristol and QMUL, I suppose. These are places where I believe a very strong PS and predictions will commonly override mediocre GCSEs.

Have a look yourself at entry requirements at lesser RG unis and decide what appeals to you and what the prospects would be like for what you want to do with a law degree.
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kash968
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Thank you!
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FrayCish
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Cambridge focus more on your alevels, so I guess that is your best option.

After Oxbridge, for Law, I think you should consider UCL, Warwick, LSE, Nottingham, Bristol, KCL and Bath.

Wish you well!
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Stickman
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Cambridge don't give two ***** about GCSEs. Just get over 90% average UMS in your AS scores and you'll get an interview. Shine at the interview and you're in.
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cheesetop
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(Original post by Birkenhead)
Cambridge place more focus on A-Level results, especially UMS. Oxford place more focus on GCSEs. Unless you had extraordinary mitigating circumstances during your GCSEs I would guess that you have an infinitesimally small chance of getting into Oxford with those grades.

What subjects you take are also significant. 3 A*s in sociology, media studies and travel and tourism are not going to be acceptable to either.
my brothers friend failed alll his gcses and now studies at oxford
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