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    Ive recently had a change of heart and would very much like to study History at Oxford or Cambridge.
    My stats are GCSE's: 3A*'s 10A's
    AS- Levels: (possibly/hopefully) AAAA
    A2 Predictions: A*AA/A*A*A

    My subjects are Biology, Chemistry, Maths and History.

    Do you think that my GCSE's would heavily bring down my application in comparison to other applicants? Im really worried about them, especially for oxford and Cambridge
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    I got 2 A*s, 6 As, 2 Bs at GCSE, and A*A*A at A-Level and I'm a second year at Oxford, studying history
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    (Original post by greys-anatomy)
    Ive recently had a change of heart and would very much like to study History at Oxford or Cambridge.
    My stats are GCSE's: 3A*'s 10A's
    AS- Levels: (possibly/hopefully) AAAA
    A2 Predictions: A*AA/A*A*A

    My subjects are Biology, Chemistry, Maths and History.

    Do you think that my GCSE's would heavily bring down my application in comparison to other applicants? Im really worried about them, especially for oxford and Cambridge
    In general Oxford places less emphasis on GCSEs than Cambridge does,but both are interested in evidence of academic progress. The more important point is whether the course at either suits your interests. Both Oxford and Cambridge follow relatively traditional course structures, and you may find that there is a lot of compulsory content that doesn't appeal to you much. It is not worth flogging through stuff that really doesn't inspire you for the sake of 'prestige' - you are much less likely to do as well as you might have done.
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    (Original post by Minerva)
    In general Oxford places less emphasis on GCSEs than Cambridge does
    Umm, other way round?



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    (Original post by ageshallnot)
    Umm, other way round?
    Depends what you mean - AFAIK Cambridge still has a standard scoring system they use for the purposes of benchmarking GCSE attainment, while Oxford isn't quite so structured about it. However, both emphasise that a complete string of A*s/As is not required, and both take context (ie average performance at the school in question) into account where appropriate. Many Oxford courses have specialist entrance exams (eg the HAT, ELAT etc) and screen out applicants at that stage, so an applicant with 'weaker' GCSEs who did really well on the HAT would still get interviewed; Cambridge interviews far more applicants proportionately, and testing* is on the whole less widespread and happens at interview - at the moment. I believe they are considering their position on this in the light of changes to the AS/A level system.

    *apart from the obvious suspects like the BMAT
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    (Original post by Minerva)
    Depends what you mean - AFAIK Cambridge still has a standard scoring system they use for the purposes of benchmarking GCSE attainment, while Oxford isn't quite so structured about it. However, both emphasise that a complete string of A*s/As is not required, and both take context (ie average performance at the school in question) into account where appropriate.
    I thought it was the other way round -- Oxford uses number of A*'s as one of their main criteria in choosing who to shortlist for interview, whereas Cambridge only really consider GCSE's by using them to flag up applicants who go to bad schools, and traditionally place an emphasis on UMS in AS's (which Oxford don't ask for).
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    (Original post by sweeneyrod)
    I thought it was the other way round -- Oxford uses number of A*'s as one of their main criteria in choosing who to shortlist for interview, whereas Cambridge only really consider GCSE's by using them to flag up applicants who go to bad schools, and traditionally place an emphasis on UMS in AS's (which Oxford don't ask for).
    I have edited my post to add in about the pre-interview tests - you could have stellar GCSEs but if you don't well enough in the Oxford HAT (History Aptitude Test) you won't be called for interview. Except for the BMAT, I don't think there are any pre-interview tests at Cambridge as they do their own Law test, at interview, rather than using the LNAT as Oxford does.
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    (Original post by Minerva)
    I have edited my post to add in about the pre-interview tests - you could have stellar GCSEs but if you don't well enough in the Oxford HAT (History Aptitude Test) you won't be called for interview. Except for the BMAT, I don't think there are any pre-interview tests at Cambridge as they do their own Law test, at interview, rather than using the LNAT as Oxford does.
    Good point. I think with the removal of AS UMS Cambridge are introducing more tests, some of which may be pre-interview (sat at school).
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    (Original post by sweeneyrod)
    Good point. I think with the removal of AS UMS Cambridge are introducing more tests, some of which may be pre-interview (sat at school).
    As I understand it, that is expected to be the direction of travel, but I haven't heard about timescales for introducing new arrangements. By contrast, the HAT has been going for the best part of ten years, at least.
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    (Original post by Minerva)
    As I understand it, that is expected to be the direction of travel, but I haven't heard about timescales for introducing new arrangements. By contrast, the HAT has been going for the best part of ten years, at least.
    Cambridge have introduced written tests for 2017 entry: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...on-assessments though will continue to give great weight to UMS where available.

    Perhaps jneill could comment on the general discussion?
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    (Original post by greys-anatomy)
    Ive recently had a change of heart and would very much like to study History at Oxford or Cambridge.
    My stats are GCSE's: 3A*'s 10A's
    AS- Levels: (possibly/hopefully) AAAA
    A2 Predictions: A*AA/A*A*A

    My subjects are Biology, Chemistry, Maths and History.

    Do you think that my GCSE's would heavily bring down my application in comparison to other applicants? Im really worried about them, especially for oxford and Cambridge
    (Original post by ageshallnot)
    Cambridge have introduced written tests for 2017 entry: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...on-assessments though will continue to give great weight to UMS where available.

    Perhaps jneill could comment on the general discussion?
    Your overall profile looks fine for Cambridge - and will be competitive enough to make an application worthwhile.

    And yes, the new Admissions Assessments, to some extent, supplement the info previously provided by UMS. Specifically the history assessment spec is here: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...cification.pdf and needs to be taken pre-interview on the 2 Nov.

    For Cambridge, GCSEs are definitely no more important now than previously (which was not very important at all). If they see an upward academic trajectory then that's much more helpful than a string of A*s at GCSE.

    It's also worth noting that no single thing will make or break a Cambridge application. Not the interview, or tests, or ASs, or essays, etc. Everything is assessed holistically.

    BUT fundamentally you need to choose the course you prefer rather than the university.

    History @ Cambridge info here: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ourses/history
    and http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/prospective-undergrads
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    (Original post by ageshallnot)
    Cambridge have introduced written tests for 2017 entry: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...on-assessments though will continue to give great weight to UMS where available.

    Perhaps jneill could comment on the general discussion?
    Thanks for that - don't know how I missed it :o:

    (Original post by jneill)
    Your overall profile looks fine for Cambridge - and will be competitive enough to make an application worthwhile.

    And yes, the new Admissions Assessments, to some extent, supplement the info previously provided by UMS. Specifically the history assessment spec is here: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...cification.pdf and needs to be taken pre-interview on the 2 Nov.

    For Cambridge, GCSEs are definitely no more important now than previously (which was not very important at all). If they see an upward academic trajectory then that's much more helpful than a string of A*s at GCSE.

    It's also worth noting that no single thing will make or break a Cambridge application. Not the interview, or tests, or ASs, or essays, etc. Everything is assessed holistically.

    BUT fundamentally you need to choose the course you prefer rather than the university.

    History @ Cambridge info here: http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ourses/history
    and http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/prospective-undergrads
    Indeed - I certainly didn't intend to suggest that GCSEs were mission critical at all, let alone more or less so since the changes.
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    (Original post by Minerva)
    Thanks for that - don't know how I missed it :o:

    Indeed - I certainly didn't intend to suggest that GCSEs were mission critical at all, let alone more or less so since the changes.
    No no. And I certainly wasn't pointing that comment at you Minerva
 
 
 
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