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    At GCSE I achieved really poor results with only 2 A*s in both English's, 2 A's and 5 B's. I go to a really competitive and academic private school and would like to go to Cambridge. I have always done LOADS of extra curricular (sports, music, debating, politics etc) , work experience in almost everything but messed up at GCSE. I have worked really hard this year to turn things around and am predicted to get 2 A*s and 2 A's in my AS Levels (and I will probs have and average UMS of over 90 with the three subjects that I choose to carry on). Could I get into Cambridge?
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    You cannot get A*s in your AS levels.
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    Just focus on smashing AS; aim for 100 UMS in every module.
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    (Original post by abc3)
    At GCSE I achieved really poor results with only 2 A*s in both English's, 2 A's and 5 B's. I go to a really competitive and academic private school and would like to go to Cambridge. I have always done LOADS of extra curricular (sports, music, debating, politics etc) , work experience in almost everything but messed up at GCSE. I have worked really hard this year to turn things around and am predicted to get 2 A*s and 2 A's in my AS Levels (and I will probs have and average UMS of over 90 with the three subjects that I choose to carry on). Could I get into Cambridge?
    What subject are you applying for?

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    (Original post by abc3)
    At GCSE I achieved really poor results with only 2 A*s in both English's, 2 A's and 5 B's. I go to a really competitive and academic private school and would like to go to Cambridge. I have always done LOADS of extra curricular (sports, music, debating, politics etc) , work experience in almost everything but messed up at GCSE. I have worked really hard this year to turn things around and am predicted to get 2 A*s and 2 A's in my AS Levels (and I will probs have and average UMS of over 90 with the three subjects that I choose to carry on). Could I get into Cambridge?
    Errr good luck getting A*s at AS Level
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    (Original post by samb1234)
    What subject are you applying for?

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    Law or HSPS
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    (Original post by abc3)
    Law or HSPS
    As others have said you can't get A* at AS but Cambridge will want you to get as high a ums average as possible. With high ums and a good interview you definitely have a chance if getting an offer

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    I had worse grades than you at GCSE. Only had 4 subjects with grades above a B. Also got a C, D and G. I did have extenuating circumstances but even so, I remember reading somewhere that Cambridge acknowledge people mature intellectually at different times.

    Have an offer for HSPS as i got 4AS at AS with strong UMS. Don't think they're too bothered about the extra curricular's- they didn't ask me anything about myself at all. Purely academic stuff so after getting the grades, do interview practice.
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    (Original post by abc3)
    Law or HSPS
    You will need to do very well at AS/A2 and interview for Law as GCSEs in a range of subjects are noted and you won't be given as much leeway for a good school. HSPS seems to always have a wider GCSE profile but you will still need to perfiorm at a higher level than your GCSEs suggest.
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    (Original post by abc3)
    At GCSE I achieved really poor results with only 2 A*s in both English's, 2 A's and 5 B's. I go to a really competitive and academic private school and would like to go to Cambridge.
    I got in for law in 2011 with A*A*AABBBC from a reasonably good private school at GCSE and 92.5% average over four subjects at A level (from a state sixth form). I didn't have all your extra curriculars, either, but yours won't help greatly because they don't matter much. No extenuating circumstances.

    They look at grades but it's also a human process. If you get top AS scores and make a good impression through written work and interview it's doable.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    I got in for law in 2011 with A*A*AABBBC from a reasonably good private school at GCSE and 92.5% average over four subjects at A level (from a state sixth form). I didn't have all your extra curriculars, either, but yours won't help greatly because they don't matter much. No extenuating circumstances.

    They look at grades but it's also a human process. If you get top AS scores and make a good impression through written work and interview it's doable.
    It's 5 years ago though I think. What was your best three average? If you can remember!


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    (Original post by Colmans)
    It's 5 years ago though I think. What was your best three average? If you can remember!


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    I can't remember exactly. My UMS averages were all within the 90-95 range so it won't have differed much.

    I think it's tutor dependent, but probably more about the tutors' overall impression and less about quantitative measurement of the candidate than we all often think.
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    Cambridge will look at the whole of your application, and if you demonstrate good academic results at AS level they may be able to compensate for poor GCSE results - particularly since Cambridge sees your AS UMS scores so if you do very well this will definitely put you in a good position. GCSEs are in a huge variety of subjects, most of which are irrelevant for the degree you are applying for, and were taken several years before you apply - when you may have had very different study skills or extenuating circumstances. Tbh, my personal opinion is that GCSEs aren't really all that important, yes most applicants have mainly A/A*s but that's because in general highly academic students do - but there are still those in Cambridge who only realised their academic potential at A level.

    A*A*A predictions at A2 should mean you meet the entrance requirements (I think they're A*AA/ A*A*A?) but remember that the vast majority of applicants will be meeting, and usually significantly exceeding, this. Really work for these AS levels, if you can get your UMS average above 90% that would be ideal. I think I read somewhere that the average successful arts student had around 93% UMS average at AS, and for sciences it was around 95%... These statistics are barely-remembered from a few years back, not sure they're 100% the case now but they give you a rough idea.

    Extracurriculars are generally of no or very little interest - anything you have done relevant to your chosen degree subject is good (e.g. debating, politics, work experience, reading) but unless you have reached a really high level at other extracurriculars admissions tutors are less interested in them in general.

    Remember that your personal statement and interview are also important - particularly the interview, it is the admissions tutors' opportunity to get to know you and work out how you think about your subject. For Cambridge, interviews are usually pretty academically focused, asking questions to test your knowledge and understanding of your subject and work out how you analyse a complicated essay topic or case study, for example. Preparation is really important, make sure you understand everything you have studied during AS/A2s and can discuss/ argue about a topic, practice explaining your reasoning behind every conclusion you make.
 
 
 

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