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    This question has probably been asked a million times but I need to ask it myself. I really want to apply to Oxbridge (not sure which yet) but I'm worried my performance at GCSE might ruin everything.

    I moved to England from Ireland at the end of year 10 and I went to a really crap school and got 2A's (maths and French) 4B's and 2C's, because most of my things were rushed. For me these were disappointing. I intend to make up for these at A levels, of course but I fear that my GCSEs might hinder my application.

    If I were to apply to Oxbridge, I'd study maths and probably at Cambridge because they care less about GCSEs. I just wanted to ask if I stood a chance of getting in when up against people who have probably obtained 13A*'s at GCSE.
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    There are interviews for applying to Oxbridge for a reason. Both are top universities, who look for not just the top grades but also a willingness to learn, and charisma which you could demonstrate in your interview. Often the people with 13A*'s lack personality and charisma because they've studied at private school their whole lives where teachers are pushing them to achieve and it's not an inner desire to achieve (might be stereotypical but its just my opinion). Do your best, and if they don't accept you, that's their loss

    Best of luck xxx
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    (Original post by autumnblue)
    This question has probably been asked a million times but I need to ask it myself. I really want to apply to Oxbridge (not sure which yet) but I'm worried my performance at GCSE might ruin everything.

    I moved to England from Ireland at the end of year 10 and I went to a really crap school and got 2A's (maths and French) 4B's and 2C's, because most of my things were rushed. For me these were disappointing. I intend to make up for these at A levels, of course but I fear that my GCSEs might hinder my application.

    If I were to apply to Oxbridge, I'd study maths and probably at Cambridge because they care less about GCSEs. I just wanted to ask if I stood a chance of getting in when up against people who have probably obtained 13A*'s at GCSE.
    If you get solid UMS (average >90ish) in your Maths & Further Maths AS-levels it should secure you a Cambridge interview.

    You will then have to face the challenge that is STEP II & III...
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    It's a myth that you should apply to Cambridge instead if you've got bad GCSEs. What Oxford does say is that they look at your progression from GCSEs to more recent qualifications.

    Just because TSR tries to assert over and over again a myth doesn't make it fact. This is without mentioning the fact that most of those people never even have applied to Oxford. The most recent 'evidence' I've got from them was that successful candidates at Oxford tend to have 3 A*s+, as if successful candidates at Cambridge don't have them.
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    (Original post by autumnblue)
    This question has probably been asked a million times but I need to ask it myself. I really want to apply to Oxbridge (not sure which yet) but I'm worried my performance at GCSE might ruin everything.

    I moved to England from Ireland at the end of year 10 and I went to a really crap school and got 2A's (maths and French) 4B's and 2C's, because most of my things were rushed. For me these were disappointing. I intend to make up for these at A levels, of course but I fear that my GCSEs might hinder my application.

    If I were to apply to Oxbridge, I'd study maths and probably at Cambridge because they care less about GCSEs. I just wanted to ask if I stood a chance of getting in when up against people who have probably obtained 13A*'s at GCSE.
    Hello! I have called Oxford admissions over extenuating circumstances at GCSE regarding my own application before, and their general answer was to make sure to get your referee to talk about it in their reference, but otherwise as long as you get very good AS/predicted A2 results (aka show upwards progression) then it's absolutely fine. What I'd do is call them up yourself, because they tend to talk about your individual circumstances and give you feedback relating to that (don't be nervous - I hate telephone calls but the Oxford Admissions team are absolutely lovely!). Their number is +44 (0)1865 288000.

    Hope this helps!
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    It's a myth that you should apply to Cambridge instead if you've got bad GCSEs. What Oxford does say is that they look at your progression from GCSEs to more recent qualifications.

    Just because TSR tries to assert over and over again a myth doesn't make it fact. This is without mentioning the fact that most of those people never even have applied to Oxford. The most recent 'evidence' I've got from them was that successful candidates at Oxford tend to have 3 A*s+, as if successful candidates at Cambridge don't have them.
    Yes fair point - and I've been trying not to fall into that trap - mea culpa. Oxford puts it's emphasis on the MAT not GCSEs for maths applicants.
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    I understand that but I worry that I won't get a chance to prove myself at the interview because not everyone gets invited to the interviews and I may not because of my GCSES.
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    (Original post by roarchika)
    Hello! I have called Oxford admissions over extenuating circumstances at GCSE regarding my own application before, and their general answer was to make sure to get your referee to talk about it in their reference, but otherwise as long as you get very good AS/predicted A2 results (aka show upwards progression) then it's absolutely fine. What I'd do is call them up yourself, because they tend to talk about your individual circumstances and give you feedback relating to that (don't be nervous - I hate telephone calls but the Oxford Admissions team are absolutely lovely!). Their number is +44 (0)1865 288000.

    Hope this helps!
    I'll actually give them a call. You don't have to answer but I just wanted to know if you did end up applying and how did it go?
    Thanks for the help!
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    (Original post by autumnblue)
    I understand that but I worry that I won't get a chance to prove myself at the interview because not everyone gets invited to the interviews and I may not because of my GCSES.
    Hi, my GCSEs were 3As and 3Bs and i got my invite to I interview at Cambridge today!

    Far off 13A* let me tell you and I still got an interview!
    It doesn't say anything about whether I will get in but don't think that you can't even get an interview without 13A*s !
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    It's a myth that you should apply to Cambridge instead if you've got bad GCSEs. What Oxford does say is that they look at your progression from GCSEs to more recent qualifications.

    Just because TSR tries to assert over and over again a myth doesn't make it fact. This is without mentioning the fact that most of those people never even have applied to Oxford. The most recent 'evidence' I've got from them was that successful candidates at Oxford tend to have 3 A*s+, as if successful candidates at Cambridge don't have them.
    I know both of the universities will review your whole academic record, its just that Oxford continually repeat the fact that successful applicants tend to have achieved 8+ A*'s, more than Cambridge. I was leaning towards Cambridge anyway though.
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    (Original post by Thediplomat56)
    Hi, my GCSEs were 3As and 3Bs and i got my invite to I interview at Cambridge today!

    Far off 13A* let me tell you and I still got an interview!
    It doesn't say anything about whether I will get in but don't think that you can't even get an interview without 13A*s !
    That's great!! What subject did you apply for?
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    (Original post by autumnblue)
    I know both of the universities will review your whole academic record, its just that Oxford continually repeat the fact that successful applicants tend to have achieved 8+ A*'s, more than Cambridge. I was leaning towards Cambridge anyway though.
    I tried googling your 'fact' and could find nothing.

    Earlier I was told it's 3A*s, and now in a course of a few days it's changed to 8A*s? What a progression.
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    (Original post by autumnblue)
    I'll actually give them a call. You don't have to answer but I just wanted to know if you did end up applying and how did it go?
    Thanks for the help!
    Good to know! They're open Mondays-Fridays usual business hours. I'm actually in year 12, sorry, should have made it clearer - but if it helps, I'm one of those disgusting 'shoe-in' candidates who's expected to get in by all of her teachers. My sister also went to Oxford (she did law at Merton), and she said that my application would get me to interview as long as my LNAT is strong (I assume maths have their own test, since physics certainly does). As all applicants take the test, Oxford put a lot of emphasis on that in deciding who to call up for interview, and then put a lot of emphasis on interview in deciding who to give offers too.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    If you get solid UMS (average >90ish) in your Maths & Further Maths AS-levels it should secure you a Cambridge interview.

    You will then have to face the challenge that is STEP II & III...
    STEP papers!!! Ugh. But I guess they give me another chance to prove myself.
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    (Original post by roarchika)
    Hello! I have called Oxford admissions over extenuating circumstances at GCSE regarding my own application before, and their general answer was to make sure to get your referee to talk about it in their reference, but otherwise as long as you get very good AS/predicted A2 results (aka show upwards progression) then it's absolutely fine. What I'd do is call them up yourself, because they tend to talk about your individual circumstances and give you feedback relating to that (don't be nervous - I hate telephone calls but the Oxford Admissions team are absolutely lovely!). Their number is +44 (0)1865 288000.

    Hope this helps!
    Straight from the horse's mouth!

    But this is TSR - people will continue asserting that Oxford doesn't take in applicants with very good post-GCSE grades if their GCSEs are not good.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Yes fair point - and I've been trying not to fall into that trap - mea culpa. Oxford puts it's emphasis on the MAT not GCSEs for maths applicants.
    I thought they're used in conjunction? Not all the subjects that have an entrance test are clear about how they use it but the general advice that I've seen is that they have a general cut-off each year and anybody who's above that then has their GCSEs looked at and used alongside the entrance test score (equal weighting) when deciding whether to interview them. I seem to remember reading that a strong performance on one of those can make up for a slightly weaker one in the other -- that is, of course, if different subjects don't silently have different policies...
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    (Original post by Thediplomat56)
    Hi, my GCSEs were 3As and 3Bs and i got my invite to I interview at Cambridge today!

    Far off 13A* let me tell you and I still got an interview!
    It doesn't say anything about whether I will get in but don't think that you can't even get an interview without 13A*s !
    Cambridge interviews ~80 percent of all applicants though. It's Oxford where most subjects will reject a significant number of applicants without interview.
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    (Original post by autumnblue)
    That's great!! What subject did you apply for?
    Chemical engineering via natural sciences
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    (Original post by Little Toy Gun)
    Straight from the horse's mouth!

    But this is TSR - people will continue asserting that Oxford doesn't take in applicants with very good post-GCSE grades if their GCSEs are not good.
    While you have a point about the tendency for opinions on TSR to be absolutist and not take into consideration the finer details, Oxford is quite clear that AS grades are only used to the extent that it gives them confidence that you're on track to achieve their standard offer -- the stated reason for why it's not used extensively in the admissions process is that not all applicants have AS grades because some schools don't cash them in. Cambridge has managed to get around this by using the SAQ, which requires all grades and marks to be declared, cashed in or not. Oxford hasn't, and therefore it relies on performance in entrance exams and GCSEs more than on AS... (really sticking my neck out on that one )
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    (Original post by roarchika)
    Good to know! They're open Mondays-Fridays usual business hours. I'm actually in year 12, sorry, should have made it clearer - but if it helps, I'm one of those disgusting 'shoe-in' candidates who's expected to get in by all of her teachers. My sister also went to Oxford (she did law at Merton), and she said that my application would get me to interview as long as my LNAT is strong (I assume maths have their own test, since physics certainly does). As all applicants take the test, Oxford put a lot of emphasis on that in deciding who to call up for interview, and then put a lot of emphasis on interview in deciding who to give offers too.
    I'm in year 12 and a compulsive worrier. I just want to get things sorted this year (well, 2015/2016) so I don't have to think about them next year.
 
 
 
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