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    i mean, so long you get As for your a-levels or IB, why should gcse grades be fussed about?:confused: i know that you need to get good GCSE grades if you're applying for oxbridge but doesn't it depend on the interview and the test they give out?

    alright. most unis want something like 5 A* to C grades including maths and english. but do you really need to be an over-achiever when that's ALL they want, and what matters more are the a level grades?
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    Get good Maths, English and Science, and that's all you need. My personal opinion is that GCSE is pointless, if you aced them, it just shows you were mature enough to take them seriously.
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    is that it? is that how unis really look at them?
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    It depends on the course. If it's really competitive, lots of applicants, then they'll start to nitpick. A girl at my school got rejected from Manchester Law because she didn't have the B grade they require in Maths or whatever, otherwise she had good GCSEs, prediction of 3As, extra curriculars etc.

    There's a difference between an official GCSE policy and an unspoken one. For example, some Psychology courses require a certain GCSE grade in Maths because of the amount of statistics work involved. Apply to the top 10 unis and I assume they'll be pretty inflexible about it, after all they have too many candidates applying anyway. A less popular uni might be more prepared to overlook it, if your application is good otherwise. The vast majority of places will have minimum requirements of grade C Maths and English GCSE for any degree. Apart from those I don't think they put too much weight on them but they're not completely worthless.

    As for unspoken policies, apparently Durham doesn't take you on with less than 6A*s, same with LSE. It really does depend where you want to go, check the course requirements carefully.
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    I would say it mattered if you were applying to top unis like Oxbridge, LSE, Durham, etc. who are apparantly fussy about GCSEs on some of their courses. It would matter which course you were applying to aswell I suppose. With more and more people getting A grades (at A level), GCSEs might be one of the factors which sways the admissions tutor to one candidate over another.

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    but what if you take the IB?

    i heard that more and more people are getting As for their alevels, but if you take the IB, won't that make yourself 'stand out', providing you get more than 39 points? (that's what oxbridge asks for anyway). then GCSEs would become secondary, no?
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    (Original post by Chezua)
    but what if you take the IB?

    i heard that more and more people are getting As for their alevels, but if you take the IB, won't that make yourself 'stand out', providing you get more than 39 points? (that's what oxbridge asks for anyway). then GCSEs would become secondary, no?
    Yeah I suppose 39 points is pretty impressive. As I said, GCSEs are just one of the differentiating factors, and if you're applying to top unis/ competitive courses, it's almost as if they're going to expect top GCSEs aswell as top IB/ A level scores. I have heard that some unis have "cutoff" points for certain subjects like 6A* minimum, for some courses like Law or History, but I'm not sure if this is definitely the case.
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    All universities consider them, and a good range of A*s-B will be sufficient for most, considering everything else is up to scratch. Even at Oxbridge, you can get an interview with GCSEs quite a bit below the average Oxford applicant - I proved that one lol. But they will still be taken into account in the final selection process. Unfortunately, I also proved that one. In conclusion, as long as you're expecting decent GCSEs, you'll probably be ok.
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    yes but what's decent? is 'decent' when you take traditional subjects like history or geography and not the triple awards like business studies, or when you have a good mixture of As and Bs?

    @absinth
    damn, 6 A*s?:eek: okay so how about if you show the interviewers a good collection of portfolios and prove to him that although you got a C for french gcse NOW you can speak the language very well?
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    It really depends on which University you want to go to. I passed all of my GCSE's with grades A-C except for maths which I got a D in. I was offered places at all of the Unis I applied to regardless of this.
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    (Original post by Chezua)
    ^
    i mean, so long you get As for your a-levels or IB, why should gcse grades be fussed about?:confused: i know that you need to get good GCSE grades if you're applying for oxbridge but doesn't it depend on the interview and the test they give out?

    alright. most unis want something like 5 A* to C grades including maths and english. but do you really need to be an over-achiever when that's ALL they want, and what matters more are the a level grades?
    It really depends on the university and course you're applying for. So for example you may find that students admitted to courses at Oxbridge, Durham, Bristol, LSE and degree programmes like Medicine, dentisry, Vet Sciences, Law, may have above a certain number of A* at GCSE.

    This all depends on the individual department and on their admissions policy which changes every year and is never the same at every university. To be sure, you're best of contacting the department directly so that you can get a 100% accurate answer.
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    Watch out for places like Durham and LSE, they tend to be very big on GCSEs (far moreso that Cambridge in my opinion) because they claim they distinguish the very best from the best.

    Obviously as already mentioned the competitive courses tend to use GCSEs as well eg Law and Medicine.

    There are however some very good universities that dont seem to mind about rather average GCSEs thankfully, for example Warwick and York.
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    *blushes*

    je suis not even in sixth form yet:ninja: i'm just trying to comfort myself that grades don't matter very much as i'm certain the results on august will not be very good

    no way, LSE can't be THAT elite-ish. half my cousins go there:eek:

    and no, not law, i don't want to take that after my mum and definitely not medicine:rolleyes: i'm actually interested in architecture/engineering or maybe some social study-thing. i'm also, well, abit ambitious so i would want to go to really good unis
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    (Original post by Chezua)
    *blushes*

    je suis not even in sixth form yet:ninja: i'm just trying to comfort myself that grades don't matter very much as i'm certain the results on august will not be very good

    no way, LSE can't be THAT elite-ish. half my cousins go there:eek:

    and no, not law, i don't want to take that after my mum and definitely not medicine:rolleyes: i'm actually interested in architecture/engineering or maybe some social study-thing. i'm also, well, abit ambitious so i would want to go to really good unis
    I'm sure you did fine in your GCSEs. I was worried about them too, but on results day I did better than I thought. It's only when you get to A levels you need to really start putting effort in. LSE are pretty strict about GCSEs, especially for social sciences. Just thought I'd say. :p: Only two people in our sixth form got offers from there last year and our sixth form is pretty "good".

    Relax. Enjoy the summer!
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    Yeah since ur all talking abt GCSE's i'll bring up something I'd like to know about. I'm from Malaysia and I'm doing my a-levels now, but in the SPM (our equivalent of the British GCSE) I didn't do exceptionally well. I mean, I did get 9As, but only 5A1s (which are sort of like the A*). I didn't get an A1 for physics and chem, i got an A2. There is one problem though, there is some sort of an unfair marking process over here which seems to favour certain parts of the population, making it difficult for some in the minority to do well (and guess what, I am the minority). Some ppl who lose to me in class tests all the time end up getting 11 A1s and what not.

    I'll be applying to Cambridge within the next month or so and I'd be gutted if in the end I was rejected for not exceptional SPM grades. Do they really care about them? Because I'm doing quite well in my A-levels right now and my projected grades are AAAB (further math B).
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    Yeah as somebody mentioned, Durham are extremely harsh on anybody with GCSEs that aren't mostly A*s - they are very oversubscribed and tend to eliminate a lot of people purely based on GCSEs.
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    If the unis ask for your grades, its a fair bet that they care about them.
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    I wish I knew at the time that GCSE's were actually important. No teacher ever says - "make sure you work hard for these 2 years or you'll get rejected for your chosen university in 4 years time".
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    (Original post by andrewlee89)
    Yeah since ur all talking abt GCSE's i'll bring up something I'd like to know about. I'm from Malaysia and I'm doing my a-levels now, but in the SPM (our equivalent of the British GCSE) I didn't do exceptionally well. I mean, I did get 9As, but only 5A1s (which are sort of like the A*). I didn't get an A1 for physics and chem, i got an A2. There is one problem though, there is some sort of an unfair marking process over here which seems to favour certain parts of the population, making it difficult for some in the minority to do well (and guess what, I am the minority). Some ppl who lose to me in class tests all the time end up getting 11 A1s and what not.

    I'll be applying to Cambridge within the next month or so and I'd be gutted if in the end I was rejected for not exceptional SPM grades. Do they really care about them? Because I'm doing quite well in my A-levels right now and my projected grades are AAAB (further math B).
    There is a box on the CAF (Cambridge Application Form) for you to write about and special circumstances you want to mention that has affected your grades/education, you could write about such a marking system in the box to make them aware It shouldnt therefore mess your chances up, especially as you seem to have done very well regardless (5 A*s and 9 As is very good! Much better than I got)
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    It completely depends on a) the uni and b) the course. For most courses at most unis, you'll be fine if you got mostly Cs and above including English and maths. However, for really competitive unis and courses, the unis including LSE and Durham and the courses including medicine, law, history and English, there are so many applicants who meet or exceed the A-level requirements that they have to use GCSEs to differentiate. The reason Oxbridge can afford to be more lenient about GCSEs than other top unis like LSE and Durham is because Oxbridge interview, have their own admissions tests and sometimes request examples of written work, so they have access to more information besides GCSEs and A-levels to help them decide who to give offers to.
 
 
 

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