Cambridge unofficial GCSE requirements? Could I get into Cambridge? Watch

AnonymousEric
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Now, I know on the official Cambridge website, for Law, the course I want to study, it says that they don't have any requirements but a basic C in English Language and Maths. But I've heard that the average Cambridge student has 8 or more A* at GCSE. They say that the average grades a student has for Law are 4/5 A/A*s, which seems reasonable enough, but surely it is higher. And what I would like to know first and foremost is: are my GCSE's good enough for Cambridge? Now, I am not saying I am proud of my quite poor GSCE's (I'm really not), but this is coming from a school where he average is around 5Cs, so I did pretty well in comparison to that. I was also predicted/targeted all Cs with a couple of Bs and Ds. I achieved:
Religious Studies - A*
English Literature - A
English Language - A
History - A
Maths - A
Applied History - B
Core Science - C
Additional Science - C
Media Studies - D
Product Design - E
The last two...eugh, I know. Purely disgraceful, Media was originally a B, but due to one line of uncredited text, was moved down to a D, was considered plagiarism. Product Design was just an utter catastrophe, with no excuses. So, assuming I achieve A*AA at A level (in Religious Studies, History and English Literature) is there a chance I could get into Cambridge to study Law? I know my GCSE's are pretty terrible (the second half of them at least) and certainly very poor in comparison to most other Cambridge Law applicants, but is there a chance I could get in? Thanks for any replies, in advance.
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AmeliaLost
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Most Cambridge colleges don't really care about GSCEs like Oxford do as far as I'm aware. Your performance at A-level will be what they're mostly interested in. Strong performance at entrance exams (is it LNAT for law? I forget) help will outweigh GCSEs too.
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radarmaker
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AmeliaLost is right I think Cambridge's guidance says that 1) there are no GCSE requirements for admission (except what is stated for specific courses), and 2) when they do look at GCSE grades they do so in the context of the performance of the school. Your A-Level grades matter far far more

I know plenty of people from Cambridge that weren't happy with their GCSE performance but stormed it at A-Level and are now happily studying there or have graduated.
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Reality Check
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The Cs in science could be a problem. Whilst GCSE's aren't as important as AS/A levels they do form an overall portfolio of academic achievement and Cs anywhere do not a strong Cambridge application make. Even though the D and E are not in proper subjects, their existence might similarly cause some concern. Since I did Law they've introduced the LNAT so I don't know how much weight is put on that. A lot, I imagine. What is 'applied history' by the way?!


jneill is your man for this, so I"m tagging him in this - he may be able to be more definitive than I.
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Doones
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(Original post by AnonymousEric)
Now, I know on the official Cambridge website, for Law, the course I want to study, it says that they don't have any requirements but a basic C in English Language and Maths. But I've heard that the average Cambridge student has 8 or more A* at GCSE. They say that the average grades a student has for Law are 4/5 A/A*s, which seems reasonable enough, but surely it is higher. And what I would like to know first and foremost is: are my GCSE's good enough for Cambridge? Now, I am not saying I am proud of my quite poor GSCE's (I'm really not), but this is coming from a school where he average is around 5Cs, so I did pretty well in comparison to that. I was also predicted/targeted all Cs with a couple of Bs and Ds. I achieved:
Religious Studies - A*
English Literature - A
English Language - A
History - A
Maths - A
Applied History - B
Core Science - C
Additional Science - C
Media Studies - D
Product Design - E
The last two...eugh, I know. Purely disgraceful, Media was originally a B, but due to one line of uncredited text, was moved down to a D, was considered plagiarism. Product Design was just an utter catastrophe, with no excuses. So, assuming I achieve A*AA at A level (in Religious Studies, History and English Literature) is there a chance I could get into Cambridge to study Law? I know my GCSE's are pretty terrible (the second half of them at least) and certainly very poor in comparison to most other Cambridge Law applicants, but is there a chance I could get in? Thanks for any replies, in advance.
There are NO unofficial requirements. What Cambridge says on their entry requirements they mean, otherwise they would be wasting their time and that of potential applicants.

Bottomline, if you are on target to meet their tyical requirements (A*AA for Law) then apply.

(thanks Reality Check for the tag )
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AnonymousEric
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(Original post by Reality Check)
The Cs in science could be a problem. Whilst GCSE's aren't as important as AS/A levels they do form an overall portfolio of academic achievement and Cs anywhere do not a strong Cambridge application make. Even though the D and E are not in proper subjects, their existence might similarly cause some concern. Since I did Law they've introduced the LNAT so I don't know how much weight is put on that. A lot, I imagine. What is 'applied history' by the way?!


jneill is your man for this, so I"m tagging him in this - he may be able to be more definitive than I.
'Applied History' is essentially additional history. Just doing a different course to normal History. Thanks. And sorry, but I have absolutely no idea what LNAT is.
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AnonymousEric
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(Original post by jneill)
There are NO unofficial requirements. What Cambridge says on their entry requirements they mean, otherwise they would be wasting their time and that of potential applicants.

Bottomline, if you are on target to meet their tyical requirements (A*AA for Law) then apply.

(thanks Reality Check for the tag )
Thanks aha, good to know😀.
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AnonymousEric
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(Original post by radarmaker)
AmeliaLost is right I think Cambridge's guidance says that 1) there are no GCSE requirements for admission (except what is stated for specific courses), and 2) when they do look at GCSE grades they do so in the context of the performance of the school. Your A-Level grades matter far far more

I know plenty of people from Cambridge that weren't happy with their GCSE performance but stormed it at A-Level and are now happily studying there or have graduated.
This is somewhat reassuring, thanks, I'm still kinda scared my GCSE's will hinder my application though.
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AnonymousEric
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(Original post by AmeliaLost)
Most Cambridge colleges don't really care about GSCEs like Oxford do as far as I'm aware. Your performance at A-level will be what they're mostly interested in. Strong performance at entrance exams (is it LNAT for law? I forget) help will outweigh GCSEs too.
Thanks😀.
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radarmaker
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(Original post by AnonymousEric)
This is somewhat reassuring, thanks, I'm still kinda scared my GCSE's will hinder my application though.
All the best of luck to you! Just concentrate on making the rest of your application as strong as possible
If you have any questions about Cambridge generally, or about law in particular, feel free to drop me a message - I didn't study it myself but I have friends still reading it there that I can consult
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Doones
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Since I did Law they've introduced the LNAT so I don't know how much weight is put on that. A lot, I imagine. .
Oh yes, just to say Cambridge has it's own Law Test, they don't use the LNAT.

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Reality Check
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(Original post by jneill)
Oh yes, just to say Cambridge has it's own Law Test, they don't use the LNAT.

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Thanks for clarifying that - so much seems to have changed I should mug up on it!
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Doones
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Thanks for clarifying that - so much seems to have changed I should mug up on it!
And the AS/A-level reforms have caused more changes. Many courses have pre-interview assessments, a bit like Oxford, to add to the process.

For Law, the CLT is taken at interview.

http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...y-requirements
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Reality Check
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(Original post by jneill)
And the AS/A-level reforms have caused more changes. Many courses have pre-interview assessments, a bit like Oxford, to add to the process.

For Law, the CLT is taken at interview.

http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...y-requirements
Gosh, just goes to show just how unsuitable A levels have become in identifying the very best. My law interview involved a couple of scenarios written on a bit of paper which I had ten minutes to read and think about followed by a 'supervision' with my (future) DoS and someone else. I'm sure I should have done awfully at all these tests and so forth they have to do now!

As always, thank you for being such a fount of current knowledge on these things and being so willing to regularly answer sometimes repetitive threads.
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Doones
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Gosh, just goes to show just how unsuitable A levels have become in identifying the very best. My law interview involved a couple of scenarios written on a bit of paper which I had ten minutes to read and think about followed by a 'supervision' with my (future) DoS and someone else. I'm sure I should have done awfully at all these tests and so forth they have to do now!
I actually thought you were a current student

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Reality Check
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(Original post by jneill)
I actually thought you were a current student

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Noooo, I did Law, then Natural Sciences a little while ago which foolishly led me to believe I was well enough placed to comment. In some cases it does, but it seems like an awful lot has changed admissions-wise in the few years I've finished my undergraduate. Lots more tests, lots more A* requirements...a lot more seeming to ride on it, frankly.
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username2471155
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(Original post by AnonymousEric)
Now, I know on the official Cambridge website, for Law, the course I want to study, it says that they don't have any requirements but a basic C in English Language and Maths. But I've heard that the average Cambridge student has 8 or more A* at GCSE. They say that the average grades a student has for Law are 4/5 A/A*s, which seems reasonable enough, but surely it is higher. And what I would like to know first and foremost is: are my GCSE's good enough for Cambridge? Now, I am not saying I am proud of my quite poor GSCE's (I'm really not), but this is coming from a school where he average is around 5Cs, so I did pretty well in comparison to that. I was also predicted/targeted all Cs with a couple of Bs and Ds. I achieved:
Religious Studies - A*
English Literature - A
English Language - A
History - A
Maths - A
Applied History - B
Core Science - C
Additional Science - C
Media Studies - D
Product Design - E
The last two...eugh, I know. Purely disgraceful, Media was originally a B, but due to one line of uncredited text, was moved down to a D, was considered plagiarism. Product Design was just an utter catastrophe, with no excuses. So, assuming I achieve A*AA at A level (in Religious Studies, History and English Literature) is there a chance I could get into Cambridge to study Law? I know my GCSE's are pretty terrible (the second half of them at least) and certainly very poor in comparison to most other Cambridge Law applicants, but is there a chance I could get in? Thanks for any replies, in advance.
If you meet their entry requirements then no harm in applying. No one is certain if you would get offered an interview.
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Doones
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(Original post by Illimitable)
If you meet their entry requirements then no harm in applying. No one is certain if you would get offered an interview.
Yep. And Cambridge interviews approx 80% of candidates.
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username2471155
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(Original post by jneill)
Yep. And Cambridge interviews approx 80% of candidates.
Are you sure that's right, 80%? I thought it was a lot less than that.
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Doones
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(Original post by Illimitable)
Are you sure that's right, 80%? I thought it was a lot less than that.
It's correct. It's less at Oxford because they use their Admissions Tests to deselect candidates prior to interview whereas Cambridge interviews almost everyone who has a realistic chance of meeting their typical entry requirements.

http://www.undergraduate.study.cam.a...ing/interviews
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