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    so I intend to apply to cambridge warwick durham bath and edinburgh - all a*aa or above. do people do this? or is a backup a must?

    Unless you are confident of getting at least 2 or 3 a*s, i would definitely have a backup.

    (Original post by chumaniward)
    so I intend to apply to cambridge warwick durham bath and edinburgh - all a*aa or above. do people do this? or is a backup a must?
    It's a very bad idea. Even if you're extremely confident about getting A*AA or above, you may not get many offers - not because you're a bad candidate, instead simply because of the competition for places at these universities. If you didn't receive any offers, you'd be stuck with UCAS Extra or clearing.

    But even if you got five offers, it's still a terrible idea. Regardless of your capabilities, you could easily mess up one exam, which could be enough to make you miss your offer. Because you wouldn't have an insurance, you'd be forced into Clearing, with many of the competitive courses already filled - for example, many of the top institutions don't have clearing places for Law, so even if you got AAA, you wouldn't necessarily be able to get into an AAA university via clearing. Additionally, the universities you've mentioned are competitive to the extent that they wouldn't necessarily be lenient if you missed your offer.

    Basically, it's a bad idea - you could not get any offers, or you could miss your offer. Both are likely outcomes, regardless of your predictions, AS levels and capabilities. Apply to two universities that ask for roughly AAA; ideally, you won't need to go there, and you'll get A*AA, but they would serve as a good backup. You've nothing to lose by having a true backup option, as it wouldn't decrease your chances of going to Cambridge etc.
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