Will my GCSE grades prohibit me from getting into a Russell Group University?

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    • Thread Starter

    Hi guys,

    so i'll try and make this short and sweet - at GCSE my grades were predominantly A's and B's, I got 3 c's in maths german and chemistry yet I'm re-taking maths in November aiming for my predicted which was an A (my grade was due to the lack of teaching I had for two years).

    I've been reading up on everything to do with admissions for Oxbridge (which for me, will be October 2017 as I am in lower sixth) and people are saying how the substantial people get straight A's and A*'s - yet here I am with these grades.
    For A-level I'm taking History, RS and English Literature ( I got an A in English Lit and B in language and plan to do English lit as a degree) - I reckon my predicted grades will be over A's for my A-level (i obviously hope) and I'm just wondering, genuinely what are the chances of me getting into a good uni to do this?

    I'm so worried that oxford wouldn't even consider my application - I do lots of extra-curricular things which I'm trying to keep up with and my grades to do with what I want to do as a degree are good.

    So what are my chances?

    There's a big difference between RG and oxford. Your GCSE's would be fine for many RG uni's but maybe not Oxford

    I got AAAAAABBBCC at GCSE and got an interview at Oxford and offers from: UCL and Durham

    Your GCSEs are not going to disadvantage you much in applications to non-Oxbridge RG universities, and if you're an A/A* student at A-level I'd expect you to get plenty of good offers.

    Applying to Oxford is a different matter, and GCSEs are fairly important in determining who gets interviewed. For some context, 63% of applicants for English were shortlisted in 2013, so there is a large amount of pre-interview selection. However, if you apply to Oxford you will sit the pre-interview ELAT, which is arguably the most important factor for getting you an interview. Certainly, if you do very well at the ELAT, you'll be interviewed regardless of your GCSEs.

    In short, yes you are at a slight disadvantage for an Oxford application, but there's no risk of your application being disregarded purely on the basis of your GCSE grades. If the course appeals to you, you should go for it.

    On a side-note, your extra-curriculars will be a useful part of some RG uni applications, but won't really matter for Oxford.
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