Are my GCSE grades good enough for Oxford/Cambridge medicine? Watch

Kireimirai
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Hi everyone,

Today I got my GCSE results, and I got 8A*s and 4As. I'm not happy to be honest, because I thought I would get three more A*s, particularly as I thought I did very well in those subjects. I hope to do medicine at a top university such as Oxford or Cambridge, but I've heard a wide range of mixed responses about the number of A*s needed at GCSE to study this course at those places - some say that 8A*s is enough for them, but I've heard some say that it isn't.

I need some advice on the subject and whether my grades really are good enough for these universities, please. Thank you! All responses submitted are highly appreciated.
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Nnitrk
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(Original post by Kireimirai)
Hi everyone,

Today I got my GCSE results, and I got 8A*s and 4As. I'm not happy to be honest, because I thought I would get three more A*s, particularly as I thought I did very well in those subjects. I hope to do medicine at a top university such as Oxford or Cambridge, but I've heard a wide range of mixed responses about the number of A*s needed at GCSE to study this course at those places - some say that 8A*s is enough for them, but I've heard some say that it isn't.

I need some advice on the subject and whether my grades really are good enough for these universities, please. Thank you! All responses submitted are highly appreciated.
Hey there buddy, I'm in exactly the same situation as you - I got the same grades and I should've done better. I think these grades aren't good enough for Oxford (Oxford explicitly state that the average is 94% A* at GCSEs) but Cambridge does not place as much emphasis on GCSEs as they do A levels.

Our grades, whilst they are good, let's be honest for medicine at Cambridge they are probably average. I don't think these grades will be a detriment as long as we focus on A levels, extracurriculurs and the BMAT!

Sorry if any of this sounds harsh but it's what I think is the reality!
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Kireimirai
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(Original post by Nnitrk)
Hey there buddy, I'm in exactly the same situation as you - I got the same grades and I should've done better. I think these grades aren't good enough for Oxford (Oxford explicitly state that the average is 94% A* at GCSEs) but Cambridge does not place as much emphasis on GCSEs as they do A levels.

Our grades, whilst they are good, let's be honest for medicine at Cambridge they are probably average. I don't think these grades will be a detriment as long as we focus on A levels, extracurriculurs and the BMAT!

Sorry if any of this sounds harsh but it's what I think is the reality!
Thank you for the help! I did some research last night regarding the subject and, in terms of Oxford, I know they put more emphasis on GCSEs, but they also state at the same time online that a weaker performance at GCSE can be compensated by a stronger BMAT score, and vice versa. I think we may still have a chance if we study hard and are able to score highly on the BMAT. I don't think we should necessarily be discouraged from applying there just because we have a lower A*:A ratio - I think they do sometimes turn down even the students with straight A*s on their GCSEs if they don't like them!

With regards to Cambridge, I agree. If we study hard, I think we will probably have a higher chance of succeeding to apply there, as they do place greater emphasis on the A Levels.

And even if we don't manage to successfully apply to those universities, there are still many good universities out there which we can apply for, such as Imperial and King's, and are still just as highly-respected. I think King's would be a lovely place to go to - I've been to Guy's Hospital and it looks so amazing to work and study at!

Thank you so much for all the help! Let's stay encouraged, work hard and I'm sure we'll achieve our dreams! Best of luck to you
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usycool1
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(Original post by Kireimirai)
Thank you for the help! I did some research last night regarding the subject and, in terms of Oxford, I know they put more emphasis on GCSEs, but they also state at the same time online that a weaker performance at GCSE can be compensated by a stronger BMAT score, and vice versa. I think we may still have a chance if we study hard and are able to score highly on the BMAT. I don't think we should necessarily be discouraged from applying there just because we have a lower A*:A ratio - I think they do sometimes turn down even the students with straight A*s on their GCSEs if they don't like them!

With regards to Cambridge, I agree. If we study hard, I think we will probably have a higher chance of succeeding to apply there, as they do place greater emphasis on the A Levels.

And even if we don't manage to successfully apply to those universities, there are still many good universities out there which we can apply for, such as Imperial and King's, and are still just as highly-respected. I think King's would be a lovely place to go to - I've been to Guy's Hospital and it looks so amazing to work and study at!

Thank you so much for all the help! Let's stay encouraged, work hard and I'm sure we'll achieve our dreams! Best of luck to you
ALL Medical Schools are respected. It doesn't matter where you end up for Medicine - you'll end up a doctor wherever. I wouldn't bank on nailing the BMAT to compensate for GCSE grades, however - it is far harder than GCSEs and to give you an idea, most people who are doing it are predicted/have scored at least AAA at A-Level but about 45-50% on the BMAT is an average mark.

Your grades are very good, but I'd avoid Oxford. Cambridge is still a possibility but again, it's important to make sure you apply wisely when the time comes rather than emotionally.
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